Xbox / Bethesda News Shop, Roblox, Gothic Remake: What’s New This Week? Sales figures, studio buyouts, financial reports … If you are interested in these topics, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we will come back to the video game business news in this section. On the agenda of this edition: the takeover of ZeniMax Media / Bethesda by Microsoft officially recorded, the IPO of Roblox or the announcement of the studio responsible for the development of the remake of Gothic.
Bethesda officially joins Xbox
“It’s a big day for Xbox,” said Phil Spencer, brand director, on Tuesday. Microsoft has completed the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, for $ 7.5 billion. One of the largest acquisitions in industry history, ahead of King (Candy Crush) by Activision Blizzard ($ 5.9 billion) and behind the acquisition of Supercell (Clash of Clans, Clash Royale) by Tencent ($ 8.6 billion) Dollar). There are no longer 15 Xbox studios, but 23 with the integration of id Software (Doom), ZeniMax Online Studios (The Elder Scrolls Online), Bethesda Game Studios (Fallout, The Elder Scrolls), Arkane (Prey, Dishonored, Deathloop) , MachineGames (Wolfenstein, the upcoming game from Indiana Jones), Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, Ghostwire Tokyo), Alpha Dog (MonstroCity: Rampage) and Roundhouse Studios, which represent nearly 2,300 employees. Microsoft intends to “give these teams the very best of foundations so they can continue their impressive work” by “continuing to develop games like they always have”. Spencer said the goal is to “offer excellent exclusive games on platforms where Xbox Game Pass is available” while “meeting some contractual obligations”. Long-term follow-up, The Elder Scrolls Online, for example, will continue to be available on Sony consoles, while Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo will be released for the first time on PS5 – a “temporary console exclusive” negotiated upstream – and on PC. Finally, it should not be forgotten that Microsoft not only uses successful studios and licenses that make Xbox Game Pass more attractive, but also technologies such as Orion, which “optimizes game engines for streaming”, and the powerful ID engine Tech ( Doom), Doom Eternal …).
Roblox valued at over $ 38 billion
The company Roblox – publisher of the creative platform of the same name – went public for the first time last Wednesday. At close of trading, the share price was set at $ 69.50, which would bring the Californian company more than $ 38 billion, say more than $ 37 billion in Electronic Arts. Founded in 2006, Roblox has exploded under the effects of the health crisis in recent years and especially in 2020. Today, it demands 33 million active users every day, half of whom are under 13 years of age. Accessible on PC, mobile phone and Xbox, the platform makes it possible to create games, share them and even generate income from it for the developers of the most popular games, since paid options (cosmetics, specialty items) can be integrated against capacities …) a virtual currency (Robux) is offered. Last year, Roblox sales soared 82% to $ 1 billion, and the company expects it to do even better in 2021 ($ 1.5 billion).
Gothic remake in the hands of a new studio
The constantly growing family of THQ Nordic Studios, a subsidiary of the Oger Embracer Group, has welcomed a new member: Alkimia Interactive. This Barcelona-based studio was founded last summer and brings together “a team of RPG enthusiasts” whose first project is a remake of Gothic originally developed by Piranha Bytes, a German studio that is also part of THQ Nordic . Gothic Remake was formalized for release on PC, PS5 and Xbox series in February 2020 at a currently unknown date. The first fruits of the labor of Alkimia Interactive, which continues to recruit developers, will be shown “in the coming months”.
USA: a record February
$ 4.6 billion generated the US video game market in February. As the NPD Group announced, this means an increase of 35% within a year and a new record for a month of February. A performance that was driven in particular by hardware sales ($ 406 million) and increased 121% compared to February 2020. Leading figure: The Nintendo Switch, which dominates in both the number of units sold and the number of units sold. The money generated has the best on-site performance – all consoles combined – in one month of February since the Wii in 2009. In addition, the Switch’s sales now exceed the value of the Nintendo DS, making it the Nintendo console that makes the most money generated behind the Wii and the seventh in US history. The PS5 is the second best console in February and also sets a record: no other console has made so much money from sales after four months on the market. In terms of games, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury comes out ahead of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Persona 5 Strikers, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Madden NFL 21 in the top hits for February without even including of its sales. in the eShop. Little Nightmares 2 is also doing well with its sixth place. The full ranking can be found here.
V1 Interactive (disintegration) closes its doors
V1 Interactive Studio, founded in 2014 by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto, has announced its closure. The first game, Disintegration, was released last June for 49.99 euros on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and has never managed to win over players with its concept that combines FPS and real-time strategy. Proof of this is that the multiplayer servers were shut down three months after their release and just a single player campaign was far from convincing. The title was developed by a team of 30 with the support of the Private Division label, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, which publishes in particular The Outer Worlds. Marcus Lehto said the studio staff will benefit from job search assistance.
Briefly in the industry news
Little Nightmares 2 was released on February 11th on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch and has already passed a million copies. It took the predecessor more than a year to reach this sales milestone. Good performance also for Loop Hero, Devolver’s Rogue-Lite, which sold 500,000 units in a week. It’s only been available on PC since March 4, while 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim has sold 400,000 on PS4. The title Atlus and Vanillaware, celebrated for its narrative properties, received a French translation for its publication in the West last September. Humble Bundle raised over $ 30 million in 2020 for a total of 224 charities, with $ 8.1 million donated to Médecins sans frontières, Direct Relief, International Rescue Committee and Healthcare Partners to Fight Covid-19, for example. The Sumo Group has launched its publishing label Secret Mode, which is supposed to support projects of its own internal teams, but also of “creative little pearls” of independent studios. Epic Games continues its legal battle against Apple and Google. After filing similar lawsuits in the US and Europe, the company filed a lawsuit against Google in Australia denouncing “its dominant position in the distribution and payment system for mobile applications.” Omeda Studio raised $ 2.2 million to create a new MOBA. called the predecessor who reuses Paragon’s fortune that was abandoned by Epic Games in 2018.
More business news for the week of March 8th:
By Clementoss, MPTwitter editor of Jeuxvideo.com