Deep dive: Devolver’s indie publisher biz, poked at

In recent years, at least 60% of Devolver’s revenue has been from games released in previous years, even though they don’t push IAP particularly hard in their games. So a lot of this is catalog sales, discounts, new DLC that sells the main game..

Publishers keep bringing it up, I’ll keep bringing it up. Catalog titles are more evergreen and more important than ever. Even for publishers that tend to focus on smaller productions. And this started before the latest consoles brought backwards compatibility even more to the forefront, despite the PC offering it for ages and certainly before the latest hardware ended up relying on cross-gen titles at best for a full year after launch and, by the looks of it, for more. Cross-gen titles keep being announced for 2022 and 2023. This will be a long journey folks.

“Developers need help to be discovered as title release volume is increasing, driven by the lower barriers of entry to development which digital distribution provides. The number of titles released on Steam annually has grown from 285 in 2009 to 9,692 in 2020. The growing number of developers releasing titles across a broader set of platforms makes it increasingly difficult for studios to differentiate their games to distributors and gamers.” Nuff said.

I’ll keep hammering this till it registers: we need fewer games. Which also means we need more consolidation/M&A but this won’t be making me new friends, I know.

Facebook exec blames society for COVID misinformation

The big picture: Pressed on whether Facebook and others are amplifying those views, Bosworth characterized it as a demand problem rather than one caused by the amount of misinformation on social media.

“People want that information,” Bosworth said. “I don’t believe that the answer is ‘I will deny these people the information they seek and I will enforce my will upon them.’ “
“At some point the onus is, and should be in any meaningful democracy, on the individual.”

Well of course individuals and the society at large, governments included, bear responsibility as is the case with everything else in the world. Yet this stance is hilarious. The emphasis on the individual seems rational but it’s quite the oversimplification. Personally, I believe in the accountability of individual citizens, but pretending that the buck stops there in organised societies, democratic or not, is outright wrong. And it demand was enough to justify anything going awry in the world, then the drug trade would be happily tolerated. But it’s not. Because we understand that the existence of demand does not equal justification of demand. And let’s not forget that demand isn’t some fruit that grows on trees. Demand can be stoked, sustained, handled. But this isn’t a conversation Facebook wants to be in. The fact that I personally disagree with every government in the world that insists on pretending that a platform like Facebook is a publisher, hence accountable for anything being randomly posted there, this doesn’t mean Facebook gets to pretend algorithms geared towards maximising engagement are the same as providing choice and fostering free yet informed free will.

Sony was bringing PlayStation Now to mobile, says confidential Apple document

That a streaming service of any kind is or at some point was coming to mobile is not news that we need much confirmation about. What would be news is the reason why it’s taking Sony so damn long after having PlayStation Now on TVs (then taking it back), having bought two companies for the required tech and so on and so forth.

Microsoft quietly told Apple it was willing to turn big Xbox-exclusive games into iPhone apps

Brace yourselves for more shocking revelations.

These games would have run on Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) platform, streaming from remote server farms filled with Xbox One and Xbox Series X processors instead of relying on the local processing power of your phone.

First the title —and the article— speaks of big Xbox-exclusive games into iPhone apps. This is just stupid reporting. First, Apple asks that of any game streaming service. Doesn’t matter it that’s nice or not. It’s their public police and we’ve now for ages. Microsoft even declared that the impracticality of that approach is the reason why it would focus its efforts on going through Safari, which is OK according to Apple. That’s also not news. That’s been public.

What really gets me though is the notion that Xbox exclusives would be turned into iPhone apps as a way to characterise container apps for Xbox Cloud Gaming’s stack. Microsoft is trying to bring Game Pass as an app —or a bunch of them, doesn’t matter right now— to the iPhone. One of Game Pass’s defining features are a gaming subscription services it’s the inclusion of first party exclusive Xbox games. But somehow, somewhere, in the God-forsaken land that is writing for SEO first, readers second, this is news.

Where did negotiations break down? Microsoft now tells The Verge that Apple was actually the one that rejected its proposals — because Apple insisted on forcing each and every game to include the full streaming stack and wouldn’t agree to anything else.

Another shocker for you friends. Microsoft tells the Verge that it was Apple that rejected its proposals. Oh dear. You mean to say that Apple, the company that never has App Store rules against what Microsoft really wishes to do here, the company that provides only a certain alternative approach for anyone in Microsoft’s position, one that Microsoft has technical objections to even, was the one doing the rejecting and not the other way around?

Be still, my heart.