$7.5 Billion Forecast for the Indian Gaming Market
New layoffs at Embracer, Fortnite's big day, an expansion for Diablo IV and TLOU Multiplayer still alive
It started with a phone call in 1981 - Masayuki Uemura, creator of NES
🎉 But we have so much more:
102 million hours of Fortnite were played in a single day.
Diablo IV’s first expansion will come at the end of 2024 and Embracer’s restructuring continues with new layoffs.
Don’t miss The Power-Up Chronicles section at the end of this newsletter. We have stories about:
How NES reshaped the video game industry in the 80’s
Sony’s long-term strategy
Monetisation in mobile RPGs
Welcome to The Power-Up #34
🕹️ The gaming market is saturated, with only 2.5% of PC games reaching 50k players in 2022, while established franchises dominate player engagement. TikTok emerges as a potent platform for game discovery, driving significant user engagement and higher spending among gamers.
🤑 Saudi Arabia’s NEOM will invest $50M in Animoca Brands to support the development and growth of Web3 gaming.
💰 Kratos Studios has launched the Kratos Games Network, a program allocating around $5-6 million in grants to emerging gaming studios in India and other markets.
📈 South Korea remains a really big gaming market, especially for the population size, with in-app purchase revenue reaching almost $3.6 billion in 2023 already.
Industry Level-Up (or Down)
🤝 Hanneke Faber is set to become Logitech's new CEO on December 1, following notable roles at Ahold Delhaize and Unilever.
🤝 Pim Holfve, formerly of Avalanche Studios Group, is the new CEO of Flashbulb Games, replacing co-founder Rune Dittmer. Flashbulb Games, known for titles like Trailmakers and Rubber Bandits, has been part of Nordisk Games' portfolio since 2021.
🚀 NetEase Games partners with Greg Street to launch Fantastic Pixel Castle, a new studio focused on a triple-A fantasy MMO named Ghost. Street, formerly from World of Warcraft and Riot Games, emphasizes a remote team approach and early community feedback.
😔 Motorsport Games, the developer behind Nascar Rivals, is laying off 40% of its workforce primarily in the UK and Australia due to financial struggles, with around 38 jobs affected.
😔 Cryptic Studios confirms layoffs and a shift to operate under DECA Games due to Embracer's restructuring. This comes amid a broader restructuring trend by Embracer, which has impacted multiple studios.
🤩 Fortnite OG attracts a record 44.7 million players in a day and 4 million concurrent, celebrating a return to its original map. Epic Games reports a historic 102 million hours played during this surge.
😈 Diablo 4's first expansion, Vessel of Hatred, set for late 2024, will introduce the Torajan region and continue the story of antagonist Prime Evil Mephisto.
A rumor says that Baldur’s Gate 3 is set to launch for Xbox in early December. However, Michael Douse, Director of Publishing at Larian Studios, said on X: “We’ll know the release date once we’re confident in the release version. The plan is still before the end of the year.”
Naughty Dog's Game Director, Vinit Agarwal, confirmed he's still working on The Last of Us Multiplayer amidst rumors of its cancellation.
Some of the games launching this week:
November 6: Football Manager 2024 (PC, PS5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch), Home Safety Hotline (PC), The Invincible (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC)
November 7: Kill It With Fire VR (PSVR 2), Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), SpellForce: Conquest of Eo (PS5, Xbox S/X), Typecast (PC)
November 8: Gunhead (PC), Risk of Rain Returns (PC, Switch), Risk of Rain 2: Survivors of the Void (Xbox One, PS4, Switch), Saturnalia (PC)
November 9: Berzerk: Recharged (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC),
November 10: Air Twisters (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC)
November 11: Zero Losses (PC)
November 13: Spirittea (Switch, PC)
The Power-Up Chronicles
In 1985, Nintendo introduced the NES, reshaping the video game landscape.
Originally the Famicom in Japan, the NES was rebranded for the Western market and became a massive success, solidifying the legacy of games like Super Mario, Zelda, and Metroid.
Although not topping the best-selling consoles list, its significance in gaming history is undeniable, laying the foundation for future Nintendo successes like the Switch.
Sony's $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie marked a departure from its traditional approach of integrating long-collaborating studios.
Initially seen in 2022 as an evolution of Sony's software strategy, recent events, including layoffs at Bungie and game delays, have raised concerns about Sony's future intentions.
The recent challenges with Bungie underscore broader questions about Sony's strategy for the upcoming decade.
➡️ An opinion by Rob Fahey on GamesIndustry.biz.
Anton Kvashnevskiy, Nexter's head of business development and ad monetisation, offers insights on effective ad monetisation in mobile RPGs.
He emphasizes the importance of unit economics, in-game currency balance, and strategic ad placements, particularly rewarded videos and offerwalls. Such ads shouldn't interrupt gameplay but offer players an alternative means of obtaining in-game items, fostering a positive player-ad relationship.
➡️ Read the feature on PocketGamer
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei