Business news Nacon vs Frogwares, Genshin Impact, Valheim: Business news of the week
Sales figures, studio buyouts, financial reports… if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. Each week, we will come back to the economic news of video games in this section. On the program for this edition: layoffs at Hardsuit Labs, the remakes planned by Square Enix or the conflict between the revenues of Genshin Impact.
Left out of project Bloodlines 2, Hardsuit Labs would have laid off staff
On February 23, Paradox Interactive announced that Hardsuit Labs was dispossessed of the development of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. Two years after the game’s announcement, the production of the title is therefore entrusted to another team, whose identity no. has not been disclosed. In the dedicated press release, Paradox indicated that the ambitions around the game made it necessary to change the studio. Unfortunately, the consequences for the studio would be heavier than expected, since some ex-employees indicated that layoffs followed. Anna Webester, narrative designer, said for its part, the entire narrative team was asked to pack its bags, along with other developers. As a reminder, in August and October, several developers left the studio, and the title is now expected for 2022.
Genshin Impact reportedly grossed over $ 870 million on mobile
Launched on September 28, 2020, Genshin Impact is a huge success and it is little to say it. Playable on a large number of media with progress tracking, the title takes the form of a free-to-play, which many players admit does not encourage players to spend money. Thanks to this balance, Genshin Impact has been able to attract a lot of players, who, in part, have put their hands in the wallet. Four days after its release, the title had generated $ 17 million, 60 in a week, and 245 after a month.. According to data from Sensor Tower, Genshin Impact is now approaching $ 900 million, with a estimate established at $ 875 million generated on mobile. On iOS and Android, the title is now in third place of the games generating the most money, behind the unmistakable Honor of Kings and PUBG mobile. Sensor Tower evokes in particular $ 175 million generated per month on mobile thanks to microstransactions. The leading market for the title is none other than China ($ 253 million generated), followed by Japan ($ 237 million), and the United States ($ 162 million).
Zynga offers itself the developer of Torchlight III
Created in 2016, Echtra Games, studio behind Torchlight III is now owned by Zynga company behind many social games such as FarmVille, Chess with Friends or War of the Fallen. Directed by Frank Gibeau, the company announced the takeover without revealing the amount of the operation. What we do know, however, is that no dismissal is planned, and that‘Echtra Games will work with NaturalMotion to make a cross-platform RPG. If the future of Torchlight III, which has abandoned its free-to-play aspect during development, is not mentioned, Frank Gibeau still commented on the news of the takeover: “Max (Schaefer) and his team at Echtra Games have created some of the most legendary game licenses ever created, and they are experts in action-RPG as well as cross-platform development. I am delighted to welcome Echtra Games within the Zynga family. This acquisition will play a key role in the growth of our iconic licenses and brands, from mobile to PC to console, while helping to further expand Zynga’s exploitable market. “
OVH founder to file takeover offer for Blade
According to our colleagues from Nextinpact, Blade, the company behind the cloud computing service Shadow, is not doing very well. Blade is currently under the protection of the Commercial Court, and is actively seeking a buyer. Victim of its success and its international deployment, Blade would no longer have funds to continue its development, while the new offers, previously on pre-order, are waiting to be delivered. Furthermore, the company would have missed its round table last December, and therefore would not have obtained any new fundraising. The search for a buyer has been confirmed a few days ago by Victor Grimoin, creative manager, who also explains that the situation will be clarified live very soon. The conditions for the takeover remain to be determined, but there is already a candidate in the person of Octave Klaba, CEO and founder of OVH. The latter indicated on Twitter that he was going use its investment fund Jezby Ventures to file a takeover offer, with the desire to develop a “European alternative to Office365 / G-Suite”. According to him, the necessary sum would be between 30 and 35 million dollars. “Jezby has been working on this for two months”, he adds. At the moment, this is only a note of intent, and no procedure has officially been launched.
The conflict between Nacon and Frogwares starts again
On March 1, Frogwares, developer of The Sinking City, released a 9-minute video accusing Nacon of hacking the game and modifying the source code in order to publish the game on Steam on February 26, and not to have paid all the amounts due: “To be clear, this is a hack and when a hack aims to steal a product and generate money, we are talking about piracy or counterfeiting”. The conflict has already been going on for several months, since a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal rendered in October 2020 ruled in favor of Nacon, who considered unlawful the breach of the contract between the two parties. The final decision, which concerns the obligation of Frogwares to provide a Steam version, must be rendered soon, but the studio obviously wanted to publicly expose its point of view, while doing a complaint to Steam, which also removed the title from its store. Nacon officially reacted on Wednesday March 3 with a long right of reply. The publisher indicates that he is legally the only legitimate distributor of the game on Steam, that all sums due have been paid, and that Frogwares has been blocking the publication of the game on Steam for months. “Today, except in bad faith, Frogwares has no reason not to make the game available to Nacon on Steam”Nacon said in his statement.
My.Games presents a very positive financial report
Publisher of Conqueror’s Blade, Dino Squad or Warface: Breakout, My.Games has just unveiled its results for the calendar year 2020, marked by the release of nine new titles. A report presented with a smile since My.Games announces outperform its estimates with 30% year-on-year growth, to $ 562 million. For the french market, the editor notices a 46% increase in PC gaming revenue, while Conqueror’s Blade achieved a turnover up 155%. Mobile spending also rose 34% while ad revenue jumped 61%. Of the 770 million claimed users, the majority are found in the United States., Germany and Japan. Vassily Magouryan, CEO, believes that My.Games has managed to quickly launch its growth based on its own ecosystem of games and services. However, mobile remains the main source of income of the company taking 73% of the total. Finally, note the performance of some titles: Warface now has 109 million players including 23 on Switch, while Grand Hotal Mania has been downloaded 7.7 million times and War Robots has attracted 184 million players.
In brief in the industry news
- Valheim’s success continues to be confirmed, with 5 million copies sold in a month.
- Seth Schiesel, former reporter for the New York Times and Protocol, was recruited as Director of Executive Communications by the Microsoft Xbox team.
- Microsoft’s takeover of Zenimax has been approved by the Security & Exchange Commisions (US). The decision of the European Union is still awaited.
- Motorsport Games recently bought 397Studio, automotive simulation specialist (NASCAR / eSport). New games, notably based on the 24 hours of Le Mans, are expected on PC and consoles.
- Blasphemous was started by more a million players.
- The CEO of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, believes that the public is ready to accept the increase in the price of games.
- Souls-Like Mortal Shell has elapsed at more than 500,000 copies in the world.
Other business news for the week of March 1:
By MalloDelic, Journalist jeuxvideo.com