Episode 150: Square Enix Says No Flippin’ Thanks to its Web3 CEO (News Show)
Square Enix is having a time of it, as its Web3-loving CEO is leaving and Luminous Productions is no more. Also: Ubisoft and Activision messing up labor issues again, and the US is investigating extremism in online games. Also, Manda is going to talk to you about The Lord of the Rings, and Mike will do his best Gollum impression. Maybe.
You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise!
- [00:01:04] - Square Enix Needs to Sort Itself Out
- [00:05:41] - The US Government Wants to Know About Extremism in Online Games
- [00:09:21] - Epic Lays Out Its Plans for the Future of Epic Games Store
- [00:13:29] - Investment Interlude
- [00:17:04] - Quick Hits
- [00:33:06] - Labor Report
- [00:42:54] - FAFO!
- An Update from Luminous Productions | Luminous Productions (@LumiPro_EN) on Twitter
- Reorganization within the SQUARE ENIX GROUP | Square Enix
- "FINAL FANTASY XVI" Trial Review & Interview! Overwhelming presence of the summoned beast felt in full-scale action! | PlayStation Blog JP
- Yuji Naka admits to insider trading | Square Enix
- Notification of Changes in the Representative Director of the Company and a Consolidated Subsidiary | Square Enix
- Exclusive: U.S. rep mulls legislative action to press games industry on extremism | Axios
- Epic Games Store Launches Self-Publishing Tools for Game Developers and Publishers | Epic Games
- Beyond Good And Evil 2 Studio Head No Longer At Ubisoft | Kotaku
- EA Lays Off Over 200 Apex Legends Testers Over Zoom Call | Kotaku
- Activision fired two testers for 'profane' language, now a major tech union is filing charges | PC Gamer
- Take-Two confirms layoffs following 'exponential growth in recent years' | PC Gamer
- Gameloft closes Budapest studio as it shifts focus to console and PC | GameDeveloper
- Lince Works is Shutting Down | Lince Works (@LinceWorks) on Twitter
- Destiny 2 cheat maker AimJunkies ordered to pay $4.4 million to Bungie | Game Developer
- Bungie seeks $6.7m default judgment in case against LaviCheats | GamesIndustry
Altri episodi di "Virtual Economy"
Episode 153: The UK CMA Throws a Temper Tantrum Over the Activision Acquisition (News Show)
1:17:12One day we’ll be free of the Microsoft/Activision deal, but that day is NOT today. Also: Nintendo, EA, Starbreeze, Square Enix, Capcom, and Take-Two Earnings, acquisitions, the Circana US Video Game Spending report for April 2023, more layoffs, and a Double FAFO. Support Miranda Due, former Unity employee, who is looking for work. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:00:48] - Nintendo Earnings FY23 [00:08:06] - EA Earnings Q4 and FY23 [00:16:47] - Starbreeze Q1 FY23 Earnings [00:21:39] - Square Enix FY23 Earnings [00:25:09] - Capcom FY23 Earnings [00:29:19] - Take-Two FY23 Earnings [00:43:08] - Investment Interlude [00:51:17] - Quick Hits [00:57:24] - Labor Report [01:04:56] - Circana Report on US Video Game Spending for April 2023 [01:09:03] - Double FAFO SOURCES Nintendo Full Year FY23 Earnings | Nintendo EA Q4 and Full Year FY23 Earnings | EA Starbreeze Q1 FY23 Earnings | Starbreeze Square Enix FY23 Earnings | Square Enix Capcom FY23 Earnings | Capcom Take-Two FY23 Earnings | Take-Two CD Projekt makes layoffs after rescoping its Witcher spin-off game | VGC Sony Studio PixelOpus, Best-Known for Concrete Genie, Is Shutting Down | IGN PlayStation-backed Deviation Games hit with layoffs | VGC Ubisoft Hit by More Layoffs in Customer Service and Elsewhere | IGN Report: Brace Yourself Games lays off half its staff | Game Developer Riot's $100 million gender discrimination settlement granted final approval | Game Developer Unity employee fired for sharing comments from executive suggesting employees rent in downtown SF to make RTO easier | Miranda Due (@MirandaDue) on Twitter Destiny 2 cheat maker refuses to show up for court and now owes Bungie $6.7 million | PCGamer INVESTMENT INTERLUDE ANTICIPATED ACQUISITION BY MICROSOFT CORPORATION OF ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. | UK Competition and Markets Authority Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, subject to conditions | European Commission UK CMA Responds to EU Approval of Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard | UK Competition and Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) on Twitter Microsoft President Brad Smith on EU Decision | Brad Smith (@bradsmi) on Twitter Certain Affinity Announces Grand Opening of New Toronto Facility | Certain Affinity KEYWORDS STUDIOS EXTENDS US PRESENCE AND ADDS FURTHER AAA EXPERTISE TO ITS CREATE SERVICE LINE THROUGH THE ACQUISITION OF HARDSUIT | Keywords Studios Atari Closes the Acquisition of Nightdive Studios | Atari
Episode 152: Sega’s Angry Birds Acquisition and Life After Microsoft/Activision (News Show)
1:20:23After years of stumbling in the mobile space, Sega decided to throw $775M at the problem with the acquisition of Rovio. Also: Lots of layoffs, some acquisitions, a bunch of earnings, and the March Circana report on U.S. video game spending. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:01:06] - Epic v Apple… The End [00:04:03] - Microsoft Earnings for Q3 FY23 [00:14:21] - Sony Earnings for FY23 [00:18:13] - Remedy Earnings for Q1 FY23 [00:21:02] - Paradox Earnings for Q1 FY23 [00:23:14] - Sega Earnings for FY23 [00:26:32] - Investment Interlude [00:42:23] - Quick Hits [00:55:35] - Labor Report [01:03:59] - Circana U.S. Video Game Spending report for March 2023 [01:15:57] - FAFO SOURCES UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT | Court Listener Microsoft - Earnings Release FY23 Q3 | Microsoft Sony - FY2022 Earnings Announcement | Sony REMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PLC’S BUSINESS REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2023 | Remedy Paradox Interim report January – March 2023 | Paradox Sega Consolidated Financial Results for the Year Ending March 31 | Sega SEGA to Acquire Rovio Entertainment Oyj | Business Newswire Paradox closing Umea and Malmo studios to veer away from decentralized development | Game Developer Amazon Lays Off About 100 Employees in Its Gaming Divisions | Bloomberg (Paywall) InnoGames lays off 75 staff | GamesIndustry Ready at Dawn and Downpour Interactive impacted by Meta layoffs | Game Developer Sega of America is the latest video game studio to organize | The Verge Sega of America president reacts to unionization | Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) on Twitter Phoenix Labs cuts staff | GamesIndustry Documents in Activision Blizzard, Case No. 31-CA-316279 | NLRB INVESTMENT INTERLUDE Devolver Purchased Doinksoft | Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) on Twitter Savvy Games Group To Acquire Leading Games Company Scopely | Savvy Games Focus Entertainment acquires the acclaimed UK-based Dovetail Games Group | Dovetail Games Sony is Fueling the Gamer Lawsuit Against the Microsoft / Activision Acquisition | Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) on Twitter Welcoming Firewalk Studios to the PlayStation Studios family | PlayStation Blog AQUIRIS is Joining Epic and Becoming Epic Games Brasil | Epic Games Atari Announces Acquisition of More than 100 PC and Console Titles from the 80s and 90s | GlobeNewswire
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Bonus Episode 8: The UK CMA Murdered the Microsoft/Activision Deal
42:15It's a very special, very weird episode from sunny Dubrovnik, Croatia! We're thrilled to have the one, the only ANDY PAN join us for a discussion about the UK Competition and Markets Authority's decision to deny Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard on the basis of the cloud gaming business. You can read the full decision here: Microsoft / Activision deal prevented to protect innovation and choice in cloud gaming. For the full context, listen to our recent legal issues episode from GDC. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise!
GDC 2023: I Fought the Law 2 - Legal Rumble in the Bay
1:12:03At GDC 2023, we got the gang back together for another down-and-dirty legal issues conversation. We're grateful to Brandon Huffman, founder of Odin Law & Media, and Ryan Black, partner at DLA Piper, for joining us again this year. On the docket for this year: The Rise and Fall of Web3 at GDC (Good riddance!) The state of mergers and acquisitions in the industry and beyond The growing need for unionization and the current labor initiatives across the industry The future of non-compete clauses in the United States The emerging challenges with AI technologies Looking toward the future of legal issues, including the fate of Section 230 (Safe Harbor) in the United States You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise!
Episode 151: E3 Can’t Claw Itself Out of the Grave (News Show)
1:14:03The new ReedPop-run E3 died before it could live… or was it… MURDERED?! (Spoiler: It was murdered.) Also: GameStop leans on cost cutting to finally turn a modest profit, Microsoft is one step closer to closing its Activision deal, established studios expand, while layoffs also run rampant. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:01:54] - E3 is DED! (Again!) [00:17:46] - Circana US Video Game Spending Report for February [00:25:14] - GameStop FY 2023 Earnings [00:29:43] - Investment Interlude [00:41:51] - Quick Hits [00:53:02] - Labor Report SOURCES GameStop Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2022 Results | GameStop Epic-Owned Bandcamp is Unionizing | Bandcamp United (@bandcampunited) on Twitter Twitch lays off hundreds amid Amazon cuts | Polygon 16 Years Of Twitch | Twitch Layoffs reported at Worms maker Team17 | Eurogamer Logitech Cuts 300 Jobs on Post-Covid Slump in Computer Gadgets | Bloomberg (Paywall) An update on our people and business | EA Disney Shuts Down Metaverse Unit as Part of First Wave of Layoffs | Variety INVESTMENT INTERLUDE UK regulator sides with Microsoft over Call of Duty on PlayStation concerns | The Verge Small band of gamers fail to block Microsoft Activision Blizzard bid | Eurogamer Ex-Blizzard leaders Jen Oneal and J. Allen Brack create startup studio Magic Soup Games | GamesBeat PCF GROUP (PEOPLE CAN FLY) WILL HAVE A NEW 10% SHAREHOLDER — KRAFTON INC., ONE OF SOUTH KOREA’S LARGEST GAME PUBLISHERS AND DEVELOPERS | People Can Fly Maximum Entertainment Completes the Acquisition of FUN Labs | Zordix Respawn opens third studio to keep Apex Legends going for '10 to 15 years' | GamesIndustry Total War makers open a third development studio | PC Gamer
Episode 150: Square Enix Says No Flippin’ Thanks to its Web3 CEO (News Show)
51:12Square Enix is having a time of it, as its Web3-loving CEO is leaving and Luminous Productions is no more. Also: Ubisoft and Activision messing up labor issues again, and the US is investigating extremism in online games. Also, Manda is going to talk to you about The Lord of the Rings, and Mike will do his best Gollum impression. Maybe. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:01:04] - Square Enix Needs to Sort Itself Out [00:05:41] - The US Government Wants to Know About Extremism in Online Games [00:09:21] - Epic Lays Out Its Plans for the Future of Epic Games Store [00:13:29] - Investment Interlude [00:17:04] - Quick Hits [00:33:06] - Labor Report [00:42:54] - FAFO! SOURCES An Update from Luminous Productions | Luminous Productions (@LumiPro_EN) on Twitter Reorganization within the SQUARE ENIX GROUP | Square Enix "FINAL FANTASY XVI" Trial Review & Interview! Overwhelming presence of the summoned beast felt in full-scale action! | PlayStation Blog JP Yuji Naka admits to insider trading | Square Enix Notification of Changes in the Representative Director of the Company and a Consolidated Subsidiary | Square Enix Exclusive: U.S. rep mulls legislative action to press games industry on extremism | Axios Epic Games Store Launches Self-Publishing Tools for Game Developers and Publishers | Epic Games Beyond Good And Evil 2 Studio Head No Longer At Ubisoft | Kotaku EA Lays Off Over 200 Apex Legends Testers Over Zoom Call | Kotaku Activision fired two testers for 'profane' language, now a major tech union is filing charges | PC Gamer Take-Two confirms layoffs following 'exponential growth in recent years' | PC Gamer Gameloft closes Budapest studio as it shifts focus to console and PC | GameDeveloper Lince Works is Shutting Down | Lince Works (@LinceWorks) on Twitter Destiny 2 cheat maker AimJunkies ordered to pay $4.4 million to Bungie | Game Developer Bungie seeks $6.7m default judgment in case against LaviCheats | GamesIndustry INVESTMENT INTERLUDE Canadian Gaming Leader Behaviour™ Interactive Acquires Award-Winning SockMonkey Studios | GamesPress EMBRACER GROUPS’S MIDDLE-EARTH ENTERPRISES AND NEW LINE CINEMA JOIN FORCES TO FURTHER EXPLORE THE CINEMATIC UNIVERSE OF “THE LORD OF THE RINGS” AND “THE HOBBIT” | Embracer Group
Episode 149: The Great Games as a Service Massacre (News Show)
1:16:01It’s been a bloody couple of weeks for service-based games, and we suspect the murderer is still on the loose. Also: IT’S EARNINGS SEASON, BAYBEEE! We’ve got a meaty plate of all your favorite cold cuts: EA, Capcom, Sony, Nintendo, Square Enix, Take-Two, Capcom, Sega, Embracer Group, Starbreeze, and more. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:02:28] - Sony Q3 FY22 Earnings [00:06:22] - Nintendo Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:15:12] - Square Enix Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:17:14] - EA Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:26:18] - Take-Two Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:32:16] - Capcom Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:35:29] - Sega Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:36:17] - Embracer Group Q3 FY23 Earnings [00:40:29] - Starbreeze Q4 FY22 Earnings [00:44:04] - Investment Interlude [00:52:18] - Quick Hits [00:58:09] - Labor Report [01:03:38] - NPD Report on US Video Game Spending for January 2023 [01:10:42] - Mike remembers there’s a listener question (oops!) SOURCES Sony FY2022 Q3 Earnings Announcement | Sony Nintendo Q3 FY23 Earnings | Nintendo Square Enix Q3 FY23 Earnings | Square Enix Electronic Arts Reports Q3 FY23 Financial Results | EA Take-Two Q3 FY23 Earnings | Take-Two Capcom Q3 FY23 Earnings | Capcom Sega Q3 FY23 Earnings | Sega Sammy EMBRACER GROUP PUBLISHES INTERIM REPORT Q3 OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2022 | Embracer Group Starbreeze Q4 FY2022 | Starbreeze NCsoft West lays off 20% of staff | GamesIndustry Tilting Point to cut 14% of its global staff | GamesIndustry Microsoft Studio Behind Halo Faces a Reboot on Years of Turmoil | Bloomberg Blizzard staffer alleges that Proletariat studio culture isn't progressive | GamesIndustry Activision Blizzard planning to end full remote work | Game Developer INVESTMENT INTERLUDE KEYWORDS STUDIOS’ ENGAGE DIVISION POWERS UP ITS CREATIVE HOUSE OF BRANDS TO SERVE GLOBAL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY | Keywords Zordix Reorganizes Maximum Entertainment | Maximum Entertainment (@maximumentmt) on Twitter Dauntless creator Phoenix Labs spins out of Sea/Garena | GamesBeat Notice of possible remedies | CMA
Episode 148: Dungeons & Dragons, New Coke, and Other Terrible Mistakes (News Show)
1:04:18Wizards of the Coast squandered goodwill to find itself right back where it started. Also: Earnings season has begun, the GDC State of the Industry report shows developers put the smackdown on Web3, NPD for December shows a bit of lift, and (as we grimly expected) we’re in the layoff bad times. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:01:17] - Learnings for the GDC State of the Industry Report [00:26:42] - Wizards of the Coast Fizzles OGL Update [00:30:05] - Microsoft Q2 FY23 Earnings [00:41:33] - Investment Interlude [00:45:38] - Quick Hits [00:52:36] - Labor Report [00:57:05] - NPD for December 2022 SOURCES Earnings Release FY23 Q2 | Microsoft Microsoft Corporation Form 8-K | United States SEC Xbox's Phil Spencer Says Microsoft's 10K Layoffs 'Hurts' In Email To Staff | Kotaku A Working Conversation About the Open Game License (OGL) | D&D Beyond OGL 1.0a & Creative Commons | D&D Beyond Unity lays off almost 300 staff | Eurogamer Riot Games to lay off nearly 50 staff as part of "strategic shifts" | Game Developer Hasbro lays off 15% of staff to cut costs | Eurogamer Ex-Sega developer highlights lack of credit for translators | Eurogamer Workers at World of Warcraft studio Proletariat withdraw union petition | Polygon INVESTMENT INTERLUDE Microsoft faces EU antitrust warning over Activision deal - sources | Reuters Playtika tries to buy Rovio | GamesIndustry SKYBOUND ENTERTAINMENT MAKES SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENT IN MEGA CAT STUDIOS | Skybound
Episode 147: Ubisoft in Crisis (Season 4 Premiere)
1:30:48We’re back for Season 4! Good thing we’re not on HBO Max, amirite? The ghosts of Ubisoft’s failure to care for its employees are now haunting its financial performance. Also: Let’s talk about D&D and Hasbro’s huge, shortsighted missteps with the OGL, Epic has been slapped with a fine over Fortnite, Zenimax QA workers unionize, while Activision Blizzard moves to make things hard for workers at recently acquired Proletariat. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! TIME STAMPS [00:02:34] - Dungeons & Dragons Rolls a Critical Miss [00:23:13] - Ubisoft’s No Good, Very Bad Day [00:34:48] - A Pair of Fortnite Stories [00:48:47] - Investment Interlude [01:05:02] - Quick Hits [01:19:40] - Labor Report SOURCES Dungeons & Dragons’ New License Tightens Its Grip on Competition | Gizmodo Let’s Take A Minute To Talk About D&D’s Open Gaming License (OGL) | Noah Downs on Medium A Legal Perspective on the OGL | Chris Reid (@NYGameLawyer) on Twitter Paizo Announces System-Neutral Open RPG License | Paizo An Update on the Open Game License (OGL) Canceled D&D Beyond Subscriptions Forced Hasbro's Hand | Gizmodo UBISOFT STRENGTHENS STRATEGIC FOCUS… | Ubisoft Ubisoft Delays Skull And Bones, Cancels More Games, And Announces New Cuts | Kotaku Parents say game developer made ‘Fortnite’ as ‘addictive as possible’ | Washington Post Epic Games Fined by FTC in Children’s ‘Fortnite’ Privacy Case | Bloomberg Law Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast Cancels Video Game Projects | Bloomberg (Paywall) Playtika to lay off over 600 staff; studios at risk, three games canned | Mobilegamer.biz Microsoft game makers unionize after vote passes by "supermajority" | Axios Proletariat Workers Become Third Group of Activision Blizzard Workers to Form Union with Communications Workers of America | Communications Workers of America EVERYONE DESERVES A VOTE | Proletariat INVESTMENT INTERLUDE MICROSOFT/ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PHASE 2 MERGER INQUIRY | UK Competition Markets Authority UK regulator extends deadline for investigation into Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal | Game Developer Exclusive: Microsoft, Activision back off aggressive claim in FTC case | Axios Microsoft Sued by Gamers Over $69 Billion Activision Deal (2) | Bloomberg Law Google, Nvidia Express Concerns to FTC About Microsoft’s Activision Deal | Bloomberg (Paywall) Yuga Labs Appoints Activision Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre as New CEO | Yuga Labs Jagex Acquires SCUM Developer Gamepires | Jagex NDREAMS ACQUIRES NEAR LIGHT | nDreams SkyBox Labs is joining NetEase Games | NetEase GEARBOX ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF CAPTURED DIMENSIONS | Gearbox ATARI: OPENING OF THE FRIENDLY TENDER OFFER FOR ATARI SHARES | Atari MY.GAMES ANNOUNCES BUSINESS RESTRUCTURING AND DECISION TO CEASE OPERATIONS IN THE RUSSIAN MARKET | My.Games
Episode 146: GameStop’s Still Hemorrhaging Money (News Show)
1:22:30It’s our season finale! GameStop has more than a little red on it, with losses continuing to mount on a crypto deal gone bust. Also: Microsoft makes nice with Nintendo (again) to pressure Sony, layoff continue to plague the industry, Zenimax QA workers on the path to unionization, and a fresh FAFO. Oh… and we have a tiny, little announcement. You can support Virtual Economy’s growth via our Ko-Fi and also purchase Virtual Economy merchandise! The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are ours and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of our employer or the organizations with which we work. TIME STAMPS [00:00:30] - Some exciting news! [00:05:44] - Gamestop Q3 FY2023 Earnings [00:14:20] - NPD U.S. Video Game Spending Report for November 2022 [00:19:46] - Twitch’s new Shield Mode [00:22:51] - Investment Interlude [00:49:36] - Quick Hits [00:54:19] - Labor Report [01:14:26] - Listener Question [01:16:01] - FAFO SOURCES GameStop Q3 FY2023 Earnings | GameStop GameStop begins layoff | Axios Protect Your Channel With Shield Mode | Twitch Activision Blizzard QA Workers Call for End to Bug Quotas | ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) on Twitter ‘Diablo IV’ developers work long hours, bracing for impending release | Washington Post Activision sues California agency that sued it over misconduct | Axios Zenimax QA Workers Will Unionize | ZeniMax Workers United - CWA (@ZenimaxWorkers) on Twitter “Massive” layoffs at Wildlife as it drops all non-mobile game projects | Mobilegamer Just Cause Studio Employees Call for Change Amid Year-Long Battle Over Controversial Hire | IGN DEI at Avalanche Studios Group | Avalanche Studios Group Insider trading in FF development? Former Square Enix employees re-arrested | Asahi INVESTMENT INTERLUDE SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT OBSERVATIONS ON THE CMA’S ISSUES STATEMENT | UK Competition and Markets Authority MICROSOFT’S RESPONSE TO THE CMA’S ISSUES STATEMENT | UK Competition and Markets Authority FTC Seeks to Block Microsoft Corp.’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc. | FTC Microsoft Didn’t Lie to the EU on ZeniMax Deal Like the FTC Said, According to Sources A Letter from CEO Bobby Kotick Regarding Activision Blizzard’s Merger with Microsoft | Activision Blizzard Keywords acquires AI-driven player support platform for $75m | GamesIndustry STARBREEZE STUDIOS EXPANDS WITH NEW STUDIO AND DEDICATED TEAM IN THE UNITED KINGDOM | Starbreeze SPLASH DAMAGE ANNOUNCES TRANSFORMERS: REACTIVATE | Splash Damage