MMO biz roundup: The voice actor strike, e-sports crime, CCP VR, Crowfall, and new acquisitions for Tencent, EA, and Nexon
Let’s end the week talking about money. What could go wrong?
- The year-long video game voice actor strike is finally fully over, as more than 90% of the members of SAG-AFTRA voted to approve the agreement brokered with major video game publishers back in September. Hopefully we won’t be right back there again in three years when it expires, eh?
- Kotaku reports that multiple members of the Korean Esports Association were arrested on bribery, embezzlement, and money-laundering charges following a quarter-of-a-million-dollar payment by another company already on the wrong side of the law. KESPA is the organization set up by the government to chaperone e-sports throughout the country. At least one of the officials, a former congressman, has denied the allegations.
- EVE Valkyrie lead game designer Andrew Willans spoke at Develop:VR this week on the state of the VR industry and how to handle small playerbases, though as GIbiz points out, he “was unable to comment” on CCP’s dramatic pull-out of the industry earlier this month.
- Nexon continues to pursue mobile here in the west and at home; Gamasutra reports that the Korean giant has purchased Pixelberry Games, a California-based studio known for its mobile games.
- Tencent has not given up on acquiring part or all of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds studio Bluehole – that’s according to unnamed sources as reported on the Korea Times website.
- EA just picked up Respawn, notably chiefly for Titanfall. The price? A cool $455 million. EA being EA, the documentation obnoxiously promises bonus payouts to Respawn devs for high Metacritic scores on future games.
- And finally, Crowfall’s J. Todd Coleman appeared in a new video interview on TechRepublic, discussing how games – MMOs specifically – have been at the forefront of pushing tech and social media and online business. (And he’s right. We’re guinea pigs!)
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