19 mobile games surpassed $1B

Top 10 gaming news of the year, Kotick’s last week on ABK, over 50 millions PS5 sold and our own review o the most important gaming news in 2023

When everybody plays, we all win – Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming

Hey there!

📣 If you only read one piece of news today 📣

🏆 Since this is the final newsletter of 2023, Bobby made a video with the most important gaming industry news of the year.

📜 You can, of course, read our archive, on ThePowerUp.com, to see anything we might have missed in this top.

🎉 But we have so much more:

Horizon Forbidden West lost around $85 million by joining PS Plus. Starfield will have updates every 6 weeks.

And Death Stranding release on iOs is delayed to 2024. 

🥳 This will be our last newsletter this year. We’ll be back on January 8. Happy Holidays! 

Now let’s start:

Welcome to The Power-Up #54


📉 After joining PlayStation Plus in its second year, sales for Horizon Forbidden West significantly declined, leading to a projected $85 million loss in retail revenue compared to Sony's initial expectation of $124 million, despite its commercial success with over 8.4 million units sold.

📈 Newzoo retains its 2023 global games market valuation at $184 billion, a stable growth prediction despite earlier higher estimates. NBA 2K24 was the top revenue generator on PC and console in the US and UK, followed by Hogwarts Legacy and Diablo 4. 

💰 In 2023, 19 mobile games, including Royal Match and League of Legends: Wild Rift, surpassed $1 billion in lifetime revenue. RPGs dominated this group, with strategy games in 2nd place. 

📉 Tencent's share value dropped by 16%, losing about $54 billion, and NetEase's by nearly 30% following the publication of new Chinese guidelines aimed at reducing excessive spending in online games. These rules mandate spending limits, ban daily login rewards, restrict tips for streamers, prohibit probability-based draws, and require game approvals within 60 days.

Industry Level-Up

👋 Bobby Kotick, the long-standing CEO of Activision Blizzard, will depart the company on December 29th, after 32 years,  following Microsoft's $68.7bn acquisition. Jill Braff, a veteran of Nintendo and Sega, will step up as Head of ZeniMax/Bethesda studios, with Microsoft's reshuffle placing most Activision executives, including Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, under Xbox exec Matt Booty.

🕷️ Leaked Insomniac Games documents reveal the high costs and management challenges behind Spider-Man 2, with a budget around $300 million. Facing pressures to reduce development costs, Insomniac is exploring mid-sized game projects and considering staff and project cuts under Sony's guidance for future titles.


🎮 The PlayStation 5 has reached a sales milestone of over 50 million units worldwide, achieving this just one week later than the PS4 did, despite facing significant sales constraints.

🏆 Spider-Man 2 dominated the PS Blog Awards for 2023, winning in 8 categories including PS5 Game of the Year. The awards, voted by the public, also recognized various other games, with each winning in a single category, such as Alan Wake 2 for Best Art Direction, Phantom Liberty as Best Expansion, BG3 as Best Multiplayer and GTA VI as the Most Anticipated Game of 2024 (and beyond).

✨ Starfield has reached over 13 million players since its September release, with an average playtime of 40 hours per player. Bethesda plans to roll out updates every six weeks starting in February, while also working on Shattered Space, the game's first major expansion set for next year.

🚨 The 18-year-old hacker responsible for the GTA 6 leaks and attacks on Rockstar Games and Nvidia has been sentenced to life in a hospital prison. Deemed unfit for trial due to acute autism, the hacker will remain in custody indefinitely, with release possible only if deemed no longer a threat. 

🥷 Yakuza: Like A Dragon,developed by SEGA and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, has achieved global sales of 1.8 million copies, with 400,000 in Japan and 1.4 million internationally. 


🤝 Bloober Team is collaborating with Skybound Entertainment, known for Invincible and The Walking Dead, on a new game project, codenamed Project R, set to release in 2025. 

🕰️ Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is set to be an expansive game, with the main story taking about 40 hours to complete and total gameplay, including side quests and mini-games, estimated at around 100 hours.

🫷 The release of Death Stranding for iPhone, iPad, and Mac has been postponed to 2024. Originally planned for release this year, the delay is part of Hideo Kojima's broader ambition to bring his games to Apple platforms, starting with Death Stranding Director's Cut  and continuing with future titles and projects like OD.

🏆 We end this year with Bobby’s review of the most important gaming industry news in 2023, in the video below:

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

Bobby & Andrei

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