the consolidation of the games industry

ftc-hearings-could-delay-microsoft’s-buyout-of-activision-blizzard Rock,Paper,Shotgun

FTC hearings could delay Microsoft’s buyout of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft were hoping to complete their takeover of Activision Blizzard by the end of their financial year in June. That’s looking less likely now that the US Federal Trade Commission have published a schedule that sets dates for final hearings to decide on the merger, and they’re going to begin on August 2nd. As this is just the kick off for hearings about the case, it’s likely that any FTC decision on whether the $68.7 billion (£56 billion) deal can go ahead will take some time to emerge. Read more

jagex-are-buying-the-scum-devs Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Jagex are buying the Scum devs

Cambridge-based Runescape publisher Jagex have announced they’ve acquired Gamepires, the devs behind open-world survival sandbox Scum. The deal was made for an undisclosed amount. Both companies said they’re now looking to work together to “accelerate Scum”, and release it in 1.0 across multiple platforms in the future. Read more

gabe-newell-shrugs-off-microsoft’s-legal-commitment-to-keep-call-of-duty-on-steam Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Gabe Newell shrugs off Microsoft’s legal commitment to keep Call Of Duty on Steam

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft are currently trying to buy Activision Blizzard. Competition regulators from the UK, the EU and the US have been questioning the deal, so in an attempt to reassure them last month Microsoft apparently offered Sony a ten-year commitment to keep selling Call Of Duty on Playstation. Today, Xbox Head Phill Spencer announced that they’ve made a similar 10-year CoD commitment to Steam and, uh, Nintendo, on which no CoD games currently exist. Nintendo have signed, while Valve CEO Gabe Newell says his company won’t bother with a legal agreement, in part because they don’t believe…

somerville-developers-jumpship-are-being-bought-by-thunderful Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Somerville developers Jumpship are being bought by Thunderful

Jumpship are only just releasing their first game today, alien invasion dad-venture Somerville, but they’ve been snapped up by publishers Thunderful. The small studio based in Guildford will still be free to pursue its own creative projects, continuing to focus on story-driven games such as Somerville. Co-founder of Jumpship and former CEO of Playdead Dino Patti will become Thunderful’s Strategic Advisor, but remains with the studio. Read more

microsoft-defend-activision-blizzard-buyout-by-saying-the-company-don’t-make-any-“must-have”-games Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Microsoft defend Activision-Blizzard buyout by saying the company don’t make any “must have” games

Microsoft have justified their $68.7 billion ($56 billion) purchase of Call Of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard by telling regulators that the company doesn’t produce “must have” games. If that’s making you ask why they’d stump up more than any other tech buyout in history for the privilege of owning a company that doesn’t have any killer apps in its stables, then you can line up right behind me, bosmang. Read more

blizzard-acquire-spellbreak-studio-to-focus-on-world-of-warcraft-expansions Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Blizzard acquire Spellbreak studio to focus on World Of Warcraft expansions

Blizzard is buying the development studio responsible for magical battle royale Spellbreak, Proletariat, and moving their staff over to work on World Of Warcraft. The purveyors of all things Azeroth confirmed the buyout in a statement to VentureBeat. News of the acquisition comes just a day after Spellbreak’s imminent demise was revealed by Proletariat on the game’s website. Read more

square-enix-sell-tomb-raider,-deux-ex-and-several-studios-to-embracer-group Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Square Enix sell Tomb Raider, Deux Ex and several studios to Embracer Group

Square Enix are to sell most of their Western studios and intellectual property such as Tomb Raider, Deux Ex, Thief and Legacy Of Kain to Sweden’s Embracer Group for $300 million (£240 million) in cash, it has been announced. The studios being sold to Embracer include Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal, but not the UK-based Square Enix Collective. This means Square will retain publishing rights to IP including Life Is Strange, Just Cause and Outriders. The deal transfers around 1,100 staff to Embracer and more than 50 ‘back-catalogue’ games. It’s expected to conclude sometime between July and September,…

activision-blizzard-shareholders-approve-the-company’s-$69-billion-acquisition-by-microsoft Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Activision Blizzard shareholders approve the company’s $69 billion acquisition by Microsoft

Shareholders in Activision Blizzard approved overwhelmingly to accept Microsoft Corporation’s offer of $68.7 billion (£54.66 billion) to acquire the company at yesterday’s Special Meeting of Stockholders. More than 98% of the shares voted in favour of the buyout offer, Activision Blizzard confirmed in a statement released on their website. The largest payment for a technology company in recorded history, toppling Dell’s acquisition of EMC Data Storage from 2016, it’s now expected the deal will conclude during Microsoft’s fiscal year, which ends on June 30th 2023. Read more

mythforce-looks-like-a-first-person-80s-cartoon Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Mythforce looks like a first-person 80s cartoon

Beamdog, the Canadian studio behind the ‘Enhanced Edition’ remasters of Planescape: Torment and Baldur’s Gate, have announced their first original game: Mythforce. It’s a roguelikelike first-person stabber with a striking visual style inspired by 80s children’s cartoons. Also, Beamdog are being bought by Aspyr Media, joining the mahoosive Embracer Group as the consolidation of the games industry continues. Read more

gabe-newell-talks-steam-deck,-crypto-risks-and-why-the-pc-industry-“won’t-tolerate”-closed-platforms Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Gabe Newell talks Steam Deck, crypto risks and why the PC industry “won’t tolerate” closed platforms

I recently had the chance to grill Gabe Newell – Valve president and co-founder, plus brain tech enthusiast – about the Steam Deck. What followed did indeed start with a look at Valve’s portable PC, including the lessons learned from the company’s past hardware attempts, but it soon swerved into a wider-ranging discussion on cryptocurrency, NFTs, consolidation issues affecting the games industry and whether there might be whole new Steam Decks in the future. Come and read the full Q&A below. Read more

tencent-buying-former-bioware-general-manager’s-new-studio Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Tencent buying former BioWare general manager’s new studio

Three months after the new studio of former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn announced their game Nightingale, they’re being bought by Tencent. The media conglomerate are buying the studio, Inflexion Games, off tech company Improbable, who say they’re too busy with the metaverse nowadays. So far, the plan remains the same: launch the multiplayer Victorian fantasy craft-o-survival game into early access later this year. Read more

ubisoft-say-they’d-consider-being-bought-if-someone-offered Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Ubisoft say they’d consider being bought if someone offered

Right now, every big games company’s shareholders have two questions: 1) can we get rich off NFTs? 2) can we get rich being bought by a larger company? Well, Ubisoft have made their stupid-ass stance on NFTs quite clear, so let’s move on to question two. In a recent financial conference call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said they think they’re good to stand independent, but if someone had a juicy offer, well, they might think about it. But that’s a noncommittal business answer, really, just business as usual. Read more

sony-are-buying-destiny-devs-bungie-for-$3.6-billion Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Sony are buying Destiny devs Bungie for $3.6 billion

Just when you thought all the big movers and shakers had done their multi-billion dollar acquisition deals for the year, Sony have just announced they’re buying Bungie for $3.6 billion. A small sum, perhaps, in the face of the $69 billion Microsoft are currently shelling out for Activision Blizzard, but rather than simply subsuming the Destiny developer into the PlayStation mothership, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan has said that Bungie will “remain an independent and multi-platform studio and publisher.” Well! Read more

microsoft-are-buying-activision-blizzard-for-$69-billion Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Microsoft are buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion

In the wake of scandal and lawsuits alleging a culture of discrimination and harrassment at Activision Blizzard, Microsoft today announced they’re buying the company. Wait, hang on. What. That’s not what I expected when Xbox head Phil Spencer told staff he was “evaluating all aspects of [Xbox’s] relationship” with Activision Blizzard. Microsoft plan to pay $68.7 billion (£50 billion) for the company, which will nab them games including Warcraft, Call Of Duty, and Overwatch. Jesus. Read more