PSVR 2, CD Projekt, Activision Blizzard x Microsoft… this week’s business news

business news PSVR 2, CD Projekt, Activision Blizzard x Microsoft… this week’s business news

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

Summary

  • Cyberpunk, The Witcher, new license… CD Projekt announces more projects
  • PSVR 2: Sony plans to produce 2 million headsets by March 2023
  • Brazil approves Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard
  • Short in the week’s business news

Cyberpunk, The Witcher, new license… CD Projekt announces more projects

CD Projekt organized this week one presentation of its long-term strategy rich in information to say the least. The company has unveiled many projects and its main objectivessummarized in three points: to have three strong and “sustainable” franchises, to offer more content to players, and to continue to decline its licenses in other formats (mobile, TV, movies, books, comics, etc.).

It is currently Cyberpunk 2077 focuses the studio’s attentionwith the development of the Phantom Liberty expansion (+350 developers involved), which will be released in 2023. It is only later that there will be an official sequel that corresponds to the codename “Orion”WHO “will prove the potential and strength of the Cyberpunk universe”. It will be developed by new studio CD Projekt North Americaconsisting of the existing hub in Vancouver and a new team based in Boston.

PSVR 2, CD Projekt, Activision Blizzard x Microsoft... this week's business news

The other major project underway has been named “Polaris”. Currently in pre-production (+150 developers involved), this is a new open world RPG “builds on the legacy of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” and which will mark the beginning of a new trilogy. The last two parts will be based on the foundation of the first to reduce the production time, CD Projekt has the ambition to release this trilogy in only six years.

Two more The Witcher games are on the way. Developed by The Molasses Flood studio, acquired by CD Projekt in 2021, “Sirius” presented as a game different from the rest of the franchise, designed to target a much wider audience. As for “Canis Majoris”, it’s a narrative open world entrusted to an undisclosed external studio, overseen by veterans of the franchise. This outsourcing of production responds to CD Projekt’s desire to release more games without burdening the internal studios.

Latest project revealed: “Hadar”, a brand new license developed entirely in-house. Concept work started in 2021, but the foundations for this new universe are still being laid.

Note that CD Projekt emphasized its ambition “to introduce multiplayer in most of its new games”like “Sirius”, “to enrich the solo experience”.”’

Finally, Marcin Iwiński, co-founder and co-CEO of CD Projekt, used this presentation to announce that he will be leaving his position at the end of the year. He will nevertheless remain a major shareholder in the company with 1,200 employees and apply for the role of chairman of the board.

PSVR 2: Sony plans to produce 2 million headsets by March 2023

PSVR 2, CD Projekt, Activision Blizzard x Microsoft... this week's business news

Sony obviously has big ambitions for its PSVR 2, which is officially scheduled for release in early 2023. Following Bloomberg, the company would have launched mass production as early as last Septemberfor the purpose of having two million helmets available for sale by March 2023. Media sources indicate that no production constraints have been encountered so far and that the pace could be adjusted depending on sales dynamics.

The helmet could very well succeed thanks to excellent performance and an attractive launch catalog, which will include around twenty titles, including Horizon Call of The Mountain, Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky. But there are several uncertainties: In addition to the tense international context, we still don’t know the price of the helmet and the PS5 essential to operate the device is still hard to come by. Nevertheless, Sony expects the commercialization of the PSVR 2 to coincide with the console’s production lines being removed.. There are also some points that will make original PSVR owners cringe, including the fact that games from the first headset will not be backwards compatible with the new model.

Released in October 2016, PSVR took eight months to reach one million sales. It then crossed the five million mark in January 2020. Virtual reality is now more developed and popular among gamers. Market-leading standalone Meta Quest 2 headset had sold 2.8 million units in its first quarter of sales until reaching the 17 million mark, according to estimates from the IDC institute. Barring several leaks, Meta Quest 3 should land in 2023, thus competing with PSVR 2.

Brazil approves Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard

PSVR 2, CD Projekt, Activision Blizzard x Microsoft... this week's business news

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, announced last January, is currently being closely scrutinized by competition authorities in many countries. In particular, the challenge is to determine whether this massive operation will not lead to a power imbalance harmful to consumers. The Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) is the second to comment on the subject and approve – without restrictions – the takeover, after Saudi Arabia.

In particular, it responds to concerns expressed by Sony regarding the possibility of Activision Blizzard games becoming exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. : “The possibility cannot be ruled out that Microsoft may find an Activision Blizzard game exclusivity strategy to its advantage, although this decision may result in the sacrifice of a significant portion of sales, users and even Call of Duty’s popularity.”indicates report.

Opposite to, The authority considers that this prospect will not hinder competition on the market : “As we have seen, Nintendo does not trust Activision Blizzard games to be competitive. Sony, on the other hand, has several assets due to its dominant position in the market for more than twenty years: its experience in the industry, its player base, which is the largest in the market, its installed base of consoles, its catalog of exclusive products, its partnerships with multiple publishers and a base of loyal consumers, all of which should enable Sony to maintain its competitiveness even in the scenario of Microsoft’s acquisition , including in light of a possible loss of access to the content of Activision Blizzard”.

In the case of the Call of Duty franchise, she means it “Gamers loyal to Sony would simply abandon the franchise in favor of other games available on their favorite console.” if it became exclusive to Xbox consoles. CADE concludes by reminding that its role is to protect the interests of Brazilian consumers, and not “specific interests of a company in a competitive market”.

The US Federal Trade Commission, in turn, is expected to rule on the takeover at the end of November. The British authority, for its part, recently decided to launch an in-depth investigation, the conclusions of which were to be reported by March 1, 2023. Finally, the European Commission has set a deadline of November 8 to investigate this acquisition.

Short in the week’s business news

  • Three key members of Disco Elysium’s development have announced that they will no longer be part of the ZA/UM studio as of the end of 2021. They are Robert Kurvitz (designer and screenwriter), Helen Hindpere (screenwriter) and Aleksander Rostov (art director). In the process, Martin Luiga clarified in a post Medium that these are “involuntary departures” (layoffs?) and simultaneously announced the dissolution of the artistic collective ZA/UM Cultural Association, twin unit of the studio that produced Disco Elysium. As for the rest of the game, he is reassuringly declaring further Twitter that things are moving in the right direction, but that his release is not expected for some time.
  • Stray enters the ranking of the best physical sales in France (week 38). It sits in 3rd place, behind Splatoon 3 and Horizon Forbidden West. Behind it we find Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Last of Us Part I.
  • Bandai Namco has become the majority shareholder in the Limbic Entertainment studio (Tropico 6).
  • Temtem has attracted over a million players across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.

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