This Week In The Business: Fewer, Bigger, Better, Later

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: Fewer, Bigger, Better, Later
Image: THQ Nordic

QUOTE | “What we see now is we can launch games whenever we are ready and whenever we want, just because there’s a good appetite for new products on the market thanks to the fact that there are less big games coming to the industry. That gives us the possibility to choose when to launch, because it’s really the quality that will make the difference.” - Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explains why AAA game delays are more common these days.


STAT | 2.4% - The modest decrease to Ubisoft’s full year financial forecast when it delayed its new AAA pirate IP Skull & Bones into the next fiscal year and correspondingly lowered its sales projections by 4 million units.

QUOTE | “We want everyone to be able to experience what is the most ambitious Metro game to date at its absolute best and therefore we have taken the decision to move the release date to Q1 2019.” - THQ Nordic confirms a delay for Metro Exodus.

QUOTE | “We don’t have any expectations right now. We’re simply observing that there are potential opportunities in the future and I’d be very surprised if sports gambling didn’t intersect with the industry at some point in the relatively near future.” - Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick discusses the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports gambling on a state-by-state basis, which he says may be “a meaningfully positive influence on our business.”

STAT | 1.6% - Percentage of indie developers who chose Xbox One when asked which platform they would release their game on if they could only pick one.

STAT | 4% - Average percentage of storyline achievements unlocked by Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 players according to True Achievements, perhaps explaining why Activision decided to drop the campaign mode from Black Ops 4.

QUOTE | “That was one of my main arguments when I left Starbreeze as well: it takes too long to make a game, and even when you’re in the top leadership there are too many variables that you can’t control. At least from my perspective, how well you do your job doesn’t really matter. You can’t control the outcome. It’s so much about the circumstances around you.” - Jens Andersson explains why he left the company he founded and AAA development in general.


QUOTE | “We always wondered about the ‘time to penis’ ratio. As it turns out the first one was made by a team member.” - Bossa Studios co-founder Henrique Olifiers talks about Worlds Adrift, the company’s upcoming MMO in a world full of islands created by the players themselves.

QUOTE | “2D felt very fresh and new, and for me personally, it felt like a chance to go back to the games I grew up with, but reinvent them in HD with proper colors and lots of pixels. And that was the whole premise of the PixelJunk series at the beginning. But now everybody’s doing 2D games and now they’re everywhere so it doesn’t feel quite as fresh.” - Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert explains why he decided to bring the PixelJunk series into 3D with next week’s PixelJunk Monsters 2.


QUOTE | “To me it feels almost like the fruit’s just laying around in the field and I can just wander around and pick it up. I’m almost not competing with anybody, which is really weird to me.” - Really Bad Chess developer Zach Gage makes quickly cloned games in well-established genres for mass market audiences, but says competition simply isn’t a problem.

QUOTE | “We hope that this is only the first step and that you will strategically evaluate all facets of the business to develop a more detailed turnaround plan, which can then be communicated to shareholders.” - A group of GameStop investors has called for the retailer to drop its diversification efforts into smartphone and collectibles, apparently believing packaged retail games are the future.


Foxstar loves Bashcraft

I’d say it’s a little late for that, plus that’s some backwards thinking. The moment that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo allow you to trade in digital games you’ve gotten for $xxxx towards other games, GameStop is going to be in even more trouble then they already are. Some folks would say that GameStop should have been expanding their focus years ago, not just within the last three to four.

While I don’t agree with the smartphone focus, I don’t see why investors don’t see the money to be made in collectibles, as adult gamers tend to spend quite a bit on the ones they like and devoting space to them isn’t a bad thing.