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What You Missed This Week in Video Games

Posted August 30, 2023
Sam Martinelli
The Fly

July U.S. game spending rose 1% year-over-year, says Circana

“Game On” is The Fly’s weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.


Circana analyst Mat Piscatella said that July 2023 U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware and accessories totaled $4.2B, an increase of 1% vs YA. A decline in video game hardware spending nearly offset gains across both content and accessories. 2023 year-to-date spending has reached $30.7B, 1% ahead of a year ago. Spending on video game content increased by 2% in July vs YA, reaching $3.7B. On console and PC platforms, digital premium download spending gains offset declines in physical and digital add-ons. Both mobile and non-mobile video game subscription spending were up slightly. Gearbox’s “Remnant II” was the best-selling game of July, instantly becoming the #18 best-selling game of 2023 year-to-date. Two other new releases appeared among the month’s top 20 best-sellers, including Nintendo’s (NTDOY) “Pikmin 4” and Capcom’s (CCOEY) “Exoprimal.” Other top sellers during the month of July were Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) “Diablo 4” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” Square Enix’s (SQNXF) “Final Fantasy XVI,” Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” and Capcom’s “Street Fighter 6.”

On the hardware side, video game hardware spending fell 19% when compared to a year ago, to $292M, Piscatella said. Declines were experienced across PlayStation 5 (SONY), Xbox Series (MSFT) and Switch. PlayStation 5 was the best-selling hardware platform in both unit and dollar sales during July 2023, with Switch ranking 2nd across both measures. PlayStation 5 continued to lead the 2023 hardware market across both units and dollars. Year-to-date hardware spending was 17% higher when compared to the same period in 2022, at $2.9B.


Late last week, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Audeze, a leading audio technology brand and pioneer of high-end gaming headphones. The acquisition will strengthen SIE’s efforts to continue innovating when it comes to the audio experience of PlayStation games. Audeze will continue to operate independently and develop multi-platform products, while benefiting from being a part of the PlayStation ecosystem. Based in Santa Ana, Calif., Audeze develops award-winning headphones for the professional audio, audiophile, and gaming markets. These headphones use Audeze’s patented technologies and unique planar magnetic drivers to deliver an outstanding sound experience for consumers as well as recording professionals, including sound engineers at many game development studios. Audeze designs and manufactures its planar magnetic drivers and professional headphones in its California facility.

“Audeze is a premier brand for headphones, and this acquisition highlights Sony Interactive’s focus on innovation and providing the best audio experience to PlayStation players,” said Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President, Platform Experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “We’re excited to bring Audeze’s expertise into the PlayStation ecosystem, building on the great strides we’ve made with PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech and the Pulse 3D wireless headset.” Terms of this transaction, including the acquisition cost, are not disclosed due to contractual commitments.


Epic Games said in a blog post last week, “We’re introducing the Epic First Run program: an opt-in exclusivity program for third-party developers on the Epic Games Store. The new Epic First Run program gives participants the opportunity to boost their net revenue from user spending on eligible products from 88% to 100% in their first six months on the Epic Games Store. After their six-month run, participants will continue to benefit from Epic’s 88%/12% revenue split. The Epic Games Store is home to a huge, rapidly growing global audience with over 230 million players and 68M monthly active users. Participating products in the Epic First Run program will be presented to those users on-store with new exclusive badging, homepage placements, and dedicated collections. In addition, products will be featured in relevant store campaigns including sales, events, and editorial as applicable. Once a product joins the program, it will benefit from continued exposure throughout its Epic First Run. The new program gives developers of any scale the opportunity to activate our global audience right at launch. While this is a major part of the release journey, that’s not all of it. For this program to reach peak efficiency, developers must promote their products early and often with their target audience. Learn more about publishing best practices by reading our marketing tips found in our Developer Resources Documentation. The Epic First Run program is open to developers and publishers on the Epic Games Store with eligible new releases launching on or after October 16.” Investors in Epic include Tencent (TCEHY), KKR (KKR), Disney (DIS), and Sony.

  • The European Commission told The Verge it may need to reassess Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard deal [read more]
  • Electronic Arts’ (EA) BioWare laid off 50 staff, VentureBeat reports [read more]
  • Larian Studios confirmed that “Baldur’s Gate 3” will release on Xbox Series later this year [read more]
  • NetEase (NTES) reported upbeat Q2 earnings, though revenue fell below Wall Street estimates [read more]

Originally Posted August 29, 2023 – What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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