Sony Was Hacked
Ubisoft believes in cloud gaming, FIFA games are delisted and RDR2 could come to Switch
The majority of investors will be looking for generative AI investments - Matt Bilbey, London Venture Partners
A new five-star rating system is available on the PS Store. Sekiro has reached a big milestone and Capcom would decline an acquisition offer.
And check the weekly section, The Power-Up Chronicles. It has stories about mobile gaming models, investment dynamics in the gaming industry and Nintendo’s continuous (or not) presence in the mobile space.
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Welcome to The Power-Up #17
Round-up of the day
😡 A new group on the dark web claims to have successfully hacked all of Sony's systems and intends to sell the allegedly acquired data, including 6,000 files with various documentation and internal resources, rather than seek a ransom.
🕵️♂️ Sony is currently investigating these claims.
⚖️ Fans have initiated a class action lawsuit against Aspyr Media and Saber Interactive following the cancellation of the Restored Content Mod for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 on Switch, asserting they were misled and demanding refunds.
🔻 In August, Twitch experienced a 2% drop in viewership, accumulating 1.73 billion hours watched, with daily hours hitting 56 million, marking an end to its four-year consecutive growth in daily viewership hours.
🌤️ Ubisoft’s CEO is optimistic about the future of cloud gaming, predicting it will become as popular as Netflix. This perspective aligns with the increasing popularity of services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, GeForce Now, PlayStation Now, and Ubisoft+.
😍 Honkai Star Rail, developed by HoYoVerse, is set to launch on PS5 on October 11, 2023, and has already attracted over 1,000,000 pre-registrations. The game, initially released on PC, is highly anticipated, following the studio's success with the popular Genshin Impact.
⭐️ Sony has introduced a new five-star rating system on the PS Store, allowing users to rate the PS5 and PS4 games they own.
🥷 Four years post-launch, FromSoftware announces that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has surpassed 10 million sales. The game, released in March 2019, was available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and later on Google Stadia in October 2020.
📈 MapleStory M surpassed $55 million in its first 35 days on the Chinese market and this takes the lifetime revenue of the game to $600,000,000 Nothing to sneeze at, but not as much as Candy Crush’s $20B in lifetime revenue, though.
💰Creative UK has introduced a £35 million investment fund, aiming to foster growth in the UK's creative sector, including the game industry, as part of the government’s strategy to expand the creative sector by £50 billion and generate one million jobs by 2030.
😡 Neognosis canceled the Switch port of BallisticNG due to controversial Unity licensing changes and expressed a lack of trust in Unity, reflecting a sentiment shared by several developers after alterations in Unity's Terms of Service. And this may prove an issue, since 71% of the biggest mobile games use a Unity SDK.
👎 Capcom COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto stated that the company would "gracefully decline" any acquisition offer from Microsoft, emphasizing a preference for in-house talent development and organic growth over acquisitions.
He also said that game prices are too low. But Capcom is one of the few publishers that’s abstained from raising prices thus far. It has continued to sell new games, like Street Fighter 6, at $60 instead of $70.
📈 Capcom also saw an increase of 6% in share price due to the success of their debut AR mobile game Monster Hunter Now. 5 million people are playing the new title already.
💰 And, to combat changing business models in gaming, Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride maker Halfbrick is going all-in on subscriptions.
🪧 SAG-AFTRA members have authorized a video game strike, with a 98.72% vote in favor. In total, 34,687 members cast ballots, which represents 27.47% of eligible voters. While this doesn’t initiate a strike immediately, it enables the union to apply pressure on companies to address critical issues.
PlatinumGames Vice President and Co-Founder, Hideki Kamiya, announces his departure from the company next month. Kamiya, who directed Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry at Capcom before co-founding PlatinumGames in 2006, has contributed to renowned titles like Bayonetta and Astral Chain.
After a seven-year retirement, World of Warcraft legend Chris Metzen has returned to Blizzard as the executive creative director of the Warcraft universe. Metzen had originally retired at the age of 42, following nearly 23 years with the company.
🎮 The upcoming Master Collection of Metal Gear Solid is set to run at 30fps, contradicting previous claims that it would target 60fps.
🎮 Red Dead Redemption 2 has received a classification rating for Nintendo Switch in Brazil, hinting at a potential surprise launch on the platform. While official confirmation is pending, this development raises questions about any adjustments needed for the game to run on Switch hardware. Or maybe the Switch 2 is closer than thought initially?
🎮 The Talos Principle 2, developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital, is set to launch on November 2 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, priced at $29.99. The game, set in a future where humans are extinct, offers more puzzles than the first game, new mechanics, a richer storyline and multiple endings.
🎮 Following the release of EA Sports FC 24, EA has delisted all previous FIFA games from digital storefronts, including the PlayStation Store. This action comes as a consequence of the deteriorating relationship between FIFA and EA.
🎮 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will expand the game’s depiction of New York City, including bringing the action to Brooklyn and Queens, allowing players to experience rides at Coney Island.
🎮 DON'T NOD has delayed the release of its action RPG Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden from November 7 to February 13, citing a desire to avoid a crowded release schedule with many major games launching.
The Power-Up Chronicles
In response to a challenging mobile gaming market and a decline in hypercasual games, developers are adopting the hybridcasual model, focusing on deeper game loops and a balance of monetization strategies to enhance lifetime value (LTV). Nir Regev of Supersonic from Unity emphasizes the importance of advanced planning, new benchmarking strategies, and integrating rewarded videos effectively from early development stages. This approach aims to create a richer gaming experience, ensure user engagement, and adapt to evolving market trends for higher LTV.
Read Nir Regev’s opinion on Pocketgamer.
Amid economic uncertainty, the gaming industry faces a shift in investment dynamics, with experts noting increased caution and a focus on organic growth and credible teams. Interest persists in seed stage funding, while later stages present challenges. The investment spotlight is on AI, photogrammetry, user-generated content, and Massively Interactive Live Events. The industry anticipates a more cautious approach, with potential landscape improvement by Q2 2024, but also warns of a possible rise in bankruptcies.
Read the entire analysis on GamesIndustry.biz.
Despite earning $1.5 billion from mobile games since 2016, Nintendo’s mobile business appears to be in decline, with no new games announced and two out of six launched games being canceled. The data from Appmagic reveals a significant drop in earnings and updates for existing games. Nintendo’s financial reports indicate a de-emphasis on mobile games, overshadowed by the success of other ventures such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie and theme parks. With challenges aligning mobile gaming with its brand and business model, Nintendo’s focus seems to be shifting away from this platform, sparking speculations of its retreat from the mobile gaming market.
Read the article on MobileGamers.biz
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei