This Week in Business is a collection of stats and quotes from our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that sheds light on console sales, new trends, and more. Check back every Friday for a new entry!
So did you see the big entertainment news last night? The one about that big franchise everyone loves/pays money to interact with, and how they’ve decided to make more of it?
Well, to be fair, I kind of did. I was checking Twitter here and there, so I saw the blitz of new Star Wars and Marvel and Pixar stuff coming down the pipe in the next few years. I saw The Game Awards announcements about a new Mass Effect, a new Perfect Dark, and so on. And honestly, even following what was happening from arm’s length, I still walked away from the whole thing utterly numb.
I love games. I’ve loved Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar stuff in the past. I love almost everything Taika Waititi does. But I didn’t fall head over heels for anything I saw last night. In fact, I can barely remember that much of it. And even though I’m generally jaded to a lot of generic AAA shooty scary stuff like Back 4 Blood and The Callisto Protocol, even stuff that should have been more my speed—Seasons and the new Fullbright game Open Roads—just didn’t grab me.
However, I’m not taking this is a reflection on any of the games or movies or TV series actually announced last night; they’ll all get more chances to win me over later on. Instead, I think there’s just a point of diminishing returns with hype-building. At least with E3 or Comic-Con you get this things spread out over a few days.
Granted, my own personal reaction is a pretty small sample size, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking the Disney-VGAs tag team last night was too much in too short a time. A lot of this could have made a much bigger impression if it were presented a bit differently, given more of a chance to shine on its own.
Instead, it felt more like a handful of giant media companies trying to force-feed me my entertainment calendar for the next three years. And that makes engaging with these works feel more like an obligation than a hobby.
STAT | 39 – The number of entries in IGN’s “The Game Awards 2020: Every Game Announcement and Reveal” article.
STAT | 33 – The number of awards given out at The Game Awards.
STAT | 3.7 million – The number of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands copies sold on day one, which Activision Blizzard said on Tuesday made it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
STAT | 2 days – The length of time World of Warcraft: Shadowlands got to enjoy that title, as CD Projekt on Thursday confirmed that it had 8 million preorders for Cyberpunk 2077. With 59% of those on PC, that would put Cyberpunk 2077’s day-one tally at about 4.72 million copies based on preorders alone.
STAT | 29% – The decline in CD Projekt Red’s stock price over the last week, a period which included the launch of its long-awaited sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077, as well as numerous complaints about bugs and glitches from early adopters of the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.
STAT | $7 billion – The US consumer spend on gaming products in November, according to the NPD Group. It was the largest November total the research firm has seen.
STAT | 783 – The number of GameStop stores that have closed in the past two years, 462 of them this year alone. It plans to push that number over 1,000 by the end of March. The company has more than 5,000 stores in total worldwide.
QUOTE | “We know that many people on Twitch—particularly women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of color—unfortunately continue to experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online, including on our service. Not only is this blatantly unacceptable, it also undermines the community we’re building on Twitch and threatens the long-term viability of streaming as a career for everyone who wishes to pursue it.” – Twitch explains some of the reasoning behind its new, more detailed hateful conduct and harassment policy.
STAT | 44 days – The length of time between Twitch’s announcement of that policy and the time it will enforce it, a gap it says is intended to give the community time to read and process them.
STAT | Infinite – The length of time content currently allowed content that violates the revised standards—like displaying the Confederate flag, misgendering people, or likening ethnic groups to parasites or animals—will be allowed to remain on Twitch so long as it is posted before January 22. (Yup, the Confederate flag is being grandfathered in.)
QUOTE | “The games industry churns through juniors, and marginalised juniors are routinely exploited and harassed—they’re easy to take advantage of because they are new and marginalised, and don’t have the job security or wide enough network to feel confident saying no to people. Communities need to step in here, and help allow people to say no to predatory bosses or work environments, and [know] that they will still have a network to move somewhere better.” – Melbourne-based composer, sound designer, and audio programmer Maize Wallin, one of the people celebrated in the GI 100 Game Changers project, hits on a number of issues facing the industry and how they are inextricably tied together.
QUOTE | “Some of what we do now looks a lot like live-action, but it’s still animation. In 10 years, you’ll have the option if you want to make things that look completely realistic, all done inside a computer, never mind all the other advances technology will enable.” – Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick offers yet another in a long line of games industry predictions about photorealism or crossing the uncanny valley that invariably age poorly.
QUOTE | “When they do my annual review next year, the first line on the checklist is, ‘Did you break PUBG?’ And hopefully we can check ‘No.'” – PUBG’s new creative director Dave Curd says he’s not looking to shake things up or leave his thumbprints all over the game.
QUOTE | “You are on notice that your production, marketing, and sale of the Infringing Products, your use of Nintendo’s trademarks in connection with these activities, and your false association with the Nintendo brand violate Nintendo’s intellectual property rights.” – Nintendo’s legal team, in a cease and desist order to the creator of an Indiegogo charity campaign selling Joy-Con shells to raise money for the non-profit mental health resource group JED Foundation.