Great January for US Gaming

Age of Empires is coming to mobile, Connecting Worlds is on Disney+ and Korea fines Twitch

2023 was a shitty year. 2024 will probably be even more shittier.โ€“ Hendrik Lesser, President, EGDF

Hey there!

๐Ÿ“ฃ If you only read one piece of news today ๐Ÿ“ฃ

๐Ÿ“ˆย US game revenue rose by 15% to $5.1 billion in January, with Tekken 8, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and Persona 3 Reload among top sellers.

๐ŸŽฎ PlayStation 5 led console sales, while accessory spending surged by 45%.

๐ŸŽ‰ย But we have so much more:

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will have new content and modes.

Rise of the Ronin will have character creator and online co-op. And Battlefield game director leaves EA.

Donโ€™t miss The Power-Up Chronicles section at the end of this newsletter. It has stories about

  • Xbox publishing on rival consoles

  • Single player studios versus Live Service trend

  • The state of the gaming industry as seen by the president of EGDF

Now letโ€™s hit the play button:

Welcome to The Power-Up #76


๐Ÿคด Ubisoft is set to enrichย Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown with complimentary new content and gameplay modes, signaling ongoing support despite its mixed commercial performance.

๐Ÿ‘‘ย TiMi Studios, known for COD Mobile, unveils Age of Empires Mobile, aiming to translate the iconic strategy series' depth to mobile platforms with a mix of single and multiplayer modes. The game will have a beta test for Apple and Android users.

๐Ÿ›œ Inflexion Games is introducing an offline mode to co-operative survival game Nightingale. This decision comes after the game's early access launch faced criticism for its lack of an offline single-player option.

๐Ÿฅทย Rise of the Ronin will have an elaborate character creator and a four-player online co-op feature for its main story missions. For online play, a PlayStation Plus membership will be required.ย 

Some of the games launching this week:

  • February 28: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC)

  • February 29: Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth (PS5), Welcome to ParadiZe (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC)

  • March 1: Ufouria: The Saga 2 (PS5, Xbox X, PC, Switch)


๐Ÿ™…ย Microsoft is rumored to be launching a digital-only version of the Xbox Series X in white around mid-2024, featuring design improvements like an enhanced heatsink and upgraded Nexus card.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League did not meet Warner Bros. anticipated performance levels, leading to disappointment.. The game's struggle is evident in its declining player count and mediocre reviews.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Aspyr Media, the developer of Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection, is facing accusations of using a player-created mod without permission to include previously unreleased bonus content in their game.

๐Ÿ“บ Connecting Worlds, a documentary exploring Hideo Kojima's transition from Metal Gear Solid V to the creation of Death Stranding, is now available on Disney+, offering a deep dive into the innovative game designer's creative process.ย 

๐Ÿ‘ Helldivers 2 servers successfully withstood a massive influx of 800,000 concurrent players.

๐Ÿš€ย Baldur's Gate 3 surpasses 10 million copies sold, and Larian Studios continues to focus on mod support and game improvements.


๐Ÿ“ˆย US game revenue rose by 15% to $5.1 billion in January, with Tekken 8, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and Persona 3 Reload among top sellers. PlayStation 5 led console sales, while accessory spending surged by 45%.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Korea fines Twitch $327,000 for exiting the market and violating local laws by undermining user interests. Twitch's withdrawal, meant to cut costs, led to penalties including for blocking VOD access.

Industry Level-Up

๐Ÿ‘‹ย Marcus Lehto, the co-creator of Halo and the director at EA's Ridgeline Games for the Battlefield franchise, has left EA, causing speculation about the future direction of Battlefield.

The Power-Up Chronicles

Microsoft, recognizing it cannot directly compete with PlayStation's entrenched user base, is shifting its strategy to broaden its gaming ecosystem through services like Game Pass, streaming, and cross-platform game publishing, reminiscent of Nintendo's successful pivot with the Wii.

This "Revolution" strategy involves diversifying game distribution and access, potentially including rival consoles.

โžก๏ธ An opinion by Cristhoper Dring on

Several renowned single-player game studios, such as Rocksteady, BioWare, and Crystal Dynamics, have faced significant challenges after moving into the live service game market, highlighted by titles like "Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League."

Historically celebrated for compelling single-player experiences, these studios have found it difficult to achieve similar acclaim with live service models. They've encountered issues like repetitive gameplay and unsatisfactory mechanics, which mark a departure from their narrative strengths.

โžก๏ธ Read the article on Gaming Bolt.

Hendrik Lesser, the president of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), delivered a frank assessment of the gaming industry's recent downturns and a challenging outlook for 2024 in his open letter.

Highlighting issues like market saturation, reduced investments, and layoffs, he called for unity among European developers to confront these challenges.

Despite criticizing the failed promises of NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the hurdles from major platform gatekeepers, Lesser remains hopeful about the sector's resilience, particularly in Europe.

โžก๏ธ Read his open letter on

Thatโ€™s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.

Bobby & Andrei

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Did you know?

The first Age of Empires game was published by Microsoft in 1997, for Windows, Windows Mobile and Macintosh. It received generally good reviews, and an expansion pack, titled The Rise of Rome, was released in 1998.

The game is now generally regarded as one of the best video games ever made. The Age of Empires series has been a commercial success, selling over 25 million copies.