What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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Microsoft shows off ‘Starfield,’ ‘Diablo IV’

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

NPD HARDWARE: 

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said that May 2022 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 19% when compared to a year ago, to $3.7B. This is the lowest monthly spending total the industry has achieved since February 2020, which was $3.5B. Year-to-date spending has reached $21.9B, a 10% drop when compared to the same period in 2021. Subscription content is the only category showing year-on-year spending growth. Video game hardware dollar sales fell 11% when compared to a year ago, to $216M. Year-to-date spending on hardware declined 9%, to $1.8B. The Nintendo Switch (NTDOY) led all hardware platforms in both units and dollars in May 2022. Switch was also the market-leading platform in hardware units sold year to date, while Xbox Series (MSFT) generated the highest dollar sales in the period.

NPD SOFTWARE: 

On the software side, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said Bandai Namco’s (NCBDY) “Elden Ring” returned to the top of the best-selling titles chart in the U.S. for May 2022, after ranking 2nd in April. “Elden Ring” was the best-selling game of May on both Xbox and Steam, while placing 2nd on PlayStation (SONY). It remains the best-selling game of the year. Saber Interactive’s “Evil Dead: The Game” was the 4th best-selling game of May and was the only new release to appear among the top 50 best-selling games of the month. Bethesda’s “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” returned to the top 20 best-selling titles chart for the first time since ranking 20th during November 2017. Steam accounted for nearly half of the title’s May 2022 dollar sales.

SUMMER GAME FEST: 

Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest event kicked off last week, as Keighley himself hosted a keynote showcase last Thursday that included a number of big announcements, including more information of Take-Two’s (TTWO) “Marvel’s Midnight Suns,” Activision’s (ATVI) “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” and other titles from indie and AAA publishers alike. The showcase closed with the confirmation that a full remake of PlayStation 3 title “The Last of Us” will be releasing in September 22 for PlayStation 5 and later for PC. During the showcase, “Last of Us” series director Neil Druckmann noted that 2020’s “The Last of Us Part II” had sold over 10M units since its release.

Summer Game Fest continued with Sunday’s Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, during which Microsoft made a number of announcements and updates for games that the company said will be available within the next 12 months, many of which will launch day one on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Among the big announcements were Bethesda’s “Redfall” and “Starfield,” which are both set for early 2023 launch windows and will launch as Xbox console exclusives. Microsoft also premiered a reboot of its “Forza Motorsport” racing simulator, which is also slated for a 2023 launch. Some other announcements included the addition of Riot Games’ (TCEHY) “League of Legends” and “Valorant” to PC Game Pass, a new partnership for an exclusive game made by “Metal Gear” creator Hideo Kojima, and a new action strategy game in the “Minecraft” franchise called “Minecraft Legends.” Additionally, while Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard has not yet closed, the game giant said that Blizzard’s “Overwatch 2” will launch in early access on October 4, 2022, and that “Diablo IV” will launch day one on Xbox Game Pass in 2023.

  • In its own Summer Game Fest showcase, Capcom (CCOEY) unveiled release dates for expansions to “Monster Hunter Rise” and “Resident Evil Village” and announced that “Resident Evil 2,” “Resident Evil 3,” and “Resident Evil 7” would get current-generation upgrades [more]
  • Microsoft and the Communications Workers of America entered into a labor neutrality agreement that will apply at Activision Blizzard starting 60 days after the acquisition closes [more]
  • Microsoft and Samsung (SSNLF) are partnering to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Samsung Smart TVs [more]
  • Despite rumors of a delay, upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 title “God of War Ragnarok” is still planned for a November 2022 release, Bloomberg reports [more]
  • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has invested $1B in Embracer Group (THQQF), Bloomberg says [more]

Originally Posted June 14, 2022 – What You Missed This Week in Video Games

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