Bethesda, Activision Blizzard takeover, Cyberbunk 2077… Business news of the week

business news Bethesda, Activision Blizzard takeover, Cyberbunk 2077… Business news of the week

Sales figures, studio purchases, financial reports, developer transfer windows, investments… if these topics interest you, you’ve come to the right place. We offer you updates on last week’s business news.

America’s greatest internal union of video games has just been born at Microsoft!

The momentum is building, and now it seems hard to imagine that it will stop there. for months, many unions were born within studios and publishers video games, especially in the United States. From Keywords to Activision-Blizzardmany employees united under the same banner, and especially on the side of the quality assurance team. Slightly developed in video games, unions are now a real problem in the industry. Activision-Blizzard has been dim about the birth of these groups, and has attempted to oppose their creation, without success. The company launched in the process of being taken over by Microsoft, GAFAM must speak up.

Very fast, Microsoft shows that will recognize the union born at Activision-Blizzard if the takeover validates. A question of image of course, but also strategic levers for reassuring employees who will find an entirely new organization if operations end. But in the meantime, Microsoft has to pass its first test, this time with ZeniMax (Bethesda). Bought for 8.1 billion dollars (7.5 billion announced) in 2020, the publisher holding company behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Doom Eternal or Deathloop, has just had its birth largest guild ever created internally in American video games. After voting had been held for several months, 300 workers ZeniMax’s quality assurance division certifies “by an overwhelming majority” the creation of a union:

Today, we, the majority of quality assurance workers at ZeniMax, are proud to announce the launch of our union with CODE-CWA. We are Microsoft’s first officially unionized group of workers. We are empowered to defend our interests and build a future in which we can grow with the company.

Because yes, this union is not only the largest ever created in a company dedicated to making video games, but one the first union born at Microsoft. Workers have a fundamental right to form unions, but companies are generally reluctant to allow this to happen. Microsoft has promised to remain neutral vis-à-vis these demands, and the American Communications Worker has shown that this promise has been kept. Microsoft immediately recognize the unionand now preparing for the upcoming negotiations:

Microsoft has fulfilled its commitment to its workers and let them decide for themselves whether they want a union. Gaming and other tech giants are making conscious choices to attack, undermine, and demoralize their own employees when they band together to form unions. Microsoft is charting a distinct direction that will strengthen the company’s culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and a role model for regulators, said CWA Chairman Chris Shelton.

Activision Blizzard: Microsoft, FTC, CMA, takeover update

The Activision Blizzard acquisition process followed suit, and in the company of the FTC, America’s competition police, we found Microsoft. The FTC announced its intention to block the takeover or at least slow it down in obtaining concessions, and therefore took the case to administrative court. Beginning of January, The FTC and Microsoft have therefore agreed to meet for a preliminary hearingwhich turned out to be less tense than imagined.

Bethesda, Activision Blizzard takeover, Cyberbunk 2077… Business news of the week

The FTC has indeed indicated that no, for now, do not intend to appeal to the Federal Court, and that he was determined to get concessions and new deals from Microsoft to make things work better. A soft position that doesn’t validate the takeover, but shows that the door is far from closed. With some sense of time, Microsoft finally backed down in his remarks accusing the FTC of acting unconstitutionally. David Cuddy, a public relations spokesman for GAFAM, said Microsoft should not use the following terms:

The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to remove language suggesting otherwise under the Constitution (…) We initially put all potential arguments on the table internally and we should have dropped those defenses before filing a case. .

This change in position is obvious followed by Activision, who also dropped these accusations. Hence, everyone did their part, awaiting the results and the commencement of substantive discussions. This result, can be started from the side of the European Union, which will give its decision, if everything goes well, April 11th. Indeed, it is CMAthe UK equivalent of the FTC, announced this week postponing publication of its conclusions until April 26. The 8 week delay was due to the complexity of the paperwork and the many elements that had to be taken into account.

In making this decision, the investigative panel considered the scope and complexity of the investigation and the need to consider the large amount of evidence as well as submissions from key parties and third parties, the need for sufficient time to draw up a full report on observations to be received in response to the investigative group’s tentative conclusions. in time and to reach a fully reasoned final decision within legal time limits.

CD Projekt Investor Complaint Against Studio Resolved

That was two years ago, and a lot has happened since Cyberpunk 2077 was released. CD Projekt investors feel cheated. The first class action lawsuit was filed by law firm Rosen, followed by a second action, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In both cases, the Polish studio accused of lying about the status of Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4 and Xbox Oneand therefore misled investors.

Bethesda, Activision Blizzard takeover, Cyberbunk 2077… Business news of the week

In early 2023, the Game Industry reported that an agreement had been reached between the plaintiffs and CD Projekt, a deal that was billed for $1.85 million. Therefore, the studio must pay the amount to the investor, in return the studio does not have to answer for the fee, or confess openly whatever. Therefore, the case will not go to court and will remain there. We now look forward to talking New TestamentRosen’s firm complaint has not been resolved.

Meanwhile, all is well for CD Projekt, which was announced revenue increase of 70% for the third quarter of 2022, and which has many ongoing projects. A new The Witcher trilogy is planned with Unreal Engine 5, accompanied by a remake of the first The Witcher and other titles. As for Cyberpunk 2077, it’s awaiting its extension, Phantom Liberty, and a sequel is already in the cards. Meanwhile, it’s still possible to watch good anime cyberpunk edge runnercreated by CD Projekt and Trigger, and streamed on Netflix.

Briefly in this week’s business news

  • The Last of Us licence, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, has sold more than 37 million copies worldwide, all versions combined. HBO’s adaptation of the series is coming as a reminder on January 15 (where the service is available).
  • After 13 years of service, Mike Uyama, founder of Games Done Quick, left the organization. He will be replaced by Matt Merkle, who is on deck from January 8 to 15 for AGDQ 2023.
  • The SALE sales chart for the penultimate week of 2022 has been dropping, and it’s God of War: Ragnarok that dominates in its PS5 version. Followed by FIFA 23, the unwavering Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokémon Violet and Pokémon Scarlet.
  • Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons rights holder, will cancel at least 5 matches dedicated to the role-playing myth franchise.
  • Players of Marvel Snap, the popular free-to-play card game, have spent more than $30 million on the app.
  • 44 foreign matches has been approved by the Chinese government. We find there especially Pokémon Unite or Valorant.

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