Jim Ryan is leaving Sony, GameStop has a new CEO and Counter-Strike 2 is suddenly here
Jim Ryan has been a great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation - Phil Spencer
Meta Quest 3 headset is coming next month, along with Asgard’s Wrath 2. Valve lost an appeal against a huge fine in EU and Spider-Man 2 is the first PS5 game compatible with the future Access Controller.
Oh, and… all of a sudden, Counter-Strike 2 is available on Steam!
Let us power-up you!
Welcome to The Power-Up #18
Round-up of the day
🥽 The Meta Quest 3 mixed reality headset, featuring enhanced specs like a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor and two 120Hz LCD displays, is set to launch on 10th October with prices starting at £480/$499.99. It’s available for pre-order now.
🚔 NVIDIA's offices in France were raided by government officials as part of an investigation into the company's alleged anti-competitive practices.
⛏️ The script for the much-anticipated Minecraft movie is finished, with filming slated to begin in Spring 2024, contingent on finalizing actor agreements.
🏹 And in the same realm, Netflix just revealed new animation shows based on Tomb Raider, Far Cry and Devil May Cry. It isn’t unexpected, if you think of the success of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
😔 Sega has canceled several games including "Hyenas," developed by Creative Assembly, amid "structural reforms" due to reduced demand post-lockdown and economic downturn in Europe, potentially leading to layoffs at the studio.
⚔️ Minecraft Dungeons has achieved over 25 million players across all platforms since its May 2020 launch, with a significant growth from 15 million players in February 2022.
💰 Veterans from CD Projekt Red and 11Bit Studios raise $1 million investment for a new game studio in Poland (called Zakazane).
🤝 Supercell has acquired a majority stake in Melbourne-based Ultimate Studio to explore expansion beyond mobile platforms.
🤝 Xsolla has acquired AcceleratXR, an in-game server backend provider, aiming to offer developers enhanced multiplayer technology to expand their player base across various platforms.
📢 If you promote your games (mobile, in particular) through ads, you’re almost certainly using one of Meta’s ad networks (Facebook Native, Instagram, Facebook or Facebook Messenger). They’re top 4 the most used ad networks for gaming ads. And there’s 2 games that created more than 2,300 ad creatives for the App Stores.
⚖️ Apple has appealed to the Supreme Court against a decision allowing app developers alternative payment options, while Epic Games seeks a review of Apple's alleged antitrust App Store practices.
⚖️ Valve lost its appeal against a €1.6 million fine for violating EU law by geo-blocking game activation keys, maintaining artificial price differences across member states.
😔 Epic Games is laying off 830 employees, about 16% of its workforce, as a cost-cutting measure, but will continue developing major titles. Affected staff will receive severance packages and support services.
😔 Blizzard has undergone a round of layoffs affecting the Hearthstone development team, with reports suggesting 10 members were impacted.
👋 PlayStation chief Jim Ryan is set to retire in March after nearly three decades at Sony, with Hiroki Totoki assuming interim CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment from April. Ryan, who has been pivotal in PlayStation's success, expressed difficulties reconciling living in Europe with working in North America, but remains optimistic about the future of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
👨💼 Billionaire Ryan Cohen has been appointed as CEO and chairman of GameStop.
🔫 Counter-Strike 2 has been unexpectedly released on Steam, taking over Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's spot and functioning as an update to it. Despite being available in a limited test form and surrounded by release rumors, its sudden availability comes as a surprise.
🦖 Horizon Forbidden West: Complete Edition, including the base game and the Burning Shores DLC expansion, is set to release on PlayStation 5 on October 6 and on PC in early 2024.
🕸️ Insomniac Games has announced that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will be compatible with the customizable Access controller for PS5, marking the first game on the platform to confirm such support.
🚀 Journey to Foundation, a virtual reality adaptation of Isaac Asimov's acclaimed sci-fi novels, is set to release on PSVR2 on 26th October 2023, offering an immersive experience utilizing features like haptic feedback, eye tracking, and adaptive triggers.
🏰 Bethesda has unexpectedly released The Elder Scrolls: Castles for select Android devices, a new entry in the franchise inspired by the successful gameplay formula of Fallout Shelter.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei