Written By: Max Mitchelson
Edited By: Mary Joaquin
Welcome to The Weekly Gaming Round-Up!
More loot box scandals and exciting announcements filled up this week in games. A new physics-based destruction sandbox game is coming to Steam Early Access later this year, EA goes into damage control after microtransaction internal document leaked, and the Microsoft store is upping the revenue of developers.
IO Interactive is working on an unnamed Fantasy project, and the PS5 is doing extremely well despite shortages.
Monday, April 26
Instruments of Destruction, a physics-based vehicle-building destruction sandbox game, was officially announced on Twitter, with a Steam Early Access release coming in late 2021.
RadianGames is best known for a slew of mobile arcade action and puzzle games like Speed Demons and Slydris. Founder and sole creator Luke Schneider appears to be taking his previous experience working on the Red Faction Guerilla, famous for its destructible environments, to devise an explosive puzzle game similar to recent smash hits like Besiege.
“Each element of the world interacts with each other, and together they create a physical, visceral world to play with,” states the Steam description.
The game promises players can create modular vehicles from scratch to interact with an advanced system wherein nearly everything on the map is a physics object.
Tuesday, April 27
EA objected to their portrayal in the media when speaking with GameIndustry Biz, after a recent Canadian Broadcasting Corporation leak in which an internal document stated they are “are doing everything we can to drive players” to paid modes of FIFA.
The document referred to the Ultimate Team mode, where players can purchase randomized card packs with the hopes of getting rare players with improved stats to assist in play. However, VP of FIFA’s Brand department David Jackson, said the documents referred to a specific campaign to incentivize players to move from FIFA 20 to FIFA 21.
“In-between football seasons, there isn't a huge amount of real-world interactivity that we can create," said Jackson. "But we can create that engagement in Ultimate Team… It's not about monetization, it's about engagement for players.”
Wednesday, April 28
The PlayStation 5 has sold around 7.8 million units in the two quarters since its release in November, surpassing the PS4 sales in the same timeframe, and contributing to Playstation’s best fiscal year ever, according to an earnings call.
Despite semiconductor shortages making PS5s hard to come by, the console’s extreme demand likely will hit Sony's sales goals of 14.8 million sold by March 31, 2022. However, since the PS5 sells at loss due to its “strategic price point” and high manufacturing cost, it dragged down Sony’s operating income.
This is standard practice at the beginning of the console cycle and has been offset by Sony’s software and add-on content sales, which generated around $8.59 billion.
Thursday, April 29
In a blog post discussing the expansion of the Xbox brand, Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, announced Microsoft PC Store is upping net revenue for developers selling on the platform—from 70 percent of sales earned to 88 percent of sales earned.
The move slashes Microsoft’s 30 percent cut to 12 percent in the wake of ongoing discussions of how much storefronts should take out of developers' gross profits. Notably, other storefronts like the App Store and Google Play lowered revenue cuts in 2018 and 2016, respectively, for developers earning less than $1 million.
The Epic Games Store took a more developer friendly-approach immediately, offering 88 percent of revenue for developers from its inception.
“A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so,” stated Booty.
Friday, April 30
Developer of the Hitman Series, IO Interactive, is reportedly working on a game codenamed ‘Project Dragon’ for Xbox, according to Windows Central.
The project was first mentioned several months back to reporter Jez Corden as Fantasy RPG, but it was too early in development to reveal any gameplay details. IO’s job listings also seem to confirm the new project. Eurogamer reported that its sources stated the new title is “AAA in scope” and takes place in a medieval high fantasy world.
With Hitman 3 finished and IO's new studio location in Spain, they may have resources to work on the recently announced 007 project, as well as the unannounced game full-time. Regardless, both games are likely years away from release.
EGD’s Weekly Gaming Round-Up gives a quick look into the newest news in the games industry. From blockbuster triple-A games to indie startups and mods, the Weekly Gaming Round-Up covers it all.
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