PUBG Mobile was the Second Most Downloaded Mobile Game in Q3

PUBG Mobile was the second most downloaded mobile game in the world in Q3 2019, beaten only by Fun Race 3D. It beat out games like Mario Kart Tour, Garena Free Fire, Mr Bullet, and Sand Balls, just to name a few. The majority of those downloads came from the Google Play store. On the App Store, Mario Kart Tour was actually the most downloaded game of the quarter and PUBG Mobile ranked only 7th.

PUBG Mobile saw more than a 100% growth quarter on quarter with nearly 80 million downloads. While Battle Royale Garena Free Fire managed to spend a 4th quarter in a row in the top 3 in the Google Play Store.

Of course, it should be noted that it is impossible to know how well Fortnite is performing on mobile because they aren’t in the Google Play store and this chart gets its data from the mobile app stores. It is interesting though to see so many games on these lists that well quite frankly, I’ve never even heard of. A lot of them are super casual games and aren’t the type of thing that people read or write about very often.

The data was collected and presented by SensorTower who are constantly releasing new reports on the performances of mobile apps, including games. If this is the sort of information that interests you then you should check out the MMOGames weekly business report every Friday. It dives into all the data and financial news that has been released in the online gaming industry every week.

 

 

Source: Sensor Tower

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MMO Business Report: US Tariff on Game Consoles, Pearl Abyss Quarterly Report, and More

Our MMO Business Report is back once again! This week we have some more quarterly reports, this time from Tencent and Pearl Abyss. We’ll also be taking a look at US tariff on game consoles, and a disappointment in the esports industry.

 

Tencent Quarterly Report is Looking Up

Honour of Kings

Tencent’s online game revenue has increased 8% year on year. This is thanks to the end of China’s freeze on game approvals and because of Honour of Kings which has been a constant, steady earner for the company. Mobile games made the most revenue, $3.2 billion USD which is up 26% from last year, but in the same time period, they saw a decline in PC game revenue of 11% to $1.7 billion USD. Looking back at where Tencent was during Q2 last year  and comparing it to this year, you have to keep in mind that last year they were only able to release one new game in China during all of Q2. In comparison, in Q2 2019 they released 10 mobile games, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company is doing well.

 

Source: Tencent Quarterly Report

 

MMO ‘Seed’ Raises $22 Million from Series B Funding

Seed

SpatialOS MMO Seed has raised an additional $22 million in funding. The money came from investment firms Novator, Northzone, Neoteny, firstminute capital, Makers Fund, New Life Ventures, and LEGO. Yes, THE LEGO. When combined with previous funding this brings the total for Seed up to $37.42 million.

“We are thrilled Novator and LEGO Ventures are making this big bet on us and for getting Ragnarsson on as our Chairman – he truly understands the value of single-shard MMOs and brings his amazing experience from CCP to Klang,” said Klang CEO Mundi Vondi. “Partnering with LEGO Ventures, the global phenomenon of emergent gameplay, is fantastic and aligns perfectly with our vision. Finally, we are humbled that our great current investors Neoteny, firstminute Capital, Northzone, and Makers Fund are joining the round as well and couldn’t be more excited to have the fuel to deliver SEED without compromising on its very big vision.”

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Pearl Abyss Quarterly Report Wows

Black Desert Online

Q2 2019 was Pearl Abyss’ best performing quarter in terms of sales with an amazing 266% rise in net profits quarter on quarter. The overseas market (in this case meaning outside of South Korea) makes up 74% of their sales. During the quarterly report, they also talked about upcoming games. EVE: Aether Wars has been given the green light despite originally only being a technical demo. Black Desert Mobile is set to launch in Q4 2019 globally. Project CD is a new AAA RPG that isn’t based on the Black Desert IP and is going to be targeted to a global audience. Project K and Project V are casual shooting games developed using Pearl Abyss’ new engine. No dates yet for the unnamed projects thus far.

 

Source: MMOCulture

 

Gfinity Esports Australia Closing

Gfinity Esports Australia which has been holding esports events across Australia for the last two years, will be closing in November. The company put out a press release that made it clear the company had not seen the return that was forecast when it was launched.
Dominic Remond, CEO of Gfinity Esports Australia said, “We would like to thank all our stakeholders and the Australian esports community for their support over the last few years. This is a very difficult announcement for all our staff. We will continue to meet our obligations to our existing partners, including Supercars with the upcoming Gfinity Supercars Eseries, and deliver outstanding events until we close later this year.”

Ciaran Davis, Chief Executive of HT&E added, “Esports remains an exciting industry with significant global interest and activity and HT&E believes it will become a mainstream and significant content-audience-commercial medium in the long term. But our absolute focus is on our core radio business and the economics of esports in the Australian market are yet to deliver sustainable, positive earnings. It is critical our investments deliver value for shareholders and with esports there is no certainty on when a positive contribution might be achieved.”

 

Source: Esports Insider

 

US Tariff on Game Consoles

New Tariffs on electronic devices made in China were set to go into place on September 1st, however, the United States Trade Representative said they will delay the tariffs until December 15th. The tariffs cover cellphones, laptops, some toys, computer monitors, video game consoles, and some clothes. The tariff was originally announced in May. Since then Apple, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have all sent letters to the USTR stating the tariffs would have an impact on the US economy and force them to raise the prices of their products. What does this mean for consumers? If you’re planning on getting anyone a console for Christmas, buy it now! In fact, Donald Trump even mentioned Christmas while addressing the press.
“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers, which, so far, they’ve had virtually none. The only impact has been that we’ve collected almost $60 billion from China – compliments of China. But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant for the Christmas shopping season.”

Of course, what Trump said isn’t accurate. The tariffs aren’t being paid by the country they’re coming from or even the countries in that country. They’re a tax on the good being brought into the country by companies that typically end up being passed on to consumers. So don’t be surprised when Christmas is more expensive than usual this year.

Source: Cnet

 

Loot Crate Files for Bankruptcy

Loot Crate has been struggling quite a bit over the last 18 months and has now filed for bankruptcy. However, they’re also claiming they will continue with business as usual. Investor Money Chest LLC has purchased the company’s term-loan and offered $10 million to help keep operations going. Loot Crate said they will continue to pay their employees as usual and overall, from the way they speak of it things seem to be quite smooth.

However, former employees have made claims stating otherwise. Two days before the bankruptcy was announced Loot Crate laid off 50 employees with no severance and no warning. With one of them saying to GamesIndustry.biz, “There’s been a lot of speculation that the reason for that was those who put this layoff together knew the company would be filing bankruptcy, and that they did this knowing former employees couldn’t pursue legal action because of bankruptcy protections. Is this how and why this went down the way it did? I don’t have the ability to say, but I can see the sense in it from those involved in making the decision who likely were apathetic to the employees that would be lost.”

Lootcrate now employs 60 people.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Nexon Shutting Down 2 Western Subsidiaries

We found out last week that Nexon would be going through some restructuring and now there are more details. The update to that story today is Nexon shutting down two of its western subsidiaries. Both Nexon M and Nexon’s Division Partners Office will be closing at the end of August. While some of them have been moved to other Nexon units there will still be many left without jobs.

Mabinogi

The Nexon’s Division Partners Office was responsible for QA, community management, marketing, publishing, and providing live operations in the West. It isn’t clear yet how these vital components of the company’s business will be operated going forward. They specifically provided these services for Mabinogi, Rocket Arena, and an unannounced title.

Nexon M, Nexon’s Mobile division in the west created games like Durango: Wild Lands, AXE: Alliance vs Empire, Marvel Battle Lines, and a few other titles. This particular division of Nexon has only been around for 5 years, but as part of the company’s restructuring, it is getting the axe. What will happen to the games they’ve developed and any that they had in progress remains to be seen.

Based on the talk around Nexon it would be safe to assume that this is only the beginning of their restructuring and that more news will be coming out about it soon.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest news from the online games industry be sure to check out the MMOGames Weekly Business Report which comes out every Friday. Here we will continue to stay up to date on the latest Nexon news, look at quarterly financial reports as they’re released, and any other business news that arises during the week.

 

Source: MMOCulture

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Weekly Business Report: Nexon’s Internal Restructuring, Ninja’s Leaving Twitch, and More

MMOGames Business Weekly Report is back to take a look at mobile gamer preferences for free to play games in China, the latest news from Nexon, Ninja leaving Twitch, and a few other topics relevant to the business side of making online games.

 

Automaton Games Shuts Down

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Automaton Games, the folks who were behind the unreleased 1,000 man Battle Royale Mavericks: Proving Grounds, has shut down and in the process the game has died. In the announcement on their website, they cited a lack of funding as the reason for their sudden closure. Thankfully Improbable, the makers of SpatialOS, have said they will be trying to find places for Automaton employees in their company. Mavericks: Proving Grounds is actually the second SpatialOS game to meet its end in recent months leaving some to speculate that SpatialOS falling out with Unity earlier this year may have played a role. If that’s true, this might only be the beginning of SpatialOS related sunsets. MMOGames staff will be watching and will continue to bring updates in our weekly business report.

 

Source: MMOGames

 

Chinese Consumer Preferences

According to recently released research, over half of Chinese consumers prefer free to play or ad monetized games over premium titles. In fact, the research found that 61% of people prefer non-premium games. 85% reported they spend money on mobile games with 3% spending more than $50 (¥330) a month. In contrast, the average spending is just $5.80 a month. Those interviewed between the ages of 26 and 30 had the highest average spending at $10 a month.

The research also showed there is a high level of brand loyalty. 92% of respondents said they stick with a game for more than a week and 87% say they’ve played fewer than 5 different games in the previous month.

One challenge that developers face is how well divided the market’s stores are. In China, 30% of the market is using the App Store, 29% are using Tencent’s MyApp, and 26% use the Huawei app store. In the West we really only have Google Play or the App Store for mobile games.

It would be really interesting to see this same research completed in a few different Western countries to see how our views differ. I would personally much prefer to pay for a game or even pay a subscription for a game over being nickel and dimed to death by an in-game shop.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nexon Internal Merger Incoming

The last few months have been a wild ride for Nexon. First, their founder and CEO was putting the family’s stake in the business up for sale, worth between 9 to 11 billion dollars. After months of speculation that everyone from Disney to EA were interested in buying, it seems Kim Jung-ju may have simply decided not to sell. Of course, I’m sure a decision like that wasn’t made lightly. Following the release of this rumor, Nexon’s stock dropped resulting in a loss of up to 5%. Now we know that Nexon is reorganizing and merging their two core business units. No jobs are going to be lost in this internal restructuring, but the company is looking at getting rid of projects with low commercial value. They also hope that the restructuring will improve the company’s operating profits and increase its stock value. News of this restructuring started out as a rumor but was quickly confirmed by Nexon. It is set to take place sometime in August.

 

Source: MMOCulture

 

Ninja Leaves Twitch for Mixer

Ninja Fortnite

Ninja has announced that he will no longer be streaming on Twitch and is instead switching over to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. The specifics on this particular deal haven’t been released but last year he was making $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch and a paid promotion deal with EA for Apex Legends got him $1 million, so it is safe to assume he got a pretty sweet deal. This marks a major shift for Twitch which has been seeing its growth slow over the last year.

Mixer has always been playing third fiddle to Twitch and Youtube but has also seen consistent growth. Last quarter it saw 119 million hours watched, an increase of 37% year on year. Ninja’s move to Mixer might be exactly the sort of push the platform needs to catch up to its two bigger competitors. However, Fortnite’s popularity, especially in streaming, has been on the decline. It is also possible that many of Ninja’s fans wont follow him to this different platform because they prefer Twitch. We can see an example of this in the industry already looking at people who refuse to play a game that hasn’t been released on Steam. Only time will tell how this transition actually goes.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

 

Zynga Eyes China

At one point in time just a few years ago Zynga was dominating the games industry. They were all we ever talked about it seemed like. Of course the days of Facebook games are long gone now, but that doesn’t mean Zynga is gone or that they’ve even slowed down. Zynga has been transitioning to a mobile game developer and having great success with it. They recently released Empires and Puzzles in Japan and Korea, the beginning of their strategy for expansion into the Asian market. Now they’re eyeing China.

In a call with GamesIndustry.biz Zynga COO Matt Bromberg said, “We are beginning to look at China for Empires & Puzzles as well, and as our portfolio continues to develop we have both Star Wars and the Harry Potter game on our slate for the future. When there are big global pieces of IP like that, which we think will resonate across Asia, we’re hopeful that will also help us expand there. We’re trying to take a measured approach to it, and learn as we go and make sure we have the right match of game and personnel on the ground and marketing strategy. When you get those lined up it can be terrific, but it is a complicated market and we’re still in learning mode.”

A complicated market is putting it lightly. Still, if they are successful in their push into China, they’ll be tapping into a mobile games industry with an estimated 586 million gamers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Netease Gets a Minority Stake in Behaviour Interactive, the Makers of Dead by Daylight

Netease gets a minority stake in Behaviour Interactive as part of a strategic investment in the company. Behaviour Interactive is the studio behind Dead by Daylight and Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade and they also happen to be the largest independent video game developer in Canada. Following this investment, for an unnamed amount, Behaviour will continue to operate independently.

“NetEase is pleased to further develop our relationship with Behaviour, an online games pioneer and a leader of the asymmetrical battle arena genre,” said Ethan Wang, Vice President of NetEase, Inc. “We look forward to leveraging Behaviour’s deep passion and expertise to enhance our R&D efforts and deliver even more exciting new products to players worldwide.”

Behaviour Interactive Announces Dead By Daylight

“NetEase’s investment validates the reputation for excellence and efficiency we have built in the online games sector over the last 27 years,” said Rémi Racine, President and Executive Producer of Behaviour Interactive. “At Behaviour, we are continuously looking for opportunities to accelerate growth by investing in R&D for new and innovative games for our players and in the recruitment of exceptional talent. As an industry leader in online games, NetEase brings highly reputable R&D and operational capabilities and experience that we believe will drive sustainable, long-term growth well into the future.”

It will be very interesting to keep an eye on Behaviour Interactive and see what sorts of things come from this new NetEase deal. We will of course be watching everything they do as we have been doing for many years now.

 

Source: Press Release

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Spending is Just $300,000 in the First 24 Hours

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite seems to be the game everyone spent the weekend signing up for but not the one they were spending money on. In the first 24 hours on both android and iOS combined it has been estimated that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite spending was just $300,000.

One can’t help but compare the launch of this game to its older brother Pokemon Go. In the first 24 for Pokemon Go the game had been downloaded 7.5 million times, versus 400,000 for Wizards Unite. It had also generated approximately $2 million in player spending. To make it even worse, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite actually released in more countries than Pokemon Go had at that point in its life.

Why are the numbers so low? Well…there are a few things that could be contributing to it. First, there’s the fact that Harry Potter doesn’t have the massive popularity that Pokemon does in Japan which is where Pokemon Go and Ingress both bring in a sizeable amount of their revenue. Having a game based on a Western IP isn’t instant money when you consider that in the Western audience players are less likely to spend money on mobile games.

There’s also the issue that current Pokemon Go players are less likely to play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Mobile phones, and the games themselves aren’t really designed for you to switch between games easily. It’s far more likely that you’ll pick one game and stick with it. Unless you’re a HUGE Harry Potter fan you’re more likely to play the game you’ve been playing, so not picking up that new game.

Finally, it also has to be considered that Harry Potter is an older IP now and the last movie wasn’t very well received. It’s quite possible that a lot of people have moved on from the series and so aren’t interested in playing the game.

Whatever the reason we will be keeping an eye on how Harry Potter: Wizards Unite performs into the future and we’ll have a review of it ready to go very soon.

 

Source: Sensor Tower

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In Europe Digital Game Downloads are on the Brink of Overtaking Physical Sales

When was the last time you bought a game in a store? Well if you live in Europe there’s a pretty good chance that you aren’t doing that at all anymore. According to data that looked at major AAA game franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Star Wars, Batman, Battlefield, Monster Hunter, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, FIFA, Dragon Ball, Need for Speed and Tom Clancy digital game downloads are on the rise.

The country that is still going to the store to buy physical copies of games is Italy. Just one-third of console games are digital. This is up however from last year when Italy bought just one-fourth of games digitally. The Nordics are the most digital leaning with 66% of console AAA games being bought digitally. This is up 13% for the same region last year. The UK and Ireland are second for most digital games sold. France had the biggest rise from last year an increase from 31% to 47%, putting it just on the tipping point.

All of this means that if you take Europe as a whole 48% of AAA console games are being sold digitally. This puts Europe incredibly close to the tipping point where digital sales outnumber physical. We may even see the change happen sometime this year. As this happens the number of gaming stores is on a slow but steady decline.

All of this information came from a study that was conducted by ISFE’s GSD charts project on behalf of Gamesindustry.biz. We can’t wait to see what happens after Q1 2020 passes and we can look back to compare where we’re at this year with where we’re at then.

Do you still buy physical copies of games? What makes the difference for you between physical and digital? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Source: GamesIndustry

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MMO Money: A Week of Lawsuits and Nintendo Being Awesome

Lawsuits abound this week in the online gaming world with both Activision Blizzard and Epic Games the focus of new lawsuits. Meanwhile, Nintendo gives us a much-needed breath of fresh air with how they treat gamers and their employees. Bidding for Nexon is set to begin in April with the list of bidders reduced to just 5. Find all of this and more in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Nexon Shortlists Five Bidders for the Company

There has been quite a lot of interest in Nexon recently from major companies around the world including Disney, EA, Comcast, Tencent, and many others. But, Nexon has now lowered that list to just 5 bidders. Those five include Tencent and Kakao Corp. along with three private equity firms, Bain Capital, MBK Partners, and an unidentified firm. Quite significantly Netmarble isn’t included in this list. Netmarble had been putting together a consortium of Korean firms to bid together, believing that selling to an overseas company will damage the local games industry. In fact, this may be why we don’t see any Western-based interests in the shortlist. Bidding for the 98.64% share of Nexon that is expected to be worth as much as $13.3 billion is expected to begin in early April.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nintendo Asks Mobile Partners to Stop Players From Spending So Much

In a time when it seems like all game companies are after is your money Nintendo comes out and gives you a little bit of faith in the industry once more. The company is concerned with its self-image and has asked some of its mobile game development partners to adjust the microtransactions in their games so players are less likely to overspend. A source at CyberAgent, who owns the developers of Dragalia Lost told the Wall Street Journal, “Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”

This also comes less than a week after a recruitment page for Nintendo shed some light on what it’s like working for the company. The average salary is ¥9.03 million, that’s $80,000, employees can potentially get bonuses in June and December plus a pay increase every April. The average workday at Nintendo is seven hours and forty-five minutes long. As if all of that doesn’t already sound amazing full-time employees stay at the company for an average of 13.5 years. Anyone familiar with the games industry in the West will know that developers tend not to stay in one company for very long. If you’re interested in knowing more about that check out this article from Polygon.

From a personal point of view both of these pieces of news make me more likely to look at Nintendo games and support what they’re doing. Their views and the way they treat their employees is a breath of fresh air in the games industry today.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Games Industry

 

 

Vivendi Sells Remaining Ubisoft Shares

Ubisoft Joins Forces With Horror Movie Studio

Its been almost a year since Vivendi announced it was going to stop trying to acquire Ubisoft and finally the remaining shares it had in the company have been sold. The remaining shares it had was about 5% of the company, €429 million.

At one point in time, Vivendi owned a 27.3% stake in the company and though its attempts to own the company completely failed they did bring in about €2 billion, a capital gain of €1.2 billion. Though they failed to achieve their original goal you can hardly call the entire thing a failure. I’d love to fail my way to €2 billion, that’s about $2.2 billion USD. Vivendi has stated that they will honor their agreement and not buy shares in Ubisoft for at least 5 years.

Vivendi had previously owned Activision Blizzard but it sold the company to an investment group led by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly for $8.2 billion. That deal pushed Vivendi out of the games industry for 3 years until it bought its way back in with a hostile takeover of Gameloft.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

A New Law firm is Encouraging Shareholders to Sue Activision Blizzard Over Bungie Split

Another law firm is inviting shareholders to join in a class action lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of misleading shareholders over the end of its partnership with Bungie. The firm’s loss submission form makes the following claims:

Activision failed to disclose that “the termination of Activision Blizzard and Bungie’s partnership… was imminent”

That this termination “would foreseeably have a significant negative impact on Activision Blizzard’s revenues.”

And as a result “Activision Blizzard’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all times.”

Activision Blizzard previously said that the split from Bungie was because Destiny 2 failed to meet financial expectations. But in a recent SEC filing, the company recognized $164 million in revenue from Destiny for 2018 as a result of the split.

This comes at a time when shareholders for Activision Blizzard aren’t too happy with the company. They’ve had to warn investors that cutting hundreds of jobs (800 in total) may damage the company. They even went so far as to say there can be “no assurance that our business will be more efficient or effective” than it was before this new strategy.

Why can’t you be more like Nintendo?

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Man Sues Epic Games Over Predatory Loot Boxes

While we’re on the topic of lawsuits we should mention that Epic Games is being sued, yet again. This time though it isn’t because they used a dance in their game, instead it’s over allegations that Epic Games has engaged in predatory schemes with loot boxes in Fortnite. They allege that Epic intentionally designed Save the World to hinder player’s progress if they didn’t spend real money. They also say that Epic has “made a fortune on in-game purchases, preying in large part on minors who are especially susceptible to such predatory tactics.” The lawsuit accuses Epic of violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, and Unfair Competition Law.

What the lawsuit doesn’t mention though is that since January Epic Games now shows the contents of loot llamas in Save the World before they’re purchased with V-Bucks. So it is possible that the lawsuit won’t go anywhere since they’ve already made changes to the areas that the lawsuit covers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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MMO Money: Arena of Valor Finds Success At Last

Here we are at the second to the last Tuesday of the year, which means this is our last look at the news from the business side of the games industry. Next week we’ll have an article that looks back at the biggest stories of the year so keep an eye out for that. For now, though we have Blizzard to discuss along with the Zenimax vs Oculus lawsuit, esports, and Arena of Valor’s success on the Nintendo Switch.

HGC Western Clash

 

Blizzard Kills Heroes of the Storm Esports

There have been a lot of unpopular things going on with Blizzard recently that are leaving lifelong fans wondering what has happened to the beloved brand. Most recently Blizzard took a chainsaw to Heroes of the Storm. They put an end to the competitive esports scene saying that the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm won’t be returning in 2019. This very sudden change has put a lot of people out of jobs. Stars who left college to pursue esports, team managers wondering what to do next, and many others from all aspects of the esports scene.

At the same time, Blizzard says that they will continue developing the game, though the cadence of releases will change. In other words, they will be releasing content less often. Blizzard also moved some developers, though they didn’t say how many, from the Heroes of the Storm development team to other teams. While they aren’t giving up on Heroes of the Storm completely it certainly sounds like this is the beginning of the end for the game, which would be just another unpopular move on Blizzard’s part. That really breaks all of this to one final question….is Blizzard working on a Battle Royale game? Only time will tell, but based on the decisions they’ve been making recently it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Source: Official Site

arena of valor switch

 

Arena of Valor Downloaded 1 Million Times on Switch

In China, Tencent has seen massive success with Honour of Kings. It’s been at the top of the mobile charts every month in terms of revenue for the entire year. However, when they released it as Arena of Valor in the West it wasn’t a massive success at all. At least that is until it was released on the Nintendo Switch. Since Arena of Valor launched on the Switch at the end of September it has been downloaded 1 million times and the United States was the biggest market. While Arena of Valor hasn’t been performing as well in the West as it has in China it hasn’t all been bad news for the game. In September the MOBA reached the $15 million milestone in player spending between the App Store and Google Play. At that time the game also experienced 49% growth month over month in comparison to August. So even almost a year after launching it was still growing in a big way.

Arena of Valor is Tencent’s first console game, but with results like this, it almost certainly won’t be the last. This is especially true as the company has to try to claw back from the really quite awful year they’ve had.

Source: Games Industry

 

Intel and ESL Announce $100m Esports Investment

Blizzard might be taking a step back from the Heroes of the Storm esports scene but in other corners of the esports world, things are looking good. Intel and ESL have announced that they will be continuing their partnership to 2021 and more than $100 million in investments in the industry will be made. The partnership between the two companies is 18 years old, making it the longest standing partnership in all of esports. The deal will help to drive growth in new regions which includes a focus on hosting and large-scale events within some Asia-Pacific countries.

“ESL and Intel have worked side by side on growing esports for nearly two decades,” said Ralf Reichert, ESL founder and co-CEO. “We built a number of cornerstones of this industry together and helped many gamers in becoming legends of the sport. The long-term extended partnership with Intel opens even more opportunities for us to take our efforts to a whole different level on a global scale.”

The Vice President and General Manager of VR, Gaming, and Esports at Intel had this to say, “This joint investment with ESL into the ecosystem means that the esports growth and innovation that we’ve led over the past two decades will continue. This partnership will advance the rapid evolution of esports, and Intel is committed to ushering in this new era with technology solutions that place the gaming community and fans first.”

If you’re wondering how the esports industry is doing, on the whole, we’ll have more on esports in the coming weeks as we take a look back at 2018 from a business point of view. So be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Source: Games Industry

 

Zenimax and Oculus Settle Their VR Lawsuit

It might feel like Zenimax and Oculus have been involved in a lawsuit over the Oculus VR system forever. It all started in 2014, which certainly feels like an eternity ago. In 2017, Zenimax was awarded $500 million by a judge, but that was later cut in half upon appeal. That then led to even more appeals, though those have now been dropped. The two companies reached a settlement outside of court through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals mediation program. The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed and they likely never will be.

Both sides seem to be quite pleased with the outcome, and Zenimax Chairman and CEO Robert Altman said, “We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties.”

A representative for Facebook, who own Oculus said, “We’re pleased to put this behind us and continue building the future of VR.”

It’s nice to see this story finally put to rest.

Source: Games Industry

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MMO Money: Star Citizen Reaches $200 Million Milestone

This week we have a few last third quarter reports to take a look at. This time for NetEase, who is currently in the public’s eye for their work on Diablo Immortal and Tencent who have been having a terrible year as far as their gaming division goes. Star Citizen also reached an all new fundraising milestone, which was received about as well as you might expect. Finally, just a week after DayZ went into beta they reached a milestone of their own.

 

Star Citizen Reaches $200 Million Milestone

This was the week that Star Citizen reached $200 million fundraised for their game. As you might expect though it wasn’t all celebrations. In a letter to the fans, Chris Roberts said that there are supporters from 171 different countries stretching from one end of the globe to the other. He also talks about how far the company has come in the last 6 years, in particular growing from just a handful of staff to more than 500 employees in 3 countries. The letter also goes into some detail about the future, talking about a new alpha build that is coming up and plans for a Squadron 42 roadmap.

However, on Reddit, and indeed across the internet this proved to be the perfect time for those who have issues with Star Citizen to speak out. For all the money that Star Citizen has continued to bring in, there have been a lot of issues and concerns that the studio isn’t going to deliver on the promised game. As time goes on the voice of discontent grows louder causing even more of a rift between those who still have high hopes for the game and those who have given up all hope.

 

Source: Roberts Space Industries, Reddit

 

Tencent Gaming Revenue Continues to Decline

Tencent mobile financials - MMOGames.com - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

If you don’t already know, there is much more to Tencent than just making games. In fact, in China, they are a massive multi-armed internet company that has music services, social media companies, e-commerce, and even movies. Warcraft, Wonder Woman, and Venom are just a few titles they’ve done that you might have heard of. Unfortunately, while the company as a whole is doing amazingly, revenue is up 24% year on year, the gaming division is still taking a massive hit. Online gaming revenue is down 4% in Q3, much of that decline is from the PC sector. Mobile gaming, however, has seen a bit of a boost which did offset some of the damages. This seems to suggest that gamers are moving away from PC gaming into mobile.

During the quarterly report to investors, Tencent didn’t mention the freeze on game licenses in China. Instead, they focused on the fact that they released 10 games last quarter and they have 15 approved for monetization in the works. This should give them a bit of a boost as they do still have a bit to work with. The company may actually be able to weather this storm after all. But, so long as the news from the Chinese government continues to be grim Tencent’s gaming division will keep feeling the pain.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

DayZ Sells 4 Million Units

DayZ3

Just a week after transitioning into beta testing Bohemia Interactive have announced that DayZ has sold 4 million units. The game has been playable in Early Access since December 2013. By January 2015 it had reached the 3 million user mark. Meaning that it took nearly 4 years to get another million on top of that. In that time, of course, the industry has gone through quite a lot of changes. Most notably is the rise of the Battle Royale genre which has spawned some of the most popular games in the world. Meanwhile, the zombie survival genre, which DayZ helped usher in is barely a faint memory at this point. A number of games inspired by DayZ were released which then spawned other survival games like Ark: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles. These days DayZ has acknowledged that they are a niche game for a niche audience and they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. They’ve also announced that they fully intend to stick to their 2018 launch date, which means they have just over a month left to go. When the game does finally launch it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see a small boost in purchases. But at this point, it seems likely that anyone who was going to buy the game has already done so and launching is merely a formality. Development will continue on the game well past launch as the studio continues to tweak the game to meet their goals.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

NetEase Quarterly Sees Growth

Diablo Immortal

Things are looking good for NetEase in the third quarter report with net revenue up, mobile gaming up, and success in their endeavors to bring Western games to China. Net Revenue is up for the company 35.1% year on year, bringing it up to 16.9 billion yuan, $2.5 billion USD. Of that online gaming accounted for $1.5 billion which is up 27.6% year on year. In Q3 the company released a number of quite successful mobile games. They also launched World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in China which saw the number of subscribers and the revenue go up. They aren’t likely to feel any backlash from Diablo Immortals until Q4. Though the expected backlash financially isn’t expected to be nearly as bad as the outcry about the game would suggest. Minecraft in China got another 50 million players between the Q2 and Q3 reports. During the report, they talked about the global audience and how it has benefited them.

“Additionally, we have taken a more global view of our online games business. As a result, our international expansion, took another leap forward this quarter, contributing more than 10 percent of total online game net revenues for the first time in our company’s history. We are also very excited about our collaboration with Blizzard to bring one of their biggest games to mobile players, increasing our visibility and expanding our foothold in the global online games market.”

 

Source: Quarterly Report

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