MMO Business Roundup: China’s crackdown, the COVID bubble, MY.GAMES hires, and the Shatterline leak


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

Remember how regulators in China have cracked down on youth gaming in draconian fashion, limiting underage gaming time to a set block of three hours per week? And remember how people almost immediately took advantage of loopholes in the system to get around those new rules, like paying for rental accounts? Apparently, China’s state media have grabbed hold of that bone, as last week the state media outlet People’s Daily published commentary urging the government to close those loopholes and force families and gaming companies to “actively fulfill social responsibilities” to “be responsible for the healthy growth of the next generation.”

The COVID gaming bubble is nearly over, you’ll not be at all shocked to learn. That’s according to the NPD Group’s 2021 Evolution of Entertainment report, which noted that the percentage of Americans playing video games rose from 73% to 79% last year but has fallen back to 76% this year. Spending is up over a third, however, and the folks who still play video games are playing almost two hours more per week on average than in 2019. Interestingly, a lot of the movement has come in middle-age adult brackets. “Despite an overall decline in the percentage of folks that play games in the market, the time 45-64-year-old gamers spent playing continued to increase,” the report says.

MY.GAMES is making big moves: It’s just hired the former head of Activision-Blizzard in France as its head of operations in all of Europe. “”The company has brought me on board with the key strategic objective of developing the European division and strengthening My.Games’ global position,” he says.

Finally, last year’s rumors about a new Wargaming title called Shatterline have been heavily reinforced, as this week GamingIntel leaked info from the alpha; it’s apparently an 8v8 multiplayer title for PC and latest-gen console, built on Lumberyard. Notably, it’s currently testing both competitive and co-op modes, including an expedition and campaign co-op mode.

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