Activision Blizzard Q1 earnings, Embracer IP swap, more

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TGO After-Show

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here for The Gaming Observer daily updates. It is May 6th, 2020, very excited to get into the news here, let’s start by taking a look at Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard Q1 earnings

Yes, Activision Blizzard just reported on their Q1 earnings for 2020, and we’ve got some nuggets of information here. This is obviously their first quarter since the pandemic began, and they have been reaping the benefits of it. Net bookings are up 21% year-over-year, which were mostly driven by Call of Duty. They released Warzone in March, which was big for them, but they’re also seeing a larger than typical increase in players for Modern Warfare. They noted that all employees are now working from home, which should apparently have little impact on delaying any products. They have now increased their revenue forecasts by half a billion, which is a conservative estimate to be honest. Most of their success this quarter did come from the Activision side of things, with Blizzard staying flat, and King doubling their monthly active users for Candy Crush. It’s no surprise the company has done well, they have a number of games that are perfect for this situation I think.

THQ Nordic and Koch Media swap IPs

If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I love watching the Embracer Group, and their strategy of just gobbling up as many companies as possible. Well today, we saw a benefit of that strategy. So underneath Embracer they have a number of subsidiaries, and two of those subsidiaries literally just traded IPs. THQ Nordic transferred the rights of Red Faction and Painkiller to Koch Media. In return, they got the IPs for Risen, Sacred, Rush for Berlin, Second Sight, and Singles: Flirt Up Your Life. They literally just did a swap, it’s weird, but I like it. As gi.biz notes here, this is an interesting move for a few reasons. First, Red Faction now belongs to Koch Media, who have a subsidiary of their own called Volition, who are the original developers of the game. Similarly, THQ Nordic got the Risen series, which used to belong to their now subsidiary Piranha Bytes. As the company says, “Evaluations on remasters, ports, potential sequels, and new content will start right away.” Anyway I thought this was interesting because you rarely hear of stuff like this happening without money involved.

Amazon’s Crucible releases May 20th

Amazon’s first major video game launch will now happening on May 20th, for their game Crucible. This is a free to play hero shooter, which comes ahead of their MMO New World, and its streaming service Project Tempo. I’m not gonna lie, Crucible doesn’t look like something super special, but hopefully I’m proven wrong. It’s got both shooting and melee combat, 10 playable characters, and three game modes. If you want to see what Amazon has to offer entering the gaming sphere, give it a look.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order adds update

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has received a new update, adding New Game+, which will allow you to replay the game with all your cosmetics, essentially. They’ve also added some new game modes that allow you to practice fights by setting up custom skirmishes, as well as some developer-made challenges. Alongside all that is a series of accessibility features like text scaling. This update is really meant for the people who are vets of the game, so feel free to return to it if you’re interested.

Thanks so much for tuning in everybody, it really means a lot to me. If you’d like to hear even more from me, you should check out The Gaming Observer podcast, which just released today. Katosepe and I talk all about our thoughts on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the Summer Game Fest, and Mick Gordon’s split from Id software. It’s a great episode, and if you’re interested in hearing it you can go to any podcast host, or check out youtube.com/thegamingobserver. That’ll be all from me today, and until tomorrow with the news, happy gaming everyone.