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CD Project, Creative Assembly, Epic Games: Business News of the Week

Sales figures, studio buyouts, financial reports … If you are interested in these topics, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on last week’s economic news.

Creative Assembly announces the opening of a new studio

At the start of Total War and Alien: Isolation, Creative Assembly continues to grow with the opening of a third UK studio in Horsham, West Sussex. In a press release, the studio announced that it has grown 20% since last year and now employs 800 people. A large number of people who enable the development and maintenance of already published titles. Keep in mind that Total War: Rome Remastered will be released on April 29th, that Total War: Warhammer III is expected this year, and that Creative Assembly is working on a new license that will be presented as a science fiction FPS. Turning to the global health situation, Gareth Edmondson, Director of Creative Assembly said, “Going forward, we will change our work model to make flexibility the norm, and we need the right environment to do so. If we want to increase the benefits When working remotely, we also recognize that nothing can replace creative collaboration personally. Hence, we will review our pace of work and our surroundings to focus on creativity and innovation. When we’re in the office. “

Microids works with Meridiem Games for the French distribution of games

The French publisher Microids announced this week that it has signed a distribution partnership with Meridiem Games through its subsidiary Microids Distribution France. For those who don’t know, Meridiem is a Spanish publisher that publishes the games Tannenberg and Verdun, two historic first-person shooters from the First World War on the Iberian Peninsula. This agreement will ultimately only be loaned for a return as Meridiem Games was already responsible for the distribution of Microids games in Spain. “The entire team is pleased to be able to provide the full know-how to a long-term partner of Microids”, says Microids Distribution France about Alexandre Breas. To this statement Julien Renzaho, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Microids added: “We are excited to be working on promising and diverse projects and to further strengthen our partnership through this sales agreement.” We seem to be equally enthusiastic about Meridiem Games, as the speech of Segion Palacián, CEO, shows: “It is with great joy and immense pride that we are starting this new collaboration with our friends at Microids. The teams at Meridiem Games are working hard to be the best and we are delighted to be working with Microids to bring them to the French public, and I am sure that thanks to their vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the market, we will find in them a valuable partner for many years to come. “

Ubisoft appoints Anika Grant Human Resources Director

Changes will continue at Ubisoft, which is reorganizing after last summer’s deal. To replace Cécile Cornet, who has resigned, Ubisoft has decided to appoint Anika Grant as Head of Human Resources. She knows this position well, having held similar positions at Accenture, Dyson and, more recently, Uber. GamesIndustry also points out that she has already faced issues of sexual harassment and reprisals at Uber, a point that was certainly important during the recruitment process. Yves Guillemot, CEO of the editor, on the occasion of the arrival of Anika Grant: “I am very happy to welcome Anika Grant (…) your energy, her optimism and the breadth of her experience will be a great asset (. .. ) Anika will also focus her leadership efforts on strengthening our international corporate culture and ensuring that all of our teams can thrive in an environment that promotes respect, diversity, inclusion and collective wellbeing. ” To join Ubisoft (…). I am also very proud to work with talented and passionate people to carry out this mission. I am convinced that we will move forward together. ” Make Ubisoft a benchmark employer who offers its employees exciting challenges, an inviting and open environment and the freedom to express their creativity on a daily basis. “

Epic Games loses money on exclusive products but brings in $ 1 billion

In May, Epic and Apple will go to court to resolve the dispute that arose on the App Store last year. Each party is preparing its defense, which will give us some information. According to this, Epic would have pledged $ 444 million for the signing of exclusive contracts in the Epic Games Store in 2020, but lost at least 330 according to Apple. A loss of deadweight that Epic doesn’t worry about as the amounts spent are minimum guarantees paid before it is known whether the titles are profitable or not. In other words, these are pure investments designed to make the Epic Games Store stand out and attract the public as it is regularly greeted with free games. Additionally, Epic recently stated that players had spent $ 700 million on the business in 2020. Epic Games announced this week that it had reached a new round of tables and raised $ 1 billion. Many companies have participated, but the company we know best is Sony Group Corp. The company had already invested a few months ago, but added $ 200 million to the piggy bank a few days ago. We think of video games, of course, but Sony also produces music and films using technologies developed by Epic Games. As a reminder: Epic Games is not only Fortnite and the Epic Games Store, but above all the Unreal Engine, the fifth version of which is currently in beta.

Starbreeze signs with PopReach to revive PayDay: Crime War

In 2019, Starbreeze, at the time in great difficulty, launched Payday: Crime War in certain test areas. It was a mobile spin-off of the famous license developed in partnership with NBC Universal. However, the servers were down by the end of 2019 when NBC closed its editorial branch. Almost a year and a half later, Starbreeze, which has been successfully restructured and is now working on its third payday, announced that a new partner had been found. This is PopReach, a publisher that specializes in the free mobile game that we find behind The Smurfs’ Village and Kingdom of Camelot. Regarding PayDay: Crime War, PopReach will take care of the development, marketing, acquiring players, and adding content, but Strabreezee will still own the license. In fact, Starbreeze receives an upfront payment of $ 250,000 and a dividend based on sales after launch. As a reminder, PayDay 3 is expected in 2023 and is co-published by Koch Media, which has invested $ 50 million in the project.

CD Projekt: Finances in good shape despite the failed launch of Cyberpunk 2077

As you know, starting Cyberpunk 2077 was very complicated. However, if the PC version held up, the console versions were much more problematic. This was followed by the game’s withdrawal from the PS Store, Marcin Iwinski’s apology, and the introduction of refunds. Since then, the game has resumed its advance and CD Projekt has announced a major reorganization of its services. From a financial point of view, CD Projekt’s 2020 was still very, very good, surpassing 2015, the year The Witcher 3 was released. In addition to the 13 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077 (including) sold, the studio was able to get refunds on GOG and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Count, whose sales were revived by the Netflix series. Overall, the Polish company announces a turnover of around 468 million euros (2,130 billion PLN) compared to 114.4 million euros. Net profit also exploded as it rose from 38 million to 253 million euros. Enough to fund the reorganization, acquisition of Digital Scapes, new project development, and Cyberpunk 2077 follow-up. Marcin Kicinski, Deputy General Manager recently stated that dropping the title was out of the question.

Streaming: Twitch and Facebook at the party, YouTube gaming is slowing down

As every quarter, StreamLabs and Stream Hatchet reveal global streaming results. The first quarter of 2021 recently ended, an opportunity to take stock. The very significant growth in streaming was thought to slow down in 2020 due to the pandemic, but at least on Twitch it is not. On the Amazon platform, the number of hours streamed rose the most since the beginning of the pandemic in the first quarter. Audiences are, in fact, up 16.5% from Q4 2020, with 6.3 billion hours. For its part, Facebook Gaming spent a billion hours for the first time, while Youtube Gaming reduced its audience by around 550 million hours between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. However, youtube has almost doubled its audience year after year. To rank the three platforms, note that Twitch accounts for 72.3% of the hours shown, ahead of YouTube Gaming (15.6%) and Facebook Gaming (12.1%). However, Facebook continues to fill the void and the momentum is on its side. “For the first time we see Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming competing closely in terms of audience. While the gap between viewers was around 1 billion hours in the last quarter, that gap narrowed to around 300 million in the first quarter. There is a chance Facebook Gaming will overtake YouTube Gaming in terms of audience in the next quarter, “said Ashray Urs, Product Manager at Streamlabs.

Briefly in the business news of the week

Activision filed a lawsuit against Randy Ficker, who published a browser-based strategy game called Warzone. The two sides have been fighting over the right to use the name for several months. Ubisoft confirms its participation in E3 2021 and announces that its Ubisoft Forward conference will take place on June 12th at 9:00 p.m. Wargaming announced the opening of the new Vilnius office. The building should accommodate several hundred developers within 3 to 4 years. At the same time, Studio MS-1 (World of Tank Mobile) announces the opening of many positions. ByteDance, owner of TikTok, announced the acquisition of Chinese studio C4 Games (Red Alert Online) for an undisclosed amount of Luna Lights developed by Team Ladybug, released in 1.0 on February 26, 2019, has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide . Marvel Strike Force sales grew 70% in 2020 and generated $ 300 million.

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