#28 - 😰 From $725M to $17M in One Year: FaZe Clan is Sold
Microsoft is the new gaming colossus, layoffs hit a PlayStation studio and RoboCop was canceled for Switch.
The amount of revenue that Candy Crush generates should not be underestimated - Will McKeon-White, Forrester senior analyst
🎉 But we have so much more:
Despite the news, FaZe Clan remains an esports powerhouse. They are the winners of IEM Sydney's CS2 Tournament and the $100,000 prize.
There’s more investments in tools for gaming (and the investments are not THAT small).
Baldur’s Gate 3 could still be released on Xbox before the end of 2023. Skull Island: Rise of Kong was made in just a year (and nobody’s surprised).
Oh, RoboCop is not coming to Switch anymore.
Hit the start button, here we go:
Welcome to The Power-Up #28
💰 Copresence has secured over $6 million in seed funding to advance its 3D avatar generation platform. The technology, compatible with major 3D engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, facilitates the creation of photorealistic avatars using smartphones for applications in gaming, XR, and video conferencing.
💰 Upland secured $7 million in funding for its Web3-based virtual land metaverse, bringing its total raised to $25 million. The platform, now termed a "Metaverse Super App", boasts over 3 million accounts.
🤑 Noodle Cat Games has secured $12M in funding led by Hiro Capital to develop an innovative multiplayer action RPG.
📈 In Q3 2023, Dream Games' Royal Match leads in consumer spend, while Scopely's Monopoly Go experiences the most significant spending increase, rising 26 places.
👔 Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard makes it a significant player in the gaming industry, providing substantial access to the mobile gaming market. The move leverages Activision Blizzard's strong mobile gaming presence, especially with Candy Crush Saga.
🤝 Gamesquare is acquiring the once-valued $725M esports group FaZe Clan for $17M after its recent struggles.
Industry Level-Up (or Down)
🪧 Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America's president, claims the company lacks unions due to high employee satisfaction and engagement, emphasizing their commitment to a positive work culture. However, despite Bowser's claims, past allegations suggest Nintendo interfered with unionization efforts and reports indicate discrepancies in treatment between contract workers and full-time staff.
🤝 Paul Houlders (ex-EA) is the new Global Head of Art at Technicolor Games. Ellis McCusker-Thompson (ex-Technicolor Games) was named as Global Head of Marketing at Room 8 Group. PTW hired Dr. Charalampos "Harry" Papadimitriou (ex – Riot Games/League of Legends) as its new Head of Artificial Intelligence.
😔 PlayStation's Visual Arts studio reportedly faces layoffs. The studio is known for its work on The Last of Us Part 1, before it switched to a support role, with Naughty Dog taking over as lead developer.
👎 Developers from IguanaBee allege GameMill Entertainment commonly enforces short development cycles, claiming Skull Island: Rise of Kong was made in just a year. The tight schedule, coupled with limited resources and information, reportedly led to technical issues and impacted the game's quality.
🔄 Nintendo Account will facilitate a smoother transition for players to the Switch's successor. While not confirming Switch 2 rumors, there's speculation of its release in September or November 2024.
📢 Motive is utilizing a "community council" for its upcoming Iron Man game, allowing fans to provide feedback during development. This approach mirrors their successful use of fan feedback in the Dead Space remake.
🏆 FaZe Clan triumphed at the inaugural top-level Counter-Strike 2 LAN tournament, IEM Sydney, defeating Complexity 2-1 in a closely-fought final. The tournament showcased the game's potential in the esports arena, with FaZe securing $100,000 in prize money.
🥳 Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is on track to be one of the biggest PS5 launches of 2023 in the UK. While physical sales are down from its predecessor, digital sales are expected to boost its overall numbers.
💍 The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria PS5 digital release has been postponed to December 5, 2023, aligning with its physical release date, while the PC version is set for tomorrow, October 24.
🤖 Nacon has canceled the Nintendo Switch version of RoboCop: Rogue City. The game will be released on November 2 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
🕹️ Baldur’s Gate 3 is still set to release on Xbox Series X/S by the end of 2023. The delay on Xbox was due to issues with split-screen co-op on Xbox Series S.
🍾 Some of the games launching this week:
October 24: Cities: Skylines 2 (PC), Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 (PS4/5, , Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC), Scene Investigators (PC), The Lords of the Rings: Return to Moria (PC), Vertigo 2 (PSVR 2)
October 25: Taimanin RPG Ecstasy (PC, iOS, Android)
October 26: Bahnsen Knights (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch), Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (Quest 2, PSVR 2), Ghostrunner 2 (PS5, Xbox Series S/X, PC), Journey to Foundation (PSVR 2, Quest 2, Pico 4)
October 27: Alan Wake 2 (PS5, Xbox Series S/X, PC), Desolatium (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch), UFC 5 (PS5, Xbox Series S/X)
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei