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Gaming Branded Gillette Razor? Is this 1st of April?

PS5 Sales Explode, Gamescom highlights. Pokémon sells a lot of merchandise

If we expect players to engage with our game more than once, we need to consider where they are in the real world and how they will choose to play”- Oscar Clark

Gaming is full of people with beards (The Power-Up’s Bobby included). Do gamers still use razors? Gillette seems to think so.

Today we're also talking about PS5 sales going through the roof, a classic Atari console making its grand return, and how Pokémon is pretty much printing its own money.

Oh, and don’t miss the weekly Power-Up Chronicles, evergreen content on creating better games and better gaming businesses.

Welcome to The Power-Up #2

Round-up of the day

🎮 PlayStation 5 was the best-selling console in July 2023 in Europe, with 244% increase compared to July 2022 and up 24 percent compared to June 2023.

🕹️ Xbox Series X will get official console wraps - including a design inspired by Starfield – that will go on sale across Europe, Canada, and the US starting in October.

📣 After 27 years, Charles Martinet will no longer be the voice of Mario, but he will remain a Mario Ambassador.

📺 Atari 2600, the most popular console of the 1970s/1980s (yes, that was 40 years ago) will be back. Atari and Plaion have announced the 2600+, a modernized version that will launch on November 17. It will cost $129.99.

📸 Applications are now open for the second Latin American Games Showcase. Only games developed by Latino game studios or created in the Latin American region will be considered for selection.

🏆 The 10th edition of The Game Awards will happen on December 7, 2023 in Los Angeles, at the Peacock Theatre.

🥽 Lenovo reportedly working on AR glasses for its handheld gaming console.

🎌 Consoles are the most popular platform (72%) for young gamers in Japan.

📲 Also, here’s a list of the Top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.

🪒 And, in what seems like an April 1st piece of news, but it’s actually real, Gillette makes a Razer branded razor.

Biz Reel

Remote Control Productions and Auctus Capital Partners form a new group, Prestiged, that aims to become a leading group for European games companies.

Microsoft plans to transfer Activision's cloud gaming licenses to Ubisoft in an effort to gain approval from UK regulators.

Vesa Jutila (ex. Hatch Entertainment, Rovio) is the new CEO of Return Entertainment. The studio received a new investment from Samsung Next. They raised a total of €5.3 million ($5.75 million) across its pre-seed and seed rounds.

According to a report, Pokémon generated $11.6 billion in revenue from licensed merchandise last year, +36.5% compared to 2021.

Made on Earth Games secured $3.25 million in seed funding led by GEM Capital to launch its open beta mobile game Everbright.

Game Central

Gamescom 2023 started yesterday in Cologne, Germany, with its Opening Night Live. We saw a lot of announcements and new trailers, and you can find it all on Kotaku.

CD Projekt Red unveiled a fresh trailer (and it looks awesome!) for the upcoming 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty DLC for Cyberpunk 2077, set to launch on September 26. New story content, gameplay improvements, and enhanced combat mechanics, available even for players who don't purchase the expansion.

Ghostrunner will have a sequel, Ghostrunner 2, that will launch on October 26 on PS5, Xbox X/S and PC.

The Invincible, a sci-fi first-person adventure game inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s book with the same name, will launch on PS5, Xbox X/S and PC on November 6.

FromSoftware’s Armored Core VI Fires Of Rubicon will run at 4K/60FPS on PS5 and Xbox X.

The Power-Up Chronicles

Baldur’s Gate 3, developed by Larian Studios, has set a new standard for AAA games, offering an unparalleled level of choice and complexity akin to tabletop Dungeons & Dragons. Released after 6 years of development and 3 years in Early Access, it has garnered overwhelming acclaim for revolutionizing the gaming experience while avoiding the industry's predatory tactics

Read the entire opinion on PlayerAuctions.

A deep-dive into the emerging world of AI-driven Twitch streams, focusing on streams by The Singularity Group that showcase AI-generated personalities like "Jesus," "Trump," and "Biden," as well as issues related to deepfakes and ethics. The Singularity Group aims to use these streams for data collection, recruitment, and raising awareness about AI capabilities, while Twitch grapples with the ethical and safety concerns surrounding deepfake and AI content on its platform.

Read Ed Nightingale’s story on Eurogamer.

What is game design? In a nuanced exploration of game design, the focus is laid on three key layers: Mechanics, Context, and Metagame, each guided by 'loops' that integrate gameplay challenges, emotional arcs, and social interactions. By defining unchanging 'Laws' for the game world, designers can create robust yet flexible systems that allow for emergent gameplay, skill-based rewards, and a contextual narrative, all geared towards creating a compelling, long-lasting player experience.

A comprehensive breakdown of Oscar Clark’s game design philosophy on PocketGamer

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

Bobby & Andrei

P.S.: you can always hit REPLY to tell us your opinions and suggestions. We’re at the beginning of this journey and all the feedback is wanted and appreciated 😁 

Did you know?

The Atari 2600 was released in September 1977 and had an initial price of $189.95 (that would be $958 in today’s money).

It was branded as the Atari Video Computer System (Atari VCS). The system's first killer app was the home conversion of Taito's arcade game Space Invaders in 1980.

The VCS became widely successful, leading to the founding of Activision (and other third-party game developers).

Activision was founded in 1979 by former Atari game developers upset at their treatment by Atari in order to develop their own games for the popular Atari 2600 home video game console.

Activision was the first independent, third-party, console video game developer.