MMO Business Roundup: Valve’s SteamPal, Rockstar’s record label, and Cyberpunk’s legal battles

Plus Apex Legends monetization and Ubisoft's scandal

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Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent industry news bits.

Valve: Would you like Steam to be your pal? Too bad because Valve is making SteamPal a thing, according to an Ars Technica report stuffed with unnamed sources effectively leaking the toy. It’s apparently an “an all-in-one PC with gamepad controls and a touchscreen” still in prototype development, and you wouldn’t be wrong to think it has a bit in common with the ever-popular Nintendo Switch.

Cyberpunk 2077: You probably forgot that Cyberpunk 2077 was yanked from the PlayStation store last fall, but it was. And it’s still in that yanked state. And apparently, even CDPR has no idea when Sony will let the game back on the platform. “We are still in discussions and with every patch the game gets better and there is a visible progress, but as we said the decision is an exclusive decision of Sony, so we are waiting for the information about the fact that they took the decision to bring back this game,” CEO Adam Kiciński explained to investors.

CDPR: During the same shareholder call noted above, CDPR told investors that the four (!) class action lawsuits being waged against it over its disastrous Cyberpunk 2077 launch have been consolidated by the court system into one single case with a lead plaintiff, with the case itself to be filed in June. In other words, the class action suit marches onward.

Ubisoft: File this one under “everything’s under control, situation normal”! Earlier this month, French publication Le Télégramme published an update on the Ubisoft sexual harassment scandal from 2020 and concluded that very little had been accomplished to clean up the cororation since then. But Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has now countered the piece by basically saying the opposite. “Considerable progress has been made, and we will continue to work hard with the ambition of becoming an exemplary workplace in the tech industry,” he wrote in his statement. “The teams at Ubisoft continue to impress me with their engagement on this journey.”

Apex Legends: The rent is too damn high, players told EA and Respawn in last week’s AMA. Math is hard, Respawn replied. Thus began a controversal discussion in the Apex community, whereby Apex players have struggled to get a hard answer out of Respawn as to why skins in the game are so expensive (around $20). “[W]e think about this constantly and it’s tough because we want Apex to be around for a loooooong time,” a Respawn rep explained. “[B]eing able to continue to make the game depends on operating a healthy business. We’re hoping players understand this is something we’re working hard to balance, but when you consider the full picture, it’s a tough challenge.”

CircoLoco Records: Rockstar Games is apparently launching a record label with CircoLoco because why not? The first EP launches June 4th.

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