Sales figures, studio acquisitions, 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.
- Steam: 132 million active players, increased spending… the balance sheet figures for 2021
- Sony, Nintendo and other video game companies suspend sales in Russia
- gamescom 2022 will take place in August in a hybrid format
- Ikumi Nakamura presents Unseen, her new studio
- Briefly in the business news of the week
Steam: 132 million active players, increased spending… the balance sheet figures for 2021
Valve released its traditional annual retrospective about steam. The opportunity to discover a whole range of statistics showing the progress of the platform in 2021. “2021 was a good year, even compared to 2020, a year in which Steam experienced unprecedented growth.”, says the American company. Here are the numbers to remember:
- User spent almost 38 billion hours on Steam in 2021an increase of 21% compared to 2020.
- Steam had 132 million monthly active players and 69 million daily active players in 2021compared to 120 million and 62.6 million in 2020, respectively. For comparison, the Epic Games Store had 62 million monthly active players in 2021.
- Spending per person is up 27% compared to 2020. The growth is partly due to new users: in each month of 2021, an average of 2.6 million people made their first purchase on Steam. In particular, the seasonal sales made it possible to win new customers. For example, during the 14 days of the 2021 winter sale, 2.3 million people made their first-ever purchase on Steam.
In its press release, Valve emphasizes that Microsoft and Sony have a more prominent place on Steam: “From Days Gone to Forza Horizon 5, PC gamers have enjoyed a slew of titles from the biggest console game studios. This explosion of new content is a testament to the open and competitive nature of the gaming universe. PC where the public has fun largest selection of hardware, shops, services and games”
Valve also mentions the VR market, which saw 11% growth and a 22% increase in unique gaming sessions. “The latest major hardware release, the Oculus Quest 2, accounts for over a third of VR headsets on Steam.”we learn.
Finally, we should point out that Steam is off to a great start to 2022. The peak of concurrent players of 2021 (27.4 million) was already surpassed last month (29.6 million). Several major releases saw notable attendance, including Lost Ark (1.32 million concurrent players), Elden Ring (953,426), Dying Light 2 (274,983), Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel (262,689), Monster Hunter Rise (134,262) or even God of War (73,529).
Sony, Nintendo and other video game companies suspend sales in Russia
This week, many players in the video game industry announced that they were ceasing operations in Russia due to the country’s war in Ukraine. This is especially true for Sony and Nintendo, while Microsoft made this decision on March 4th.
On his side, Sony released one communicates “call for peace in Ukraine”. “We have suspended all shipments of games and hardware, including the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and closed the PlayStation Store in Russia. In support of humanitarian relief, Sony Corporation made a $2 million donation to the High Office of the… United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the international NGO Save the Children to support the victims of this tragedy.”can we read
Nintendo has also stopped all shipments to Russia. “for the moment”without presenting this decision as a sanction against the country. The spokesman for the Japanese company gives two reasons, quoted by the AFP : “Significant instability surrounding the logistics of shipping and distribution of physical products” and the suspension of ruble transactions by its payment service provider. Nintendo has also decided to indefinitely postpone the release of military strategy game Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp, which is normally scheduled for April 8th. “due to international events”
CD Projekt, Electronic Arts, Bloober Team, Epic Games, Niantic, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, CI Games, Rovio, Supercell, Bungie and Ubisoft are also among the video game companies that have suspended operations in Russia. Other tech giants have made similar announcements like Facebook, Google and Apple, as well as companies like Coca-Cola, Adidas, Ikea or McDonald’s.
2022 will mark the return of physical events in the video game industry. After Tokyo Game Show and EVO, it is gamescom’s turn to announce that it will open its doors to the general public and trade visitors at Koelnmesse (Cologne, Germany) from August 24th to 28th.
However, the show will not give up its presence and online formats that have been developed over the past two years. It will be a promising hybrid event “The best from both worlds”, says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the Association of the German Games Industry and co-organizer of gamescom. That’s how we find them Opening Night Live opening ceremony hosted by Geoff Keighley on the evening of August 23rd. It will be broadcast live on the Internet, but will take place on site with an audience. The first participants of the show have not yet been announced, but Felix Falk assures that “interest is very high”. He also expects Asian companies that have never been to gamescom to join.
Remember that this summer we are also entitled to return Summer Game Festival. As for E3 2022, the organizers just announced earlier in the year that no physical event was planned.
Ikumi Nakamura presents Unseen, her new studio
You probably know Ikumi Nakamura for his notable appearance at E3 2019 during the Bethesda conference. She then served as creative director at Ghostwire Tokyo at Tango Gameworks studio, which she left in September 2019 due to health issues. Here she is back with Unseen, her own indie studio based in Tokyowhose official opening she announces in the columns ofIGN.
At the moment no concrete information about the first game of this team that wants to be multicultural. Nakamura provides some more details that indicate production has started:
I want to make a game with characters that reflect real personalities and minorities with an open approach that represents multiple cultures (…) I like mystery, horror movies, zombies and the supernatural and science fiction… I find these genres fascinating , and I’m good at it, so I want to keep making games on those themes.
The creator also reveals her ambitions to go beyond video games:
I want to create a new license that works for different media. For example anime, education, clothes. I’d love to make a game that can impact that kind of media as well.
In case you didn’t know, Ikumi Nakamura has also worked on Okami, Super Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Bayonetta or The Evil Within as an artist. She was also the art director of Scalebound, Microsoft and PlatinumGames’ aborted project. In our opinion, for her work, she is one of the creators who have shaped video games.
Briefly in the business news of the week
- Chart United States – Elden Ring was the biggest hit in February in the US, ahead of Horizon Forbidden West, Pokémon Legends Arceus, Dying Light 2 and Total War Warhammer 3. FromSoftware’s game achieved monumental launch sales, beating all other games released in recent were published twelve months ago. except Call of Duty Vanguard. On the console side, the Switch tops sales ahead of the Xbox series.
- Lost Ark – Published in West by Amazon Games, Smilegate RPG’s free MMO has surpassed 20 million players worldwide. 10 million of them are based in North America, South America, Europe and Australia.
- Netflix – The streaming giant has hired Roberto Barrera as director for its video game strategy. Barrera spent 11 years at PlayStation, where he served as chief strategy and business officer for PlayStation Now and later as chief corporate strategy officer for Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Moon Beast Productions – This new studio has just been founded by two Diablo 2 development leads: Phil Shenk (Lead Artist) and Peter Hu (Lead Designer). They will work on a new license, a priori in the action RPG genre.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! master duel – The free-to-play was released on January 19th and has surpassed 20 million downloads.