GamesIndustry

Call of Duty:: Modern Warfare 2, Nintendo Switch and God of War Ragnarok dominate November | UK Monthly Charts

4 hours 9 minutes ago

Just over 4.3 million games were sold in the UK during November, a drop of 7.3% over the year before, according to the latest GSD figures.

One of the big reasons for this is Call of Duty. This year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launched in October, whereas last year the Activision Blizzard game arrived in November.

Even so, Call of Duty was still the biggest game of the month in November by a big margin. In fact, with just four weeks on sale, Modern Warfare 2 almost outsold Call of Duty: Vanguard's lifetime sales to date.

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Author
Christopher Dring

FTC reportedly split on Microsoft-Activision acquisition

20 hours 31 minutes ago

The Federal Trade Commission may be looking to strike a deal with Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard acquisition, according to the New York Post.

The Post's sources say that the four-member commission is split on whether to approve the deal, with its sole Republican member and one of its three Democrats leaning toward approving it.

And while the Post's sources said FTC chair Lina Khan has been pushing to block the merger, they noted that any vote on the issue coming down deadlocked at 2-2 would not only see the merger going through, but would undermine her authority at the FTC.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

Furi excels in efficient execution | Why I Love

1 day ago

Why I Love is a series of guest editorials on GamesIndustry.biz intended to showcase the ways in which game developers appreciate each other's work. This entry was contributed by Sandro Dall'Aglio, Game Designer at Digital Kingdom, which will be launching futuristic lightning-fast dodge-'em-up Swordship today on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch.

Concise game mechanics have always had my preference. In my opinion, it's better to focus and do a little really well than to try to accomplish a lot but never excel. Furi is all about one thing: boss fighting.

On the surface, the game may seem simplistic. After all, aren't boss battles usually thought of as the cherry on top of the cake? What would a cherry look like without cake? Well, if you hone your senses, a cherry is actually a delicious red fruit with many deep layers of flavour.

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Author
Sandro Dall'Aglio

Harmonix to shut down Fuser

1 day ago

Harmonix will be retiring Fuser on December 19, though it'll still be available offline to players who own it.

On a post announcing the decision on its website, the developer said it'll be disabling Fuser's live services from that date, and it also no longer will be available to buy (and neither will its DLC).

"Players who already own Fuser will still be able to play the Campaign and Quick Play with any DLC they have already acquired," the statement added. "Thank you again for your support and for all the amazing mixes over the years."

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Keywords acquires AI-driven player support platform for $75m

1 day 1 hour ago

Keywords Studios has announced the acquisition of customer support platform Helpshift for up to $75 million.

The terms of the acquisition included an initial cash consideration of up to $60 million, and up to $15 million in cash and shares, depending on financial performance over the next couple of years.

The acquisition is due to be completed before the end of the year, shareholders approval pending.

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Microsoft reportedly preparing to defend Activision Blizzard acquisition in US court

1 day 1 hour ago

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Microsoft is reportedly planning how it will fight to secure its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in the face of a potential lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission.

Last month, it was reported that the FTC was likely to file a lawsuit blocking the $68.7 billion deal, although no such suit has been filed so far as the investigation is still in its final stages.

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Author
James Batchelor

Did you know a new Need for Speed came out last week? | UK Boxed Charts

1 day 13 hours ago

The final new releases of 2022 hit UK shelves this week to mixed results.

The best performing new release (in terms of UK boxed sales) is new IP The Callisto Protocol, published by Krafton and developed by Striking Distance. The game is the spirtual successor to Dead Space and reviews were a little mixed, but it seems to have had a decent launch.

The closest comparison this year would be Dying Light 2, which is a far more established brand, and The Callisto Protocol's sales were 17% lower than that. Yet its launch sales are much bigger than other mid-level releases this year, such as Saints Row and Gotham Knights. Overall, it seems like a solid first week.

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Author
Christopher Dring

Blizzard Albany QA team votes to unionize

3 days 17 hours ago

Blizzard Albany's QA team has voted in favor of unionizing.

The QA team's votes were tallied today, with 14 developers voting in favor of unionization and none against.

There were four more votes cast, one of which was disqualified, with the other three challenged by Activision Blizzard.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

Has 2022 been a bad year for new games? | This Week in Business

3 days 19 hours ago

As we head into the final month of the year, there's a bit of gloom around the industry, as evidenced by two ongoing negative narratives around the business of games this year.

First, sales are down. Second, any hope of changing that has dimmed as the release schedule has been decimated by delays.

Now this runs counter to almost every fiber of my being, but let's try and put a happy face on this.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

The future of indie | Playable Futures Podcast

3 days 20 hours ago

For the latest episode of the Playable Futures Podcast, Will Freeman is joined by representatives from three of the many independent and mid-size studios that are currently making waves in the games industry.

Playtonic Games business development manager Stephanie Darrah, nDreams CEO Patrick O'Luanaigh, and Nosebleed Interactive managing director Andreas Firnigl discuss how much the game space has changed in the past decade and what it means to be an indie in a world where their titles are vying for audiences’ attention alongside AAA behemoths.

With the landscape ever changing, many developers are becoming publishers themselves, taking their experiences of working with external parties to inform their own ventures into the space.

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Author
GamesIndustry.biz Staff

EA shares more accessibility patents

3 days 21 hours ago

Electronic Arts has added six patents to its accessibility patent pledge, aiming to improve access to games for disabled players.

EA initially unveiled its accessibility patent pledge in August 2021, sharing five patents for its previously protected technology and making them freely available to all developers and publishers.

The six patents now being added to the pledge include:

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Nintendo: Mobile strategy is about reaching new audiences

3 days 22 hours ago

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Nintendo has seemingly confirmed what many already assumed: it considers its mobile games to be more like marketing tools than revenue generators.

The platform holder has had an erratic track record with mobile games since it first launched Super Mario Run in 2016, shutting down half of the titles it has published after just a few years.

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Author
James Batchelor

NLRB again rejects Activision Blizzard argument on Albany QA vote

4 days 17 hours ago

The Blizzard Albany QA team will have their votes on unionization counted after all, as the National Labor Relations Board yesterday rejected an Activision Blizzard appeal to have the entire studio vote, rather than just the employees making up the QA team.

The publisher's initial argument was denied in October, but last month it filed an appeal alongside an attempt to prevent the QA team's votes from being tallied.

"The testers have a separate department and separate supervision; perform a distinct function, utilizing distinct skills; and have notably lower wages than the excluded employees," the NLRB explained in its decision.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

Disney Dreamlight Valley reaffirms Gameloft's path to consoles and PC

4 days 19 hours ago

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Gameloft has long been a big name in mobile publishing, but the company's latest hit, Disney Dreamlight Valley, is exclusive to consoles and PCs. Shortly after its September 6 release, it was revealed that the game built up a player base of one million, and parent company Vivendi attributed the game with driving a 48% year-over-year jump in Gameloft revenues.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Gameloft general manager and CFO Alexandre de Rochefort explains that the expansion to consoles and PC is driven by a desire to turn the long-time mobile specialist into a major cross-platform publisher.

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Author
Jeffrey Rousseau

How Tencent is ramping up its global games business

4 days 19 hours ago

Tencent has always been looking beyond the borders of its home market in China when it comes to growing its games empire, but the last two years have seen those plans advance significantly.

While the company continues to generate the bulk of its games revenues from domestic titles, it has been pouring more and more investment into overseas operations and partners – even opening a handful of TiMi Group studios in the West – in the hope that it can become a truly global player.

"We think a good publishing strategy is to look at the whole market and do the global version [of any game] first, not to go separately step-by-step – I don't think that's a good approach," Tencent's global games CEO Michelle Liu tells GamesIndustry.biz.

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Author
James Batchelor

Luke was here: A remarkable moment of kindness during the making of Marvel’s Midnight Suns

4 days 23 hours ago

There's a tree in Marvel's Midnight Suns with an engraving on it. It simply reads: Luke Was Here.

The Luke in question is UK video game fan Luke Wiltshire. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma -- a rare and brutal cancer -- when he was just 14. Over the nine years of treatment, and the immobility it brought, Luke had found solace in video games and Marvel. He could do things in a game he simply couldn't manage in the real world.

Last year, Luke was told the devastating news that there were no curative options remaining. He wasn’t going to get better and would now receive end-of-life care. He relayed to his family a few final wishes, a bucket list, that consisted of three things: He wanted a puppy for his mum to look after once he’d gone, he wanted to have a hog roast... and he wanted to play Marvel's Midnight Suns.

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Author
Christopher Dring

"We apologise for the inconvenience": Nintendo addresses Pokémon complaints

4 days 23 hours ago

Nintendo has apologised for the "inconvenience" created by ongoing performance issues with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

In a post on its website, introducing the latest update for the recently released Pokémon titles and how to update the games, the company released a statement saying:

"We are aware that players may encounter issues that affect the games' performance. Our goal is always to give players a positive experience with our games, and we apologise for the inconvenience. We take the feedback from players seriously and are working on improvements to the games."

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Apex Legends: Mobile wins Google Play's Best Game award

5 days ago

Google has unveiled its top apps and games for the year, with Apex Legends: Mobile voted Best Game by both Google Play's editorial team and users.

The Google Play’s Best of 2022 awards also rewarded Terry Cavanagh's Dicey Dungeons in the indie games category, with honourable mentions going to Dungeons of Dreadrock, Knotwords, One Hand Clapping, and Phobies.

Best Multiplayer went to Farlight's Dislyte, and Best Pick Up & Play went to Rovio's Angry Birds Journey.

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Nintendo Switch was the best-selling games console during UK Black Friday

5 days 1 hour ago

Nintendo Switch was the best-selling games console over Black Friday in the UK, GfK Entertainment reveals.

The hybrid machine accounted for 42% of all console's sold during the week. This is due to the return of last year's Black Friday Switch bundle, which included a Switch Neon machine, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and three months of Nintendo Switch Online.

However, it's actually a far weaker performance than last Black Friday for Nintendo. The company faced strong competition this year, led by an aggressive offer by Xbox. Microsoft reduced its Xbox Series S machine to under £200 during Black Friday, and the platform accounted for 40% of all consoles sold during the week. PS5, which did receive some small discounts of its digital-only edition, accounted for 18% of sales.

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Author
Christopher Dring

Tips for selling a studio

5 days 19 hours ago

It's been an interesting stretch for mergers and acquisitions in the games industry, as Agnitio Capital founder Shum Singh explained to start off a Megamigs panel he moderated last month.

The consolidation roller coaster kicked off in 2020 as the pandemic made gaming one of the few remaining growth industries, and activity ramped up to record levels in 2021. The early days of 2022 suggested that trajectory could continue, but as Singh explained, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a tanking economy, rising inflation, and other headwinds have cooled off the sector a bit.

"That's not to say buyers aren't still interested in doing M&A," Singh said. "In fact, I probably get just as many calls from large buyers, investors, etc, asking which studios I'm advising or which companies I'm working with… There's still lots of capital out there and a lot of interest, but a lot of buyers want to conduct those deals at much lower valuations since they know the market has come down significantly, the share prices of most publicly listed game companies have gone down from their highs anywhere from 50% to 85%."

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

Nintendo cancels Smash World Tour, organisers accuse Panda Global of "sabotage"

6 days ago

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Original story, November 30, 2022: The organisers of the Smash World Tour, a grassroots Super Smash Bros esports competition, says that Nintendo has shut down its next two events.

It also alleges Panda Global, Nintendo's chosen partner for the first official Super Smash Bros tournament, had a hand in the closure.

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Author
James Batchelor

The fight to recognise video games' value in the European Union

6 days ago

Earlier this month, members of the European Parliament approved a resolution calling to bolster investment in the Union's games industry.

As contextualised by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, this is a pretty big deal. Beyond the recognition of the sector as an economic force, the resolution also calls to recognise the value of European IP, further support small studios economically, facilitate access to digital skills and talent retention, and recognise esports as its own field distinct from traditional sports, with its own specific needs.

But this resolution is only just the beginning. Resolutions do not mean new legislation will automatically be voted on; they are non-legally binding texts that typically call for action and further investigation on an issue that matters at an EU level. And now that this one has been approved, there's a long road ahead, working to shape what might become a unified legislative framework for games industry support across the European Union.

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Super Mario Bros Movie to debut in March

6 days 1 hour ago

The Super Mario Bros Movie will be releasing in several territories at the end of March 2023, ahead of a second wave of releases in the first week of April.

As reported by VGC, Universal Pictures confirmed yesterday that the upcoming Nintendo and Illumination movie will be releasing as early as March 22, 2023, in Belgium.

On March 23, it will release in Switzerland, before Austria and Sweden on March 24, and France on March 29.

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Author
Marie Dealessandri

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners boosts CD Projekt Red's Q3 revenue

6 days 18 hours ago

The release of Netflix's Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has resulted in an earnings spike for CD Projekt Red during its third quarter.

The Polish games firm released its financial results for the three months of July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022. Here’s what you need to know:

Net profit: 98.7 million PLN ($22 million), up 504% year-on-year

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Author
Jeffrey Rousseau

Apex Legends Mobile is iPhone Game of the Year at 2022 App Store Awards

6 days 19 hours ago

Apple has unveiled the winners of the annual App Store awards, naming EA's Apex Legends as its iPhone Game of the Year.

While the awards cover an array of apps and resources, they also include several gaming categories, including best game per platform.

Puzzle title Moncage from X.D Network was named iPad Game of the Year, while Daniel Mullins' Inscryption took home Mac Game of the Year.

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Author
Danielle Partis

Wildlife confirms layoffs described as "massive"

6 days 22 hours ago

Mobile studio Wildlife has laid off a proportion of its workforce in Brazil and Argentina, as part of a plan to stop all "initiatives outside the mobile space."

Mobilegamer.biz reports that staff at the developer described the layoffs as "massive," and documents viewed by the outlet imply that up to 300 people could have been affected by the move.

Wildlife confirmed that it has "reduced its team size" in a statement to the site, and said: "We have stopped our initiatives outside the mobile game space to increase our focus on what has made the company successful, game development."

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Author
Danielle Partis

How much does From Software crunch?

6 days 23 hours ago

Following the success of Elden Ring, a series of negative reviews of From Software surfaced on Twitter, claiming that staff at the studio often faced excessive overtime and a chronic dissatisfaction with pay.

The reviews were originally published on the Glassdoor-like jobs board Career Connection between 2012 and 2019. With its increasing prominence in the West, many latched onto the mention of crunch in the reviews of From Software. It prompted Twitter users to fall into tired stereotypes of Japan as a country of overwhelming overtime and exploitative work practices.

GamesIndustry.biz spoke to a number of From Software employees, past and present, to gain a better understanding of how the issues raised affect those working at the Elden Ring developer. The studio does not permit employees to give interviews, whether they still work at From Software or not. As such, all sources wished to remain anonymous.

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Author
Geoffrey Bunting

Pakistan stops overseas payments for mobile games and apps

6 days 23 hours ago

International in-app purchases have been halted in Pakistan, including those sold through video games.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (via Bloomberg), telecom service providers in the country were violating regulations by letting customers make purchases in entertainment apps, including video games, via direct carrier billing.

SBP's current guidelines specify certain IT services can be paid for via a telecommunications company, and firms that wish to do this need the one-time approval of a bank that payments can be processed through. Customers can then pay for services via their phone bill.

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Author
Danielle Partis

Maze Theory and blockchain firm form Emergent Entertainment PLC

1 week ago

Game developer Maze Theory and Web3 tech company Pluto Digital have officially combined to establish Emergent Entertainment PLC.

The projected valuation of the company is said to be over $65 million and it is currently preparing for a future IPO event.

Founded in 2018 and based out of London, Maze Theory has released VR titles such as Doctor Who: The Edge of Time and Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins.

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Author
Jeffrey Rousseau

Report: Microsoft to offer EU regulators concessions in Activision acquisition

1 week ago

Microsoft is preparing to offer EU antitrust regulators some concessions in its Activision-Blizzard acquisition to ensure the deal goes through, Reuters reported today.

A Reuters source said the primary remedy offered would be a 10-year licensing deal with Sony.

The PlayStation maker has previously objected to the acquisition going through, saying the threat of Call of Duty being made exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox platform would negatively impact its console business and consumer choice.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

Loot box bill filed in Australia

1 week ago

Australian MP Andrew Wilkie today introduced his long-awaited loot box legislation.

The bill seeks to amend the Australian Classification Board rules to require that the Board give any game with loot boxes an R18+ classification (or to refuse classification entirely) in order to keep children from purchasing and playing games with loot boxes.

Additionally, it would require games with loot boxes to carry a warning for parents and guardians.

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Author
Brendan Sinclair

What are cozy games, and what makes them cozy?

1 week ago

Cozy games are nothing new, but their recent flourishing – and the increased desire of developers to broaden the genre – invites questions. What exactly is a cozy game? And is this subgenre a cul-de-sac, or a highway?

Some developers view these games as offshoots of the life-sim genre, which goes back to at least 1985's Little Computer People, before an explosion via The Sims (2000). But cozy games are generally regarded as featuring cute characters, often anthropomorphic animals or child-like humans, who engage in player activities such as farming, gathering, growing and nurturing, with a vague goal of creative personalization and in-game socialization.

But coziness is broader than farming and village-planning. The essential nature of cozy gaming is that of helping other people through non-violent means, often by nurture and generosity. Self-expression is core to the games' progression goals, which tend to be open-ended.

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Author
Colin Campbell