Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch … This week’s business news

Sales figures, study acquisitions, accounts, developer transfer window, investments … if these topics interest you, you have come to the right place. We offer you an update on the latest week’s business news.

Summary

  • Activision-Blizzard, BioWare: Update on the North American Labor Movement
  • Dontnod (Life is Strange) reveals its results for the calendar year 2021
  • Twitch: Possible changes that do not please
  • Activision-Blizzard-King: Lower results and an invalidation
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to recruit for its mobile division
  • Map in business news
  • Our other business articles of the week

Activision-Blizzard, BioWare: Update on the North American Labor Movement

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

If you play Call of Duty or follow Activision-Blizzard news, you know that late last year, in response to a layoff plan, launched quality assurance testers working on the license. a strike and a process that allows them to eventually form a union. The case caused a stir, especially as the video game workers’ union is still in its infancy. On Activision-Blizzard’s part, it is believed that employees have the right to assert their desire to organize, while suggesting that it is not not usable and that direct communication is more relevant.

Since the company has not responded to the request, the creation or not of a union will have to go through one voting conducted internally. Things are moving forward as Axios has indicated to the National Labor Relations Board indicated that Raven Software’s testers met the criteria to conduct this poll. If the majority of those called for election vote for the formation of a union, Activision-Blizzard will be forced to recognize the movement and negotiate working conditions with union representatives. If all goes well, the ballot papers was usually aired on April 29, and the count is scheduled for May 23.

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

On the Canadian side, there is also a desire to stay connected, again through quality assurance testers. The contractors of Keyword Studios, which among other things works with BioWare Edmonton from British Columbia, filed one request for representation last April 20th. The Alberta Labor Board will need to study the file to assess the validity of the request. Employees who oppose the procedure may notify the Commission, but the Game Developer specifies that it is more of a formal request, as the trade union organization is generally determined by the mediator of the secret ballot. If the file is validated, employees will be able to organize this poll and hope to win their case. However, it is currently unclear what drives this request.

Dontnod (Life is Strange) publishes its results for the calendar year 2021

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

We are entering a new period of financial reviews, an opportunity to take stock of the students’ financial health and their projects. Among the reports we have received this week, we find those of Dontnod, which is in a negative direction. It is quite logical, the studio has not released any major games and is preparing many releases after Tencent’s investmentwhich was 50 million in January 2021.

Revenue fell by 3 million euros to 10.5 million, while the operating profit is -3.5 million and the net profit goes from 949,000 euros to -3.2 million. In other words, we are on expected losses and the focus is now on 8 titles are expected between 2022 and 2025, two of which are developed externally. The other six will be released by Dontnod with the exception of one title co-produced with Focus.

In connection with the fundraising of 50 million euros carried out in January 2021, the cash flows generated in the financial year made it largely possible to cover the investments made in 2021 (16.4 million euros), mainly related games under development on self-publishing and co. production models. Pr. As of 31 December 2021, Dontnod’s financial structure has thus been greatly strengthened with an equity of 85.6 million euros and available cash of over 58.4 million euros.

Dontond is therefore confident about the choice of self-publishing, but it will be necessary to wait a few years before knowing it. The information from the study indicates that the balance after this choice will be prepared at the latest in 3 or 4 years.

Twitch: Possible changes that do not please

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

As we know, the management of remuneration of streamers on Twitch is a stinging theme for Amazon. Simple streamers, affiliate streamers or affiliates all produce their content with different restrictions. According to Bloomberg, Amazon is considering to quite comprehensively review the management of advertisingincrease the number, and distribution of profits. Currently, a number of streamers enjoy a 70/30 split, i.e. the platform gets 30% of the money generated from subscriptions or donations. In the future, this distribution could comes closer to the classic 50/50 depending on the increase in earnings.

In return, these streamers would no longer be bound by an exclusive contract with the platform, allowing them to potentially compensate by producing content elsewhere. At the same time, these changes, which Bloomberg estimates will be implemented this summer, will be accompanied by a redesign of third party system, the different subscription levels offered. Information that did not fail to respond to streamers around the world. Some point fingers an ad that is already widely leaked viewers and revenue that can collapse to the point where they jeopardize the future of their channel.

Activision-Blizzard-King: Lower results and an invalidation

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

The publisher has just published its results for the year 2021 and they are down, especially due to Call of Duty. Vanguard sales have not been as high as usual (while still remaining at the top of the rankings), and players have visibly parted ways with Warzone. A situation that the publisher will seek to address Modern warfare II which will follow the reboot in 2019 with a new Warzone and a mobile version of Battle Royale. But you do not have to do not rule out Blizzard results of the balance, also down.

Period Turnover Operating results net profit
January to December 2021 2.1 billion euros € 739.3 million € 575.9 million
January to December 2022 1.6 billion euros € 445.6 million € 367.5 million

The studios have recently lived on the games already released and are preparing for the launch of several things. It will start June 2 with Diablo Immortal on PC and mobile before continuing with Overwatch 2, Diablo IV, the Dragonflight expansion of World of Warcraft, the arrival of Warcraft games on mobile. The group also announced recruitment of several hundred people and the integration of well over a thousand workers previously contractual.

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

At the same time, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles the Social and Economic Affairs Committee upheld (CSE), dismissed at first instance. CSE challenged the job protection plan, which led to the dismissal of more than 400 people between 2019 and 2021, and the closure of Activision-Blizzard’s Versailles website. This PSE can be performed by the employer alone or after negotiation with union representatives. In the second case, the employer or the representatives can not change the agreement without obtaining approval and a new signature from all parties.

Gold, Activision-Blizzard included an additional note at the request of the CSE, but without it having been validated overall. The company defended itself with this “Completing an agreement is not changing it”an argument that has been rejected of the court, which sees an obvious change in it, and therefore a mistake.

Now – and this is a principle of the law – what is stipulated by agreement can only be changed by agreement. So this is what was sanctioned: Once you have made a deal, you can not complete it alone.

This decision, seen as a victory for CSE’s lawyers, opens up the possibility of obtaining additional compensation of six months’ salary, in the event that the final decision is applied by the employees of Prud’hommes. However, this is not guaranteed:

For all employees who have to bring an action before the Labor Court to contest their dismissal, the decision from the Court of Appeal, which we have received, therefore – provided that it is final – guaranteed a minimum compensation of 6 months. ‘salary, while the so-called Macron scale, which the judges could use if they assess that the dismissals are without real and serious reason, provides at least an allowance equivalent to three months’ salary, states Maître Bouzaida.

But even if the dismissals are recognized for no real and serious reason, re-employment of employees is not possible and the only resort is an increase in benefits. Contacted, the European management of Activision Blizzard did not want to comment on this decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal.

Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to recruit for its mobile division

Activision-Blizzard, Sony, Twitch ... This week's business news

Almost a year ago, Sony formalized its wish to invest in the mobile market by using its flagship licenses. Last summer, the company announced that it had been recruiting Nicola Sebastiani from Apple to head the new department. Educated in the subject through the development and implementation of the Apple Arcade offering, he continues to strengthen his teams. Our colleagues from Gamekult thus mention the arrival of Kris Davis as Director of Business Development.

He was previously at Kabam, which we owe Disney Mirrorverse, Marvel Contest of Champions or even Transformers: Forged in Steel. He will find there Olivier Courtemanche, coming to Sony PlayStation after 6 years at Zynga and 2 years at Disney. Finally, Chris Spencer (EA) and Elizabeth Dumbrique (Glue). Currently, SIE has not shown any PlayStation Mobile titles except WipEout Rush, which is developed and released by Amuzo and Rogue Games and licensed by Sony.

Map in business news

  • Tales of Arise has been distributed to over 2 million units worldwide, according to Bandai Namco
  • Devil May Cry 5 has sold more than 5 million units since its release in 2019.
  • 98% of Activision-Blizzard’s shareholders approved the acquisition by Microsoft. The procedure is ongoing and is currently under review by the Federal Trade Commission
  • Game Freak has established one optional 4-day work week monthly. The studio behind the Pokémon games has also improved its layouts to make it easier to work from home.
  • Valheim, the survival game that caused a sensation last year, has just crossed the limit of 10 million copies sold.
  • Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel continues to be a hit and has now been downloaded over 30 million times.
  • It was Kirby and the Forgotten World that dominated sales (in value) in France in the week of April 12-15. It is followed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Switch) and FIFA 22 (PS4).

Our other business articles of the week

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