Welcome back to another quick roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent business news. Numbers numbers numbers. In fact, this edition has the whole trifecta: business, law, and science in one go.
MY.GAMES – Remember last December when MY.GAMES responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by restructuring out of the Russian market, but then it came out that the same exec was still at the top of both the Russian and the non-Russian halves of the conglom? Well, MY.GAMES has another seismic shift in its forecast as co-founder and CEO Vladimir Nikolsky has stepped down and is being replaced by Elena Grigorian, a longtime marketing exec for the company. MY.GAMES, of course, is best known as the publisher of Skyforge and Conqueror’s Blade, among many others.
Valve – The European General Court is not having Valve’s nonsense. Back in 2021, Valve was among multiple companies fined for a total of over $8M US over what the courts deemed were geo-blocking shenanigans that violated European regulations – all following investigations that began eight years ago. (ZeniMax and Bandai Namco were involved as well, for another MMO angle.) Valve and Steam, however, have been appealing the ruling. But the Court dismissed its latest appeal on the grounds that copyright law “does not guarantee [games companies] the opportunity to demand the highest possible remuneration or to engage in conduct such as to lead to artificial price differences between the partitioned national markets.”
China – A paper published in Nature back in August argues that in spite of the Chinese government’s efforts to curb its citizens’ gameplay with strict regulations and corporate intervention, there’s “no credible evidence for overall reduction in the prevalence of heavy playtime following the implementation of regulations.” In fact, researchers found that there was a small increase in the number of people who became heavy gamers in the period examined (the 22-week period before COVID, specifically).