This Week In The Business: Moving At The Speed Of Sony

QUOTE | “We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.” - Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO Shawn Layden responds to criticism about the company’s prohibition on cross-platform multiplayer after PS4 Fortnite players were barred from using their accounts on the Switch version of the game.


STAT | 4 - The number of consecutive years one of Sony’s supply partners would have to ignore its inquiries about conflict mineral sourcing before the company will start to review its business relationship with them. Sony is among the worst major players in the industry when it comes to efforts to prevent its use of conflict minerals from funding human rights abuses.

QUOTE | “I believe that the key creatives that make up the hub of [a project] are going to become more like free agents as they are in the film business. And I think that will force the change sooner than some sort of unionisation around crunch is going to.” - Ex-Naughty Dog and EA creative director Amy Hennig explains why she believes unions are coming to game development.

QUOTE | “…the assertions by Bethesda Softworks that Warner’s Westworld mobile game improperly used source code from Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter are as surprising as they are unsubstantiated.” - Warner Bros. Entertainment denies allegations made by Bethesda in a recent lawsuit. WB received assurances from the studio behind both games, Behaviour Interactive, that none of Bethesda’s code was used in Westworld.

QUOTE | “RTS games are still relevant in the market and for the most part PC-based, but if you can get a successful multiplayer, competitive-type RTS game to work well on mobile, we believe that could reach hundreds of millions of players in the world.” - EA chief design officer Patrick Söderlund explains why the publisher is reviving the Command & Conquer franchise as a mobile game.

QUOTE | “You know exactly what you’re getting, you have disclosure on the assets that you buy. It’s not gambling; we provide the pack odds so you know what might pop up in a pack, there is no real-world currency value to any of the assets.” - EA Sports vice president and COO Daryl Holt explains why loot box-driven Ultimate Team modes aren’t gambling. (EA has not been disclosing pack odds for Ultimate Team’s decade-long history, and will only begin to do so with FIFA 19 this September.)

QUOTE | “Developing classification of disorder is a core normative function of WHO, and it does everything possible to avoid interference from commercial and other entities which may have vested interest in the outcome of the process. So for that reason, and this is exactly in accordance with WHO rules and procedures, we did not consult with the industry.” - Dr Vladimir Poznyak of the World Health Organisation explains why it didn’t talk to game publishers about including gaming disorders in the latest revision of its International Classification of Diseases.


QUOTE | “It goes back to the fact that if we’re making a great game but it can only be experienced by a small audience, we won’t be satisfied with that.” - Square Enix Montreal studio head Patrick Naud explains why the developer behind Hitman Go, Hitman Sniper, and other successful premium titles is leaving the business model behind for free-to-play.

QUOTE | “So, to be clear, we don’t have a business selling iPhones. The only way we make money is if you make good decisions in bringing the right games to the platform, and finding your audience.” - Valve business development head Jan-Peter Ewert thinks developers need more accurate tools and sales data than SteamSpy, and Valve is working to provide them.


QUOTE | “In an ideal world it could have been finished faster and I would have been able to see it through to the end. But to be honest, I look back at other gaming franchises I’ve worked on and they’ve done really well without me being there as well, as long as the DNA is there and the right foundations are there.” - Dave Jones explains why he left Crackdown 3 before the project was finished. Jones was creative director on the original Crackdown, and played similarly pivotal roles in the Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto franchises.

QUOTE | “It’s the product that will win, not the fact that it’s on the blockchain.” - Fig head of blockchain strategy Alex Amsel says games that succeed using blockchain won’t require people to interact with cryptocurrencies.


Michael Kelehan

“It’s not gambling; we provide the pack odds so you know what might pop up in a pack...” 

Today I learned blackjack isn’t gambling because we know the odds.