What You Missed This Week in Video Games

Articles From: The Fly
Website: The Fly

New “Tekken” and “Like a Dragon” games out this week

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

NEW RELEASES: 

Among this week’s major new releases is Bandai Namco’s (NCBDY) latest fighting game “Tekken 8,” which launches on January 26 for PC, PlayStation 5 (SONY), and Xbox Series X/S (MSFT). Also out this week is Sega’s (SGAMY) “Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth,” a sequel to 2020 title “Yakuza: Like a Dragon.” The game releases January 26 for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

CIRCANA U.S.: 

Circana analyst Mat Piscatella said that annual U.S. spending on video game content, hardware and accessories reached $57.2B in 2023, an increase of 1% when compared to 2022. December spending grew 4%, to $7.9B. Video game content spending ended 2023 1% higher than 2022, driven by a 13% increase in digital premium download spending on console platforms. Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) “Hogwarts Legacy” finished as 2023’s best-selling video game in the U.S. market in dollar sales. It is the first year since 2008 that a non-“Call of Duty” or Rockstar (TTWO) developed title ranked first. “Hogwarts Legacy” was the best-selling game of the year on PlayStation platforms, ranked 2nd on Xbox platforms, and placed 5th on Nintendo (NTDOY) platforms. Activision’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III” was both the best-selling game of Dec and the #2 best-selling game of 2023. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” ended 2023 ranked 7th. Call of Duty was the best-selling franchise in U.S. full game dollar sales for a record 15th consecutive year.

Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” was the best-selling game of 2023 on Nintendo platforms, and 5th best-selling game overall, despite Nintendo not sharing its digital sales for inclusion in the best-selling title charts. Epic Games’ “Fortnite” featured the highest unique monthly active users on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles in the US market during December, while indie title “Lethal Company” ranked 1st on Steam. Other top sellers for the month of December were Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros. Wonder,” Electronic Arts’ (EA) “Madden NFL 24,” Sony’s “Spider-Man 2,” and Ubisoft’s (UBSFY) “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.” Investors in Epic include Tencent (TCEHY), KKR (KKR), Disney (DIS), and Sony.

EUROPE GAME SALES: 

Over 2.6M PC and console video game units were purchased across Europe in December, Gamesindustry.biz’s Christpher Dring reported last week, citing the latest GSD data. EA’s “EA Sports FC 24” was the best-selling title during the month by a considerable margin, though the game’s sales are 11.5% lower than what “FIFA 23” sold in December 2022, the author notes. Meanwhile, Activision’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” was the second-best seller in December, with Warner Bros. Discovery’s “Hogwarts Legacy” in third, Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” in fourth place, and Take-Two’s “Grand Theft Auto V” rounding out the top five. Other top sellers for the month in Europe were Ubisoft’s “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora,” Sony’s “Spider-Man 2,” and Take-Two’s “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

RIOT LAYOFFS: 

Tencent’s Riot Games announced that it is refocusing on fewer, high-impact projects to move the company to a “more sustainable future.” “For most of our history, we’ve managed to avoid days like this, but this decision is critical for the future of Riot,” the “League of Legends” developer said. “This isn’t to appease shareholders or to hit a quarterly earnings number-it’s a necessity. Over the past few years, as Riot more than doubled in headcount, we spread our efforts across more and more projects without sharp enough razors to decide what players needed most. The adjustments we’re making aim to focus us on the areas that have the greatest impact on your experience while reducing investment on things that don’t. This means we’re eliminating about 530 roles globally, which represents around 11% of Rioters, with the biggest impact to teams outside of core development. We recognize that many of you don’t just care about the games you play, but also about the people who make them. These are not just organizational changes; they affect individuals and families, and we do our best to approach these decisions with respect and sensitivity.” As part of such moves, the company is ending new game development under Riot Forge after the upcoming release of “Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story.”

  • China regulators are appearing to backpedal from plans to crack down on how much people spend on online video games, NY Times reports [read more]
  • CD Projekt (OTGLY) is aiming to start production on its new “Witcher” project this year, Reuters reports [read more]
  • Pocket Pair’s “Palworld,” an action-adventure survival game with features that have drawn comparisons to “Pokemon” and “Minecraft,” has sold over 6M copies in its first four days of Early Access [read more]
  • EA has soft launched “Plants vs. Zombies 3: Welcome to Zomburbia” in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Philippines, and the Republic of Ireland [read more]

Originally Posted January 23, 2024 – What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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