MMO Business Roundup: Discord crypto mess, Unity buys Weta, Roblox Q3 2021 financials


Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent industry news! Business business business… is this working?

Discord: Well, Discord’s gone and ticked off its own userbase thanks to a tweet this week from the company’s CEO that appears to show in-development Discord wallet integration with multiple types of cryptocurrency. As Kotaku noted, it’s not the first time Discord has flirted with crypto; a few months back, the company ran user surveys to prime customers for their introduction to the platform, without any space for feedback against the idea, which has been… let’s call it considerable. The move has apparently provoked a wave of subscriber cancelations, deep upset on Reddit, and an apparent Discord campaign to grant free subs to counterbalance the quitters. Imagine a place… without NFT scams!

Update: Discord has apparently backed down on its tease, saying it has “no current plans to ship” what it’s now calling an “internal concept.” “We appreciate all the perspectives we’ve been hearing in response to the internal concept you may have seen in a tweet earlier this week and want to clarify we have no plans to ship it at this time,” the company’s CEO told Techcrunch. “We’re excited about the potential for web3 technology and the positive ways these communities are coming together on Discord, especially those organized around environmentally friendly, creator-focused projects. However, we also recognize there are some problems we need to work through. For now, we’re focused on protecting users from spams, scams, and fraud.”

Unity+Weta: Massive engine developer Unity has apparently picked up Weta Digital, and if Weta isn’t ringing any bells, try thinking it with a New Zealand accent: It’s the studio co-founded by Peter Jackson as the foundation for digital design work in Lord of the Rings and multiple other franchises. Unity apparently snagged the company for a cool $1.62B. “We are thrilled to democratise these industry-leading tools and bring the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and Weta’s amazing engineering talent to life for artists everywhere,” Unity CEO John Riccitiello says. “By combining the power of Unity and Weta Digital, the tools and technology that built characters and scenes from the world’s most iconic films such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and Wonder Woman, will enable an entirely new generation of creators to build, transform, and distribute stunning RT3D content.”

Roblox: Roblox’s Q3 2021 revenues continue to bewilder, with a reported 102% increase in revenue when compared to Q3 2020, which of course was before the company went public in November of 2020. It once again reported operating at a net loss, this time dropping $74M in the quarter, and a 31% increase of daily active users since this time last year. The company has been heavily criticized this year for exploiting child labor and has now seen three public quarters in a row of net losses.

Fortnite: Following the deadly Astroworld concert this past weekend, Epic Games has cut an Travis Scott-related emote from the Fortnite cash shop. The emote, Out West, apparently sampled Scott’s music and was disabled this weekend following Scott’s concert, at which eight audience members were killed and hundreds were injured. Scott had previously worked with Epic on last year’s Fortnite Astronomical event; he’s currently facing multiple lawsuits related to his role in the tragedy.

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