Apple's App Store is absent from China's compliance list
A new studio formed by veterans, Max Payne is coming back and PS Portal is sold out in Japan
I wish I loved anything as much as Tim Sweeney hates Apple.- Paul Tassi, Forbes
From this month onward, we're introducing a new segment to our newsletter – the 'Industry Level-Up' section. This will serve as a space to shine a light on studio openings and closures, job opportunities, career transitions, and all the ebbs and flows that shape the gaming industry.
Your feedback means everything to us. Please reply to this email and share if this new section is interesting and useful for you.
Here we go:
Welcome to The Power-Up #19
📉 An opinion published in Forbes, regarding the recent huge layoff of 900 employees: Epic Games laid off 16% of its workforce due to significant financial losses from CEO Tim Sweeney's ambitious metaverse pursuits and costly legal battles against Steam and Apple.
💰 Playtika has finalized its acquisition of Innplay Labs for up to $300 million, first announced earlier this month, bolstering its mobile gaming capabilities in the luck battle genre. Playtika is showing signs of resurgence with strategic partnerships and recognition in the gaming industry, despite challenges in the past.
🇨🇳 China's cyberspace regulator has listed 26 mobile app stores that comply with new oversight rules, including those by Tencent, Huawei, and Samsung. Notably absent is Apple's App Store.
🎉 That's No Moon, a studio formed by ex-Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Infinity Ward veterans, is developing a AAA game based on a known IP. The studio aims to "push the limits" of gameplay and narrative in this project.
😍 The 2023 GamesIndustry.biz Best Places To Work Awards in the UK celebrated companies enhancing the video games industry's work environment, with Ustwo, Rare, and PlayStation London Studio among the notable winners. Simon Iwaniszak, from Red Kite Games, won the Best Boss award.
🏀 Brendan Donohue will depart as NBA 2K League President. He has significantly contributed to the league's growth and secured key partnerships since its 2017 launch.
🤑 "Legacy," a blockchain business sim by Peter Molyneux, launches on 26th October, offering players in-game blockchain business opportunities. The game once sold its priciest virtual land plot, "London," for $900k during the blockchain industry's buzz.
🤬 A former Goldman Sachs analyst is accused of using Xbox chat for insider trading, leading to over $400,000 in profits.
🔑 A free browser game, Starfield Digipick Simulator, replicates Starfield's digipick mini-game for continuous play. Developed by BB_Dev, the game offers various difficulty levels and a unique daily challenge mimicking the futuristic lockpicking system.
🎮 Pre-orders for the PlayStation Portal, a remote play device, have sold out in Japan ahead of its November 15 launch. Despite initial skepticism and limitations, the device is garnering significant interest, particularly in Japan. And one of us, Bobby, made his own pre-order this weekend 😍
📦 Physical sales for EA FC in the UK are down 30% compared to FIFA 23. It still is the second biggest physical launch of the year, though.
🔫 Remedy's Sam Lake described the upcoming Max Payne 1 & 2 remakes as a "big, big project" due to the challenge of modernizing the old games. The remakes will launch as a single package on PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X/S, but no release date has been announced. It will not be soon, though.
🏎️ Gran Turismo Sport's online servers will shut down on January 31, 2024, disabling all online features. DLC add-ons will be removed from the PlayStation Store on December 1, 2023, but offline game features will remain accessible.
🎮The Nintendo Switch 2 is rumored to support 4K/60 FPS with ray tracing, suggesting a major technical upgrade. Reputable insider Tom Henderson claims numerous multiplatform games will announce simultaneous releases for Switch 2, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in the next 12-18 months.
🚀 Some of the games launching this week (bolded the games we want):
October 2: Dinky Guardians (PC)
October 3: Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless (PS4/5, Switch, PC), The Lamplighters League (Xbox One/S/X, PC)
October 4: Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (Xbox S/X), Worldless (PS4/5, Xbox Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC)
October 5: Assassin's Creed Mirage (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC), Front Mission 2 Remake (Switch), Little Learning Machines (PC)
October 6: Detective Pikachu Returns (Switch)
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei