#25 - A new voice-a for Mario

Bobby Kotick is leaving after 33 years, CDPR used AI in Phantom Liberty and PS Trophies are coming to PC.

All my life, I've been the rebel in the X-wing fighter, and then one morning, I woke up, and I was on board the Death Star – Bobby Kotick

Hey there!

Developers will have to be verified by SMS to update games on Steam.

An Agatha Christie game is coming on PlayStation in a few days and Matt Mercer will voice Vincent Valentine in FF7 Rebirth.

At least 22 games are launching this week, with 9 of them releasing on the same day, October 19. That must be some kind of record!

Let’s hit the start button:

Welcome to The Power-Up #19

Biz Reel

💿 Ubisoft's SVP, Chris Early, believes that while physical game sales may decrease, they won't disappear due to collectors and gifting preferences. He asserts some players will always desire tangible game discs.

🧱 Minecraft sales surpass 300 million units globally ahead of its 15th anniversary in May 2024. Mojang Studios credits its vast community for the game's continuous success and widespread platform availability.

📱 Valve has implemented SMS verification for developers updating games on Steam to enhance security against cyberattacks. This measure targets hackers attempting to add malware to game builds by compromising developer accounts.

Industry Level-Up

👋 Following Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his position through the end of 2023. Reports suggest he may depart the company he helmed for 33 years on January 1, 2024.

🆕 Mobile gaming platform Game Taco has rebranded to WorldWinner after acquiring the competitor of the same name in 2021. The newly named WorldWinner, with over 34 million users, aims to continue its growth in the skill-based gaming sector under CEO Nancy MacIntyre.

🤝 Metacore Games acquires animation studio Piñata to bolster its animation and storytelling capacities. The collaboration aims to enhance both in-game narratives and marketing efforts, with Piñata already having ties to popular games like Clash of Clans and a history with Metacore since 2020.


🤖 CD Projekt used AI to mimic the voice of late Polish actor Miłogost Reczek (Viktor Vektor) for Cyberpunk 2077's expansion, Phantom Liberty, with the family's consent. The technology decision, aimed at preserving Reczek's performance, has reignited discussions on AI's role and implications in the gaming industry.

📣 Nintendo has chosen Kevin Afghani as the new voice actor for Mario, succeeding the longtime Mario voice, Charles Martinet. Afghani, known for roles in Genshin Impact and Dragon Ball R&R, expressed his excitement to voice both Mario and Luigi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

🎥 Blizzard removed a Diablo 4 Season 2 teaser video due to several mistakes highlighted by fans, like incorrect map layouts and miscalculations in the showcased content.

🏆 Data from TrueTrophies suggests Sony might bring PlayStation trophy support to its PC games, following the integration of PSN support in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC.

Game Central

🕸️ Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is available for preload on PS5 and launches on October 20th, featuring a larger map and continuation of Peter Parker's story. 

🔦 Alan Wake 2 will feature "significant" free DLC updates, confirmed by Remedy Entertainment's creative director Sam Lake, available to everyone who purchases the game.

🕵️ A modern-day adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" is coming to PS5 and PS4 on 19th October. This version introduces Poirot's American apprentice, Joanna Locke, adding a new layer to the classic tale through playable flashbacks.

📣 Matt Mercer will voice Vincent Valentine in the upcoming PS5 game, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. The announcement was made at a New York Comic Con panel, with the game set to release on 29th February.

🚀 Some of the games launching this week:

  • October 16 - Kingdom Eighties (PS5, Xbox S/X, Switch, iOS, Android)

  • October 17 - A Boy And His Blob Retro Collection (PS4/5, Switch), Skull Island: Rise of Kong (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Sonic Superstars (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), The Caligula Effect 2 (PS5), Wizard With A Gun (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC)

  • October 18 - Hellboy: Web of Wyrd (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Slender: The Arrival (PS5, Xbox S/X), The Troop (PC)

  • October 19 - Cavern of Dreams (PC), Endless Dungeon (PS4/5, Xbox S/X, Switch, PC), Gangs of Sherwood (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC), Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Gargoyles Remastered (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC), Jackbox Party Pack 10 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC), Laika: Aged Through Blood (PC), The 7th Guest VR (PSVR 2, PC VR), World of Horror (PS4/5, Switch, PC)

  • October 20 - Cattails: Wildwood Story (PC), Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (PS5), Slay the Princess (PC), Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch)

Here is the fresh new “launch trailer” for Spider-Man 2:

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

Bobby & Andrei

Did you know?

Bobby Kotick became CEO of Activision in 1991 after purchasing a 25% stake in the almost-bankrupt company, then known as Mediagenic, a year earlier.

Kotick engineered a merger between Activision and Vivendi Games during the late 2000s, which led to the creation of Activision Blizzard in 2008 and him being named the company's inaugural CEO.

He has also served on several boards, including The Coca-Cola Company from 2012 to 2022, and Yahoo from 2003 to 2008.