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Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22… the business news of the week

business news Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22… the business news of the week

Sales figures, studio buyouts, financial statements, developer transfer window, investments… if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you an update on the business news of the past week.

Battlefield: major changes announced for the franchise

In the wake of the complicated launch of Battlefield 2042, Electronic Arts has decided to make several internal changes to set up the future of the license, we learn in an article by GameSpot. First of all, DICE studio chief executive Oskar Gabrielson will be leaving the company. He will be replaced in his post by Rebecka Coutaz, who led Ubisoft Annecy for almost ten years.

Another significant change, veteran Vince Zampella has been named head of the Battlefield franchise. Co-founder of Respawn Entertainment, Zampella has distinguished himself in the past working on Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Titanfall and Apex Legends. He will share his responsibilities with Byron Beede, former general manager of the Call of Duty license, recruited by EA last June. The American publisher has also decided to call on Marcus Lehto, one of the creators of Halo. He is currently in the process of establishing a new studio in Seattle, whose role will be to create narrative content for the Battlefield franchise. For its part, the Ripple Effect studio, to which we owe Battlefield 2042’s Portal mode, is working on “a new experience” for this same game. Overall, the number of developers dedicated to the Battlefield franchise is brought to “to grow significantly”.

EA has also expressed its desire, still vague for the moment, to create a “Battlefield connected universe”. No concrete details yet, but Zampella said all possibilities are being explored. After the successes of Call of Duty Warzone and Apex Legends, we can easily imagine the arrival of free-to-play, knowing that a Battlefield Mobile is already in preparation.

“In the immediate term, EA told GameSpot that DICE, Ripple Effect, and Lehto’s new studio in Seattle will work together to develop and improve Battlefield 2042. The other Battlefield games and experiences in the works are meant to serve as expansions, in a extent, of the new Battlefield universe that EA is trying to create. There are no details yet on what new games and experiences EA intends to create or when they will be released.”, summarizes GameSpot. EA’s primary objective therefore remains to improve Battlefield 2042, which this week received a third update bringing numerous fixes, weekly missions and even interface improvements.

CD Projekt unveils its results and provides an update on its projects

CD Projekt unveiled its financial results for the quarter from July to September 2021. If the Polish firm achieved an increase in turnover, profits are down compared to last year. In question: the disappointing performance of Cyberpunk 2077 after its record launch month (13 million sales), but also higher expenses than last year (27.3 million euros against 17.3 million euros) , spawned by Cyberpunk 2077 post-launch follow-up (patches, PS5/Xbox Series patch, expansion) and studio takeovers (Digital Scapes, The Molasses Flood). Another disappointment: the PC games store GOG.com, which made a net loss of one million euros in the quarter.

CD Projekt Results

Period Turnover Operating profit net profit
July to September 2021 €30.8 million 3.2 million euros 3.4 million euros
July to September 2020 €22.3 million 6 million euros 4.8 million euros

In the balance sheet of CD Projekt, a graph shows the current distribution of the workforce according to the projects, knowing that the firm has 660 developers. We thus discover that the team in charge of fixes and new-gen optimization of Cyberpunk 2077 is losing more and more members. Conversely, the team dedicated to the first extension of the game is growing, a sign that its development is accelerating. The next game update (1.5) will arrive at the beginning of 2022, at the same time as the PS5 / Xbox Series patch. As for the new-gen version of The Witcher 3, it is not mentioned on the graphic because it is developed by an external studio, Saber Interactive. It is expected in the second quarter of 2022. As for Gwent and The Witcher: Monster Slayer (Spokko), there are no significant changes to report. Finally, note that the president of CD Projekt, Adam Kiciński, has announced that the group is not looking for a buyer or an investor.

Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22... the business news of the week

Nacon: lower results and postponements

Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22... the business news of the week

It is also time to take stock for Nacon, which has published its results for the semester from April to September 2021. The figures logically suffer from the comparison with those of last year, boosted by the exceptional dynamics of the video game market during the months of confinement. But the main thing to take away from this balance sheet is that the French publisher has decided to postpone four games “in order to optimize its future income”. The narrative RPG Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong therefore shifts its release from February to May 19, 2022, while Blood Bowl 3 is no longer expected before the next fiscal year, April 2022 at the earliest. Finally, the simulations Train Life: A Railway Simulator and Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator will remain in early access longer than planned.

Nacon Results

Period Turnover Operating profit net profit
April to September 2021 73 million euros 4.5 million euros 3.8 million euros
April to September 2020 €86.6 million €13.9 million 9.6 million euros

The next few months will therefore be calm for Nacon, which will content itself with launching Cricket 2022 and the console versions of Roguebook. Things will be more lively in fiscal year 2022/2023 (April 2022 to March 2023): the publisher plans to release 15 games during this period, including Steelrising, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Session (version 1.0) and Drive Unlimited review: Solar Crown. What anticipate an annual turnover between 250 and 300 million euros.

MercurySteam (Metroid Dread) and 505 Games team up for an action-RPG

Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22... the business news of the week

After having distinguished itself by developing Metroid Dread on behalf of Nintendo, MercurySteam continues with the announcement of a partnership with the publisher 505 Games. The two entities will work together on a third-person action-RPG set in a dark fantasy world, answering to the code name “Project Iron”. This will be a new license that will be co-owned by the studio and the publisher. “We are thrilled to work with the team at MercurySteam, a proven studio that has created many phenomenal licenses over the years. With the creative vision and talent of MercurySteam and the experience of 505 Games, players can expect a high-quality, engaging and challenging video game”said Raffi and Rami Galante, co-CEOs of Digital Bros, the parent company of 505 Games.

Founded in 2002, MercurySteam is based in Spain, in Madrid. The studio is known for developing the Castlevania trilogy: Lords of Shadow between 2010 and 2014, Metroid Samus Returns, Metroid Dread and the TPS coop Spacelords.

Farming Simulator 2022: a remarkable launch with 1.5 million copies sold

Battlefield, Cyberpunk 2077, Farming Simulator 22... the business news of the week

Casually, the Farming Simulator franchise is a great success. Born in 2008, it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide before the release of the latest opus, Farming Simulator 22, on November 22. A particular episode since it is self-published by Giants Software, which has decided to end its long collaboration with Focus Entertainment. The Swiss studio will therefore recover most of the profits made by the game, and we can already say that the harvest looks good: Farming Simulator 22 achieved the best launch in the franchise with 1.5 million sales a week after its release on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Stadia. It was particularly well received on Steam where it recorded a peak of 105,636 simultaneous players, twice as many as the previous opus (Farming Simulator 2019).

Briefly in the business news of the week

  • According to Bloomberg, Sony would prepare a new subscription formula, called “Project Spartacus” internally, which would merge the benefits of PS Plus and PS Now. The offer would be divided into three tiers: the first would include the benefits of PS Plus, the second would offer an extensive catalog of PS4 games and, eventually, PS5, while the third tier would add exclusive demos, game streaming and a library of PS1, PS2, PS3 and even PSP titles. All the details can be found in our dedicated article.
  • the SELL unveiled the best physical sales in France for the week of November 15 to 20. The remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, released on November 19, are needed without surprise. Pokémon Sparkling Diamond rises to 1st place, followed by Pokémon Sparkling Pearl, then the “duo pack” which combines the two games. Battlefield 2042 (PS5 version) is 4th, while FIFA 22 (PS4 version) completes the top 5.
  • With more than 22 million copies sold, the Switch has become the fourth best-selling console in Japanese history. It overtook the PS2 (21.9 million), and only the Nintendo 3DS (25.2 million), the Game Boy (32.4 million) and the Nintendo DS (32.9 million) are ahead now.
  • On Sunday, November 28, Steam recorded a peak of 27.3 million concurrently connected users, beating the previous record (26.9 million) set last April. The most frequented games currently on the platform are CS:GO, Dota 2, PUBG, Apex Legends, New World, NARAKA: BLADEPOINT, Halo Infinite or even GTA V.
  • Dead Cells just hit the six million mark. Motion Twin’s rogue-lite will get a new expansion, The Queen and the Sea, in the first quarter of 2022.
  • The Swedish group Zordix has acquired publisher Maximum Games and its label Modus Games (Cris Tales, Trine 4…) for 37 million euros.

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