Market Wire | March 6, 2023
Sony eyeing Take-Two for acquisition, Game over for live ops games?, Dr. Disrespect excited for $100K in-game items
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In the news this week:
Rumors Of Sony Expanding Gaming Empire With Take-Two Interactive Acquisition Bubble Up (Benzinga)
Is it game over for Live Ops games? (PocketGamer)
Dr Disrespect is excited for ‘$100k’ blockchain items in games (Video Games Chronicle)
Top 10 Charts
Looks like Street Fighter: Duel burst onto the scene for downloads with a very strong start both worldwide and in the US (see below).
While downloads are starting to settle down, good job by Tencent + Crunchyroll games for an impressive start.
More specific download data on Street Fighter: Duel below:
Top 10 Publishers by Rank
Top 5 Trending
#1. Rumors Of Sony Expanding Gaming Empire With Take-Two Interactive Acquisition Bubble Up (Benzinga)
Benzinga reported that rumors indicate that Sony may be considering an acquisition of Take-Two Interactive.
Take-Two is a holding company including major game studios such as 2K Games, Rockstar, Visual Concepts, and Zynga
Company has a $19.06B market cap
Speculation that this move is in response to Microsoft’s pending $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard
“[Take-Two’s] value is expected to significantly increase with the release of the upcoming GTA 6, so it'd be wise for Sony to make a move before that.”
According to the Benzinga post, the rumors came from gamer Rythian on Twitter:
However, don’t forget that it’s been rumored before that Sony was interested in Take-Two back in 2019 for an all-cash deal at $130/share.
About those rumors Sony is buying Take-Two... (GamesIndustry.biz)
#2. Is it game over for Live Ops games? (PocketGamer)
“The last few weeks have seen some bad news for some high profile live service games. This includes highly anticipated titles on PC, console and mobile such as Rumbleverse, Apex Legends Mobile and CrossfireXL. This has led to several articles and opinion pieces decrying that the live service game model is dying. But let’s take a bit of a closer look behind the details and ask the question; is there actually evidence to back up that claim?”
The author then discusses some potential explanations:
Cost of Living Crisis: “Firstly, we need to consider the broader economic context. We’re in a cost-of-living crisis, have an economy with significant inflation and increasing costs for user acquisition.”
AAA Don’t Understand Live-ops: “I often hear the argument that AAA teams are still struggling to adapt to the very different ways of development that live services require. However, is that actually true? We see titles like Fortnite, COD, DOTA and Clash Royale delivering amazing experiences to their huge player bases with a clear service mindset. However, to deliver at that scale is no trivial feat.”
It’s Not Unusual: “It’s also important to remember that it is completely normal that some games get pulled before release and others get taken off the market post release, regardless of whether they are Products or Services.”
Author Oscar Clark then hedges in the end by saying: “Live service games are here to stay and can be a positive force for creating amazing and lasting playing experiences, as well as more sustainable game studios.”
While I think the topic of this post is good, I did hope for a bit more depth and discussion here. Finally, it’d be great if the author presented a stronger point of view rather than hedging.
In my view, I believe the operating environment for liveops games actually hasn’t changed as much as many people claim. We lived in a time of excess: zero interest rates lowering the bar for new game projects, gross extrapolation of success with faulty models built by MBAs who were trained not to rock the boat, and just general typical corporate bs with overly optimistic models without true diligence to justify corporate empire building.
Today, sure the environment is tougher but it feels like much, if not most, of the finger pointing on a tough environment has to do with the return to fundamentals and physics rather than a harshly different operating environment.
#3. Dr Disrespect is excited for ‘$100k’ blockchain items in games (Video Games Chronicle)
Dr. Disrespect “recently founded developer Midnight Society, which is working on a PvP shooter called Deadrop.”
Deadrop reportedly will use NFTs that can be found in game and taken out of the game for financial reward by players.
Ubisoft briefly experimented with NFTs it sold in Ghost Recon Breakpoint but “was met with overwhelming backlash by players.”
What do you guys think? Are in-game NFTs that can be found and taken out of game a huge new pvp experience?
Written by Joseph Kim and Ryan Wilson.