business news PlayStation Studios, Quantic Dream, Nintendo Switch… the business news of the week
Sales figures, studio buyouts, financial statements, developer transfer window, investments… if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on the business news of the past week.
- Sony buys Savage Game Studios to enter the mobile gaming market
- Quantic Dream acquired by the Chinese giant NetEase
- Switch: updated sales figures for many Nintendo games
- Sony and Tencent invest again in FromSoftware
Sony buys Savage Game Studios to enter the mobile gaming market
Sony continues its quest for diversification. After accelerating the presence of its in-house productions on the PC, the firm has just announced the acquisition of Savage Game Studios, its very first studio dedicated to mobile games. The founders of this team, born in 2020 and based in Berlin and Helsinki, notably worked for Supercell (Clash of Clans), Wargaming, Rockstar Games and Insomniac Games. On the PlayStation-Blogthey explain that they were particularly attracted by “the ability to tap into the incredible catalog of PlayStation franchises” and of “benefit from the breadth of support that only PlayStation Studios can provide”. Sony announces that they are already working on “a AAA action game for mobile”without specifying the license concerned.
The studio will be part of a whole “new division of PlayStation Studios dedicated to mobile games”which will focus on “the creation of innovative mobile experiences based on current and upcoming PlayStation franchises”. Remember that Sony began to build a team of mobile game specialists in July 2021, successively recruiting Nicola Sebastiani (former content manager for the Apple Arcade subscription), Kris Davis (ex-director of business development at Kabam), Olivier Courtemanche (ex-mobile product manager at Disney and Zynga) or Chris Spencer (ex-producer at EA Chillingo).
As announced in its financial statement last May, Sony estimates that by March 2026, nearly half of its annual releases will be on PC and mobile, and the other half on PS5. Hermen Hulst, boss of PlayStation Studios, still wants to reassure console fans:
We’ve assured you before when we planned to release some games on PC, and we’ll say it again today: our activities beyond the world of consoles in no way diminish our dedication to the PlayStation community, nor our passion for creating exceptional single-player storytelling experiences (…) Our mobile game development efforts will seamlessly complement our existing activities, providing audiences with new ways to interact with our content and reach new audiences who are not yet familiar with the PlayStation universe or our games. Hermen Hulst, boss of PlayStation Studios.
Quantic Dream acquired by the Chinese giant NetEase
The rumor had circulated last March, it is now recorded: NetEase has announced the acquisition of the French studio Quantic Dream (Detroit Become Human, Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain…), of which it has been a minority shareholder since the beginning of 2019. The amount of the operation has not been disclosed, but according to the economic media Les Echos, the acquisition values Quantic Dream at “a few hundred million euros”.
the announcement release emphasizes the fact that Quantic Dream “will continue to operate independently”. “We are maintaining our independence in our editorial line, the artistic direction of the projects and the management of the studio. Our teams, who are fully associated with this operation and who benefit directly financially from it, are of course fully preserved and will continue to grow and develop. reinforce”can we read. “There will be absolutely no change in governance. NetEase’s policy is not to intervene in the studios they acquire. Afterwards, we will have the opportunity to further strengthen our commercial and marketing partnership with NetEase by Asia which is a very important region for us”adds David Cage, CEO and founder of the studio, in Les Echos.
Quantic Dream becomes NetEase’s first studio based in Europe. Like its rival Tencent, the Chinese firm is in a phase of global expansion. It achieved a turnover of 8.8 billion euros in 2021, more than that of any Western third-party publisher, mainly thanks to mobile games like Harry Potter: Magic Emerges, Marvel Super War and Knives Out. “NetEase is not buying Quantic to make more mobile games, even if it is not excluded that we are interested in it in the future”says Guillaume de Fondaumière, Managing Director of Quantic Dream, in Les Echos. NetEase intends to make a name for itself in the console games market. With this in mind, the company has recently acquired or founded several studios in Japan and the United States (Sakura Studio, Grasshopper Manufacture, Nagoshi Studio, Jackalope Games, Jar of Sparks).
In the columns of GamesIndustryGuillaume de Fondaumière indicates that the allegations that Quantic Dream has been the subject of concerning its toxic culture and its conflicts with the press have had no no effect” on discussions with NetEase. The studio is currently developing three new games in-housebut only Star Wars Eclipse has been officially revealed so far.
Switch: updated sales figures for many Nintendo games
As you probably know, Nintendo updates the sales rankings of its 10 most popular games on Switch every quarter (at this address), dominated by the trio Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (46.82 million), Animal Crossing New Horizons (39.38 million) and Super Smash Bros Ultimate (28.82 million). On the other hand, for the oldest and less widespread titles, it is more complicated to follow their progress.. However, we can count on the database of the Japanese organization CESA, which each year makes it possible to discover new figures.
Compiled by a forum member InstallBase, the following figures are as of December 31, 2021. They take into account sales worldwide in physical and dematerialized form. The opportunity to once again attest to the excellent longevity of Nintendo games on Switch.
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars: 9 million (including 750,000 in 2021)
- Super Mario Maker 2: 7.89 million (including 980,000 in 2021)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: 6 million (including 750,000 in 2021)
- Mario Tennis Aces: 4.28 million (including 620,000 in 2021)
- Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze: 4.12 million (including 700,000 in 2021)
- Kirby Star Allies: 3.98 million (including 560,000 in 2021)
- Fire Emblem Three Houses: 3.82 million (including 420,000 in 2021)
- 1-2 Switch: 3.63 million (including 180,000 in 2021)
- Paper Mario The Origami King: 3.34 million (including 290,000 in 2021)
- Yoshi’s Crafted World: 3.01 million (including 450,000 in 2021)
- Arms: 2.66 million (including 100,000 in 2021)
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2: 2.44 million (including 270,000 in 2021)
- Pikmon 3 Deluxe: 2.23 million (including 290,000 in 2021)
- Captain Toad Treasure Tracker: 2.13 million (including 360,000 in 2021)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX: 1.89 million (including 290,000 in 2021)
- Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition: 1.68 million (including 200,000 in 2021)
- Mario Kart Live Home Circuit: 1.58 million (including 500,000 in 2021)
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: 1.5 million (including 190,000 in 2021)
- Astral Chain: 1.28 million (including 70,000 in 2021)
- Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training Program: 1.2 million (including 150,000 in 2021)
- Bayonetta 2: 1.04 million
Sony and Tencent invest again in FromSoftware
After an allocation of new shares, Tencent (via its subsidiary Sixjoy Hong Kong) now holds 16.25% of the capital of FromSoftware and Sony 14.09%. The majority shareholder of the studio remains Kadokawaa Japanese media conglomerate known in particular as a publisher of manga and magazines (including the famous Famitsu), which owns 69.66% of the shares.
With this new issue worth 36.4 billion yen (260 million euros), the valuation of FromSoftware now stands at 120 billion yen (858 million euros). When Kadokawa bought the studio in 2014, it was only valued at … 2 billion yen (14 million euros). This operation will obviously result in strengthening the resources allocated to the team led by Hidetaka Miyazaki, whose size has changed with the phenomenal success of Elden Ring (16.6 million in sales).
specify that Kadokawa had already signed a strategic partnership with Sony and Tencent last year to develop its activity in the field of video games, but also in that of animation.