business news Sony launches Inzone, Blizzard buys a studio … the economic news of the week
Sales figures, study acquisitions, financial statements, developer transfer window, investments … if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on last week’s economic news.
- Blizzard buys the Proletariat studio to support World of Warcraft
- Niantic (Pokémon GO) cancels four projects and cuts its workforce
- Sony is targeting the PC market and Asia with its new Inzone range
- Valve doubles the production of the Steam Deck
- Briefly in the economic news of the week
Blizzard buys the Proletariat studio to support World of Warcraft
On Tuesday, the Proletariat studio announced the end of Spellbreak. Launched in free-to-play on PC and consoles in September 2020, the battle royale based on the use of magical powers will definitively close its doors at the beginning of 2023. The news was announced in a short ticket that in no moment hints at the future of this independent team founded in Boston in 2012 … yet already mapped out for several weeks.
The Web site GamesBeat in fact reports that Proletariat was acquired by Blizzard for an unspecified sum. The approximately 100 employees of the studio, in fact, have already started collaborating with the Californian company since last May, in particular on World of Warcraft. The goal of this acquisition is to strengthen the team dedicated to MMOs, particularly in view of the release of the Dragonflight expansion scheduled for this year.
Asked by GamesBeat, World of Warcraft general manager John Hight admits that the follow-up to the Shadowlands extension was complicated and that the frequency of updates was too low to keep players in suspense. “As you surely know, World of Warcraft players have a voracious appetite for content. And what we’ve seen over the past year is that we need to increase the amount of content we can create and the frequency with which we put it into our own hands. players “commented.
For his part, the CEO of the Proletariat Seth Sivak indicates that he had a “very open and transparent conversation” with Blizzard on the issues of toxic culture, harassment and discrimination within the firm. “I think the Blizzard team recognized some of the challenges they faced. We talked about how they plan to continue creating a great developer job. It has been encouraging. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done to keep creating. a great place for developers, but we were pretty happy and happy with the direction the teams are going. “, he has declared. Like Vicarious Visions last year, Proletariat will be completely absorbed by Blizzard in the coming months.
Niantic (Pokémon GO) cancels four projects and cuts its workforce
Despite Pokémon GO generated $ 6 billion in six years (according to data from Sensor tower), all is not well with Niantic. It’s no secret that the Californian studio is struggling to create another successful game. The biggest disappointment is undoubtedly Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which launched in June 2019 and closed for good last January. Pikmin Bloom also didn’t cause crowds, while Catan: World Explorer was dropped even before its official release.
This week, Bloomberg reported that Niantic will lay off 85 to 90 employees, or 8% of its workforce. In an email sent to his teams, CEO John Hanke explained that the firm “Faces a period of economic turbulence” and that the company already has “reduces costs in various sectors”. He also indicated that it would be necessary “to further simplify (our) operations to better position the company to withstand any economic storms that may come”. In this context, four projects have been canceled, including the Transformer: Heavy Metal game which was announced last year and Hamlet, a collaboration with Punchdrunk. Niantic is still working on two new augmented reality games: Peridot, expected by the end of 2022, and NBA All-World, just announced on June 28.
Sony is targeting the PC market and Asia with its new Inzone range
After releasing its first party games on Steam and Epic Games Store (Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, God of War, etc.), Sony is looking to establish itself a little more on the PC market. The company revealed “Inzone”, a new peripheral brand aimed primarily at PC gamers, and especially FPS enthusiasts. The first products of the range, two monitors and three headsets (including the Inzone H9 that we have already been able to test) that will be released starting from July, are however compatible and optimized for PS5. Here’s what the official statement of this new initiative that is also aimed at eSports enthusiasts, knowing that Inzone will be one of the sponsors of numerous eSports events including the EVO (event co-owned with Sony), the PGL Dota2 Arlinghton Major and the Valorant Champions Tour.
The market has expanded: the expansion of eSports tournaments and the wider distribution of matches have increased interest in the games. With Sony having a long history of technologically advanced audio and video products, this new range will provide additional options for those looking to upgrade their current gaming gear. We are committed to supporting the growth of gaming culture by providing PC and PlayStation players with a wide range of options to enrich their gaming experience.
According to analyst Daniel Ahmad, Inzone should also help Sony increase its presence in Asia, where gamers are mainly present on PC and mobile, as well as being avid esports fans. “About 49% of gamers in Asia are spectators and fans of eSports content, which has led Sony to partner with top leagues to promote their brand. Dedicated gaming features as a determining factor when buying a new PC and accessories “commented.
Valve doubles the production of the Steam Deck
Officially launched last February, the Steam Deck is still difficult to obtain and subject to a pre-order system. Deliveries are made in a great way according to the “first come, first served” rule. Result, if you pre-order your Steam Deck today on Valve’s sitewe cannot expect delivery before next October, at best.
However, things are improving. On Twitter, Valve led “good news from the production front” : all deliveries scheduled for the second quarter have been honored and, above all, the pace will accelerate. The company is confident enough to announce that it will now ship “more than double the number of Steam Decks every week”. No news instead of the official Steam Deck docking station which was to be launched in late spring. His release was indefinitely postponed, the reason given is “the shortage of spare parts and the closure of factories in China due to the pandemic”.
Briefly in the economic news of the week
- Former head of the American subsidiaries of Sony Computer Entertainment and Sega, Bernie Stolar died late last week at the age of 75. We dedicated a free article to him retracing his career.
- This is the instant sales figure, with the former Football Manager 2022 which hit the million mark seven months after its release knowing that it is also available in the Game Pass. On his side, NieR Automata is at 6.5 million five years after launch, or 500,000 more than in June 2021. A number that will further increase with the arrival of a Switch version on October 6. Great longevity also for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, released in February 2018, which totaled 5 million copies sold, compared to 4 million last November.
- The publisher 505 Games (Control, Ghostrunner …) bought the studio D3 Go, responsible for the games Alien: Blackout, Marvel Puzzle Quest or Magic The Gathering Puzzle Quest.
- Fire Emblem Heroes became the first Nintendo mobile game (Pokémon GO operated by The Pokémon Company and Niantic) to generate over $ 1 billion.according to estimates by Sensor tower. Driven by its lucrative “gacha” (microtransactions with random results) system, it’s actually way ahead of the rest, namely Mario Kart Tour ($ 282 million), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp ($ 282 million), Dragalia Lost ( $ 168 million), Super Mario Run ($ 87 million) and Dr. Mario World ($ 14 million).