MMO Business Roundup: The gaming industry reacts to the Ukraine crisis

Plus: Tencent's carbon neutrality pledge, Ubisoft's sportswashing, and Roblox's financials


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

Ukraine: First, there’s no way around the news that Russia shelled and invaded Ukraine overnight as it’s on the front page of pretty much every paper and social media outlet. So far, we’ve seen RuneScape’s Jagex postpone content planned for today, Wargaming pull World of Tanks and World of Warships ads, Warframe hold back a stream, Apex Legends pause all its esports, esports teams pledge support and open their doors to gamers stranded because of the conflict, Gameloft express support for its Ukrainian game studios, and Bungie begin charity fundraising for victims of the conflict. We expect we’ll see more as the days march on.

Tencent: One of the biggest games companies in the world says it’s committed to carbon neutrality within the next eight years. “Tencent today announced its plan to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations and supply chain by no later than 2030,” the company announced this week. It’s also “committed to using green power for 100% of all electricity consumed by the end of the decade.” Worth a note here is that Gamigo, of all companies, achieved carbon neutrality in 2020.

Ubisoft: Ubisoft just can’t seem to keep itself out of trouble lately, and here’s another example. The company announced a Rainbow Six esports tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which was met with considerable backlash from the game’s community given the country’s record on civil rights and the appearance of sportswashing. Ubisoft announced it’s moving the tournament, though not to where. (via MMO Fallout)

Roblox: Finally, Roblox posted its 2021 financials, demonstrating annual revenues up 108% and quarterly revenues up 82% when compared to the same periods in 2020. However, as GIbiz notes, while those numbers are absurd – really, $2.7B in bookings? – growth has slowed down, and so the game’s stock fell 14% in the wake of the earnings release. Which might be frustrating until you remember that Roblox is a super exploitative game making money off of kids. So… yep.

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