Gamescom 2022: Hits & Trends | PlayStation Creates Mobile Division | NFL Gets into Gaming

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Gamescom 2022
Source: Gamescom

Gamescom 2022: Hits & Trends What came out of the return of one of gaming’s biggest conventions?

Gamescom 2022 marked the in-person return of the world’s largest gaming convention from August 24 to August 28. Though it may not have had quite pizazz and reveals of past iterations of Gamescom, there was a comforting deluge of announcements and trends.

The Next Trend in Monitors?
The technology behind the smartphone and tablet trend of “now you can fold/bend your screen despite no one asking for this feature” has arrived in gaming monitors. Corsair revealed at Gamescom its Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 OLED Gaming Monitor. Instead of having to pick a curved or flat display, gamers will be able to adjust the 45-inch 4K monitor on the fly.

Expected stratospheric pricing aside, bendable displays could be a hit with uber-dedicated gamers: If you’re shelling out for a 45-inch 4K monitor, what’s a little more for an actually practical feature?

Bigger But More Connected
Samsung also showed off its one-of-a-kind Odyssey Ark 55-inch and very curved screen at Gamescom, as well as the Odyssey G70B & G65B. At a cool $3,499, it’s clear manufacturers are prioritizing premium market segments. The latter pair of monitors from Samsung also incorporate Samsung Gaming Hub with built-in game streaming services, an appeal to more than just hardcore PC gamers.

IP Wizardry 
Even though it was again delayed (February 10…for now), Hogwarts Legacy made an appearance at this year’s Gamescom. Aside from being the first proper Harry Potter game in years, it’s also worth keeping an eye on since it will be the first  AAA IP launch from WB Bros’ games division in a couple years.

Given the cost cutting bloodbath at its parent company, Discovery, the game’s success or failure has big implications for the studio’s future in gaming. 

Back from the Dead
Dead Island 2 emerged from the fog and mists of the land of vaporware (products that are announced but incomplete) with not only a cinematic trailer, but actual gameplay at Gamescom. It’s been in development hell for about a decade, and the Embracer Group will be looking to rebound from the disappointing Saints Row reboot with this blast from the past on February 3. Hopefully, this one ships with a less awful and less offensive special edition than its predecessor.

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Savage Game Studios
Source: PlayStation

PlayStation Creates Mobile Division Acquisition of Savage Game Studios its first move

PlayStation announced Monday that it will be acquiring mobile outfit Savage Game Studios for an undisclosed figure. The company will be the first to join PlayStation’s new Mobile Division. Coming off the heels of PlayStation’s recent reveal of an iPhone controller, it’s clear that Sony is laying the groundwork for a less console-centric future.

Maiden Voyage
Savage has yet to release a title, but “is already working on a new unannounced AAA mobile live service action game,” said Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios.

  • Savage was founded in 2020 by industry veterans from Rockstar, Wargaming, Rovio, & other European devs
    • Lots of experience in live service and free-to-play games
  • Only 11-50 employees currently, according to company’s LinkedIn
    • Savage raised $4.4 million last January for a mobile shooter
    • Job openings suggest game will use Unreal Engine 4
Comforting Console Gamers?
“As we assured you before with our plans to bring select titles to PC, our efforts beyond console in no way diminish our commitment to the PlayStation community, nor our passion to keep making amazing single-player, narrative-driven experiences.”

Perhaps PlayStation is trying to get ahead of any criticism, but such a seemingly earnest - and unsolicited – promise is odd. It reads as if to soothe stakeholders not fully onboard with Sony’s pivot away from a console-centric strategy, rather PlayStation gamers themselves. And if promises in the video game industry are any indicator, PlayStation saying it’s as ever-devoted to “single-player, narrative-driven experiences” likely means those kinds of games (read: games you can only sell once) will be less important in the future.

Dipping Its Toes In the Deep End
PlayStation has its work cut out breaking into the very crowded mobile market and competing with more experienced, larger players like Take-Two’s Zynga or Activision-Blizzard’s King Games. It’s not diving in with a title ready to go, instead betting on a more affordable start-up. If there is a silver lining though,  it’s that PlayStation's studios have a strong track record and massive, untapped library of IP to leverage. 

Industry News

Tuesday Night Gaming
Source: Enthusiast

NFL Launching Tuesday Night Gaming Show Pros vs Joes-style YouTube series debuts Sept. 13

The NFL announced a partnership this week with Enthusiast Gaming for an NFL Tuesday Night Gaming series. A rotating roster of six content creators and pro esports players will play against 12 active or retired NFL players in three games each week, starting September 13.

Players & Rules
Enthusiast Gaming is a Canadian video game media company that also owns several teams.

  • Owns news outlets Daily Esports & Destructoid
  • Owns Vancouver Titans, Seattle Surge, & Luminosity Gaming currently
The series will stream on YouTube.
  • Nine rounds from September 13 through February 7
  • Three bye weeks which will feature NFL Family Game Night, aimed at family demographic
  • Top four teams will qualify for single-elimination playoffs to crown champion
Give and Take
Both the NFL and Enthusiast stand to benefit from this relationship.
  • For the NFL, it’s a chance to connect with younger fans it has struggled to convert in recent years
  • For Enthusiast, and the gaming industry, it’s mainstream exposure to an audience that may not have much interest in video games…yet.
    • Also spotlights its in-house talent
  • If there is potential worry, it’s that esports gets inspired by professional sports’ lucrative betting deals. Betting on esports is still illegal in most states, but there is huge untapped revenue for first movers in that space going forward. 

Supply Drop: Games & Players

Upcoming Games (September 2 - 8)

Biomutant - PlayStation, Xbox
Block'Em! - PC
Circus Electrique - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Disney Dreamlight Valley - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Hyperviolent - PC
Kaichu: The Kaiju Dating Sim - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
The Last of Us Part 1 PC, PlayStation
Lego Brawls - PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Rift Sweepers - PC
Roadwarden - PC
Rocksmith+ - PC
Steelrising - PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Most Anticipated: The Last of Us Part 1. Originally released in 2013 on PlayStation 3 from Developer Naughty Dog (Uncharted series),  The Last of Us quickly became one of the best-selling and most highly-regarded PlayStation titles, weaving multidimensional characters into a dramatic narrative set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombie-like creatures (look up "Cordyceps" for the real-life fungus the infected creatures are based on).

The Last of Us was quickly updated for PlayStation 4 a year after launch (having debuted in the twilight months of PS3), spawning a well-received sequel - The Last of Us Part II in 2020. The latest upgrade improves not only visuals for modern consoles and PCs, but also in-game mechanics as well, including enemy AI tactics. With an HBO TV show in the works starring The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal,  The Last of Us Part 1 will give a chance for fans to revisit the interactive world one more time before the show drops, and will be there for new comers who wish to dive into the source material after streaming the dramatic adaptation at home. 


Comms: Social Campaigns

Gaming Social Media
Source: Twitter

The Tap: News to Go

  • GPU: Shipments of GPU's plummeted 34% year-over-year in Q2, according to Jon Peddie Research. Market penetration of discrete GPUs, however, is expected to hit 30% in the next five years. Nvidia lost a bit of market share, with Intel and AMD both gaining slightly.
  • PC/Mobile Gaming: Valve developers seemed to indicate that the Steam Deck was only the start and that successors will build on its success, according to VGC. Potential changes include a focus on streaming, battery life, and overall broadening its appeal to more than just hardcore gamers.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: UK regulators have signaled that they would be inclined to take a more thorough look at Microsoft’s record $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. They cited concerns over game exclusivity weakening competitors during the next console generation launch, as well as Game Pass weakening rivals. In its responses, Microsoft seems unfazed and confident the deal with go through.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Chinese conglomerate NetEase announced its purchase of developer Quantic Dreams, known for its story-driven games like Heavy Rain. For the studio, it's a deal that it hopes will allow it to stay competitive as the industry consolidates. For NetEase, it's a chance to release games different from its normal fare as it tries to break into the North American market.
  • Streaming: Meta will retire its Facebook Gaming app on October 28 after a two-year run on iOS and Android, according to Eurogamer. The app allowed users to watch Facebook Gaming streams, which they will be able to do so in the main Facebook app going forward. Meta insists it is still dedicated to its streaming platform, which faces stiff competition from Twitch and YouTube.