The Great Video Game Business and Financial (In)Stability Thread

I never quit DOOM. I quit a toxic client.
fenomas wrote:

Statement from Mick Gordon, creator of the (legendary) soundtracks for Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal, responding to an earlier open letter where the game's executive producer publicly blamed him for delays and for the game's poorly-done OST release.

Absolute insane read.

Holy sh*t, 58 minute read? I'll get back to this on a holiday!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultas...

Tweeting like that just looks bad regardless of intent.

The question is if there will be some sort of proposal to force Microsoft to guarantee Call of Duty being on PlayStation indefinitely, but that raises questions about what role regulators have lobbying for the needs of seemingly one other specific company, Sony, and why that standard is not applied to other games. Why this singular obsession with Call of Duty? Why doesn’t Microsoft also need to promise Diablo 4 and Elder Scrolls 6 will always be on PlayStation? Why didn’t Sony have to ink a blood oath that Destiny would stay on Xbox after they acquired Bungie?

Ubisoft comes crawling back to Steam after years on Epic Games Store

Since early 2019, Ubisoft has made a point of moving its PC releases away from Steam and toward the Epic Games Store and its own Ubisoft connect platform. That years-long experiment now seems to be ending, as Ubisoft has confirmed at least three recent PC releases will be getting Steam versions in the near future.
A page for 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla was officially added to Steam Monday, listing a December 6 launch date on the platform. Ubisoft has also told Eurogamer that 2019's Anno 1800 and Roller Champions will be coming to Steam, confirming earlier rumors to that effect.

The coming Steam versions are Ubisoft's first non-DLC releases on the platform since 2019, when Trials Rising and Starlink: Battle for Atlas launched on Steam. Since then, releases from Far Cry 6 and Watch Dogs Legion to Immortals: Fenyx Rising and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint have all been unavailable on Valve's industry-dominating PC storefront.

"We're constantly evaluating how to bring our games to different audiences wherever they are, while providing a consistent player ecosystem through Ubisoft Connect," a Ubisoft spokesperson said in a statement provided to the press.

That statement is a major reversal from 2019, though, when Ubisoft Vice President for Partnerships and Revenue Chris Early told The New York Times that Steam's business model—and its 30 percent commissions—were "unrealistic" and didn't "reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution."

70% of a lot is better than 90% of not much eh?

AFAICT they're not removing their games from Epic, just recognizing that there are a lot of gamers who really care which massive corporation owns the servers that they download their games from, which makes the X in 90% of X a market with what at this point is probably a known upper-bound.

Always good to see less exclusivity. Optimally all games should be on all the platforms (at least all platforms with a meaningful userbase, as there of course might be thousands of platforms).

Next up: cross-buy/play. If you by on one platform it unlocks on all platforms! Well, probably not :/

Uh...considering Steam was in effect a monopoly I'm not sure you are proving your point.

Shadout wrote:

Optimally all games should be on all the platforms.

TheGameguru wrote:

Uh...considering Steam was in effect a monopoly I'm not sure you are proving your point.

What point? I missed the part where they said games should only be on Steam.

Can we dial back the unhelpful snark here please?

billt721 wrote:

AFAICT they're not removing their games from Epic, just recognizing that there are a lot of gamers who really care which massive corporation owns the servers that they download their games from, which makes the X in 90% of X a market with what at this point is probably a known upper-bound.

I'm not sure it is as much about which server you download your stuff from as it is about traffic to the page where you can and will buy the game. That's the main "product" Steam offers to publishers.

On another topic, PC Gamer has a new article with more details about the ZA/UM fracas.

Pink Stripes wrote:
billt721 wrote:

AFAICT they're not removing their games from Epic, just recognizing that there are a lot of gamers who really care which massive corporation owns the servers that they download their games from, which makes the X in 90% of X a market with what at this point is probably a known upper-bound.

I'm not sure it is as much about which server you download your stuff from as it is about traffic to the page where you can and will buy the game. That's the main "product" Steam offers to publishers.

On another topic, PC Gamer has a new article with more details about the ZA/UM fracas.

??

I ... said nothing about what Steam or Epic can offer publishers. Rather, I was offering my opinion (in a much-less-snarky tone than I had originally typed) as to why there's a known upper-bound on the number of purchases a publisher can expect on Epic. I guess if I were to squint I could say that you're saying the same thing I am, just taking it from the storefront side rather than the gamer side.

PaladinTom wrote:
Shadout wrote:

Optimally all games should be on all the platforms.

TheGameguru wrote:

Uh...considering Steam was in effect a monopoly I'm not sure you are proving your point.

What point? I missed the part where they said games should only be on Steam.

Can we dial back the unhelpful snark here please?

I’m sorry the entire “controversy” existed (exists) in the first place because gamers apparently only want Steam, and Sony in the video game business. Everyone else isn’t all that welcome…at least without severe teeth gnashing and wailing. Gamers are all for exclusives it just has to be on their terms.

PaladinTom wrote:

Can we dial back the unhelpful snark here please?

Apparently not.

TheGameguru wrote:

only want Steam, and Sony in the video game business.

Is this some kind of stealthy console warring?

On a related topic, UK antitrust agency released a bunch of documents from MS and Sony today, regarding the attempted MS acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
It is slightly hilarious, as they take console warring to a whole new level.

Sony is trying to explain how the apparent market leader is just a small fish, with a bad game subscription service, who would be eaten by MS if they lose access to the only game in the world that actually matters; Call of Duty.
Microsoft doing the opposite, including "hey, we are not very good at making games, just look at Sony and Nintendo over there".
IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FiQaoa6WYAMjDxP?format=png&name=small)

Multibillion company fanboys really need to step up their game if they want to keep up with the real console warring.

More seriously, the acquisition is really meeting some antitrust resistance.

Word is the FTC is going to sue MSFT for trying to acquire Activision.

One interesting bit of what the UK CMA has published is that they also say they received "a large number of submissions from the public" that they are reviewing. I wonder who "the public" is in that sentence. And the submissions from Sony and MS are super interesting but sadly all the good data are redacted.

It's also funny that one of Sony's rebuttals to that MS argument about exclusives is that Battlefield sucks and can't keep up with CoD.