Epic Revenue Shift

Meet the PlayStation Portal. AI is being used in remaking games. MK1 will have audio described fatalities.

The ability to use AI (…) is an absolute game changer”- Charles Cecil

Hey there.

TGIF, am I right?

Before you head into a weekend of button mashing and epic gaming marathons, here is some news for you.

PlayStation's "Project Q" revealed its true identity, Phil Spencer is betting on mobile and AC Codename Jade now has a proper name. And there's that Starfield Gaming Chair

Let’s play.

Welcome to The Power-Up #3

Round-up of the day

🎮 Sony's handheld gaming device formerly known as Project Q now has a proper name: PlayStation Portal, a price: $199.99 / £199.99 / €219.99 and a vague launch window: later this year. It will also have an 8-inch LCD with a 1080p/60FPS resolution, Pulse Elite wireless headset and Pulse Explore wireless earbuds.

🗡️ The upcoming remake of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars utilizes AI for the in-game sprites. Its creator, Charles Cecil, says that making the title any other way would have been unaffordable.

📲 The Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, said that the prime motivation for the Activision Blizzard King deal is their mobile capability, “because it’s just something we don’t have”.

💾 Qualcomm reveals three new platforms under its Snapdragon gaming chip series, designed for handheld gaming devices.

📺 The Fallout TV show will be released on Amazon in 2024, will be set in LA and Walton Goggins will be in it. You know Walton Goggins from Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Justified and other great movies and shows.

💺 A Starfield Gaming Chair can be seen at Gamescom, in Germany. It is equipped with joysticks, a center console and a screen. It is not for sale, though. 

🏎️ Darren Cox, the former Nissan driver behind the GT Academy and the new “Gran Turismo” movie, speaks about how he turned gamers into racers.

Biz Reel

NVIDIA announces record revenue in its most recent financial quarter: $13.51 billion, up 88% from Q1 and up 101% from a year ago. Another record is Data Center revenue, which reached $10.32 billion, up 141% from Q1 and up 171% from a year ago—this is primarily due to AI demands. Gaming revenue was $2.49 billion, up 11% from the previous quarter.

VNG, the Vietnamese video gaming and social media start-up, filed for an initial public offering in the US, being the first Vietnamese tech company to do so. 22 million shares will be offered in the IPO, but it will still be controlled by its founders.

After 11 years, Dominic Wheatley will be stepping down as CEO of the UK games firm Catalis Group, the parent company of Curve Games and Testronic. Both divisions will be run by their CEOs, John Clark and Mike Betti.

Dead Man's Phone developer, the BAFTA-nominated studio Scriptic, has raised $6.2 million in a new seed funding round. The investment will be used to expand its mobile narrative offerings.

The gaming market investments and M&A’s declined to $1.2 billion in Q1 2023 and it’s the lowest quarterly value since Q3 2018. Investments fell 40.7% from $1.3 billion, while mergers and acquisitions fell 91.9% from Q4 2022. That’s not good news for people looking to sell…

Still, gaming is big and mobile gaming in particular: NetEase generated $3.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2023 and more than 70% from mobile.

Epic’s new revenue sharing program will allow studios to keep 100% of the net revenue from their projects for the first six months after they release their game. After that period, developers will receive the 88% as before.

BioWare will lay off 50 people, trying to make the EA owned studio “more agile and more focused”. EA has up to 13.000 employees. BioWare had 250.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) will acquire audio tech developer and award-winning headphone maker Audeze. Terms were not disclosed, but Audeze will continue to operate as a separate entity.

Game Central

Yay! Bethesda confirmed that Starfield will have a New Game Plus mode.

And still Microsoft/Xbox related, Baldur’s Gate 3 will come to Xbox this year. Larian, the studio that made BG3, has confirmed it’s reached a solution to the roadblock preventing the port, and the Xbox edition of the game should launch before the end of the year.

Mortal Kombat 1's accessibility options will include audio descriptive fatalities. And now I am thoroughly intrigued by how a fatality would sound explained step-by-step .

Who would expect such a thing? The official name for Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade will be Assassin’s Creed Jade! The mobile game promises AAA open world RPG gameplay featuring character creation and iconic Assassin’s Creed stuff.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora seems to be only first-person. Other community questions are answered here. 

When we were building games at MavenHut, one of the models we used to generate hit games was Supercell’s “if it’s not a potential hit, don’t launch”. So it’s not a surprise that they canceled arena battler Floodrush, after a beta test that was probably not generating the required results.

Hexworks has announced that Lords Of The Fallen has gone gold ahead of its October 13 release.

RoboCop: Rogue City was a little bit delayed, to November 2. The game channels and traditional retailers still show September as the release date, but Nacon confirmed the new date.

A rumor says that Santa Monica Studio could work on a DLC or a standalone expansion for God of War Ragnarok. The rumor also says that development is roughly 60% done. That would be awesome, but I would wait for an official confirmation before I do the Dance of Joy on my office floor.

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

Bobby & Andrei

Did you know?

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars launched as a point-and-click adventure game in 1996.

It was a commercial success and marked the first time that Revolution Software received royalty payments on a game, after 7 years of activity (the studio was founded in 1989).

It was particularly a hit on the PlayStation, despite low sales expectations. The publisher anticipated 60,000 copies sold and it went on to do nearly 300,000. As of April 2001, combined sales of Broken Sword's computer and PlayStation releases had surpassed 1,000,000 units.