MMO Business Roundup: Unity clings to AI, Apple appeals again, Embracer restructures


Business doesn’t take a break, and so neither must we. Except for holiday breaks. But then those also can get busy because studios sometimes like to drop bad news minutes before it shuts off the lights for a holiday. I might be losing the plot here, but what I’m trying to get at is that we’ve got several more MMO-related business headlines to collect into one bundle. Because business doesn’t take a break and neither do we. Except for holiday – whoops, I’m circling the drain.

Unity CEO digs his heels in over AI: Following the nerve-wracking and suspicion-filled release of Unity’s AI-powered tools to its assets store, CEO John Riccitiello has decided to both assuage worries about and stump in favor of the AI “revolution” that these tools represent. Riccitiello promises a “heavy focus on making sure [Unity does] this in a way that is respectable,” says that “most” of the art Unity’s tools will be trained on will be internally sourced, and posits that adding these tools is meant to “aid game developers rather than to endanger their jobs.” Sure, Jan.

Apple goes to the Supreme Court for an Epic appeal: Remember in 2021 when Apple was court-ordered to allow third-party purchasing options? Do you also remember how Apple has tried twice – and failed twice – to get this decision overturned? The company perhaps hopes the third time is the charm as it’s now asking the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling; Apple argues that the federal court’s decision raises “far-reaching and important questions” about the ruling’s effect on uninvolved companies.

Embracer Group sells shares and restructures: Readers may remember how Embracer Group – i.e., the company that now owns PWE/Cryptic and therefore Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online – took a major hit to its stock value after a supposedly “transformative” $2B deal fell through. This has caused the company to go into belt-tightening mode via raising $182M by issuing 80K new shares and by restructuring itself through studio closures and project terminations “that have not yet been announced and with low projected returns.” The company says the shares sales have helped it adjust its net debt target to $729M by the end of the 2023-2024 fiscal year and that its restructuring is “developing according to plan.”

source: (1, 2, 3, 4)
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