Microsoft’s attempts to finalize its Activision Blizzard acquisition have inadvertently revealed how poorly the Xbox One console in all its forms sold.
As Game Luster reports, Microsoft needs to get the sign-off for its $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition from competition authorities around the world. One of those is Brazil’s CADE competition authority.
An official court document (in Portuguese) submitted by Microsoft includes the claim that (Google translated), “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and install base, having sold more than twice as many [than] Xbox in the last generation.”
Sony no longer reports PS4 console sales, but the last official total reported earlier this month was 117.2 million units. It means that Microsoft didn’t manage to sell more than 58 million Xbox One consoles over its lifetime. And if Ampere Analysis’ data is accurate, Microsoft sold a grand total of just 51 million consoles. For reference, the Xbox 360 achieved 85.8 million units over its lifetime.
Ampere also believes that Sony will have a substantial lead this generation by the time we reach 2024. PS5 console sales are expected to top 67.3 million, while Xbox Series X and Series S combined will manage 44.3 million.
Microsoft is taking a different approach this generation, with the emphasis shifting to hardware sales combined with subscription gaming through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. We won’t know how well that works until much later in this generation of hardware, and just as importantly, if it works even with a much smaller installed user base then your main competitor if Ampere’s predictions are to be believed.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s total sales hit 45 million since the game released in 2018.
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Nearly four years after launch, Red Dead Redemption 2 has achieved powerful sales figures across all platforms. As of June 30, 2022 during Take-Two Interactive’s Q1 FY23 period, Rockstar’s cowboy epic has sold 45 million copies combined across digital and physical channels.
These gains are up 1 million units quarter-over-quarter and 7 million units year-over-year, and continue RDR2’s trends of selling 1 million units between Q4 and Q1 periods. These sales may punctuate a sunsetting of Red Dead franchise content for some years to come; Rockstar has effectively stopped updating Red Dead Online with new meaningful content so it can focus almost exclusively on Grand Theft Auto 6, and RDR2’s campaign is practically set in stone with no expansions in sight.
That being said, Take-Two Interactive still expects Red Dead Online to be a meaningful contributor to its annual net bookings. Red Dead Online delivers microtransaction revenues through live service purchases and has, to a lesser extent, buffered TTWO’s yearly digital revenues.
“We now expect to deliver net bookings of $5.8 billion to $5.9 billion. Our assumptions take into consideration some shifts in our pipeline for the year, as well as movement in foreign exchange rates and the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop. The largest contributors to net bookings are expected to be NBA 2K, Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, Empires & Puzzles, Rollic’s hyper casual mobile portfolio, Toon Blast, and Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online. 45% Zynga, which includes our former T2 mobile titles, 37%, 2K; 17%, Rockstar Games; and 1%, Private Division.”
It’s not a universal maxim, but in many cases, there’s no surer sign a game is alive and well than when waves of players start calling it a “dead game.” The most recent example is apex legendswhich just set an all-time player count record amid a coordinated—I use that word generously—social media campaign urging players to fall off the game for a month.
apex legendsa free-to-play first-person shooter some people still call Why Aren’t You Titanfall 3?, launched three years ago amid the industry’s battle royale boom. Though it initially seemed experimental, a fun if ephemeral multiplayer pitstop between developer Respawn’s blockbusters (like titan fall and Jedi: Fallen Order), Apex quickly adopted a seasonal model. It’s been riding the live service train ever since and is now on its 14th season. This brings us to #NoApexAugust, a community effort to highlight various issues fans have with the game.
#NoApexAugust has mostly organized around a hashtag on Twitter, though the genesis can be traced back to to Reddit post from last month. Initially, one player suggested a single-day strike against apex legends. The post blew up. Complaints about apex legends poured in (the initial post has more than 1,000 responses), and it eventually morphed into the idea that the community would take a whole month off from the game.
The idea of #NoApexAugust was to spur Respawn and publisher EA into action, addressing what players see as issues with the game: the high-ping servers…or the lack of cross-progression…or the overpriced cosmetics…or the lack or interesting cosmetics …or the slew of specific items some say are too powerful…or, look, players have a bunch of nonsense issues, many of which seem minor in isolation but coalesce into a larger “please fix game” rallying cry.
Right out of the gate, #NoApexAugust sputtered. Some people pointed out that the player base actually increased (if only marginally) over the first two days of the month, immediately after the campaign kicked off. And just yesterday—again, while #NoApexAugust was supposedly in full swing—apex legends set its all-time record number of players on Steam: 510,286 players, according to stat-tracking database steamcharts. (The previous record of 411,183 was set in May. These figures don’t account for players on consoles, however.)
Some dead game.
Clearly, #NoApexAugust has failed spectacularly at its intended goal of getting players to abstain from playing apex legends. Due to the obvious irony, you are allowed at least one (1) chuckle. Still, that a social campaign—messy execution aside—was merited here in the first place calls attention to very real issues players have with the game. Those shouldn’t be ignored, even if players are coming out in record numbers.
Representatives for EA, which publishes apex legendsdid not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Grand Theft Auto V has shipped nearly 170 million copies worldwide across physical channels, continuing the game’s incremental monthly growth.
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Even after 9 years with releases on 3 console generations, GTA V still isn’t slowing down. Take-Two Interactive has confirmed GTA V has sold-in nearly 170 million copies worldwide. Total franchise sales are now at 380 million, so GTA V makes up 44% of total GTA sales.
GTA V has sold copies of these entire franchises:
Assassin’s Creed (155 million+)
Final Fantasy (165 million+)
Resident Evil (127 million)
Monster Hunter (84 million)
There’s two noticeable trends that arise from this data: GTA V has sold 5 million copies per quarter for six quarters in a row, and the PS5/Xbox Series X/S re-releases have not boosted game sales.
It’s also worth mentioning that the GTA trilogy remaster seems to have totally fizzled out in terms of sales. The trilogy remaster collection launched with a mighty 10 million units sold, but controversy has significantly affected continued sales of the game.
Rockstar Games will continue adding new GTA Online content to supplement GTA V as it works on the next major Grand Theft Auto game, which may release in its FY24 period.
Physical sales of the controversial GTA trilogy remaster collection have bombed for the second quarter in a row, Take-Two Interactive’s reports indicate.
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The GTA Definitive Edition remaster sold a whopping 10 million copies at launch, but our tracking shows the game has significantly fizzled out over the past two quarters. There’s a big reason for this: The game is largely regarded as a failure among Rockstar fans due to graphical issues, technical hiccups, and a disastrously controversial launch that has soured public opinion.
The sales figures reflect this sentiment. According to Take-Two Interactive’s recent investor’s presentation, the GTA franchise has sold-in 380 million copies to date. A quick bit of math offers figures for the trilogy collection. GTA franchise shipments increased by 5 million units, and total franchise shipments also increased by 5 million. This squeezes the trilogy out of the equation with sub 1 million sales.
Remember that these are sell-in numbers, or physical shipments, and do not include digital sales. It’s possible the trilogy has made a lot more sales digitally, however recent GTA franchise revenues show a slump back to pre-pandemic levels.
Bandai Namco expects the Dragon Ball franchise to generate nearly $1 billion in revenues this year, potentially breaking a four-year streak of earnings.
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Mega-hit sensation Dragon Ball is Bandai Namco’s most popular franchise. Every year from 2019 to 2022, Bandai Namco has made over $1 billion from sales of Dragon Ball games, services, and collectibles.
Weaker yen-to-USD conversions may end up breaking this billion-dollar streak in the company’s FY23 period. dragon ball is expected to make 133.5 billion yen throughout Fiscal Year 2023which is above all previous years except for the record highs set in 2020, but current foreign exchange rates put Dragon Ball earnings at about $989 million.
While forex rates change and fluctuate every month, the current values are responsible for dropping all Japanese games company earnings. Sony slid by 50%, Capcom also dropped by 50%, and Bandai Namco dropped about 18% year-over-year. Bandai Namco actually delivered 880 billion yen in net sales, but the weaker yen values (135 yen to every 1 USD) was actually less than 2021’s converted 740 billion yen net sales.
The publisher will launch the new Dragon Ball Breakers game in October and Dragonball Fighterz will get a new PS5/Xbox Series X/S re-release soon as well.
EA’s most recent earnings call didn’t deliver any real substantial news on upcoming games or content with zero mention of Battlefield 2042.
Alongside BioWare’s failed game Anthem, Battlefield 2042 is one of EA’s biggest bombs in recent memory. The shooter launched to massive controversy due to performance issues and lack of basic features. ea you have publicly acknowledged Battlefield 2042’s shortcomings and has promised fixes are coming.
Fast-forward to EA’s recent Q1 FY23 earnings call and there’s absolutely no mention of Battlefield 2042. The usual suspects–Apex, FIFA, Madden–are touted, but DICE’s latest shooter is left out.
This is a stark contrast to EA’s comments from its Q4 earnings call from May, where CEO Andrew Wilson said:
“We’ve got incredible leadership over that team now. They’re rethinking the development process from the ground up and really using kind of the Vince Zampella/Respawn model of getting to the fun as quickly as possible.”
ReadAlso:Battlefield 2042 needs to go free-to-play to succeed, data suggests
EA management wasn’t asked about Battlefield 2042 in the earnings call but they didn’t talk about the game either. There was just one brief mention of Battlefield 2042 on an investor’s slide confirming the game is still live.
This avoidance reflects the current state of the video games industry: Lower earnings as pandemic spending stabilizes from inflation, delayed games due to COVID-19 dev interruptions, and a general sense of having to catch up from economic and industry-level negative trends.
Reports indicate that EA is working on an early version of the next mainline Battlefield game but nothing has been confirmed or announced so far.
EA explains why Skate went free-to-play…and the short answer is social interactions.
The main reason why most games go free-to-play is to maximize reach and microtransaction spending. This is certainly one of EA’s big motivations with Skate, which is indeed F2P and will also have microtransactions. EA makes billions every year from live services and Skate will feed into this stream.
Aside from the game’s business tactics, EA management gives more color, saying that Skate’s new F2P release will appeal and cater to a very specific age group: Gen Z and Gen Alpha, both of which are very much connected to live games.
“One of the most important growth potential that we have as a company is how we show up for Gen Z and Gen Alpha players, how they socially connect, how they consume content. There’s been a significant focus from the team on this,” EA Chief Operating Officer Laura Miele said during the Q1 earnings call.
“Back in the day, skate was a bit even ahead of its time. A lot of the core motivation around our skate experience was around creative self-expression and in social connection and competition. And we are bringing that to life in the biggest way we possibly can.”
EA CEO Andrew Wilson also had prepared remarks about these age demographics
“We continue to see Gen Alpha and Gen Z turning to games as their primary form of entertainment, consuming more content than any generation of the past. They love playing with friends. They stay connected with family. And they’re creating content at every turn, both in and around their entire gaming experience.
When we look at Skate, I think what happened is our ambitions have continued to grow. As you’ve seen what the team has been able to do around that experience, I think we continue to see opportunity.
Skateboarding is kind of a cultural language for many generations. It transcends so many things, certainly geography and as we think about the ability to bring a global community of youth together through the language of skateboarding, we think this represents one of the biggest and strongest opportunities we have to build a global online community deeply engaged. in a world that involves creativity both from us and from them experiencing what starts out as skateboarding and almost certainly reaches more deeply into the cultural sensibilities of a generation.
Punters at Melbourne’s Crown Casino will be forced to pre-commit to losses and time spent on poker machines as part of reforms introduced in the wake of damning royal commission findings.
The Victorian Government has introduced laws requiring people to fix a limit on their pokie losses at Crown Melbourne
An advocate says the measures should apply to all the state’s pokie venues
A suite of other measures aim to combat money laundering
The 12 measures are the latest from 33 recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence, which found an “alarming catalog of wrongdoing” at Victoria’s only casino.
The Melbourne casino — Victoria’s largest single-site employer — has been able to hold onto its license as long as it meets a number of conditions, including implementing the reforms.
US firm Blackstone recently completed an $8.9 billion takeover of Crown’s operations in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Under the legislation being introduced in Victoria today, all Australian residents at the casino must set a maximum limit on how much they are prepared to lose before they begin using pokies.
“This is a world-first in a suite of reforms,” Gaming Minister Melissa Horne said.
Technology to enforce the limit and track the time and money spent does not yet exist.
The government will give the Crown until the end of 2023 to have the mandatory pre-commitments in place, with the minister saying “it needs to be fully rolled out by no later than the end of 2025”.
The limit will be entirely up to the pattern.
Calls for pre-commitments to apply statewide
Chief Advocate at the Alliance for Gambling Reform Tim Costello welcomed the news.
“This is a really a historic day for the state government and therefore the people of Victoria — winning back power over the Crown, that has completely dominated the landscape and dominated the terms of engagement,” he said.
He said he believed the pre-commitment system should apply to all pokie venues in the state.
“You can link the same system for pre-commitment to all pokies through clubs and hotels in Victoria so simply … the greedy pubs and clubs with pokies have fought this for more than a decade,” he said.
Crown Melbourne has about 2,600 pokie machines, about 10 per cent of the 26,321 spread across the state. Government statistics show more than $1.5 billion is lost on the pokies across the state each year.
When asked whether the limits were likely to be enforced at other gaming venues, Ms Horne said the government was focused on implementing the recommendations of the royal commission.
The minister said there was not a dollar figure or modeling attached to the mandatory pre-commitments to show how much better off patrons would be under the measure.
Other measures to tackle ‘money-laundering activities’
Repeated breaches of money-laundering rules and links to organized crime were identified at the royal commission.
Under the new measures, the use of cash will be limited to $1,000 per 24 hours in a bid to crack down on money laundering.
The legislation will make it mandatory for patrons to use casino-issued cards and identification to gamble or receive winnings of more than $1,000.
“Again, this is a first for Crown Casino. And it is aimed directly at tackling money-laundering activities,” Ms Horne said.
It builds on measures introduced earlier which direct Crown to only hold a single bank account for patrons to deposit funds.
Other new rules include making Crown pay for the cost of regulating the casino, which the minister said was “only reasonable that for the additional level of scrutiny that Crown requires, they should also be able to pay for that”.
Any person or business wanting to own more than 5 per cent of the casino operator or its holding company will require the approval of the state’s new gambling watchdog.