Stores and publishing

App stores news, their innovations, and the success of certain games on them. This section also features articles about the peculiarities of game publishing.

The past week was eventful for the gaming industry, featuring numerous live shows and events, with more expected later this month. Among the most prominent were Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest, which aired on Friday, and the Xbox Games Showcase, which went live on Sunday. Both events promised significant announcements and new previews of upcoming games. Notably, Geoff Keighley set the stage for his Summer Game Fest during a Twitch Q&A by clarifying that this year's show would emphasize previously announced titles rather than major premieres. In retrospect, this was a prudent decision, as the overall reception was mixed. According to a poll conducted by Keighley on X, more than 40% of over 250,000 gamers rated the event with a D grade, while less than 10% gave it an A grade.
The announcement of Lego Horizon Adventures was anticipated. Prior to major launches, it is common for hints and details to emerge, and this case was no exception. What caught many off guard, however, was not the release on PlayStation 5 and PC, but also the game's arrival on the Nintendo Switch. This marks a notable instance of a PlayStation-owned IP making its way to a Nintendo platform
Recently, the creators of Black Myth: Wukong opened pre-orders for the game, and Steam users immediately started placing their orders en masse. As a result, by the end of the week from June 4 to June 11, the action RPG about the Monkey King climbed to the top of the sales chart, surpassing the portable PC Steam Deck and such free-to-play hits as Counter-Strike 2 and Destiny 2 in sales.
Offbrand, known for its content studio, has expanded into the gaming industry with the introduction of Offbrand Games, its new publishing division. During an announcement at IGN Live, content creator Ludwig Ahgren revealed his collaboration with Jason "Thor" Hall, the founder of the independent studio Pirate Software. Offbrand Games' inaugural release is the sequel to Aether Studio's fighting platformer Rivals of Aether, which originally debuted in 2017
MyGames has introduced a premium publishing arm managed by seasoned professionals Eugenio Vitale, Mario Gerhold, and Jan-Eric Lauble. The new brand, Knights Peak Interactive, is set to concentrate on high-quality PC and console games, unveiling five initial projects: the console version of Offworld Industries' Starship Troopers: Extermination, VEA Games' Nikoderiko: The Magical World, Primal Game Studio's Mandragora, Owlcat Games' Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and My.Games' Blast Brigade. Gerhold and Lauble joined MyGames' premium division last month, with Gerhold stepping in as the global brand and marketing director, and Lauble assuming the role of creative director
In a robust Xbox Showcase today, Microsoft introduced multiple high-profile titles, including a new iteration of Doom and Gears of War, as well as a debut trailer for Perfect Dark. Bethesda announced Doom: The Dark Ages, set for a 2025 release, while Xbox Game Studios disclosed that a Gears of War prequel, E-Day, is under development. Both titles will be available on Game Pass from their release dates. After years of uncertainty, The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics unveiled the first glimpse of the Perfect Dark reboot, which will also be accessible on Game Pass on its launch day, although its release date remains unannounced
Microsoft has revealed that three new versions of its Xbox Series consoles are set to debut this holiday season, including an all-digital Series X. The announcement was made during the Xbox Games Showcase, one of the many summer presentations organized by publishers in the absence of E3. Xbox president Sarah Bond introduced the highly anticipated digital-only white Xbox Series X, which omits the disc drive present in the standard edition. This model will be priced at $449.99 or €499.99
Microsoft has officially announced that the next annual premium edition of Call of Duty will be available on its Game Pass multi-game subscription service from launch. This move is expected to heighten interest in Game Pass and pose a challenge to Sony’s full game sales model. However, estimating the precise commercial effect remains difficult. Activision’s product strategy and the terms of its acquisition by Microsoft suggest that the impact may not be as significant as it once could have been. Microsoft is adhering to a well-established strategy
GAME has recently implemented several changes, including the discontinuation of its reward scheme and Xbox All Access program, and a shift towards smaller concessions. Eurogamer has verified with the UK retailer that Xbox All Access, which allows customers to purchase an Xbox Series X|S console through 24 monthly payments (including Game Pass), will no longer be available by the end of June. According to the publication, this alteration aligns with GAME's ongoing strategy of relocating its standalone stores to concessions within other outlets owned by its parent company, Frasers Group
Michal Napora, a seasoned expert in games marketing, has introduced a new publishing label named Unikat. Headquartered in Perth, Unikat is dedicated to assisting independent developers focused on producing distinctive and minimalistic games. Among its initial projects are Tensori's exploration game Pools and Voids and Voids Within's forthcoming cyberpunk city builder Dystopika. Napora, who also established and leads the marketing firm 32-33, has collaborated with well-known studios such as Bloober Team, Techland, and Frogwares
Polish game developer Bloober Team is said to have lost a publishing agreement with Take-Two's indie label, Private Division, after the latter withdrew from the arrangement. Bloober Team issued a financial notice in Polish, suggesting that Take-Two informed them of the contract termination yesterday. The firms had been collaborating on an undisclosed survival horror project known as Project C, news of which surfaced last month
The onset of June in the gaming industry increasingly resembles an archaeological excavation where the original structure has vanished, yet experts can infer its form from the remnants. Although E3 is no longer in existence, a variety of events and showcases that evolved around it during its numerous iterations and identity shifts still persist. As a result, the forthcoming two weeks will feature a wealth of announcements and updates on upcoming games, albeit without the central trade show that used to anchor them. Despite the absence of E3, this period arguably remains the most insightful time of the year to gauge the industry's current state and to project its direction for the next 12 months
During a State of Play video presentation today, PlayStation revealed its games line-up for the next year, emphasizing titles beyond its main franchises. The company had previously stated that no major brand releases were scheduled for 2024. However, the event concluded with Astro Bot, a sequel to the well-received Astro's Playroom, developed by Japan's Asobi studio. Astro Bot is set to launch on September 6th. The presentation kicked off with Concord, a new sci-fi multiplayer shooter from Firewalk Studios, which PlayStation acquired in 2021. Concord is among several online multiplayer projects PlayStation is working on, including Bungie's Marathon and Haven Studios' FairGames. This new title will be available just a few weeks ahead of Astro Bot, with a release date of August 23rd
Sony Interactive Entertainment has provided an update on its console division, disclosing that half of its users are now on the PS5, with the remaining half utilizing the PS4. During a company briefing, the platform owner mentioned that the PS5 is close to overtaking the PS4 in terms of revenue, with its operating income already surpassing $10 billion. Notably, the PS5 has been cited as the most profitable console generation to date. More intriguing data reveals consumer spending patterns. The company reported that revenue per console stands at $731 for the PS5, compared to $580 for the PS4. This disparity is partly attributed to price increases and higher tiers for games, accessories, and services in the current generation
May 29, 2024: Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Call of Duty title will be available on Xbox Game Pass at the same time as its retail and digital releases. According to an Xbox Wire post, players will have the option to pre-install Black Ops 6 later this year. The game is set to be officially unveiled at the Xbox Games Showcase on June 9, a part of the Summer Game Fest event. Earlier in the month, rumors indicated that the new Call of Duty would join Game Pass on launch day, and The Verge's Tom Warren revealed yesterday that the confirmation was accidentally leaked by the subscription service's app before the official statement