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PlayStation, Xbox, People Can Fly: the 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.

People Can Fly (Outriders) has a new studio

If Outriders was a tricky launch from a technical point of view, the players actually responded to the appeal from People Can Fly and Square Enix. At the same time, the studio continues to grow and last weekend announced the opening of a sixth studio next to the headquarters in Warsaw. In particular, People Can Fly bought Phosphor Games. The studio has been located in Chicago since 2009, was founded by Justin Corcoran, Jarod Pranno and Chip Sineni and owes titles such as The Brookhaven Experiment, Heroes Reborn: Gemini and Nether. This studio is being renamed PCF Chicago and we envision it will work on current projects as Peoplle Can Fly is already working on another game for Square Enix and an adventure game for Take-Two as a reminder. Sebastian Wojciechowski, CEO of People Can Fly, said on the occasion of the announcement: “Given the large number of ongoing projects, we need experienced and ambitious professionals to make our side a reality. From the quality of the Phosphorus team, I am sure they will be a great addition to the PCF family and fuel our growth. “

PlayStation is having an exceptional year and is investing a lot

Despite the shortage of semiconductors that keeps the various industries working just in time, everything is going very, very well for Sony in general, and for PlayStation in particular. In its latest annual financial report, the manufacturer says it has sold 7.8 million PS5s since November 19, setting a new record by wiping the PS4 and its 7.6 million over the same period. In fact, it’s a record for the industry as no home console has ever managed to match these numbers. Let’s get each other well understood, this does not mean that it should be easy to find, but that the demand is colossal and much larger than the production capacity. The PS4 continues to slow down. Since its release, 5.7 million units have been distributed for a total of 118 million units. In terms of games, Sony announced that it sold 338 million copies in the fiscal year, an increase of 22% for “video game” sales of € 20.2 billion. 20.44% of that number is dematerialized games, 5.19% physical sales only, 14.42% subscriptions (48 million subscribers), 19.49% consoles, 6.13% accessories, and 34.33% microtransactions and DLC. In other words, most of Sony’s “video game” revenue came from the sale of additional content, be it third-party or first-party games. The latter account for only 17% of total games sold and confirm their status as “showcase games”. Sony has achieved a net profit of 8.9 billion euros in the entire group, of which 2.6 for the gaming division. This last point is extremely important because it is very, very rare that a manufacturer is not in a loss situation when starting a console. A real achievement that should inspire shareholders and worry about the development of the global health situation. Recently, Jim Ryan said the PS5 would be eligible for more first-party games than any other Sony console before, and that promise already leads to investment. Indeed, the company has announced an increase of 151.7 million euros in funding made available for development compared to the previous year. A colossal investment that reflects the great confidence that the group has.

Koei Tecmo made 2020 his best year

The year-end closing season has started and we’re starting with Koei Tecmo, the Japanese publisher. With a turnover of 463 million euros, the company grew 42%, resulting in a 93% increase in net profit to 226 million euros. This historic sum for the company is supported in particular by the 3.7 million copies sold of Hyrule Warriors: The Scourge Era, the 360,000 copies of Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy and the millions of copies sold for the first work. Let’s not forget Nioh 2: Complete Edition, sold over a million copies, the release of Persona 5 Strikers. However, it is worth remembering that Koei Tecmo generates some of its sales from mobile phones, even if the titles do not necessarily appeal to everyone. For example, Sangokushi Hadô generated more than 7.5 million euros, while Sangokushi: Strategy Edition in China remained in the top 5 most downloaded applications in the App Store for a year and a half. Koei Tecmo thinks big for 2021-2022. The publisher / developer is hoping for a turnover of 498 million euros and a net profit of 203 million euros. The upcoming titles that are currently being highlighted are Samurai Warriors 5, which are expected with us on July 27th, Nobunagas Ambition and Blue Reflection, but also titles on smartphones that can in principle bring back 15 million euros every month. In addition, a new license is in development with a target of 5 million sales.

Microsoft Xbox signs record in first calendar quarter

It’s accounting season, and Microsoft has unveiled theirs for the January 1 to March 31, 2021 period. What we notice right away is that the Satya Nadella-led company is doing pretty well with sales of $ 41 billion and net income of $ 15.5 billion, up 44%. What we are particularly interested in here is the Xbox branch under the management of Phil Spencer. The company’s efforts in this sector and strategy realignment appear to be bearing fruit as Xbox achieved its best first quarter since the brand was founded, with sales up 50% year-over-year for an amount of $ 3.53 billion. Unfortunately, Microsoft gives only a few exact numbers about video games. So we have to be satisfied with what the company wants to communicate and rely on the latest figures. Subscriptions to the various subscription formulas, including Game Pass, increased 34%. in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. We don’t know the exact number of subscribers, but it was 18 million as of December 31st. If Microsoft has focused its communications on services and Game Pass, it will remain a console maker. With the Xbox series release on November 10, console sales have skyrocketed 232% compared to the first quarter of 2020. A spectacular commodity that can be seen in the almost immediate purchase of all copies of the Xbox series in the market since its launch. It should be noted, however, that unlike Sony, video games are nowhere near supporting Microsoft as they only make up 18% of the company’s total revenue.

Former Street Fighter figureheads at DelightWorks

After more than 30 years at Capcom and having worked on the Street Fighter series since 1998, Yoshinori Ono announced that he would soon take over the presidency of Delight Works, to which we owe Fate / Grand Order, published by Aniplex, a Sony company. Yoshinori Oni, who left Capcom last summer. He hadn’t announced where he was going at the time and left a huge void in the hearts of gamers who stick to the editor’s fighting games. In fact, by the end of his career at Capcom, Ono had become the director of his own division whose job it was to oversee all fighting games that were released or about to be released. On Twitter, he explains that his new responsibilities should take him away from the fighting game community for a while. However, he hopes to spend time with the community once he finds his rhythm and that he’ll manage to free up some time. He will take office on May 1st, replacing Akihito Shoji, the studio’s founder.

Focus Home Interactive and Nacon: also positive results

In the first half of fiscal 2020/2021, Focus Home Interactive completed the acquisition of Deck 13, which The Surge licensed. From this first half of the financial year, the French publisher was able to count on the good performance of its back catalog, which consisted in particular of A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge, Greedfall and Farming Simulator. In the summer, players watched Hardspace: Shipbreaker, Othercide, MudRunner Mobile, and Necromunda: Underhive Wars. In September, Focus signed a partnership with Flying Wild Hog to develop Evil West. For the fourth fiscal quarter, which runs from January to March 2021, it is necessary on the part of capital to contact in order to receive the first data. We learn that Focus Home Interactive achieved a turnover of 29.6 million euros, an increase of 23%. The catalog has increased by 12% to 12.5 million euros. The back catalog continued its very good performance with an increase in sales of 30% to € 16.7 million. Digital sales also increase from 82% to 89% of total sales, as 95% of sales are made abroad. As a result, the publisher is sticking to its forecasts, the turnover of which is estimated at 150 to 200 million euros. Talks are also being held to “justify structuring acquisitions”. On the side of Nacon, formerly Bigben, we present a balance sheet that is above the estimates, which investors always like. In the entire financial year, sales rose by 37.5% to EUR 177.9 million. Nacon notes that the company had a turnover of 42.6 million euros in the last fiscal quarter, thanks in particular to the sale of accessories. In video games we see quarterly growth of 41.9% to 22.4 million euros. Focus notes the very good sales of Werewolf and believes that the PS5 / Xbox series releases of Monster Truck, Tennis World Tour 2 and Hunting Simulator 2 contributed to the increase in sales. The back catalog is in the spotlight again as its importance has doubled compared to 2019/2020. The share of digital sales continued to grow and now represents 75% of game sales for the quarter. The group will present its annual report on May 31st, announcing that its targets for the Nacon 2023 plan will be revised upwards.

Briefly on video game business news

5 Switch games rank 5th in the physical sales ranking in France this week. We ordered Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Rage, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Ring Fit Adventure, and Monster Hunter Rise. In addition, Monster Hunter Rise is distributed 6 million times in a month. Frostpunk, the city building and management game has surpassed 3 million sales. According to GamesIndustry, 44% of developers have postponed their games due to COVID-19. GOG, only 1.39% of players requested a refund in the 2020/2021 financial year, according to Oscar Lemaire, Valheim has exceeded the 7 million copies sold. Persona 5 Strikers, action-rpg / moved to Persona 5, has sold 1.3 million copies. The Nioh license, launched in 2017, has two episodes and has now sold 5 million units in all media, including 2 for Nioh 2.

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