The Microsoft/Activision deal is still alive. And now, Ubisoft has been folded into the conversation with control of cloud streaming rights. Also: Earnings (Square Enix, Sony, Take-Two, Embracer Group), The July 2023 Circana Report on U.S. Video Game Spending, Xbox’s new moderation system, and a listener question about the Xtra Small Small.
We’re back for Season 4! Good thing we’re not on HBO Max, amirite? The ghosts of Ubisoft’s failure to care for its employees are now haunting its financial performance. Also: Let’s talk about D&D and Hasbro’s huge, shortsighted missteps with the OGL, Epic has been slapped with a fine over Fortnite, Zenimax QA workers unionize, while Activision Blizzard moves to make things hard for workers at recently acquired Proletariat.
Ubisoft leadership has all but given up on fixing the company’s culture as Tencent increases its ownership stake. Also: NPD for August 2022, GameStop bleeds, Square Enix reconsiders how it approaches studio ownership, 343 loses its leader, and Microsoft and Sony continue to butt heads in the UK over Activision acquisition.
The game industry loves to trot out its support for Women’s History Month, but most companies are avoiding standing up for abortion rights. It’s time for developers and publishers to take a stand. Also: Paradox…