business news Ubisoft, Capcom, Xbox Game Pass… 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.
- Odyssey Interactive: Riot Games alumni studio raises nearly $20 million
- Capcom: declining numbers, but a brilliant Monster Hunter Rise
- Xbox Game Pass missed its targets for fiscal year 2022
- Ubisoft looking for itself, results dip in first half
- Short in the week’s news
- Other business news of the week
Odyssey Interactive: Riot Games alumni studio raises nearly $20 million
On September 17, Odyssey Interactive studio launched Omega Strikers in open beta. It’s about a free 3 vs 3 gamewhich incorporates the strategic aspect and team play of League of Legends, the immediate handling of Rocket League and the power of games like Windjammers 2. Omega Striker’s reviews on Steam are excellentwith nearly 8,000 reviews giving a very positive overall rating.
Behind Odyssey Interactive we find Respawn alumni (Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order) but also and above all from former developers at Riot Games, Dax Andrus, David Capurro, Eric Lawless and Richard Henkel, who worked on League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics. Due on mobile and consoles in February 2023, Omega Strikers will be able to do that count on a more solid structure, able to follow up. After one Series A funding round, which corresponds to an optimization of the business plan. Led by Makers Fund, Anthos Capital, Andreesen Horowitz and Mitch Lasky, this new fundraising has enabled Odyssey Interactive to bring in 19 million dollars in the coffers :
Our goal as a development team has always been to inspire and ignite the competitive spirit of players, and we believe we can reach that ambitious height by incorporating their feedback from the beta and doubling down on it during launch, said Dax Andus.
Like others, Capcom has just published its results for the first fiscal half of 2023. A period that corresponds above all to the launch of Sunbreak, the extension of Monster Hunter Rise. With no other major releases, Capcom records a 30% drop in turnover compared to last year and one profit fell 27%. We therefore have a turnover of 333.7 million euros, and a net profit of 109.4 million euros. However, it should be added that this relatively “poor” semester is opposite the first semester of 2021, when Resident Evil Village was released.
Anyway, game sales increase, which is a very good sign for the publisher, which can count on long-term sales of its licenses. Between April 1 and September 30, 2022, Capcom distributed 21.3 million games, against 19.8 million in 2021. The good students are therefore Devil May Cry 5 and its 6 million copies sent around the world, Monster Hunter World which passed 18 million, Resident Evil 2 and its 10 million copies, but also Monster Hunter Rise which we find twice. The base game has expired at 11 million copies on Switch and PC, while Solstice sold 4.4 million units.
Results that encourage Capcom to revise its objectives upwards for the second half, where we find the gold edition of Resident Evil Village, which includes DLC on Rose Winters or even the remake of Resident Evil 4, expected on March 24, 2023. However, there remains the unknown Street Fighter 6, whose beta seems to have convinced. Capcom has not yet given an exact release date, so we cannot predict its presence in the next review. At least the Japanese publisher expects an annual turnover of 848 million euros and a net profit of 247.6 million euros.
Xbox Game Pass missed its targets for fiscal year 2022
This week, Microsoft released its financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. So the gaming division got its own section, where we learned that Microsoft made a video game revenue of DKK 3.61 billion, the highest in the brand’s history for a first quarter. Furthermore, it is also a very good neighborhood for Game Pass PC, up 159% despite the lack of major exclusives. In other words, the catalog and third-party add-ons continue to attract more people. Game Pass as a whole is now profitable. With more than 25 million subscribers according to the latest figures, the service achieves “between 10 and 15%” of turnover from Microsoft Gaming.
Growth is slowing on consoles, however, and Xbox honcho Phil Spencer says the percentage should stay the same. Regardless, revenues continue to grow, and a first price increase is finally on its way, perhaps after this year’s holiday. However, we know that from Derek Strickland Xbox Game Pass has missed its targets in the period from July 2021 to June 2022. This was already the case the year before, when growth had stagnated at 37% against a target of 47%. For the past year, the difference is even greater, since growth was 28.07% with a very (too?) ambitious target of 72.88%.
However, it is important to note that Game Pass progress is the only element related to gaming that is part of the goals set for Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. In other words, part of its bonuses are tied to Game Pass. No need to worry about the big boss who, as Gamekult indicates, has fetched nothing less than $55 million in cash and stock at the end of the previous financial year that ended on 30 June.
Ubisoft looking for itself, results dip in first half
The French publisher, like others, presented its financial results for the first half of the year ended September 30, 2022. The comparison with the same period last year is striking, as we note a decrease in revenue of 20.1 million euros with 731.2 million in 2022 compared to 751.3 in 2021. Operating profit goes from 25.9 million euros to -215.3 million euro, while loss is DKK 190.2 million for net profit.
In these results we find in the cave the cancellations of Ghost Recon Frontline, Splinter Cell VR and two other unannounced games whose victims will be used to focus development efforts on the most promising games. Fewer games, but a more diversified offer, which will be accompanied by a “simplification” of the organization and measures regarding stabilize the workforce. The flagship is of course called Assassin’s Creed, whose future seems to be mapped out with Assassin’s Creed Mirage, but also the projects Red, Jade, a visible multiplayer game (Invictus), all connected via the Infinity portal.
Our goal is to take the brand to new heights by reaching a much wider audience with multiple platforms and business models. We are applying this strategic approach across our other major brands, starting with Rainbow Six and The Division in the near future, Ubisoft said.
However, Ubisoft can be satisfied with 20 million players which launched Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the excellent critical reception of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, and 85 million players with an active Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege account. It remains to be seen how Skull and Bones (whose development is complete) will fare when it comes out on March 9th. On the other hand, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will only be considered in the next exercise, and therefore will not be able to benefit from the momentum provided by Avatar 2: The Waterway (December 14) to boost the launch. Finally, note Ubisoft’s big ambitions in the mobile sector with a Rainbow Six Mobile whose beta has totaling more than 250,000 players.
Short in the week’s news
- FIFA 23 dominates sales in France (value and physical) in week 41. The PS4, PS5 and Switch versions take the podium, followed by Splatoon 3 and, as you already know… Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
- 4J Studios, the name behind which we find Minecraft’s console ports, has launched a publishing label. The first game released will be called skye’s talesdeveloped in Scotland by Puny Astronaut.
- Alan Wake Remastered and CrossfireX brought nothing to Remedy, which had a revenue of 30 million euros, an operating profit of -3 million and a net profit of -3.2 million.
- Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker, co-founders of Rocksteady, announced their departure. They leave the keys to Nathan Burlow and Darius Sadeghian, who will help the teams complete a nearly complete Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
- Sega has opened a subsidiary in Singapore to expand into Southeast Asia.