13 Years Old: First human to beat Tetris

New layoffs and closures, Wolverine development is still on track and huge fines for Sony and Nexon,

We often say that making games is hard, but nothing is harder than seeing people you admire being let go – Henrique Olifiers, co-founder, Bossa Studios

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

🥳 Willis Gibson, a 13-year-old from Oklahoma, is believed to be the first person to beat Tetris.

He achieved what was previously only accomplished by AI: he reached a score of 999999 and caused the game to freeze.

🎉 But we have so much more:

A 13-year-old seems to be the first human to beat Tetris – ever. Bethesda and Zenimax have a new boss and we already have layoffs and studio closures this year. 

Oh, and Steam had a very good year in 2023 – check the “Did you know” section. 

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Play on:

Welcome to The Power-Up #55


🪓 A nice rumor is saying that a remaster of the original God of War trilogy is currently in development, though he's uncertain whether it will be announced in 2024 or 2025.

🛸 Ubisoft quickly rectified a miscommunication regarding the release window of Star Wars Outlaws, their upcoming open-world game, affirming its general 2024 launch instead of the "late 2024" timeframe briefly mentioned on a Disney Parks blog.

🎮 PlayStation has confirmed that the Silent Hill 2 Remake and Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater are scheduled for release in 2024, with no specific dates at the moment. 

🤴 Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will have up to 4K resolution and 120 fps on the PS5. The game targets 60 fps across all platforms, including 4K at 60 fps for PS4 Pro and various resolutions for other consoles. 

🚀 Some of the games launching this week:

  • January 11: Laika: Aged Through Blood (Switch), Momodora: Moonlit Farewell (PC), Top Racer Collection (PS4/5, Xbox One/S/X, PC, Switch), War Hospital (PS5, Xbox S/X, PC), Radiance (PC)

  • January 12: Crystal Story: Dawn of Dusk (PC), Gungrave G.O.R.E Ultimate Enhanced Edition (Switch)


🔟 The Finals has reached 10 million players globally since its launch last month, following a successful Open Beta period that attracted 7.5 million players and a surprise release at The Game Awards 2023 for PS5. 

🔪 Insomniac Games has affirmed that the development of Wolverine for PS5 remains unaffected, despite the ransomware attack that resulted in the theft of company and employee personal data. 

🧛🏾 Announced at The Game Awards,  Marvel's Blade (Bethesda/Arkane/Marvel) seems to have an internal release window targeted for 2027, as reported by Jeff Grubb on the XboxEra Podcast.

🥳 Willis Gibson, a 13-year-old from Oklahoma, is believed to be the first person to beat Tetris, achieving what was previously only accomplished by AI, by reaching a score of 999999 and causing the game to freeze.

🤿 Dave the Diver has surpassed 3 million units sold, a feat celebrated with new art from the game. The game was released in June 2023 for macOS and Windows, with a Switch version released in October 2023. 

🦾 The Cyberpunk 2077 expansion, Phantom Liberty, released by CDPR in September last year, sold over 5 million copies in 2023.

🧌 Monster Hunter: World has reached over 23 million units sold by the end of 2023, including sales from the bundled expansion Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

⚾︎ The Pokémon Company has donated ¥50 million ($346K) to the Japanese Red Cross to support rescue efforts following the devastating earthquake on January 1st. Additionally, through the Pokémon With You Foundation, the company is committed to assisting children impacted by the disaster.


💿 CD Projekt RED has repeatedly denied rumors of potential acquisitions, emphasizing its desire to remain independent. CEO Adam Kiciński asserts the company's clear stance against takeovers, highlighting protective measures in its statutes. 

🤖 Takashi Kiryu, President of Square Enix, is focusing on aggressively implementing AI in game development and publishing.

🏢 Frogwares has announced their new status as the sole publisher of The Sinking City across all platforms, concluding a legal battle that had once led to the game's removal from digital stores.

🎮 The French antitrust regulator, Autorité de la Concurrence, fined Sony €13.5 million ($14.7 million) for abusing its market dominance in PlayStation 4 controllers.

💰 Nexon has been fined $8.9 million by the Korea Fair Trade Commission for failing to inform MapleStory players of changes in the probability of obtaining in-game items.

Industry Level-Up

🔒 Indie publisher Versus Evil has shut down, laying off its entire 13-person team just before the holidays, after nearly a decade in operation. Despite being acquired by Tinybuild in 2021, the company, known for titles like The Banner Saga, has ceased operations. 

🔒 As a consequence, Jukai Studio, the Poland-based developer of the horror survival title Stray Souls, has also announced its closure due to a combination of factors as cyberbullying, poor reception of their game, bad sales, and the shutdown of their publisher - Versus Evil.

🤝 Jill Braff has been named the head of ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda Game Studios, while also continuing her leadership role with the Microsoft Casual Games team.

🥽 First Contact Entertainment, known for VR games like Firewall Ultra and Firewall: Zero Hour, is shutting down after nearly eight years, citing a lack of industry support for VR as a contributing factor.

🤝 Sony Interactive Entertainment has recruited former Call of Duty producer Jason Blundell and numerous ex-Deviation Games employees, amidst rumors of a canceled AAA PS5 project initially partnered with Deviation Games.

🤝 Jurgen Post, former president of Sega Europe, returns as regional managing director and COO amid a restructuring of Sega's European division. This leadership change, which includes the departures of CEO Gary Dale and chief studios officer Tim Heaton. 

😔 Bossa Studios has laid off about a third of its staff, with 40 employees remaining to focus on the upcoming game Lost Skies. The UK developer attributes the layoffs to a range of challenges, including competition from AAA game launches, increasing operational costs, and delayed funding decisions.

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

Bobby & Andrei

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Did you know?

📈 In 2023, Steam saw a significant increase in game releases, with a total of 14,531 titles launched on the platform, surpassing the 12,559 games released in 2022.

This marked the highest number of games released on Steam since its inception in 2006, almost doubling the number from five years ago in 2018.