Business news Amazon x Tomb Raider, Sonic Frontiers, Fortnite… the business news of the week
Published on 18/12/2022 at 17:00
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.
Charts Europe: Pokémon and God of War do not prevent a drop in salesSonic Frontiers starts with a bang with 2.5 million salesFortnite: Accused of creating addiction, Epic Games is sued in CanadaAmazon Games will publish the next game Tomb Raider by Crystal DynamicsBriefly in the business news of the weekOur other business articles of the week
Charts Europe: Pokémon and God of War do not prevent a drop in sales
18.1 million video games were sold in Europe during the month of November 2022, as revealed by GamesIndustry in its latest monthly review. A result down 17% compared to November 2021, with in retail 7.8 million games sold for download (-15%) and 10.4 million in physical (-18%). It’s worth remembering that in 2021, Call of Duty Vanguard was released in November, while this year’s installment – Modern Warfare 2 – landed in October. GamesIndustry also points out that sales of FIFA 23 in November were lower than those of the previous episode in 2021, despite the boost given by the World Cup in Qatar.
Despite this, there have been a few big launches, starting with God of War: Ragnarok on November 9. Best start in PlayStation Studios game history with 5.1 million worldwide sales in five days, Santa Monica Studio’s game tops the monthly rankings on the Old Continent. In its first three weeks, it sold 62% more copies than its predecessor in 2018. 69% of sales were recorded on PS5, and the rest on PS4.
If God of War Ragnarök appears n°1 of the ranking, the reality would have been quite different if Nintendo shared its sales figures on the eShop. Counting only their physical sales and combining them, Pokémon Scarlet and Purple come second only to Kratos’ latest adventures.. In other words, they would arguably rise to the top spot with digital included. Released on November 18, they achieved a historic launch with 10 million sales in three days worldwide.
Two other new features should be noted, and they both come from SEGA: Sonic Frontiers (6th) and Football Manager 2023 (10th). Before letting you discover the complete top 20, we should point out that we still find six Sony games and six Nintendo games.
The 20 best sales of November 2022 in Europe (physical + dematerialized)
God of War Ragnarok (Sony)FIFA 23 (EA)Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)Pokémon Violet (Nintendo)*Pokémon Écarlate (Nintendo)*Sonic Frontiers (Sega)Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (Nintendo)*Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)Football Manager 2023 (Sega)Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo)*The Last of Us: Part 2 (Sony)Horizon: Forbidden West (Sony)NBA 2K23 (2K Games)Gran Turismo 7 (Sony)LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Warner Bros)God of War (Sony)It Takes Two (EA)Splatoon 3* (Nintendo)Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
.* Download sales not counted
Sonic Frontiers kicks off with 2.5 million sales
Born more than 30 years ago, Sonic is on the rise. After his success in the cinema with Sonic the Movie and its sequel, released earlier this year, the mascot of SEGA seems to have succeeded in his bet with Sonic Frontiers. Its unique formula in the saga, focusing on exploration and RPG mechanics, has already won over more than 2.5 million buyers worldwide one month after its release.
SEGA’s press release does not specify if it is the best start of the franchise, but we are probably not far from it. To compare with previous 3D opuses, Sonic Generations totaled 1.85 million sales in six months, while Sonic Unleashed had stopped at 2.45 million in total. Even the much-loved Sonic Mania, released in 2017, had only reached one million in eight months.
Note, however, that if Sonic Frontiers is sold at a price of € 59.99 in dematerialized form, it is already possible to find it for around thirty euros in a new physical version at certain retailers. Remember that its journey is far from stopping since SEGA has planned a whole series of updates that will add free new features, including new playable characters, in 2023. Finally, the license will continue to be talked about beyond the video game : the animated series Sonic Prime has just been released this week on Netflix, Sonic the movie 3 is in preparation for December 18, 2024 in France, and a Sonic live action series will also be released on Paramount + at an as yet unknown date .
Fortnite: accused of creating addiction, Epic Games is being sued in Canada
Canadian justice will look into a class action accusing Epic Games of “creating an addiction” comparable “to that which heroin or cocaine can create”, as indicated in a document from the Superior Court of Montreal dated December 7 . “The court finds that there is a serious question to be argued (…) as to the existence of risks and dangers arising from the use of Fortnite”, can we read.
This class action lawsuit was launched in October 2019 by the parents of three children who were aged 9, 13 and 15 when they started playing Fortnite. One would have played 7,781 games in two years, “at least three hours a day”, sometimes until the middle of the night, while another would have been diagnosed with “cyber addiction”. Excessive practices which are accompanied by significant expenses to obtain V-Bucks, the famous virtual currency of the game: between 200 and 400 euros for the two youngest and up to 4,100 euros for the oldest. The plaintiffs thus indicate that Fortnite “would encourage excessive spending” and also denounce symptoms such as “migraines, back and neck pain, breaches of basic hygiene, sleep disturbances as well as significant social disturbances”.
In short, Epic Games will have to defend itself from having marketed a “dangerous and harmful” product and from not having disclosed the risks. Lawyers for the American firm have already highlighted the absence of an “expert report” and studies on “the adverse effects of a video game”. For their part, the plaintiffs ask for the recognition of “moral and material damages as well as the restitution of the services”, that is to say the reimbursement of all the purchases of underage players.
Recall that in 2019, Epic Games had already been targeted by a class action in the United States, which more specifically concerned the loot boxes included in Fortnite and Rocket League. The American firm ended up conceding a $26.5 million deal in February 2021.
Amazon Games will publish the next Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics
Embracer may have several publishing centers (THQ Nordic, Plaion, Deep Silver …), it is Amazon Games that will publish and support the production of Lara Croft’s next adventures. With this agreement, the American giant affirms its ambitions to become a major third-party publisher and diversifies by adding to its catalog a single-player AAA, and not an online game like Lost Ark, New World and Blue Protocol.
The press release does not reveal anything new about this new Tomb Raider, simply recalling that it is developed with the Unreal Engine 5 engine while evoking its ambitions:
This new Tomb Raider game, as yet untitled, is a narrative single-player adventure that continues the story of Lara Croft. It includes all the elements that make Tomb Raider one of gaming’s most beloved franchises, allowing players to take on the role of brave, multi-faceted heroine Lara Croft in environments that emphasize the exploration and puzzle solving, with ingenious puzzles and a wide variety of enemies to defeat. Crystal Dynamics leverages the power and industry-leading technology of Unreal Engine 5 to deliver innovative storytelling in what will be the biggest and most expansive of all Tomb Raider games. The game is currently in early development and further details will be revealed later. Amazon Games press release.
As a reminder, Tomb Raider has not had a new opus since the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider in September 2018, which concluded the trilogy initiated in 2013 with the Tomb Raider reboot. The license was bought from Square Enix by Embracer a few months ago, in a batch comprising three studios (Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal) and nearly 50 other licenses (Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain.. .) for just $300 million in total.
Briefly in the business news of the week
Released on June 30 on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch for €7.99, Cuphead’s The Delicious Last Course DLC has surpassed 2 million sales.Filiale de Take-Two, Private Division has signed an agreement with Bloober Team (The Medium) around a new survival-horror type game which should not be released before 2025.