Just 3 days to go until Frontier Developments# releases F1 Manager 2023 and critics have already described it as “a lap ahead of its predecessor in nearly every way, and one of the best management sims around.” The additional features that Frontier has added in this year's iteration of the annual game (including increasing ease of access for gamers get to their very own race day), should help translate that critical success to positivity from everyday users. Given the real world season has been dominated by one team, players of the game will get the chance to relive those very races, but choose their own path!
On the continent, the importance of video games was underlined. Germany found that the number of games companies was up 15% YoY, bringing it to a massive 46% above 2020 levels, creating 30,000 jobs in the last 12 months. This follows the 2020 legislation for additional government funding, covering up to 50% of video games dev costs, which clearly helped catalyse the industry. Belgium has taken a more traditional route, which involves expanding its games tax shelter now covering 27% of "eligible production budget of the total qualifying expenses”. It is fantastic to see governments taking the sector seriously; we expect to see packages like this become more common across the world.
News of the week
EA signs Premier Deal
EA has announced a new £448m, 6-year partnership with The Premier League (PL) which will give it access to all the PL’s associated clubs, players, stadiums etc. This is a big step in minimising the impact of ending their longstanding deal with FIFA and will probably make it harder for FIFA to penetrate the market with their own new game. Previously, games like Pro Evolution Soccer, which failed to secure deals with some major football institutions, saw their popularity drop as the game stopped reflecting real-life branding, reducing its appeal to fans of those institutions. Hence, EA is likely to continue to cash in on one of its most successful games in history. Source: sportindustry.biz
US Supreme Court request means crunch time for Apple
On 17 July, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal paused its ruling that prohibited Apple from preventing developers directing their players to their own payments systems, which sit outside of the iOS ecosystem, a practice called steering. This was the only one of ten anti-trust claims that Apple lost earlier in the year, and they immediately filed an appeal, they are currently preparing their legal arguments to the US Supreme Court. This is important as all transactions that are handled by Apple include a 30% fee that goes directly to the tech giant. Epic Games, not to be beaten in submission despite their 90% loss rate, have also filed a request with the Supreme Court asking for them to reinforce the original ruling and force Apple to abide by the ruling from the Ninth Circuit. Whichever firms ends up with that 30% fee will be significantly better off, and Epic has a similar ongoing battle with Google. Only time will tell if they can wrestle away this guaranteed earner. Source: gamesindustry.biz
Roblox suffers data leak
Roblox announced it had suffered a major data breach, losing personal data, including addresses, of those who attended the Roblox Developer Conference between 2017-2020. This impacts c.4,000 individuals and is a goldmine for bad actors who can use the info to steal identities or impersonate individuals. The breach was first reported in 2020 by niche website haveibeenpwned, though the information only recently became available online. Roblox only just reached out to customers to provide assistance, but it raises questions not only about their security but also about their policies given the delay in reacting. Either way, its been an ugly episode for the gamin firm. Source: topclassactions.com
In other news...
• Gamestop CFO resigns
• PS5 tops 40m units sold
• Valhalla Ventures launches $66m investment
• Capcom acquires support studio Swordcanes
• CD Project fires 100 people
• Tencent to become majority shareholder of Techland
• Enthusiast Gaming's data-driven platform, U.GG, now includes World of Warcraft