All news and articles about the financial side of the games industry. Private funding, public placements, VC investments, and M&A deals.

Ubisoft reported its financial performance for the first quarter, highlighting a 15 percent increase in session days across consoles and PC platforms, chiefly spurred by games-as-a-service (GaaS). The company pointed to significant milestones such as XDefiant achieving 10 million players, calling it an "encouraging start," and the strong start of Rainbow Six Siege for the year. Monthly active users (MAU) rose 7 percent year-on-year, reaching 38 million. The quarter also saw an uptick in pre-orders for Assassin's Creed Shadows, which not only exceeded expectations but also boosted sales for older titles in the franchise. Meanwhile, The Crew Motorfest demonstrated "strong momentum and solid engagement." Additionally, player recurring investment (PRI) surged by 24.6 percent, totaling 158.7 million
During Develop Brighton last week, Jamie Brayshaw, head of partnerships at Ripstone, detailed how the studio secured a deal with Netflix to create a Queen's Gambit game. This project marks both the developer's inaugural mobile game and the first Netflix title utilizing Unreal Engine. Although Ripstone, based in Liverpool, had previously created chess games, such as 2017's Chess Ultra, this new endeavor emerged from a bold strategy by the studio. Brayshaw recounted the process, which included tackling a tight pitching deadline and overcoming the hurdles of developing a mobile game with Unreal. "Prior to The Queen's Gambit project, we had extensive experience using Unreal for game development," Brayshaw stated. "We had also developed mobile games before, but primarily with proprietary technology and custom engines. This was, however, our first mobile game built with Unreal."
The newest GamesIndustry.biz Microcast can now be downloaded or viewed. This week's episode features James and Chris discussing Microsoft's alterations to Xbox Game Pass, which include price hikes across all existing tiers and the launch of a new Standard tier that excludes day one releases. The discussion delves into the company's strategy for its subscription service, in addition to its fresh 'You don't need an Xbox to play Xbox' ad campaign. The episode also touches on the atmosphere at Develop Brighton 2024 and Nintendo's unconventional teaser campaign for an upcoming horror game
Nexon has addressed allegations that The First Descendant borrowed designs from Destiny 2. A recent Forbes article pointed out resemblances between iconography and weapon designs in Nexon's free-to-play game and Bungie's title. In a statement shared by Forbes contributor Paul Tassi on social media, Nexon acknowledged the concerns and stated that it will make "adjustments to ensure that the imagery that may appear similar clearly reflects the unique identity of the game"
Ex-employees of Nintendo and Sega have established a new firm called First Break Labs, focused on supporting independent game developers. The company intends to offer funding and marketing assistance to partnered studios, leveraging over 20 years of its team's experience with both indie games and major AAA titles. Alfonso Cubias, the chief publishing officer, has a background of over five years as head of product marketing at Sega and has held senior marketing positions at Digital Extremes and SmileGate
Microsoft has revealed plans to raise the prices of its current Xbox Game Pass tiers and to launch a new Standard tier, which will not feature games upon their initial release on the service. According to a post on the company's support site, Game Pass for Console will be discontinued for new subscribers. The new Xbox Game Pass Standard option will be priced at $14.99 per month and is expected to become available "in the coming months"
According to recent data from Brightmine, which specializes in salary benchmarking for the video games sector, the average basic salary for men in the UK games industry surpasses that of women by more than £8,000. This analysis, drawing from over 25 video game companies and encompassing more than 3,000 employees, reveals that men earn an average of £49,695, while women receive £41,174. Consequently, the gender pay gap in the UK's gaming sector stands at 17.1%. This is notably higher than the 14.7% average across all industries but lower than the 25.8% gap observed in the technology industry, based on data from Brightmine
Kwalee has revealed a minority investment in Devolver Digital, acquiring a 3.58% stake. This move aligns with Kwalee's strategy to broaden its reach in the PC and console market. The investment comes shortly after the release of Robobeat, a PC rhythm shooter created by Insanity Games. Kwalee plans to launch additional PC and console titles, such as The Precinct from Fallen Tree Games, The Spirit of the Samurai by Digital Minds, and In Sink from Clock Out Games
Keywords Studios has announced it has reached an acquisition agreement with Swedish investment firm EQT, valued at approximately £2.2 billion, pending shareholder approval. Keywords, a company that provides integrated creative and technology services to industry giants like Activision Blizzard, EA, Epic, and Square Enix, expressed satisfaction with the terms of a recommended cash acquisition at £24.50 per share. CEO Bertrand Bodson stated, “I am extremely proud of our passionate world-class teams and the leading technology-enabled global platform we are building together, which have enabled us to develop innovative solutions and foster strategic partnerships with our clients,"
Nearly two-thirds of PC gamers in China in 2024 allocated more spending to games on this platform compared to others, as detailed in a recent Niko Partners report. The China Gamer Behaviour and Markets Report, which included responses from 1,079 gamers surveyed in April 2024, indicated that 19% of PC gamers acknowledged at least a 30% increase in their gaming expenditures compared to the previous year. The research also revealed that Steam continues to dominate as the leading PC distribution platform in China, with almost 80% of gamers playing premium titles utilizing it
The studio Singularity 6, which developed the life simulator Palia, has joined the Daybreak Game Company, which is itself a subsidiary of the Swedish holding company EG7. The amount and terms of the deal are not disclosed