Google Almost Owned Fortnite

VC Investment down 68% YoY, GameMaker is now free for non-commercial use, Ubisoft stopped advertising on Twitter, Sony is facing a new lawsuit

It’s a crazy time right now - Bret Robbins, CEO, Ascendant Studios

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

🤯 Google considered partnering with Tencent to acquire Epic Games, as revealed in antitrust case documents, discussing a potential $2 billion investment for a 20% stake or a full takeover.

The plan was to make Fortnite the main business driver.

Google saw this takeover as the only option to make Epic change their approach to Android devices.

🎉 But we have so much more:

Robocop was the best launch in Nacon’s long history. Steam now has support for PS controllers. And Harry Krueger is leaving Housemarque after many years. 

Oh,  the Black Friday discount for PS Plus Essential is not the same for everyone. 🤯

BTW, be sure to check some of the best deals you can get for this BF on Steam, GOG and Playstation Store, in the Game-Up section.

Play on:

Welcome to The Power-Up #26


💰 Spirittea achieved $1 million in revenue and attracted 150,000 players in its first week, primarily due to its launch on Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch, outperforming its initial Steam release.

⚖️ Sony is facing a lawsuit in the UK, demanding £6.3 billion (approximately $7.9 billion) for allegedly inflating prices on the PlayStation Store. This legal action follows a similar, unsuccessful suit in the US. Sony's attempt to dismiss the UK case was rejected. 

🔫 Offworld Industries has acquired the tactical WWII shooter game, Post Scriptum, from Periscope Games, marking a return to its roots since Post Scriptum originated as a mod for Offworld's own game, Squad.

📈 China's gaming market is expected to rebound this year, with revenues projected to reach $47.7 billion, a 5.2% increase from the previous year. The number of gamers in China is also forecasted to grow, reaching over 710 million in 2023.

🛑 Ubisoft stopped its advertising on X/Twitter, joining other companies like Apple, IBM, Disney, after a report by Media Matters highlighted that advertisements from these companies appeared alongside white nationalist and antisemitic posts on X.

💰 Saga (not SEGA!), a game-focused Layer-1 protocol, has raised an additional $5 million in seed funding led by Placeholder, bringing its total funding to $13.5 million.

📉 In Q3 2023, the games venture capital market saw a significant decline, with 113 deals closed for $857.0 million, marking a 68% year-over-year decrease in disclosed deal value.

👹 Warcraft Rumble earned $13.9 million in gross revenue globally in its first two weeks after launching on November 3, with the US as its top market contributing $6.2 million.

📈 NetEase reported a significant 23.4% increase in profits in Q3 2023, driven by the success of mobile games like Justice and Racing Master, with total revenues rising by 11.6% to CN¥1.5 billion ($210.9 million).

🆓 GameMaker is now free for non-commercial use, with a new $99 one-time fee option for commercial developers to sell their games on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Web. The $79.99 monthly subscription for console game sales remains unchanged.

Industry Level-Up

👋 Harry Krueger, the director of the acclaimed PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal, is departing Housemarque after a 14-year tenure. 

📱 PlayStation's mobile division, originally Savage Game Studios, is now rebranded as Neon Koi. Despite the departure of PlayStation’s mobile boss Nicola Sebastiani and Savage cofounder Michael Katkoff, Neon Koi continues to develop its first AAA mobile live service action game.

🤯 Google considered partnering with Tencent to acquire Epic Games, as revealed in antitrust case documents, discussing a potential $2 billion investment for a 20% stake or a full takeover.


🧟 Indie horror game Lethal Company surpassed 100,000 concurrent users on Steam, momentarily outperforming popular titles like Team Fortress 2, Rust, and War Thunder.

🏆 Dlala Studios won Game Of The Year for Disney Illusion Island at the TIGA Awards 2023, along with Best Social Game and Best Small Studio.

🤔 Black Friday 2023 discounts for PS Plus Essential subscription are causing confusion, as some users are able to renew their subscriptions at a discount, while others are not. (I was not ☹)

🙌 Naughty Dog's new game development is progressing well, unaffected by The Last of Us Part II remaster, despite recent layoffs and challenges with The Last of Us multiplayer project.

🎮 Steam Store update adds specific support for Sony DualSense and DualShock controllers, following the 400% increase in PlayStation controller usage on Steam over the past four years, with PlayStation models now accounting for 27% of over 3 billion game sessions involving controllers.

👩‍👦 A Plague Tale: Requiem, developed by Asobo Studio, has reached over 3 million players, and the studio is collaborating with Focus Entertainment on a new, undisclosed project, with job listings hinting at a possible third installment in the A Plague Tale series.

🚀 In October, PlayStation 5 led European console sales with a 143% increase YOY, while Nintendo Switch sales dropped by 20%, and Xbox Series X|S sales fell by 52%. The top-selling games were EA Sports FC 24, followed by Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Spider-Man 2. 

🤖 RoboCop: Rogue City, released by Nacon, has become the publisher's most successful game launch in its 42-year history, with 2.7 million active game sessions and 435,000 players in just two weeks.


🎮 PlayStation Plus Premium's latest offerings include free trials for both the acclaimed Baldur’s Gate 3 and the less favorably received (to put it nicely) The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

🪄 Immortals of Aveum, a PS5 FPS that launched with mixed reviews and lackluster sales, is likely to appear on subscription services like PS Plus. 

5️⃣ Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted 2, developed by Steel Wool Studios, is set to release on December 14 exclusively for PlayStation VR2.

🛸 The Expanse: A Telltale Series is now available on Steam. This complete version includes all five episodes, with the bonus DLC Archangel available separately.  I played the game on PS and I liked it a lot. 

🦾 Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition, including the base game, all updates, and the Phantom Liberty expansion, launches on December 5, 2023, for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X/S. The Ultimate Edition will be available both digitally and as a physical copy in select markets.

  • Some of the best GOG Black Friday dealshere

  • Some of the best Steam Black Friday dealshere

  • Some of the PlayStation Store Black Friday deals - here

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

Bobby & Andrei

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Did you know?

The term "Black Friday" originally referred to workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving in the early 1950s and was later used by Philadelphia police to describe post-Thanksgiving shopping chaos.

The phrase evolved in the 1980s, with merchants suggesting it marked the point when retailers moved from financial loss (red) to profit (black) in their yearly accounting.

But this is just a theory 😊