Starfield loses 97% of its Steam players

Escape from Takov will have microtransactions, Hasbro made $90 million of BG3 and Rise of the Ronin will not launch in South Korea

We want to define the African, or the Nigerian, gaming genre. – Hugo Obi, CEO, Maliyo Games

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

⭐️ Starfield saw an impressive debut as Bethesda's largest launch, captivating millions, but has since experienced a 97% decrease in Steam players over five months.

🎉 But we have so much more:

What the Golf? is coming to PlayStation, Rise of Ronin will not launch in South Korea because of some contentious comments and Skillz won a patent infringement against AviaGames

And if you find Lethal Company on App Store or Google Play, don’t install it, it’s fake. 

Now let’s start:

Welcome to The Power-Up #71


✨ Starfield saw an impressive debut as Bethesda's largest launch, captivating millions, but has since experienced a 97% decrease in Steam players over five months.

⏰ The Thaumaturge postpones its launch from February 20 to March 4 to avoid the congested early 2024 game release period.

🗡️ The producer of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth hints at a potentially happier ending for the beloved characters, albeit with inevitable drama and tragedy due to diverse team perspectives.

🏌️ What The Golf?, the unconventional indie game, is set to launch on PS5 and PS4 on March 14. The game, known for its humor and creativity, allows players to design their own levels, hinting at potential VR updates post-launch.

🥷 Team Ninja's Rise of the Ronin will not launch in South Korea, a decision made by Sony after the game's director made contentious comments about a historical figure. The game was withdrawn from the Korean PlayStation Store and promotional channels.


🛑 Sébastien Benard, former lead designer of Dead Cells, harshly criticized Motion Twin's decision to cease the game's development, labeling it as egregiously detrimental. He dismissed the official statement as misleading and voiced solidarity with Evil Empire, the spin-off studio affected by the decision.

🔫 Escape from Tarkov's upcoming update introduces the game's first microtransactions, enabling players to purchase additional stash lines for inventory expansion.

📱 Silent Hill: The Short Message has exceeded 2 million downloads since its January 31 release on the PlayStation Store.

🎱 Helldivers 2, developed by Arrowhead Game Studios, took nearly eight years to make, culminating in its recent release on PlayStation 5 and PC.

⚔️ Granblue Fantasy: Relink, an action RPG from Cygames, has surpassed one million sales in just 11 days across PS4, PS5, and PC platforms, peaking at 114,054 concurrent Steam players.

🥸 The developer of Lethal Company, Zeekerss, has issued a warning about a fraudulent mobile version of the game on the App Store and Google Play.

🇳🇬 Nigeria's Maliyo Games collaborates with Disney to create a mobile game tied to the new animated series Iwájú, set in futuristic Nigeria.This is Disney's first venture with an African studio, aiming to share Nigerian culture globally through the cooking game Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef.

⚔️ Kingdom Come: Deliverance has reached a milestone of 6 million copies sold since its debut in February 2018, coinciding with its 6th anniversary.


⚖️ Skillz secured a $42.9 million victory in a patent infringement lawsuit against AviaGames, demonstrating that the rival company unlawfully replicated its skills-based gaming platform and games.

🪄 A former developer from Ascendant Studios criticized the concept and execution of Immortals of Aveum, calling it an "awful idea" and attributing its failure to being "massively overscoped" for a debut project with a $125 million budget.

💰 Hasbro has generated $90 million in revenue from Baldur's Gate 3, due to the game's successful launch and strong sales across multiple platforms.

🇯🇵 Japan emerged as the top global spender on location-based games in 2023, with expenditures surpassing $620 million (half of the worldwide total for the genre), led by popular titles like Dragon Quest Walk and Pokémon Go.

Industry Level-Up

😔 Microsoft's recent layoffs led to the closure of Toys for Bob's physical studio and 86 job cuts, impacting the team behind titles like Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot 4.

❎ Microsoft plans to unveil "updates on the Xbox business" tomorrow, on February 15. The announcement comes at a time when rumors suggest Microsoft might extend some of its major titles to PlayStation and Nintendo systems.

😔 Dimensional Ink Games and Daybreak Game Company, the developer and publisher of DC Universe Online respectively, have experienced layoffs, affecting various departments including art, community, and narrative.

🤝 Modern Times Group (MTG) is set to merge Kongregate with Texas-based Monumental, retaining a 30% stake in the combined entity, aiming to expand its portfolio and explore new ventures like blockchain and NFT games

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

Bobby & Andrei

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Did you know?

The first Helldivers game was released in 2015 for PS3, PS4 and PS Vita. It was developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

Helldivers was nominated for "Action Game of the Year" and won for "Handheld Game of the Year" at the 19th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards held by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.