Steam Black Friday Sale Soon
MS gaming revenues could exceed Sony’s, Germany is funding game development and Wonder Woman will not be a live-service game
VCs hate risk, and they especially hate content risk, so you have to give us other reasons to believe you will be successful - David Kaye, co-founder, F4 Fund
🎉 But we have so much more:
The Last of Us Part II will have a remastered version. Sony might drop to the third place in gaming revenues for the first time in history. And Half-Life is celebrating 25 years with a new update!
Don’t miss The Power-Up Chronicles section at the end of this newsletter. It has stories about
Why investors hate content risk
The ascend of Indian game development
An opinion about Embracer’s strategy
Welcome to The Power-Up #40
💰 Germany is committing €100 million over the next three years to support its local game development industry, starting with a €33.3 million subsidy in 2024.
📈 In H1 2023, Microsoft's game software revenues, boosted by its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, are projected to exceed Sony's, potentially placing Sony in third place for the first time in gaming history. Tencent is the industry leader.
🤝 Aonic, a gaming conglomerate, has acquired virtual reality game developer nDreams for $110 million, following its initial $35 million investment in 2022. This strategic move bolsters Aonic's presence in the VR and mixed reality gaming industry, leveraging nDreams' expertise and successful game launches.
🤝 Nordcurrent has acquired River End Games to expand into PC and console gaming. This strategic move brings together Nordcurrent's mobile gaming success with River End's expertise in PC and console development, including an upcoming single-player game set for release in 2025.
Industry Level-Up (or Down)
🚀 Infinity Ward has opened a new studio in Austin, Texas. This expansion is part of Activision's broader strategy, which now includes over a dozen studios working on the flagship Call of Duty franchise.
🤝 Supercell, the Finnish game developer, has appointed Sara Bach, former Mojang head, as its new head of live games and Fernanda Romano, ex-King CMO, as its first chief marketing officer.
🚀 Ark: Survival Ascended, a reimagined version of Ark: Survival Evolved built with Unreal Engine 5, achieved over 600,000 sales on Steam within two weeks of its Early Access launch.
🏷️ The Steam Autumn Sale is set to begin tomorrow and will run through November 28, covering Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Alongside the sale, Steam will also open nominations for The Steam Awards, allowing players to nominate their favorite games across 11 categories and earn a badge.
🔧 Half-Life, celebrating its 25th anniversary, received an update that led to a significant increase in its player count, reaching around 14,300 concurrent players on Steam. The update includes bug fixes, new graphics settings, official Steam Deck support, more multiplayer maps, the inclusion of Half-Life Uplink, and a one-hour anniversary documentary featuring developers' insights on the game's creation and impact.
🔫 PUBG Studios' new extraction shooter, Project Black Budget, is expected to release in the second half of 2024, sooner than its initial 2024-2025 estimate, as revealed in Krafton's financial report.
🏌️♀️ The Last of Us Part II Remastered will release on PS5 on January 19, 2024, with enhanced graphics, a new roguelike mode, and additional content. Owners of the PS4 version can upgrade to the remastered version for $10.
➰ Warner Bros. confirmed that the upcoming Wonder Woman game by Monolith will not be a live service title, but a single-player game featuring the Nemesis System, with an expected release in 2024.
🛸 The highly anticipated Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake is reportedly not in active development and is likely canceled.
🐉 The release date for Capcom's Dragon’s Dogma 2 has been reportedly set for March 22, 2024, according to a listing by the European video game ratings board PEGI, with the game slated for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
🚀 Some of the games launching this week:
November 20: In Stars and Time (PC)
November 21: Worldless (PS4/5, Xbox One/X/S, PC, Switch)
November 23: Knuckle Sandwich (PC)
The Power-Up Chronicles
Venture capital for video game development faces challenges due to content risk, but F4 Fund's David Kaye suggests four methods to attract investors: showing proof of demand for your specific game, including a designer founder with a successful game track record, positioning your project to align with industry trends, and developing a differentiated go-to-market strategy.
These approaches help mitigate investor concerns about the unpredictable nature of game success and increase the likelihood of securing funding.
➡️ Read the article on PocketGamer.biz
Indian video game development is gaining momentum, with developers overcoming significant funding and market challenges to create culturally rich and innovative games. Notable successes like "Raji: An Ancient Epic" have paved the way for other Indian developers, who are now receiving increased support through programs like Xbox's for underrepresented creators and Sony's for emerging developers in India. These initiatives, combined with the developers' resilience and creativity, are shaping a dynamic and growing gaming scene in India, marked by unique stories and diverse experiences.
➡️ Read the article on Game Developer.
The aggressive acquisition strategy of Embracer Group, thriving in a low-interest economic climate, has now shown its unsustainability and recklessness, as evident in the recent layoffs of over 900 staff. Embracer's decade-long spending spree, fueled by easily accessible investment funds, allowed it to acquire a vast network of development studios and IP, but without a clear vision or experience in handling AAA titles and diverse media sectors. The change in the global financial landscape, with rising interest rates and evaporating investments, has exposed the fragility of this strategy, leading to a potential collapse.
➡️ An opinion by Rob Fahey on GamesIndustry.biz
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Stay powered-up until next time.
Bobby & Andrei
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