MMO Business Roundup: Apple’s Steam subpoena, CCP on the cheap, and Valheim’s 4M

    
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Welcome back to yet another MMO and MMO-adjacent business news roundup – it’s the season for these shenanigans, you know.

Valve and Apple: Remember earlier this month when Apple attempted to draw Valve into the Epic Games legal battle by subpoenaing barrels of data from the Steam giant, including annual app sales and IAP? Obviously, Valve wanted to part of this game and even argued that it was too small a team to dedicate employees to organizing the requested data (good grief), but the judge has ruled in Apple’s favor here. According to Law360 (via Macrumors), the judge has said Valve must turn over the data Apple seeks – but only back to 2017. Apparently, Steam wasn’t the only company under fire here, as the judge quipped that Apple “salted the earth with subpoenas” and that it wasn’t just Valve affected. Huh. (Cheers, Ark!)

CCP Games and Pearl Abyss: We reported on Pearl Abyss’ fourth-quarter revenues earlier this week, noting that the company’s operating revenue was down, partly due to dips in revenue from Black Desert Mobile and EVE Online. The Nosy Gamer dug further, pointing out that these figures actually portend much more for CCP Games than we initially thought, and that’s because Pearl Abyss purchased CCP Games conditionally – the additional $200M (on top of the base $225M) would be paid out only on the condition of CCP’s performance, and CCP did not deliver. It wasn’t so much that EVE Online dropped the ball; it was that CCP released only one of the multiple games in its pipeline over the last few years, and Pearl Abyss would’ve been counting on several others that didn’t make it to market (including Project Nova). All of this is to say that by Nosy Gamer’s reckoning (and we concur), Pearl Abyss got CCP for a song. But what Pearl Abyss (and its now-grumpy investors) really wanted was a big release in 2020 to tide it over until Crimson Desert. (Thanks, Wilhelm!)

Valheim: Finally, the Valheim train just keeps chugging along. The multiplayer game has now sold 4,000,000 copies and racked up over 80,000 positive reviews. My guildies have now set up a server and damn near everyone I know has been sucked into this game. Halp.

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Aj Peters

For 20 bucks you can’t go wrong with Valheim. The game feels very polished for an early access game. It gives the sense of wonder and exploration that games lack these days all because of one premise. Risk vs reward. Almost all modern games have very little risk while playing to pander to casual bases, where Valheim is pretty straight forward if you mess up forget to put up a food buff or run out of arrows mid fight you’re gonna have a bad corpse run. Every time you step out of your home you are at risk of a troll or a band of greydwarfs that want you dead. I’m at almost 100 hrs in, my fiance and I just can’t get enough, this is the first game since early world of warcraft to hook me like this hook line and sinker. Kudos to the makers of Valheim may they give us bags and equipment slots in the near future.

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Amorey

Valheim: Finally, the Valheim train just keeps chugging along. The multiplayer game has now sold 4,000,000 copies and racked up over 80,000 positive reviews. My guildies have now set up a server and damn near everyone I know has been sucked into this game. Halp.

Valheim is everything Landmark could have been, and more. Valheim is one of those games that will go down in gaming history. Awesome game, absolutely magnificent.

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Arktouros

The Valve having to give over it’s data to Apple thing, while on the surface may seem overreaching, is extremely interesting I think.

Epic and Tim Sweeney constantly make huge unsubstantiated claims about the market, competition and the impact of business practices of other companies. He makes claims like the 30% revenue split inflates game prices which hurts customers and all that other nonsensical garbage.

However with being able to pull sales data from it’s primary competitor, Steam, Apple is in position to basically undermine all of those arguments with real data. Specifically they can show that whether or not a game has a 15% revenue split or a 30% split when both stores are selling the game at the same price there’s literally zero advantage for customers. They likely can also compare products like Satisfactory which by their own accounts says that despite launching on EGS first with a year of exclusivity that after releasing on steam they’re seeing similar numbers on there with similar trends despite the huge differences in cash shops.

Basically it’s putting actual numbers up against Tim Sweeney’s claims which will undermine his entire argument which will make it entirely irrelevant in the mobile game space as well.

Sixuality
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Sixuality

My guildies have now set up a server and damn near everyone I know has been sucked into this game. Halp.

It’s time to answer Odin’s call.

Lots of fun to be had with the crafting – setting up the homestead just right and going through the steps to brew mead and forge gear. Felling trees and feeding the smelter is inexplicably engaging.