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The Microsoft-Activision saga is almost over

Switch 2 in September 2024? Embracer is no longer top stock and devs are unionizing

You play grown-up games, you face grown-up consequences - Solomon Reed

Hey there!

The new week starts with news about the Embracer Group decline. And the fact that over 6,100 gaming jobs have been cut in 2023.

A Baldur’s Gate 3 sound designer learned blacksmithing to create authentic metal sounds, now that is pure dedication!

And Dave the Diver will have an update soon. A TLOU 2 Remaster is rumored, but… do we really need it?

And a lot of games are launching this week, check the list at the end.

Here we go:

Welcome to The Power-Up #22

Biz Reel

😰 The saga is now almost complete. Microsoft is set to finalize its acquisition of Activision Blizzard on Friday, October 13 (not ominous at all!).

🔻 Embracer Group has been removed from several S&P stock lists, signaling a decline in investor confidence. Amidst financial challenges and a 65% drop in stock value year-on-year, the company faces pressure to regain its standing in the gaming industry.

🤝 Strategic acquisition group MTG has acquired a 70% stake in Snowprint Studios, the maker of Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus, likely for around $50M. Snowprint is expected to generate between $30-35m for the full year 2023, a growth rate of over 150% YoY.

🐢 Hypercasual games seem to slow down: “only” 3.5 billion games in the genre have been installed in Q3 of 2023, representing a drop of 8% compared to Q2.

😳 Does Web3 gaming need democratizing? I mean, isn’t the entire concept of Web3 of democratization of everything? Well, Gam3s.gg seems to think so.

🙅‍♂️ Finally, can the creators of Genshin Impact succeed where Epic Games failed and not pay Apple’s 30%? Well, they’re certainly trying to find a way.

Industry Level-Up

😡 A new report says that around 6,100 gaming jobs have been cut in 2023. A good friend of mine - and reader of The Power-Up - was telling me these days: “Man, the newsletter is a little bit too negative: too many job cuts!”. Well, we just report on it 😞

😱 And, to add to this, Virtuos Studios seemingly closes Calypte one year after opening.

🪧 Around 100 employees at Just Cause's Avalanche Studios Group are unionizing, representing about a fifth of the Swedish team. This move follows a previous public dispute between the studio's workers and management concerning internal communication issues.

🪧 Also, CD Projekt and various Polish game developers have unionized under the Polish Gamedev Workers Union (PGWU) to improve industry employment conditions.

🤝 London studio Trailmix, part of Supercell’s network of investee studios, has hired Wooga veterans Annelie Biernat and Christopher Parschat to lead its new Berlin studio for game development. Biernat weill be studio director and Parchat will be creative director at Trailmix Berlin.


🎮 The rumored Nintendo Switch 2 is said to launch with two versions: a standard model priced at $449 and a digital model at $399. The speculated release date is September 24th next year, with a backup date of November 3.

📈 Black Salt Games' "Dredge" surpassed 1 million sales since its March 2023 launch, greatly exceeding initial expectations of 100,000 first-year sales. The success has paved the way for the game's first official expansion, "The Pale Reach," releasing on November 16, 2023.

🌝 I know many people forget, but Amazon has a streaming service called Luna. That now allows you to buy games through it, as long as they’re from Ubisoft.

🔨 Baldur's Gate 3 sound designer Glen G. Goa learned blacksmithing to authentically create the game's metal clanking sounds. Goa's dedication is evident in the game's rich sound design.

🤖 The apology for "Lord of the Rings: Gollum" was reportedly generated by ChatGPT without Daedalic Entertainment's knowledge, a decision made by its publisher, Nacon.

🔫 And Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is delayed. Again. To spring 2024.

Game Central

🥽 Dave the Diver's October update will introduce new content including the addition of crabs, lobsters, nighttime diving content, and quality of life improvements. Developer Mintrocket hasn't confirmed the release date but assures it's arriving "real soon."

😳 The Last of Us Part 2 is rumored to receive a PS5 remaster, as hinted by a Naughty Dog developer's LinkedIn profile. But is this really necessary?

🕵️‍♂️ Detective Pikachu Returns, a sequel to the 2018 game, is now available on Nintendo Switch, focusing on investigating Tim's father's disappearance. The game, set in Ryme City, allows players to gather clues and collaborate with various Pokemon, and has received mixed reviews from critics.

🚀 Some of the games launching this week:

  • October 9 – Land of the Vikings (PC)

  • October 10 - Forza Motorsport (Xbox S/X, PC), Space Wreck (PC)

  • October 11 - Honkai: Star Rail (PS5)

  • October 12 - Haunted House (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC, Switch, VCS), River City: Rival Showdown (PS4, Switch, PC), Saltsea Chronicles (PS4, Switch, PC)

  • October 13 – Lords of the Fallen (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC), Submachine: Legacy (PC), The Grinch: Christmas Adventures (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC, Switch)

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

Bobby & Andrei

Did you know?

Avalanche Studios Group was founded by Linus Blomberg and Christofer Sundberg in March 2003.

When naming the company, Sundberg, Blomberg and the other employees brought up a list of military code words used during World War II.

They ultimately decided upon "Avalanche" as the company's name. The company worked on a prototype project called Rico: Terror in the Tropics in 2003.

The project, designed by Sundberg himself, would eventually become Avalanche's first title, Just Cause.