The Entertainment Software Ratings Board wants to use facial scanning to keep your kids from playing GTA and other adult-focused games. Also, it’s earnings season, with Microsoft, Capcom, Sega, and EA kicking us off. We also cover two more instances of the dreaded “payoffs for layoffs,” and a heap of listener questions!

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The FTC is on the ropes after losing in court and seeing an emergency injunction denied. We discuss where things go from here as the UK CMA stands alone. Also, a bunch of new studios were announced, Bungie wins a big victory against a toxic troll, and Xbox works to make it harder for harassers online.

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This week saw the long-awaited showdown between the FTC and Microsoft, as the U.S. Government seeks an injunction to prevent the Activision acquisition. Also; new studios opening amidst an otherwise grim labor report, the latest Circana U.S. spending report, and more.

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On the eve of its earnings announcement, Embracer Group saw a nearly-signed $2B deal fall apart. We discuss the potential impact. Also: GameStop back in crisis, a huge number of layoffs, and the strange tale of Disco Elysium continues.

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One day we’ll be free of the Microsoft/Activision deal, but that day is NOT today. Also: Nintendo, EA, Starbreeze, Square Enix, Capcom, and Take-Two Earnings, acquisitions, the Circana US Video Game Spending report for April...

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After years of stumbling in the mobile space, Sega decided to throw $775M at the problem with the acquisition of Rovio. Also: Lots of layoffs, some acquisitions, a bunch of earnings, and the March Circana report on U.S. video game spending.

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It's a very special, very weird episode from sunny Dubrovnik, Croatia! We're thrilled to have the one, the only ANDY PAN join us for a discussion about the UK Competition and Markets Authority's decision to deny Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard on the basis of the cloud gaming business.

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At GDC 2023, we got the gang back together for another down-and-dirty legal issues conversation. We're grateful to Brandon Huffman, founder of Odin Law & Media, and Ryan Black, partner at DLA Piper, for joining us again this year.

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Square Enix is having a time of it, as its Web3-loving CEO is leaving and Luminous Productions is no more. Also: Ubisoft and Activision messing up labor issues again, and the US is investigating extremism in online games. Also, Manda is going to talk to you about The Lord of the Rings, and Mike will do his best Gollum impression. Maybe.

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