business news NFT, Activision-Blizzard, Focus Entertainment … This week’s business news
Sales figures, study acquisitions, financial statements, developer transfer window, investments … if these topics interest you, you are in the right place. We offer you an update on last week’s economic news.
- NFT: Ubisoft backs off, Square Enix makes it happen
- Acquision of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft: the United Kingdom and the European Union are underway
- Halo: 343 Industries loses its founder and director
- Focus Entertainment acquires BlackMill Games (WW1)
- Briefly in the economic news of the week
NFT: Ubisoft backs off, Square Enix makes it happen
To say that Ubisoft reacted launching its Quartz platform, centered on NFT and blockchain, is an understatement. Between total refusal and enthusiasm on the part of the public, the initiative did not leave anyone indifferent. Launched in 2021, Quartz has, for the time being, however, sold only related items Ghost Recon breaking point. We felt it was a test run, but everything suggested that this first step would be followed by others fairly quickly. Ubisoft also seemed very confident, Nicolas Poulard, vice president of the strategic innovations lab, indicating that people who reject NFTs he did not understand what advantages they represented. But the future of NFTs in Ubisoft it doesn’t seem so sure anymore. During an exchange with Eurogamer, Yves Guillemot finally explained that Quartz and NFT were just a “test” :
We really look at all the new technologies. We’re a lot on the cloud, on the next generation of voxels, and we’re looking into all the capabilities of Web3. We recently tested some things that give us more information on how it can be used and what we should do with it in the gaming world. So we are testing games that … We will see if they really meet the needs of the players and then they will hit the market. But we’re still in search mode, I’d say. (…) We should have said that we are working on it and that when we have something that will bring you a real advantage, we will bring it to you. (…)
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always to make sure we can bring players a new experience that will be innovative and interesting. The goal of the business is always to create the best experience and new technologies are always useful because there is less competition and people are more interested in trying new things on new technologies. .
This change in speech can appear as a reversal, which echoes the statements from former data analystsquestioned by our Gamekult colleagues last July, as well as a 96 successful transactions on Quartz according to Ars Technica:
We did a little study where we subtracted some stuff on Reddit with player position summaries talking about NFT, it was very bad. Obviously, we wouldn’t have people throwing their hands up and saying “yeah, give us NFT in Ghost Recon”. Indeed, it is a study that was done in a bit of a rush because we didn’t have much time to try and tell Yves Guillemot not to.
If you know a little about Yves’s character, he was. As soon as it’s shit marketing that can bring in money, it’s gone. Then ask our department if we have any information on NFTs. The director then asks a team leader, who in turn will ask someone on my team, who will initiate an analysis for her by collecting data from social networks and crossing it with other data. He does his analysis to the foreman who then replies: “Oh no, we can’t tell Yves”. That’s it, end of story.
On his side, Square Enix has long expressed interest for blockchain and NFT, but we were still waiting to know how all of this would materialize. This week, the Japanese publisher announced that it has done so joins the Oasys blockchain with a launch by the end of the year holidays. The project is being followed by about twenty other companies, which, like Square Enix, will validate the nodes. Like others, Oasys presents itself as environmentally friendly, while the publisher sees it as a way take advantage of user contributions. In short, and despite the vagueness that currently surrounds Web3 and cryptocurrencies, Square Enix concretizes his intentions.
Acquision of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft: the United Kingdom and the European Union are underway
We suspected it, but Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard-King won’t pass like a letter to La Poste. Estimated at almost 70 billion dollarsthe transaction is closely scrutinized by the financial authorities as well as by the competition, Sony in the lead. The PS5 maker tells anyone who listens that the acquisition of Microsoft licenses such as Call of Duty would have a major negative impact on consumers, but Microsoft responded by saying that removing Call of Duty from PlayStation players would be commercial nonsense.
The acquisition has already been validated by Saudi Arabia and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is expected to decide for the United States. This could deepen the investigation, like this should be the case in Western Europe. Indeed, the UK Competition Markets Authority announced its review of such an agreement last week it could possibly be extended.
Following our Phase 1 investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft may use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft after the merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals, in multi-subscription services. game and in cloud games.
An idea what the European Union could follow according to the Financial Times, with statements of great caution from the authorities:
Regulators and other parties involved in the deal are expecting an extended EU investigation when Microsoft formally presents its case in Brussels in the coming weeks. People familiar with EU thinking said regulators would take some time to review the deal due to its size, the nature of the buyer, and growing concerns from rivals, including Sony.
Halo: 343 Industries loses its founder and director
15 years after the founding of 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross, founder and director of the studio, has announced that she will be leaving the company. The Halo Infinite situation obviously has nothing to do with this departure, the interested party indicated that she would be leaving to handle a medical problem within her family. It is therefore with regret that she announced her departure on Twitter through a press release.
While I was hoping to take care of Halo until the release of the winter update, I let you know that I will be leaving 343 (Industries) and facing a family medical issue. I am incredibly proud of the work everyone at 343 Industries has done with Halo Infinite, the Master Chief Collection, the Halo TV series and so much more. It has been an honor to serve alongside the team for the past 15 years and to be part of a world I love. Thanks to everyone in the Halo community for their support. The future of Halo is bright. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store and cheer for you, as a fan, during the Halo World Championship in October!
A departure that should cause a change in the studio, since it will leave its place to three people. Pierre Hintze, a veteran of the firm, immediately took over the management of the latter as he led the roadmap for Halo Infinite and The Master Chief Collection, as well as future productions. Elizabeth Van Wyck will oversee business and operations commercial, while Bryan Koscki will handle the franchise.
Focus Entertainment acquires BlackMill Games (WW1)
Created in 1996 under the name of Focus Home Interactive, the French publisher has started a delicate but sensitive change for several years. The publisher change of president in 2018passing from Cédric Lagarrigue to Jurgen Goeldner, and gradually offers Deck13 (The Surge), Douze Dixièmes, Dot Emu o Studio Leikir. Accompanied acquisitions in 2021 by a name changewith a publisher now to be called Focus Entertainment.
Ambition is still the watchword at the publisher, which maintains its niche, which is the production of double A, medium / high budget games. A desire for growth that has recently continued with the acquisition of a majority stake in BlackMill Games. Focus Entertainment took over the participation of M2H e now owns 66.6% of the shares from the studio. Jos Hoebe, founder and creative director of the studio, maintains the rest of the company’s capital as well as the management. To make things easier, M2H will ensure the transition:
We know that the WWI game series is in the capable hands of Jos and Focus Entertainment and we are confident that together they can make the series bigger than ever. While we look forward to starting work on an exciting new project, we will be sure to pass on our knowledge and skills over the next year to ensure a smooth transition. We can’t wait to see what the new owners bring to the WWI game series, ”said Matt Hergaarden, co-founder of M2H.
Briefly in the economic news of the week
- 3.45 million copies in three days is the score of Splatoon 3 in Japan! A resounding success for the new Nintendo production. To site, in five years, Splatoon 2 has sold 13.3 million copies.
- Roblox will launch in-game ads next year
- Activision has banned over half a million Call of Duty accounts.
- THQ Nordic has officially opened its new study, named Campfire Cabal. The latter is intended to develop role-playing games.
- Garena (Free Fire) is said to have laid off 15% of its workforce in Shanghai as part of a global restructuring.
- From 29 August to 4 September 2022, The Last of Us Part I on PS5 dominated the market for physical sales by value in France according to SELL. Followed by Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.