Sony, The Witcher, Tencent… the business news of the week

business news Sony, The Witcher, Tencent… the business news of the week

Sales figures, studio takeovers, financial statements, developer transfer window, investments… if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on the business news of the past week.

Summary

  • Sony buys Haven Studios
  • CD Projekt and Epic Games partner for upcoming The Witcher
  • Tencent Games: record turnover in 2021, ahead of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo
  • Briefly in the business news of the week

Sony buys Haven Studios

Haven joins the PlayStation Studios family. Sony had already invested in this studio led by Jade Raymond when it was founded last year, while ordering a new exclusive PlayStation franchise from it. This relationship therefore goes (already) to the next step: “we have been impressed with the growth and progress of the studio”, said Hermen Hulst, boss of PlayStation Studios.

Based in Montreal, Haven currently has nearly 60 employees, mainly veterans who have worked at Ubisoft, Electronic Arts or Google alongside Jade Raymond. Known as a producer (Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell Blacklist …), the Canadian had led Stadia studios between 2019 and 2021 before embarking on this new adventure.

We now know that the new AAA license in preparation at Haven is a service game “with an ever-changing world of freedom, passion and zest to keep gamers entertained for years to come”. After the takeover of Bungie at the end of January, Sony had as a reminder announced its objective of releasing 10 service games by March 2026.

Press release by Jade Raymond

A year ago this month, Haven Studios embarked on an adventure with a small team, but big ambitions. Our goal was to build a studio that allowed us to make the games we always wanted to make, games we actually wanted to play!

We have made incredible progress in such a short time thanks to our passionate team and their exceptional efforts. At Haven, we have established a culture based on kindness, flexibility and the courage to let your creativity run free. Our first franchise for PlayStation is poised to deliver an AAA multiplayer experience with an ever-evolving world centered on freedom, passion and zest to keep players entertained for years to come.

Today, the Haven team begins a new stage in its adventure by joining the PlayStation Studios family. Working with Hermen, Connie Booth and the entire PlayStation team last year was a career highlight. SIE is a true support who completely understands what the creative process is and what makes a AAA hit. They gave us carte blanche to bring our bold project to life and make our dreams come true. We are therefore delighted to take this opportunity to strengthen our partnership.

As an in-house studio at SIE, we will have the chance to collaborate with some of the most famous development teams in the world, including studios like Guerrilla, Naughty Dog, Media Molecule or Insomniac Games, the creators of games that have inspired us since years as gamers and developers. We look forward to learning from these world-renowned studios as well as the exceptional creative, technical, and marketing teams whose expertise will enable us to create even more amazing games for players.

Many thanks to the entire Haven team. This year has been one of the most rewarding of my entire career. We look forward to revealing more to players around the world. We are just beginning what will surely be a wonderful adventure that will span generations.

CD Projekt and Epic Games partner for upcoming The Witcher

Sony, The Witcher, Tencent... the business news of the week

CD Projekt has announced that the next big The Witcher game is currently in development. This will mark the start of a “new saga for the franchise”but also a technological partnership with Epic Games. Indeed, this new opus will be based on the brand new Unreal Engine 5 developed by Tim Sweeney’s company. The Polish studio therefore leaves aside its in-house REDengine engine, used since The Witcher 2 (2011). A choice that should save development time and resources, as CTO Paweł Zawodny explains:

It is vital for CD PROJEKT RED to have a technical direction for our future game as soon as possible; in the past, we have spent a lot of resources and energy to evolve and adapt the REDengine with each new game release. This cooperation is so exciting, because it will improve development anticipation and efficiency, while giving us access to state-of-the-art development tools. I can’t wait to see the amazing games we’ll be creating using Unreal Engine 5! Paweł Zawodny, technical director.

Epic designed the Unreal Engine 5 to allow developers to create dynamic open worlds at an unprecedented scale and level of fidelity. We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with CD PROJEKT RED to push the boundaries of interactive storytelling and gameplay together, and this effort will benefit the developer community for years to come. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.

In its press release, CD Projekt recalls that the REDengine will obviously always be used for the development of Cyberpunk 2077 extensions. Finally, the studio clarified that its partnership with Epic Games does not mean that the next The Witcher will be exclusive to Epic Games. Store.

Tencent Games: record turnover in 2021, ahead of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo

Sony, The Witcher, Tencent... the business news of the week

Tencent unveiled its financial results for the year 2021. With its video game activity alone, the Chinese giant achieved a colossal turnover of 25 billion euros, even higher than in 2020 (21.6 billion euros). Enough to surpass any other player in the video game industry, whether PlayStation (22.5 billion euros), Xbox (14.8 billion euros), Nintendo (13.9 billion euros) or even its Chinese competitor NetEase Games (12.4 billion euros).

The growth of Tencent Games in 2021 can be explained by the increased revenue in foreign markets (outside China). These climbed 31% to reach 6.4 billion euros, or 26% of total turnover, the company’s objective being to reach 50%. League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, Valorant, Brawl Stars and Clash of Clans are cited as key international contributors.

Among international mobile games, we have developed 5 of the top 10 titles measured by number of daily active users. The League of Legends anime series Arcane topped Netflix’s English-language TV series chart in the week following its release. The League of Legends World Championship cemented its leadership as the most popular esports tournament, attracting a record number of approximately 74 million concurrent viewers for the finals. Press release from Tencent.

In China, Tencent’s game revenue grew by 6%, despite local government measures to block new game releases and reduce playtime for minors. Spending by underage players only represents 1.5% of total revenue. Honor of Kings is still the main source of income, but Tencent also cites the performance of League of Legends: Wild Rift and Fight of The Golden Spatula, local adaptation of Teamfight Tactics.

Finally, it should be noted that the Tencent group as a whole achieved a turnover of 80 billion euros and a net profit of 32 billion euros in 2021. The firm notably owns the multi-service application WeChat, which has more than one billion users in China.

Briefly in the business news of the week

  • France Charts – The SELL unveiled the best physical sales in France for the week of March 7 to 13. The top two spots in the top 5 are taken by Gran Turismo 7 (PS5 and PS4 version), followed by Pokémon Legends Arceus, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Mario Party Superstars.
  • Game Pass – On the occasion of GDC 2022, Microsoft has unveiled several statistics regarding the Game Pass. For example, according to the American firm, subscribers spend more money (+50%) than non-subscribers. All the details can be found in our dedicated article.
  • Xbox xFFF – Xbox is now the official partner of the French men’s and women’s national football teams. This partnership will in particular give rise to Xbox FC, a program which aims to strengthen the FFF’s support for amateur football by renovating the infrastructure of several clubs in France.
  • ”’Netflix”’ – The streaming giant has announced the acquisition of studio Boss Fight Entertainment, known for mobile free-to-play Dungeon Boss. This is its third studio takeover in six months, after Next Games and Night School Studio.
  • ”’[email protected]”’ – Since the program launched in 2013, indie developers have earned over $2.5 billion in royalties.
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Sony, The Witcher, Tencent… the business news of the week

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