What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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Xbox Game Pass generated $2.9B in revenue in 2021, according to VGC

“Game On” is The Fly’s weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.

NEW RELEASES: 

This week’s big release is Electronic Arts’ (EA) hockey sim “NHL 23,” which launches October 14 on PlayStation 4 (SONY), PS5, Xbox One (MSFT), and Xbox Series X/S. Also out this week is Take-Two’s (TTWO) golf sim “PGA Tour 2K23,” which also launches October 14 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

BRAZIL CLEARS ACTIVISION DEAL: 

Last week, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, the country’s regulatory body, approved Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) without any stipulations, according to media reports. CADE said in its ruling that Microsoft does not have a responsibility to protect the interests of Sony, who argued that Microsoft’s ownership of the “Call of Duty” brand would be anticompetitive.

“Furthermore, it is important to highlight that the central objective of CADE’s activities is the protection of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of Brazilian consumers, and not the defense of the particular interests of specific competitors…In this sense, although it is recognize that part of the users of PlayStation consoles (from Sony) could decide to migrate to Xbox in the event that Activision Blizzard games – and especially Call of Duty – become exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem, SG/Cade does not believe that such a possibility represents, in itself, a risk to competition in the console market as a whole,” CADE said, according to Forbes’ Paul Tassi.

Also last week, Reuters reported that EU antitrust regulators are asking video game companies whether Microsoft’s Xbox business will have an incentive to block competitors’ access to Activision Blizzard’s top-selling titles. According to an EU document, EU regulators are set to make a preliminary ruling by November 8 on whether to approve the proposed takeover of the “Call of Duty” maker.

GAME PASS REVENUE: 

Microsoft brought in roughly $2.9B in revenue from Xbox Game Pass subscriptions on console last year, VideoGamesChronicle’s Chris Scullion reported this week, citing a report by Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense on Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard. According to a small table revealing such information in the report, the Xbox maker generated $2.9B in revenue globally from “game subscription services for consoles,” suggesting Xbox Game Pass, Scullion said, noting that the actual profit is not mentioned in the report and the revenue figure does not include PC Game Pass. According to VGC, Twitter user Tweaktown said that this number means Xbox Game Pass made up about 18% of Microsoft’s total annual Xbox revenues in 2021 and almost 30% of its games and services revenue for the period. For comparison, VGC said the table also claims that Nintendo Switch Online (NTDOY) generated revenues of $932M in 2021, while EA Play generated $356M.

  • Blizzard’s “Overwatch 2” launched last week with numerous server issues, with the company reporting a mass DDoS attack on its servers [more]
  • Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan upgraded Take-Two, saying short term fundamental headwinds in the sector are being increasingly priced into the stock [more]
  • Barclays analyst Mario Lu initiated coverage of Roblox (RBLX). [more]

Originally Posted October 11, 2022 – What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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