Good Morning Gamers! PlayStation, their family of studios and their IPs seemed to be the center of attention last week. They’ve had an overwhelmingly positive start to 2022 and according to experts from Ampere Analysis, estimates show that Sony holds 46% market share of all spending on “consoles, hardware and services”. With fans eagerly awaiting PlayStation’s next State of Play (rumored to be sometime in March), here’s some new info to tie you over.
Housemarque, the studio behind the critically acclaimed PlayStation exclusive Returnal, is currently in the “concept phase” of their next game. CEO Ilari Kuittinen confirmed that it will be a brand new IP and not a sequel to Returnal.
The Revival of a “popular franchise” is expected to be revealed by PlayStation sometime in Q4 2022. The most likely candidate is the rumored Twisted Metal reboot by Sony’s first-party studio Firesprite. That said, multiple insiders have also claimed that new Sly Cooper and InFAMOUS games are in active development.
Job Listings are often a great source of slip ups that provide unintentional insights into a studio's projects. Sucker Punch might be quietly working on a Ghost of Tsushima sequel as a few job listings are requiring candidates to have played the game as well as having a deep understanding of the games core systems. In Addition, Bungie’s new IP seems to be a competitive PVP title focusing on third-person action.
Twitch - Falling Apart
Twitch is an American video live streaming service that launched on June 6, 2011. The service was later acquired by Amazon on August 25, 2014 for $970 million USD.
According to Bloomberg, Twitch is losing their employees whereby six top employees have left the company in 2022 including the chief operating officer, chief content officer and head of creator development. In 2021, 300 employees left Twitch and more than 60 have followed suit so far in 2022.
Culture at Twitch has changed drastically according to Marcus Graham, the former head of creator development. Graham said that the hiring process evolved and the focus has shifted away from prioritizing users. He stated “Twitch’s entire strategy hinged on talking to streamers and learning what they need to succeed”.
Brandon Ewing, a former content marketing manager said “You had people who didn’t really use the platform designing products for users they didn’t care about in order to get promoted”. The inability to keep their users happy has led to social media campaigns such as #TwitchDoBetter.
Average Daily Viewers: 2.5 million
Average Daily Visitors: 31 million
Unique Creators: 8 million
Employees: 1.8 thousand
Minutes Watched in 2021: 1.3 trillion
🥇 Congratulations to OpTic Texas for winning the Call of Duty League 2022: OpTic Major 1 Tournament.
ESL Statement on Ukraine
In response to the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, the ESL has temporarily barred all esports organizations or individuals with apparent ties to the Russian government from participating in any upcoming ESL Pro League events. The two organizations specifically identified in the ESL statement are Virtus.pro and Gambit. These sanctions still allow the players to compete in the events but under a neutral name and with no representation of their team or country. Virtus.pro has since responded in their own statement saying that they cooperated with the ESL investigation and that they are the subject of “cancel culture”.
Play-to-Earn and Mobile Esports
The concept of “Play-to-Earn” (P2E) has been thrown around quite substantially over the last year, especially when talking about NFTs and gaming. It's a controversial concept, and one that is still in its infancy, but esports tournament organizer Ignite Tournaments has secured $10m in funding to help them solidify P2E gaming. This strategic investment will help them build the world’s first “mobile play-to-earn esports tournament and streaming platform” and they claim that they will be able to turn any mobile game into a play-to-earn game.
Concluding February Esports
February was a monstrous month for esports competitions so we wanted to quickly recap some of the best performing events as analyzed by Esports Charts.
IEM Katowice 2022 (CS:GO) and the LCK Spring 2022 (League of Legends) led the way in Peak Viewership reaching 1.23m and 822k peak viewers respectively.
The Top 3 events for english speaking viewers included IEM Katowice, Twitch Rivals Stream Bowl 3 (Fortnite) and the VCT 2022 North America Stage 1 Challengers (Valorant).
Some honourable mentions include the HCS 2022 North American Regionals (Halo Infinite), the Six Invitational (Rainbow 6 Siege) and the BLAST Premier Spring 2022 (CS:GO).
Halo Infinite has delayed the release of their Forge mode and their Campaign co-op. 343 Industries says they’re working on it alongside Season 2.
Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online for the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S is releasing on March 15. High-end PC visuals will now be available on consoles.
Electronic Arts has stopped the sale of their games and in-game content in Russia and Belarus. EA is also making changes to their sports franchises.
Star Wars Eclipse is facing hiring struggles despite releasing a trailer at the end of 2021. Tom Henderson says it will be released in 2027.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, expected to be released in December has been put on hold as the studio is based out of Kyiv, Ukraine.
Elden Ring had the biggest UK video game launch since Call of Duty: Vanguard with more than double the sales of Horizon Forbidden West.
MultiVersus, the upcoming platform-fighter from WB Games had their character list leaked by various data mines from February and early March.
Yakuza 8 and “a lot of unannounced titles” are in development at RGG Studio. Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Daisuke Sato left in 2021.
Resident Evil 2, 3 and 7 are coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2022 with ray tracing, a higher frame rate, 3D audio, Dual Sense support and more.
Thatgamecompany, the American video game developer received a $160 million investment from investor group TPG and venture capital firm Sequoia.
Game Review - Gran Turismo 7
Gran Turismo 7 is an awesome real driving simulator that improves upon its predecessor Gran Turismo 6, which was released in 2013. The graphics in this game are out of this world, which allows you to feel like you’re in the car, in a pure driving experience. On the PS5, the game runs smoothly and the customization is a step up from previous games. The campaign is worth completing as it allows you to unlock different tracks and rewards. The car list is impressive; however, it feels like car collecting has become more important than racing.
Micro transactions were added to Gran Turismo 7 once the game launched worldwide. Purchase credits from the PlayStation Store range from $2.49 to $19.99. Unfortunately, some of the hi-spec cars can cost up to $40 but all the cars can be unlocked without spending any money.
Unlike Forza Horizon 5, this isn’t an open world game, which is why it is referred to as a real driving simulator. For users who want to roam the streets and mountain sides aimlessly, you’ll prefer the Need for Speed franchise. This game is meant for racing and car enthusiasts.
We give Gran Turismo 7 a score of B.
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