Pokemon Go Events generated $millions

Millions of Steam Decks sold, PS5 Slim is now available in the US and Killbug developer is shutting down.

I have been making video games since I was 13 and created a few terrible Google Play apps that never saw the light of day - Tom Dunn, Rubber Band Games 

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

Pokémon Go Fest events in 2023 generated a substantial economic impact of $323 million in host cities.

It exceeded 2022's figures and significantly benefiting local businesses and tax revenues, with the New York event alone contributing $140.1 million.

🎉 But we have so much more:

Konami is recruiting game creators for Silent Hill. Unfortunately, Uppercut is scaling down. And Anthony Starr will NOT voice Homelander in MK1.  

Also, lots of games launching this week.

Don’t miss The Power-Up Chronicles section at the end of this newsletter. It has stories about

  • 1M sales and zero marketing – the story of Wobbly Life

  • Evolving a studio from single to multi product

  • Could GTA 6 be released in 2024?

Play on:

Welcome to The Power-Up #37


📈 Roblox's Q3 2023 financial report shows a 38% revenue increase to $713.2 million, with bookings up 20% to $839.5 million, and a significant rise in daily active users to 70 million, a 20% year-over-year increase.

📈 Krafton generated $343.5 million in revenue in Q3 2023, with mobile platforms contributing 68.6% ($235.8 million) to this total.

📉 Playtika reported a revenue of $630.1 million in Q3 2023, marking a decline from previous quarters and a continuous trend of weak financial performance.

📈 AppLovin's revenue reached $864 million in Q3 2023, a 21% increase from the previous year, with its software platform contributing $504 million, representing 58% of the total revenue. 

Industry Level-Up

🔒 After a decade, Samurai Punk, the developer behind games like Killbug and The American Dream, is shutting down, transitioning into "support mode" for its existing projects. 

📢 Konami is actively recruiting game creators for "large-scale projects" related to the Silent Hill franchise, seeking producers, artists, planners, engineers, and project managers.

🤖 Sega is partnering with AI startup Eques to develop a generative AI-powered voxel tool, enabling users to create voxel monsters based on their descriptions. This collaboration aims to simplify the creation of user-generated content and explore AI's potential in gaming.

😔 Uppercut, a key voice in indie gaming media, is scaling back operations, with editor-in-chief Ty Galiz-Rowe citing burnout, underfunding, and understaffing as reasons for shutting down the site's Patreon and halting regular content updates. 

👋 Christian Gyrling, a veteran developer and former head of technology at Naughty Dog, is leaving the company after a 17-year tenure, during which he significantly contributed to major titles like The Last of Us: Part 2. Travis McIntosh, with 19 years at Naughty Dog, will succeed Gyrling as the new head of technology.

👋 Blizzard Art Director Samwise Didier, known for his contributions to iconic games like StarCraft and Diablo, is retiring after a 32-year career with the studio.


🎮 Valve has reported selling "multiple millions" of its Steam Deck handheld gaming PCs, a figure likely to rise with the recent announcement of a new OLED screen version.

🔄 Sony has filed a patent for a feature that allows players to replay specific moments in a game without replaying entire chapters or the game itself.

🎶 The soundtrack of God Of War Ragnarok, composed by Bear McCreary, has been nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

🕹️ The new 'Slim' version of the PS5 is officially available for sale in the US, with Sony rolling it out at various retailers and on the PlayStation Direct online store. The launch includes special bundles featuring games like Spider-Man 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

🚀 HoYoverse's Honkai: Star Rail has surpassed one million players on PS5, prompting the release of rewards for its players, including 200 Stellar Jade for those who create an account and reach Trailblaze Level 4 by November 24.

📺 Pokémon Horizons: The Series will debut exclusively on BBC iPlayer and CBBC in the UK this December, marking the first new mainline Pokémon animated series in over 25 years. 

📈 Atlus has announced that Persona 5 Strikers, an action RPG spin-off to Persona 5, has surpassed two million unit sales since its release, initially launching in Japan and later in the West for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC.


📺 Netflix has unveiled a slate of new games for its in-app platform, including both original titles and classics, as part of its Geeked Week celebrations. The lineup features notable titles like the cult favorite roguelike Hades, the remastered Braid, Anniversary Edition and adaptations of popular Netflix shows.

🥷 In response to criticism from the Mortal Kombat 1 community regarding the pricing of fatalities, Warner Bros. is offering two free fatalities from the upcoming Seasonal Fatalities Bundle to those who spent $10 on the Halloween fatality.

😡 Anthony Starr, aka The Boys' Homelander, confirmed via Instagram that he will NOT reprise his role in Mortal Kombat 1,sparking fan disappointment and curiosity about who will voice the character.

Some of the games launching this week:

  • November 13: Spirittea (Switch, PC)

  • November 14: Astral Ascent (PS4/5, Switch, PC), Broken Roads (Xbox One/S/X, PC), Coral Island (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC), Hogwarts Legacy (Switch), KarmaZoo (PS5, Xbox S/X, Switch, PC)

  • November 15: American Arcadia (PC), Ascent of Ashes (PC), Checkmate Showdown (PC), Lake: Season's Greetings (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC), Teardown (PS5, Xbox S/X), The Last Faith (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC)

  • November 16: Universe for Sale (PC)

  • November 17: Persona 5 Tactica (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Switch, PC), Super Mario RPG (Switch)

The Power-Up Chronicles

Wobbly Life, a physics-based game developed by UK indie Rubber Band Games, has surpassed one million sales across PC and consoles without any marketing or publishing support.

The game, which has been likened to GTA meets Human: Fall Flat, was initially created by developer Tom Dunn during a challenging time in his life. Developed by a small team of four, Wobbly Life found success through influencer engagement and a growing online community.

Now, after achieving 1.7 billion views on YouTube and still in Early Access, the game has caught the attention of publishers, including Curve, known for its work with Human: Fall Flat.

➡️ Read the story on GameIndustry.biz

Ian Fielding, Studio Head at Super Evil Megacorp, shares insights on evolving from a single to a multi-product studio, drawing on his experiences with games like League of Legends at Riot Games and Valorant.

Key lessons include leveraging existing expertise, generating internal excitement about new projects, maintaining cultural values during expansion, avoiding leadership favoritism, and adopting a problem-solving attitude.

➡️ Read the blog on GameDeveloper.

Rockstar Games is gearing up to reveal the long-awaited GTA 6 with its first trailer expected in early December, over a decade since GTA 5 was first released.

Speculations about GTA 6 releasing before April 2025 are fueled by reports from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier and Take-Two Interactive's projections of record-high net bookings for FY 2024/25.

➡️ Read the analysis on GamingBolt

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

Bobby & Andrei

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Did you know?

The Silent Hill horror anthology media franchise started in 1999. The first four video games in the series were developed by an internal group called Team Silent, a development staff within former Konami subsidiary Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo.

The later six games were developed by other, mostly Western developers.

The Silent Hill franchise has expanded to include various print pieces, two feature films, and spin-off video games. The franchise has been praised for its graphics, atmosphere, and narrative.

While the first three installments received critical acclaim, and the fourth game received general praise from critics, later games in the series were less well received.

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