GGP Gaming Weekly — January 13


Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly likely to challenge Microsoft’s $69B Activision takeover (link)

  • The FTC is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69B takeover of Activision Blizzard
  • A lawsuit challenging the deal is not guaranteed, and the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote on the complaint or meet with lawyers for the companies
  • The investigation remains ongoing, but much of the heavy lifting is completed, including depositions of Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and Activision head Bobby Kotick, according to the people with knowledge of the investigation

Apple and Google investigated by UK regulator over suspected Cloud Gaming and mobile duopoly (link)

  • The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the Apple and Google’s duopoly on mobile ecosystems and their impact on Cloud Gaming
  • In the UK, 97% of mobile web browsing took place on Apple and Google browsers last year
  • Web developers, Cloud Gaming service providers, and others who spoke with the CMA have claimed that restrictions by both Apple and Google could create headwinds to the industry and hamper innovation

Tax credit to support game development launches in Ireland (link)

  • The relief is a refundable corporation tax credit that lets eligible companies claim back 32% of the costs incurred on a digital game’s design, production, and testing
  • Companies can claim up to a maximum limit of €25M per project, with a minimum spend of €100k
  • The tax was launched and backed by Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports, and Media, Catherine Martin

M&A and Capital Raises

Playtika announces $25M investment into Turkish developer Ace Games (link)

  • The investment will be a minority investment, allowing Ace Games to allocate the capital where they believe best
  • The Company will use the proceeds to continue to grow its portfolio of titles, which include the Match-3 title Fiona’s Farm

City State Entertainment raises $15M to fund games with massive medieval battles (link)

  • City State Entertainment is developing the MMORPG Camelot Unchained and the medieval Battle Royale Final Stand: Ragnarök. Both titles utilize the Unchained Engine which could be used to create battles with up to 1,800 concurrent players each
  • The Company will use the proceeds to fund games with massive medieval battles using the Unchained Engine
  • GF Capital Management, TA Associates, and other undisclosed investors participated in the round, according to PitchBook

Midnight comes out of stealth with $7.5M in funding for a new game company (link)

  • Midnight emerged from stealth to announce $7.5M in seed funding earmarked to build a studio and platform to create Web3 games with “never-ending stories”
  • The Company’s focus will be on PC and Console games at first, and Mobile might come at a later date. The Company plans to be both a developer and a publisher
  • The round was led by Shima Capital, Forte, Overwolf, Snackclub, and others

X-Flow invests $6M in Casual developer Plummy Games after Star Merge launch (link)

  • Plummy Games has numerous Match-3 and Bubble Shooter titles in its portfolio. Its Star Merge title (also known as Mira Merge) has garnered more than 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store
  • The Company will use the proceeds to support its ambition to grow into a genre leader

Fenix Games raises $150M for blockchain game publishing (link)

  • Fenix Games is a next-generation games publisher facilitating the transition of the next billion gamers into a blockchain-integrated future
  • The Company will use the proceeds to create a publisher and platform that plays a key role in bringing blockchain games to market. Fenix Games plans to acquire, invest, and publish both existing games and blockchain games of the future
  • Phoenix Group and Cypher Capital participated in the round

Rebel Wolves secures NetEase investment (link)

  • The game studio was co-founded in February by former CD Projekt executive Konrad Tomaszkiewicz. The game studio is currently developing a narrative focused dark fantasy RPG
  • Rebel Wolves said will maintain full creative control and ownership of its IP, and will continue to operate independently
  • NetEase’s new investment amount wasn’t disclosed


Call Of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Notches 25M Players In Less Than A Week (link)

  • As revealed by the official Call of Duty Twitter account, over 25M players played Warzone 2.0 in its first five days after release
  • Overwatch 2 notched 25M players in 10 days, followed by 35M players in one month. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 2 continues to be one of the most successful CODs ever, with $1B generated in revenue in 10 days
  • Call of Duty Warzone Mobile surpassed 25M pre-registrations (link)

God of War Ragnarök becomes PlayStation’s fastest-selling launch (link)

  • PlayStation announced on Twitter that its recent release God of War Ragnarök is its fastest-selling first-party game
  • The latest God of War title has set a record for sales for the franchise with 5.1M copies sold within the first week of its launch

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet hit 10M in sales in first three days (link)

  • Nintendo revealed that the latest Pokémon games, Scarlet and Violet, collectively sold over 10M units in their first three days on the market, including both physical and digital versions
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet achieved the highest sale level for any game on any Nintendo platform, according to the publisher

Sony to expand Chinese game incubator (link)

  • Sony’s China Hero Project will invest more than 1M yuan ($140,080) in each game it enrolls, and will not only fund small teams but also big teams with dozens of engineers or more
  • Sony’s plans were made public during an event live-streamed on Tuesday from the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu to restart the China Hero Project, which ground to a halt due to COVID-19
  • The China Hero Project unveiled its first two batches of games in 2017 and 2019 and has supported 17 titles, of which seven have reached the market. Sony said that it will be the publisher of Lost Soul Aside and Convallaria, two games enrolled in the previous two phases

Netflix is working on an AAA shooter at its new LA studio (link)

  • Netflix has placed a new job vacancy for a game director on their website, looking for experience in shooting and live service games for a new AAA PC game being created at its Netflix Game Studio’s LA office
  • Netflix is straying outside of its Mobile Gaming interests for the first time. The studio is led by former Overwatch lead Chacko Sonny, and has a focus on Cloud Gaming

Ubisoft returns to Steam with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (link)

  • The Company has created a Steam page for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the 2020 entry in Ubisoft’s flagship series. It will release on December 6
  • Other titles confirmed to be heading to Steam include Anno 1800 and Roller Champions, although neither have release dates so far
  • Before its return to Steam, Ubisoft focused on its own UPlay store as well as landing partnerships with the Epic Games Store. Like many stores, Valve takes a 30% cut of all purchases made, whereas Epic only takes 12%

Twitch pulls in 1.8B viewership hours during October (link)

  • Twitch reached a viewership of 1.8B hours. Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming hit 342M hours and YouTube Gaming brought in 272M hours watched in October

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