business news Netflix, Microsoft, Bayonetta 3… 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.
- Netflix wants to get into cloud gaming and is opening a new studio
- Microsoft plans to launch its own mobile game store
- The Bayonetta 3 controversy is taking a new turn
- Short in the week’s business news
Netflix wants to get into cloud gaming and is opening a new studio
Almost a year after the launch of their video game offering, which consists of a catalog of titles that can be played on mobiles and included in the subscription, Netflix will now explore the cloud gaming market. This was announced by Mike Verdu, director of the video game division at the SVOD giant, at the conference. TechCrunch Disrupt.
The Stadia case, which will definitely close its doors in January, was inevitably quickly mentioned during the discussion. Verdu is clear-sighted on the subject: “Stadia was a technical success. It was fun to play on Stadia. But there were problems with the business model, that’s for sure.”, he declared. For him, Netflix’s cloud gaming offering will present itself as “an added value”. It details: “we’re not asking you to subscribe as a replacement for a console. It’s a completely different business model. The hope is that over time the cloud will become a very natural way to play games wherever you are.”.
At the moment, there are no concrete details on how this service will be offered (with a proprietary controller? by paying an additional cost on top of the normal subscription?) and on what date. Mike Verdu, on the other hand, also pointed this out Netflix opens a new studio in California. It will be the fifth development studio owned by the company, following Night School Studio (Oxenfree), Boss Fight Entertainment (Dungeon Boss), Next Games (Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales) and the recently opened studio in Helsinki. This new team will be led by Chacko Sonny, a former Overwatch producer who left Blizzard in September 2021. “He could have done anything he wanted, but he chose to come here. for the right reasons”commented Verdu.
The purpose of all this is of course to feed the catalog of games available on Netflix. Currently, subscribers can access 35 titles at no extra cost (including very good indies like Into the Breach, Moonlighter, Spiritfarer…). 14 new games are currently in preparation at the Netflix studios, and the goal is to eventually have “50% of titles developed in-house”. On the program in particular: a game La Casa de Papel and another based on Jeu de la Dame. Verdu also mentions licensed games such as Stranger Things and SpongeBob SquarePants. Finally, remember that Ubisoft is developing several games exclusively for Netflix, namely a new Assassin’s Creed as well as sequels to Unknown Soldiers and The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot.
Microsoft plans to launch its own mobile game store
In the discussions surrounding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the many associated prospects, Microsoft has, among other things, developed the opportunity to become a mobile giant. The subject was brought up again in a document recently published by the UK Competition Authoritywhere we learn it the American giant plans to create its own mobile game store to compete with Apple’s and Google’s. Here is what we can read:
The transaction will strengthen Microsoft’s ability to create a next-generation game store that works across a range of devices, including mobile, through the addition of content from Activision Blizzard. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing gaming communities, Xbox will attempt to expand the Xbox Store to mobile, bringing players to a new Xbox Mobile platform. Diverting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store, on the other hand, will require a profound change in their behavior. Microsoft hopes that by offering familiar and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new.
It should not be forgotten that Activision Blizzard also owns King, which is particularly responsible for the very lucrative Candy Crush. By taking over Bobby Kotick’s group, Microsoft will therefore get its hands on it, but also on major mobile games such as Call of Duty Mobile, Diablo Immortal and HearthStone, not to mention future projects (Warzone Mobile, Warcraft Arclight Rumble.. .). Enough to immediately transform the Redmond company into a giant in the sector:
Mobile game revenue from King Division and titles like Call of Duty: Mobile accounted for more than half of Activision Blizzard’s revenue in the first half of 2022. Mobile customers account for about three-quarters of its total number of monthly active players. Microsoft currently has no significant presence in mobile games, and the transaction will bring much-needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising. Activision Blizzard will be able to share its experience in developing and publishing mobile games with Xbox game studios.
As a reminder, the British competition authority has opened an in-depth investigation into the purchase of Activision Blizzard, the conclusions of which must be reported by March 1, 2023. The US Federal Trade Commission, for its part, will issue its opinion on the matter at the end of November, while the EU – The Commission has set itself a deadline of 8 November.
The Bayonetta 3 controversy is taking a new turn
His video made a lot of noise in the world of video games and dubbing, approaching 10 million views. The iconic voice of the Bayonetta franchise, Hellena Taylor, posted a five-minute video on Twitter last Saturday, explaining that she will not reprise the lead role in Bayonetta 3, while urging fans to boycott the game planned for the October 28. On the question: an offer considered insulting and too low for her liking, for a total of $4,000 according to her that PlatinumGames would have offered her.
Another version of the case emerged this week. Supported by Andy Robinson from VGC’s website and Stephen Totilo of the Axios site, the sources of Jason Schreier contradict, supporting documents, the version of the actress. Indeed, PlatinumGames would have offered between $3,000 and $4,000 for each necessary recording session, five as a minimum, which would have ensured a remuneration of at least $15,000.. In response, Taylor reportedly tried to negotiate a six-figure salary as well as bonuses depending on the game’s sales. Eventually, the Japanese studio called on another actress, Jennifer Hale, to voice Bayonetta. He would then have suggested Taylor make a cameo in the game at the classic speed of a recording session, something she would have refused.
Hellena Taylor completely disputes this version of the story, “an absolute lie” according to her, accusing PlatinumGames of wanting to “save his ass and his game” as he maintains the words in his video. Representatives for Nintendo and PlatinumGames did not respond to requests for comment this case, which revives the debate about the remuneration of dubbing actors in video games, whose working conditions are considered to be particularly unsafe. Actor Bryan Dechart, who notably dubbed Connor in Detroit Become Human, for example revealed that he turned down a dubbing project for the main character of a AAA game that paid $4,000 for the entire game. Sean Chiplock has that on his side noticed is paid between $2,000 and $3,000 to dub three characters (Revali, Teba, and Deku Tree) in Zelda Breath of the Wild, based on the number of hours spent in the recording studio.
Short in the week’s business news
- Devil May Cry 5 has surpassed 6 million copies since its release in March 2019. The game thus consolidates its status as the best-selling opus in the saga ahead of Devil May Cry 4, which has 5 million sales (including in the Special Edition). With 26 million sales since its birth in 2001, Devil May Cry is Capcom’s 5th biggest franchise behind Mega Man (38 million), Street Fighter (48 million), Monster Hunter (84 million) and Resident Evil (127 million).
- Riot Games has bought Wargaming Sydney, one of the largest studios in Australia, known for being a specialist in the development of tools and technologies used in online games and MMOs in particular. Renamed Riot Sydney, it “will use his expertise to further develop the League of Legends, VALORANT and Riot tech teams”.