Welcome back to another roundup of MMO (and MMO-adjacent) industry news!
Kakao Games: Kakao has snapped up a controlling stake in XLGAMES, having acquired 53% of the company’s shares. Kakao is of course a massive Korean media corporation, but even western MMO players know Kakao well, as its European branch currently operates Black Desert’s western PC version for Pearl Abyss. As for XLGAMES, you know it best from its origination of ArcheAge, published here by Gamigo. According to MMO Culture, XL’s founder, Jake Song, will stay in charge of the studio and focus on development (presumably instead of publishing).
Steam: Steam just had a hot weekend, as the platform counted 19,107,803 people online and 6,079,346. Unsurprisingly, a big chunk of those players – 901,681 – were playing CSGO specifically, marking the game’s own all-time player peak, according to tracker SteamDB.
They're still increasing 📈
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) February 9, 2020
Xbox One: Finally, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer gave an interview on GamerTag radio that dives into both cloud gaming, platform exclusivity, the idea that the company doesn’t need to turn everyone into a subber, and the long-term health and marketing of games. “I don’t think it’s really healthy the way you see decay in retail today,” GIbiz quotes Spencer as saying. “Gamers like buzz, they like what’s hot right now, and a game will come out, and so many people will flip a bid positively or negatively on a game right in the first day or two, and I think people will…miss things that they aren’t playing, or that they even didn’t buy, because they aren’t going to go back and buy last year’s game, because they feel like they missed the buzz time around that game and they’re going to use their new dollars for something that shipped more [recently]. […] When I look at games and how much studios and publishers are spending to develop games, we need to extend the window of when these games are viable, when they have large playerbases, just for the health our industry needs. Games need to find players. GamePass and just subscriptions in general are a way to help people discover games that maybe they missed when they came out.”
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