news business Fortnite, Max Payne, Unreal Engine 5… the economic news of the week
Sales numbers, studio buyouts, financial statements, developer transfer windows, investments… if you’re interested in these topics, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on last week’s economic news.
- Unreal Engine 5 is officially available for developers
- Remedy signs a remake of Max Payne 1 and 2 with Rockstar
- Fortnite raises $144 million for Ukraine
- Briefly in the business news of the week
Unreal Engine 5 is officially available for developers
A little less than a year after its debut in Early Access, Unreal Engine 5 is now entering the official launch phase and is freely accessible via the Epic Games Launcher. The economic model is the same as Unreal Engine 4: the engine is free to use with a standard license as long as the game being developed hasn’t reached $1 million in revenue. Once that level is surpassed, Epic Games will receive 5% of the royalties back.
Since its announcement in 2020, many studios have already adopted Unreal Engine 5, including Xbox (Rare, The Coalition, Ninja Theory, Double Fine, Obsidian, InXile, Undead Labs) and PlayStation (Firesprite, Haven). Among the titles currently being developed with the engine, we can mention the next Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider, the next The Witcher, Dragon Quest XII, Hellblade II, STALKER 2 or ARK 2. It must be said that it offers attractive new technologies such as Nanite (geometry virtualization), Lumen (real-time global lighting), Temporal Super Resolution (image scaling system) or MetaSounds (procedural audio renderer). It also promises tools to make open world creation easier: “A new world splitting system changes the way levels are handled by automatically splitting the world into a grid and casting the required cells.”
The engine includes two demo projects: City Sample, which uses the city seen in the PS5 tech demo and Xbox Series The Matrix Awakens, while Lyra Starter Game is a multiplayer shooter described as “an excellent starting point for creating new projects”. The Xbox studio The Coalition (Gears of War) has also presented a technical demo called “The Coalition”. The cave.
Remedy signs a remake of Max Payne 1 and 2 with Rockstar
Already busy with several projects, Remedy has just signed for a new major project: The Finnish studio has signed an agreement with Rockstar Games to develop a remake of Max Payne and Max Payne 2, which will be brought together in a single title planned for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series. Everything will be developed using the studio’s Northlight engine (used on Quantum Break and Control) and will benefit from a AAA budget funded by Rockstar. Under the terms of the agreement, Remedy is entitled to royalties once Rockstar has recouped its development, marketing and d istribution costs.
We were thrilled when our longtime friends at Remedy approached us to do a remake of the original Max Payne g ames. We’re huge fans of the work the Remedy team has created over the years and we can’t wait to play these new releases. Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games.
Max Payne has always held a special place in the hearts of everyone at Remedy, and we know millions of fans around the world feel the same way. We’re thrilled to once again be working with our partners at Rockstar Games to bring the story, action and atmosphere of the original Max Payne games to players in new ways. Tero Virtala, CEO of Remedy.
Keep in mind that Remedy developed the first two Max Payne games, released in 2001 and 2003, while Rockstar, which owns the rights to the franchise (through its parent company Take Two Interactive), is directly involved with Max Payne 3 as of 2012 had taken care of. We’ll have to be patient since the arrival of the remakes the project is currently in the concept development phasefar from the production phase.
With over 300 employees, Remedy is also hard at work on Alan Wake II with Epic Games Publishing, the multiplayer game Vanguard with Tencent Games, and new Control games (a multiplayer sequel and spin-off) with 505 Games. In the batch, only Alan Wake II has a release window: 2023.
Fortnite raises $144 million for Ukraine
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, many studios and players in the video game industry have mobilized to support humanitarian efforts in the country. Riot Games, for example, raised $5.4 million thanks to League of Legends players, packages from the Humble Bundle and Itch.io sites brought in more than $16 million…
For its part, Epic Games has taken advantage of its Fortnite Golden Egg hen. The publisher has decided to donate all profits from the game to five organizations for two weeks : DirectRelief, UNICEF, World Food Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and World Central Kitchen. The chosen period (March 20 to April 3) coincided with the start of a new season and the no-build mode. Result: $144 million was raised. A colossal sum that includes the winnings of all real money purchases made in Fortnite (V-Bucks packs, Fortnite Club packs, cosmetic packs purchased with real money…). Note that Xbox also helped increase the prize pool by giving up its share of the winnings over the same period. Keep in mind that a manufacturer generally earns a 30% commission on every transaction that occurs on their store.
Briefly in the business news of the week
- Kirby and the Forgotten World takes over the sales peak in the French physical market for the week of March 21-27. It is followed by Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Gran Turismo 7 and Ghostwire Tokyo.
- Focus Entertainment teams up with Toulouse-based studio Rundisc to release their next game, Chants of Sennaar, an exploration/puzzle game inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel.
- Wargaming (World of Tanks, World of Warships…) has decided to leave Russia and Belarus, its country of origin. Its activities in these areas were transferred to a former Saint Petersburg-based subsidiary, Lesta Studio, which the company has now split with. After that decided “a strategic review of its operations worldwide”performs this action “Significant Losses” for the group, which employs around 5,000 people in more than 20 offices around the world.
- Days Gone director Jeff Ross just announced that he has joined Crystal Dynamics as Design Director, without specifying which project. It could be the next Tomb Raider, the Perfect Dark reboot (which The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics are collaborating on), or any other game that’s currently unannounced.
- SNK Corporation, the Japanese company known for Neo-Geo, The King of Fighters and Metal Slug, is now 96% owned by the Saudi foundation MiSK. It is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also invested $3.3 billion in EA, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two last year. More recently, it was the Saudi Public Investment Fund that bought 5% stake in Capcom and Nexon, and all shares in ESL and FACEIT.
- Epic Games and LEGO ont Notice their collaboration to create… a metaverse for children. The press release speaks of a “family-friendly digital experience” who “will give children access to tools that will enable them to become confident creators and give them incredible opportunities to play in a safe and positive space”.
- THQ Nordic gives us a date for an online conference on August 12th with new game reveals and news on previously announced titles.
- Activision Blizzard’s 1,100 contract workers, specifically Quality Assurance (QA Testing), will be hired full-time and will benefit from a pay rise to at least $20 an hour. On the other hand, this does not affect the employees of Raven Software who have organized themselves into unions. Activision Blizzard justifies this “by virtue of (his) legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act”.
Of ClemensWrite to igamesnews.com