This Week In The Business: What's It Worth To Ya?

Cook, Serve, Delicious
Cook, Serve, Delicious
Image: Vertigo Gaming

QUOTE | “Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase.” - In response to the US Federal Trade Commission’s decision to investigate loot box practices, the Entertainment Software Association insists they are not gambling because unlike gambling, players can’t actually win anything of value from them.


QUOTE | “By not taking significant action as an industry and global game developer community to self-regulate how loot boxes are used, we run the very real risk that governments around the world will take that action for us, and perhaps create significantly restrictive laws that could impact any random reward elements in games.” - International Game Developers Association director Jen MacLean calls for publishers to stop marketing loot boxes to children and disclose the odds to customers.

QUOTE | “There’s a responsibility on everyone, on every manufacturer, to make sure they tow that line. And I think consoles did get it wrong. They saw what was happening in mobile and thought ‘we’ll have a piece of that’, and they didn’t actually look at the history of how long mobile has been working in that space to achieve that trust.” - Gameloft MD for Northern and Central Europe Antonin Lhuillier explains why the loot box controversy isn’t focused on the mobile market that popularized the mechanic.

QUOTE | “We are ending the Nintendo Creators Program (NCP) to make it easier for content creators to make and monetize videos that contain Nintendo game content.” - Nintendo explains why it will no longer demand a 30% minimum cut of money from any YouTuber making original content featuring Nintendo’s products.

QUOTE | “We understand and respect that there is disappointment with the bag in the Power Armor Edition. We are sorry.” - Bethesda apologizes for advertising its $200 collector’s edition of Fallout 76 with a picture of a military-style canvas bag, but shipping it with a cheaper nylon bag instead. The company expressed its contrition by offering players $5 worth of virtual currency in the game if they contacted support with proof of their purchase.

QUOTE | “We’ve finally gotten past that mental barrier of ‘cheap $10 small experiences’ and now big 2D indie games are going for as high as $30 and players don’t bat an eye.” - Vertigo Gaming’s David Galindo (Cook, Serve, Delicious) joins a host of developers to talk about the pros, cons, and future of 2D games.

QUOTE | “They are sweet guys on a very personal level, but they are absolute workaholics. And that tone that was set in that office for a number of years definitely set my own perspective and mindset on what is normal for working and working very hard.” - Former Rockstar employee Job Stauffer talks about how studio co-founders Sam and Dan Houser set the tone for the culture, and how that impacted his career and health long after he was gone from the company.


QUOTE | “Lethality, mobility, and situational awareness” - The three traits of US Army soldiers intended to be heightened by a recent $480 million contract with Microsoft to develop prototype HoloLens-based headsets for use in training and in the field.

QUOTE | “All great consoles need a great second year, and Nintendo hasn’t delivered one for the Switch. Investors thought over five years they could sell maybe 90 million units. But after this year, that’s looking pretty much impossible.” - William O’Neil & Co Inc. analyst Cornelio Ash is among a number of analysts skeptical about Nintendo’s ability to hit its Switch sales targets.


QUOTE | “As one of our company presidents said, ‘We run toward risk, not away from risk.’ With risk, sometimes you have tremendous success, sometimes not so much. One of our other company presidents one time said, ‘When things are going well, don’t get caught up in that, and when things are going poorly don’t be too sad about that either.’” - Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime talks about the Switch’s performance after it sold 5 million units in the first half of a year where it projected 20 million.

STAT | 115% - Nintendo of America’s year-over-year jump in US hardware sales for the long Black Friday weekend. The five-day stretch saw the company bring in total revenues of $250 million.



This is a dumb quote:

...I think consoles did get it wrong. They saw what was happening in mobile and thought ‘we’ll have a piece of that’, and they didn’t actually look at the history of how long mobile has been working in that space to achieve that trust.

No, consumers just generally realize that mobile games are shit now. Micro transactions and shady business practices absolutely murdered the mobile market in the US, it never achieved what many (not myself, as I was rather bearish on the market’s long term viability to begin with) thought it would in terms of market penetration. Some people, including authors on this very site thought that mobile gaming was the future! Turns out that it was a fad, but it was a fad that was helped along by increasingly shady, crappy business practices by mobile developers. Mobile developers have not gained trust, they’ve just learned how to manipulate extremely well the very small part of their market that will actually shell out for their shit.