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This Week In The Business: Hearthstone's Death Wish?

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QUOTE | “Hearthstone is killing itself.” - Research firm Superdata, noting the free-to-play game has seen declining conversion numbers on mobile and PC following unpopular recent gameplay decisions.

STAT | $720 million - The upper limit of revenues Blizzard can hope to bring in every year through its Overwatch League, according to a Morgan Stanley report. As for worst-case scenarios, the firm puts a $20 million floor on the endeavor’s annual revenues.


QUOTE | “As we mentioned many times before, the PlayStation 4 is the clear leader when it coming to console media coverage, and this is a constant.” - ICO Partners’ Thomas Bideaux said the Nintendo Switch is off to a great start in terms of generating media coverage, but still averages only 40% of the coverage the PS4 gets.

QUOTE | “It’s simply a quantity vs quality trade-off.” - Jonathan Cooper defended Mass Effect: Andromeda’s animations, pointing to the relative simplicity of animation for a scripted, linear game like Uncharted 4 compared to more open-ended RPGs like the original Mass Effect, both of which he worked on.


QUOTE | “We’ve had our fair share of toxicity and moments where players let emotions get the better of their constructive feedback. And you have to deal with that head-on on the community side of things.” - Digital Extremes live ops and community producer (and the voice of Warframe’s Cortana-like Lotus) Rebecca Ford says it’s important to address community anger because it can “cloud the creativity within the office” if left unchecked.

QUOTE | “Palmer will be dearly missed.” - A Facebook spokesperson in a statement confirming the departure of Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who has been out of the public eye since his contributions to a pro-Trump “shitposting” group were reported on during the US presidential election.

QUOTE | “Today we made the difficult decision to say goodbye to 17 talented people as we restructured to align with our current and anticipated development needs.” - A Harmonix representative confirms a round of layoffs at the rhythm game developer. It is the fourth round of layoffs for the studio in five years.

QUOTE | “The Company has been unable to find a satisfactory solution to its cash liquidity problems.” - Now former Mad Catz president and CEO Karen McGinnis, in announcing that the peripheral maker and original Rock Band 4 co-publisher entered bankruptcy for liquidation the day its entire executive staff and all directors resigned.


QUOTE | “My brain just kinda shut down on me for quite a while.” - Limit Theory developer Josh Parnell describes the burnout that resulted in severe mental health problems requiring treatment and a six-month absence from the crowdfunded project.

QUOTE | “Promotion of your applications would have much more effective impression, which not only arouses the attention of potential users and enhance brand image, but further attracts interested users directly to download your apps in the VR environment.” - An HTC website touting its new VR eye-tracking technology as a way to improve not games, but ads.


QUOTE | “In a market that’s growing so quickly, we see that a lot of the spoils of that growth have accrued to a very small number of people.” - Gree International CEO Andrew Sheppard says the mobile market’s last year has seen the rich publishers get richer, while the second-tier outfits aren’t big enough to get the benefits of scale and brand, but not small and agile enough to grow through innovation.