Epic declined Google's $147M offer

More layoffs at Unity, a new Steam Deck is coming and GTA VI will have the first trailer soon

Sometimes good ideas come when you’re trying to solve your own problem - Jussi Laakkonen, CEO, Noice

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

Epic Games rejected a $147 million deal from Google to release Fortnite on Google Play.

Google estimated a $130 to $250 million direct revenue loss from Fortnite's absence on the Play Store, and feared a wider impact of $550 million to $3.6 billion if other developers mimicked Epic's direct download approach.

Epic Games released Fortnite on Google Play 18 months later.

🎉 But we have so much more:

Steam Deck Oled is here. Some studios get VC investments.

A new Embracer studio is facing closure and G/O media is making layoffs, affecting even Kotaku. 

And we are about to see the first GTA VI trailer. Finally!  

Play on:

Welcome to The Power-Up #36

Biz Reel

🤝 AppsFlyer has acquired Devtodev, a developer analytics platform.

📉 Take-Two reports a net loss of $543.6 million in its latest quarter, a 111.5% increase from the previous year's $257 million loss, despite net revenues of $1.3 billion and net bookings of $1.44 billion.

🚔 Meanwhile, the latest earnings report reveals significant sales milestones: the Grand Theft Auto series surpasses 410 million units sold, with GTA V alone reaching over 190 million units, and Red Dead Redemption 2 tops 57 million units.

🙅‍♂️ Activision Blizzard is ending the Overwatch League, with plans to pay $120 million to the 20 participating teams after facing financial challenges and failing to meet revenue goals.

💰 AstroBeam secures $3 million in seed funding to develop accessible and engaging multiplayer experiences for virtual reality.

💰 Noice raises $21 million to develop a unique platform combining multiplayer gaming and livestreaming.

Industry Level-Up (or Down)

🔒 TimeSplitters studio Free Radical, owned by Embracer Group, is reportedly facing closure as part of Embracer's extensive restructuring program. 

🥽 Devin Reimer, co-founder of Owlchemy Labs, launches Astrobeam, a new VR studio in Austin, TX, focusing on creating social VR games. They just secured $3 million in seed funding, as mentioned already.

🤝 Alan Hartman, the former head of Turn 10, has been promoted to lead Xbox Game Studios. This change comes alongside other significant promotions within Xbox.

😔 Warframe developer Digital Extremes has confirmed layoffs following the closure of its publishing division, leading to the end of its involvement with Wayfinder, which will soon revert to Airship Syndicate. 

🤕 Unity's latest earnings report indicates more layoffs are "likely" in the coming year as part of a strategy to align with a "more focused portfolio" and the "right cost structure”.

👋 After a decade as CEO of Nexon, Owen Mahoney is set to retire in March 2024, with Junghun Lee, the current CEO of Nexon Korea, slated to replace him.

😔 G/O Media has conducted company-wide layoffs, affecting the gaming site Kotaku and resulting in 23 redundancies across its various sites. And people don’t think much about it, as evident by Kenneth Shepard’s opinion:


🗝️ Valve is reportedly developing a feature for Steam that allows users to mark individual games as "private," enabling them to hide specific titles from friends while keeping their profile public.

🎮 Valve is also unexpectedly expanding its Steam Deck lineup with a new OLED model, but “it’s not Steam Deck 2!”.

🚨 In the first half of 2023, Xbox issued 19.6 million enforcement actions to combat toxicity and harassment. Microsoft's integration of AI-powered tools has enhanced content moderation, leading to blocking over 4.7 million inappropriate content pieces and processing numerous player reports and appeals. 

🥷 Since its launch in mid-September, Mortal Kombat 1 has sold "nearly" 3 million copies worldwide, as announced by Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav during the company's third-quarter earnings call.

🆇 Earlier this week, Sony announced the termination of integration support with Twitter/X on PlayStation 4 and 5. In response, Elon Musk has stated he will "look into" the matter. 

🚀 Since its launch in November 2020, the PS5 has reached a milestone of 46.6 million units shipped worldwide. 

📈 Sony's latest earnings report shows an increase in monthly active users on PS5 and PS4, with 108 million users connecting to the PlayStation Network in the quarter ending September 30, up from 102 million in the same period last year.

🚀 Marvel's Spider-Man 2, developed by Insomniac, has surpassed 5 million sales globally, marking a significant success as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, according to Sony's latest fiscal report.

Game Central

🚓 Rockstar Games has announced the release of the GTA 6 reveal trailer for December 2023, following years of speculation and leaks, including early gameplay footage and the introduction of the game's first female protagonist. This reveal coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Grand Theft Auto series.

👽 Gaming journalist Jeff Grubb suggests that the new Mass Effect game might not release until 2029, despite recent teasers, comparing it to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf which was announced in 2018 but is still pending release.

😰 Pendulo Studios acknowledges that their newly launched game, Tintin Reporter: Cigars of the Pharaoh, is not in a satisfactory state for player enjoyment.

🦾 The rumored Ultimate Edition of Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release on December 5th, according to a recent leak, with a retail price of $60.

📢 Sony is delaying six of its planned 12 live-service games to ensure they meet the company's quality standards, with the other six still on track for release by FY25.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.

Bobby & Andrei

Did you know?

Mass Effect  began as a 2003 pitch for a project codenamed SFX by BioWare project director Casey Hudson to the company's co-founders, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.

The original Mass Effect trilogy has received near-universal critical acclaim across all release platforms.

The fourth installment, Mass Effect: Andromeda received a less enthusiastic critical reception, with a consensus among critics that it is not up to par with its predecessors in terms of overall quality, although the improved combat received praise.