Game companies in China will increase focus on exports
Chinese game companies have dominated their home market and found success overseas with mobile games. With increased investment in AAA game development, local indie studios and the ongoing regulatory risk at home, we expect Chinese game companies to start finding success on all platforms overseas in 2022 and beyond.
Seeing as Chinese game developers have it harder than ever in China, enough to need the other markets more than ever as well, it’ll be interesting to see how western developers will be adjusting their plans for China, seeing as they will have it even harder whenever they try to break into the Chinese market themselves. Maybe the Chinese dream of game developers will start fizzling out? We’ll se..
A summary of those personnel actions was scheduled to be released by Activision before the winter holidays, but Chief Executive Bobby Kotick held it back, telling some people it could make the company’s workplace problems seem bigger than is already known, the people familiar with the situation said.
Call me cynical but I’d say Kottick was more concerned over his company’s market cap over the holidays…
…because this deal had already been in the oven for a couple of months by then.
Perhaps the most striking and unsettling action is planned for this stage, which M&C Saatchi states “will create a visual PR stunt.”
“A glass box is installed in a public space,” the presentation notes. “Inside the box, there are two actors; one child and one adult. Both strangers. The child sits playing on their smart phone. At the other end of the box, we see an adult sat on a chair also on their phone, typing away.
“The adult occasionally looks over at the child, knowingly. Intermittently through the day, the ‘privacy glass’ will turn on and the previously transparent glass box will become opaque. Passers by won’t be able to see what’s happening inside. In other words, we create a sense of unease by hiding what the child and adult are doing online when their interaction can’t be seen.”
How does this differ from showing a situation which would absolutely call for a gun and pretend that’s enough to avoid any gun control because it could backfire in specific instances?
Also, if you’re from the US, this comment was sarcastic, not a pro-gun argument. Contrary to popular belief in that part of the Americas, there are all the other examples set by the rest of the world, so no, we won’t have what you’re having, thank you.
Anything can backfire. It’s the kind of risk that’s more reasonable to take up that should shape such debates.
And with regards to the GTA trilogy, that was actually not a new title. That was a remaster of preexisting titles. We did have a glitch in the beginning, that glitch was resolved. And the title of has done just great for the company.
A glitch is something unexpected. When a product’s issues are self-evident, it’s not a glitch, it’s a badly executed launch. When people mess up royally, they’re not experiencing a glitch. It’s called something else entirely.
CNBC must have been fuming as this story pretty much coincided with the announcement of Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft so the narrative, while actually on point overall, surely got the wind knocked out of it.
The Uncharted series, a flagship title for two generations of players of Sony’s PlayStation consoles, is a good example of the strategy in action. The film release is the result of collaboration between the company’s games division and Sony Pictures — a partnership that might once have seemed impossible in the group’s notoriously siloed culture.
“The companies had been trying to do Uncharted for 10 years,” says Tony Vinciquerra, chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “When I first got here [in 2017], I asked, ‘Why can’t we get this stuff done?’”
The project got off the ground after Vinciquerra discussed it with Jim Ryan, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Once Uncharted achieved lift-off, 10 more projects went into development between the games unit and Sony Pictures.
“We just needed people to try to do what’s right for Sony as a whole,” Vinciquerra says in what could be seen as an implicit criticism that the company had been working more as a collection of independent empires.
During the past 20 years, investments often looked ill-judged. Business lines were retained for what former senior management now describe as “sentimental reasons”, leaving a misshapen conglomerate, institutionally resistant to streamlining or unity.
This kind of lunacy is what led to Sony shedding so many employees, divisions and product lines, to hiring Howard Stringer to do all that and even then it took years for Kazuo Hirai to really get things where they should be, a place where an actual plan for the future could stand on. Sony has been ridiculously feudal, to its own detriment. It’s still in the process of getting its act together, with last years management and division reshuffle being another step towards sanity.
Still one has to note how much time was lost and wonder how different would Sony have been today if senior and middle management hadn’t spent so much time taking everything personally with a giant helping of arrogance.
Opting out of the streaming wars
One of the most streamed programmes in America week after week is not an acclaimed original Netflix production such as Squid Game or Stranger Things, but Seinfeld, a dated sitcom that debuted 33 years ago, according to Nielsen data.
The comedy series is streamed exclusively on Netflix thanks to a five-year deal agreed in 2019 with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which holds the rights. The bidding between the streaming services was intense, and in the end, the rights sold for $500m.
Far smaller than its rivals in Hollywood, Sony Pictures decided the smartest strategy in the streaming wars was to opt out of them altogether. Instead of launching its own service, it took what Sony executives call an “arms dealer” approach of selling film and TV rights to the highest bidder.
I don’t think Sony landed on this strategy on purpose. It’s not sticking to it by mistake though. Competition in the streaming services plane is getting fiercer and fiercer, which means that once the international markets get saturated enough — and it will, all markets tend to — more of those services might be competing for Sony’s content, which couldn’t hurt its price. It’s an approach not at all devoid or risk of course. Sony wants to stay able to strong-arm the likes of Marvel (aka Disney) into deals as lucrative as Spider-Man’s, not turn into a boutique shop. At least for long enough at least Sony’s homegrown cross-media IP (mostly rooted in PlayStation nowadays) can amass enough power to guarantee interest and good prices.
It’s a very interesting game Sony has been playing in this space.
It is no coincidence that Sony feels so attached to the Uncharted series — games whose far-fetched narrative of treasure-hunting hinges on the combination of luck and judgment. For years, Sony has struggled to have both at the same time.
Indeed it has.
I keep seeing people adding me to twitter lists like “tech” and “founders” and it makes me remember that I need to post more poop jokes.
I am forever advising people, “Why hit Reply when the Block button is right there?”
But the struggle is real. I feel it too, especially these last few days. There are so many people who are wrong on the internet. So many! You don’t owe them your time. Block with righteous glee.
This made me smile. Though I don’t block people. I don’t have to because I employ a very simple tactic when using social media: I don’t scroll.