Layoffs at Amazon Games
Wolverine in 2024? The Game Awards are coming, a good year for Roblox
On the AI side, we continue behind the scenes to more and more incorporate AI up and down the stack - David Baszucki, CEO, Roblox
🎉 But we have so much more:
More investments funds for gaming.
Asia Pacific is the leading region for Web3 game development.
Digital Bros will cut 30% of its staff and Apple has announced the 2023 App Store Awards nominees.
Oh, and a rumor says that Wolverine could be launched next year. Can’t wait for it!
Hit the Play button:
Welcome to The Power-Up #38
📺 Twitch viewership remained stable in Q3 2023 with a slight increase to 5.15 billion hours watched. October 2023 saw a strong start for Q4, with an average of 57.2 million hours watched daily, driven by popular esports events like League of Legends’ Worlds and Dota 2’s The International.
🚀 Gravity's mobile game revenues soared by 95.7% YOY in Q3 2023, largely driven by the worldwide success of Ragnarok X: Next Generation and Ragnarok Origin, despite a 28.9% decline from the previous quarter.
💰 SBI Holdings, a Tokyo-based financial services group, has announced a ¥100 billion ($659 million) fund to boost Web3 development in Japan, potentially supporting up to 200 startups. Major Japanese game developers like Sega and Square Enix are already active in blockchain initiatives.
💰 Unity has opened submissions for its Unity for Humanity grants, committing an additional $500,000 to support projects aligned with the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals.
💰 Transcend Fund has successfully closed its second seed fund of nearly $60 million to invest in early-stage gaming and digital entertainment startups. With a total of $150 million in assets under management, Transcend Fund II will continue to focus on supporting innovative companies in the industry.
📈 Nexon's Q3 2023 financial results show a record-breaking 23% year-on-year revenue growth, reaching ¥120.3 billion ($793 million), led by the Korean success of FC Mobile and MapleStory. This marks the company's sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, with significant revenue increases in North America and Europe (78% YoY), as well as notable growth in China and Japan.
🚀 Roblox's Q3 2023 earnings exceeded expectations with an 11% surge in stock, driven by a 20% increase in bookings to $839.5 million and significant user growth, including a 20% rise in Daily Active Users to 70.2 million. Despite revenue growth, the company reported a net loss of $277.2 million
🤑 Squido Studio has raised CA$1.5 million($1.09 million) in funding, led by the Canada Media Fund, to develop a mixed reality multiplayer game.
🤑 Neowiz has invested $17 million in Polish developer Blank Game Studios, acquiring a 21% stake, to enhance its global console market presence. Blank Game Studios was founded by former CD Projekt Red veterans including Cyberpunk 2077's Mateusz Kanik.
😔 Digital Bros plans to cut 30% of its staff across various studios, focusing on established franchises and re-releases rather than large-scale new projects. This strategic shift follows 2023 releases like Ghostrunner II and Crime Boss: Rockay City, which may not have met sales expectations.
🤩 Atlus, the developer behind Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, is set to increase the base salary of new graduates by 300,000 yen ($1990) and the average annual salary of all employees by 15% in April 2024.
😒 Amazon Games has laid off 180 employees and shut down its Crown channel on Twitch, as part of a strategic shift to refine its Prime Gaming offering and focus on upcoming game developments.
🤝 Nick Poole has been appointed as the new CEO of Ukie, the UK video game trade body, effective April 1, 2024. Poole, transitioning from his role as CEO of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, aims to bolster the UK gaming industry's recognition and investment, capitalizing on its £7 billion annual economic impact.
😒 Indie publisher Humble Games has confirmed layoffs due to restructuring amidst challenging market conditions, though the number of affected employees is unspecified.
🤝 TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly considering selling Moonton Technology, the developer behind Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, just two years after acquiring it for $4 billion.
🏆 The Game Awards 2023, hosted by Geoff Keighley, are set to occur early next month. You can see the nominees and vote for your preferred games here.
🏆 Apple has announced the 2023 App Store Awards nominees, honoring standout apps and games across its platforms.
🏪 Bandai Namco opened a new store in London's Victoria Place on November 14, offering a range of Japanese culture products including Gashapon toys, Ichibankuji ticket prizes, and Sun-Star stationery.
🎮 PlayStation's Black Friday 2023 deals (November 17-27) include discounts on PS5 consoles, games, PlayStation Plus memberships, and more at direct.playstation.com and participating retailers. PlayStation Gear Store will offer up to 20% off on merchandise from November 17-27, with free shipping on orders over $75 and a bonus hat, while PlayStation Store will feature big discounts on popular PS5 and PS4 games.
💰 Remedy has shifted its previously planned free-to-play multiplayer game, Vanguard, into a premium, paid title, now renamed Kestrel.
🍼 Escape From Tarkov is introducing a new map called Ground Zero, tailored for low-level players, which will become available around the game's December wipe.
🔪 Marvel's Wolverine, developed by Insomniac Games, is rumored to be set for a 2024 release, based on information from concept artist Hung Nguy's Artstation profile, which aligns with previous speculation by Jeff Grubb.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei
How did you like today's newsletter?