“5 years ago, people would say, what’s a TikTok?” Bill Rudin on why NYC’s office market may be more resilient than you think

first_imgBill Rudin is betting on the office as a magnet for human connection.“We live in a real world where human interaction is critical,” Rudin, the head of Rudin Management and the chair of the Real Estate Board of New York, said in a conversation with The Real Deal‘s Hiten Samtani. He was responding to the recent announcements by major tech companies including Facebook and Twitter that they would be transitioning to a partially remote or remote-first work environment.“Headlines are that the real estate market’s going to collapse, and that the big cities are going to be set back,” he said. “We’ve had setbacks before, and we’ve figured out ways to recreate ourselves.”(Watch more of The REInterview, a series of in-depth conversations with real estate leaders and newsmakers hosted by Hiten Samtani, here.)Rudin said that for every company that chose to reduce its footprint, there would be upstarts that would take their place.“Five years ago, if I said to you, ‘well TikTok’s going to come to New York,’ people would say, ‘what’s a TikTok? Is that the watch on your wrist?,’” he said, referring to the 232,000-square-foot deal the video-sharing app just signed at Durst Organization’s One Five One (formerly 4 Times Square).Revenge of the hoodies: Big tech may be leaving the office for goodOffice landlords, don’t eat before watching thisReal estate asks city for property tax mercyRudin is on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s council to reopen New York’s economy, and spoke about the discussions members are having, such as measures that buildings and construction unions will have to take. He and Samtani also discussed REBNY’s recent call on the city for property-tax relief — a move that’s in sharp contrast to what major landlords did during the city’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s, when they prepaid their taxes.“The difference is now it’s not just about New York,” Rudin said. “We just said, be cognizant of, we cannot go forward and increase tax burdens that are significantly higher than other places, and create an environment in which we’re not competitive anymore.” TagsBill RudinCommercial Real EstateCoronavirusProperty taxesRemote WorkRudin ManagementThe REInterviewVideo Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Firms dangle big bucks to lure employees out of big cities

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Stripe CEO Patrick Collison (JD Lasica via Wikipedia; Unsplash)In an increasingly work-from-home world, those with the means have also been moving out of big cities in favor of roomier, perhaps more suburban confines.Now, electronic payment company Stripe is offering employees $20,000 if they move out of cities including San Francisco, New York and Seattle, according to Bloomberg.But even that comes at a price.Employees who take the offer will see their base salaries cut by as much as 10 percent, according to the report. Other companies have tried to lure workers with similar deals.Like Stripe, workspace technology company VMware has offered workers big money upfront — followed by a pay cut — to move while Facebook, Twitter, and software firm ServiceNow have considered doing so. Stripe has more than 2,500 employees working at 14 offices worldwide.The coronavirus pandemic has forced much of the office workforce to operate from home. Some companies have told their employees they can work remotely for the foreseeable future; the latest entrant being Deutsche Bank. With no need to live in expensive cities near their offices, some people have considered — or already are — moving to cheaper parts of the country.That trend is already having an impact on some real estate markets, including notoriously expensive San Francisco, where Stripe is headquartered. Rents were down 9.2 percent year-over-year in May.Manhattan rental inventory jumped 11.9 percent from July to August. Just two submarkets there, Chinatown and Midtown West, saw inventory drop during that period. Rents also fell in many Manhattan neighborhoods during that period as well.But office workers appear split when it comes to efforts like the one Stripe is trying. Around half of the 5,900 people who responded to a survey on the professional network Blind said that a relocation shouldn’t warrant a pay cut if an employee was doing the same work. Around 44 percent said they would take the offer of a big payday then a pay cut. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch center_img TagsSan Franciscolast_img read more

US home prices jump 5.2% in August

first_imgU.S. home prices rose with Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego logging the biggest gains (iStock)More good news for the U.S. housing market: Home prices continue to climb.Prices increased 5.2 percent year-over-year in August, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, which tracks the housing market in 20 cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.Detroit is typically included in the index, but pandemic-related delays recording sales have temporarily excluded it.Read moreNew home sale prices rise but buyers are hanging backExisting homes sales remain high, but inventory is “historically low”Housing starts jump as homebuilder confidence rises TagsHousing MarketResidential Real Estate The index’s August growth beat July’s annual gain of 4.1 percent.The biggest increases in price were in Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego. Phoenix saw August prices soar 9.9 percent year-over-year, Seattle logged an 8.5 percent gain and San Diego 7.6 percent.The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, which tracks prices across the country, increased 5.7 percent year-over-year, up from 4.8 percent in July. The monthly indices have been tracking the U.S. housing market for 27 years.The report comes as the number of homes on the market has dropped well below customary levels. With low inventory and strong homebuyer demand, prices have been setting records since July.Existing home sales continued to surge through September as the median sale price jumped to $311,800, up 15 percent from a year earlier.Though confidence among homebuilders has reached a new high and housing starts continue to increase, the number of sales of homes in construction or recently finished slid 3.5 percent last month, while prices increased 4.5 percent to a median of $326,800.Contact Erin Hudson Full Name* Message*center_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

82% of Brazilians 18-59 play games – NPD

first_img82% of Brazilians 18-59 play games – NPDResearch firm explores makeup, preferences of emerging market’s customer baseBrendan SinclairManaging EditorFriday 16th October 2015Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleThe NPD GroupThe NPD Group this week released a handful of findings from its Brazil Gaming 2015 report, underscoring the existing popularity of gaming within the country and suggesting it still has plenty of room to grow. Among the data points released by the market research firm were that 82 percent of Brazilians aged 13-59 game on at least one device. Gaming is a popular activity throughout that age bracket, with 65 percent of 45-59-year-olds gaming. The NPD release containing the findings did not address the size or date of the survey conducted. An inquiry to the firm was not returned as of press time.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “Brazil is clearly an emerging gaming market, one that is rife with potential for even further growth,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “Understanding this market is crucial as international markets become an essential part of any product rollout.”The Brazilian market appears to have a balanced appreciation for games, with half of the 13-59 age group playing on each of the three major platforms: consoles, computers, and mobile devices. The most common specific devices for gaming were a PC (47 percent) and an Android smartphone (38 percent). However, when asked what their primary gaming device was, the most likely answer was a console, followed by computers, mobile devices, and dedicated gaming portables.The average Brazilian gamer plays about 15 hours a week in total, with teenagers spending the most time (19 hours on average). While the NPD found that gamers in Brazil were most likely to buy their games through official channels, there was still a significant amount of the market willing to buy through alternative channels, whether the games be imported from other countries or pirated. Respondents estimated an average of 62 percent of their purchases are made through formal channels.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesUS game sales up 30% during Q1 2021 | US Quarterly ReportConsumer spending on gaming reached $14.92 billion from January to March 2021, NPD Group reportsBy Marie Dealessandri 13 days agoMobile gaming saw surge of new players in 2020NPD: Number of mobile gamers increased 12% last year, in part due to pandemic-related lockdownsBy Rebekah Valentine 3 months agoLatest comments (1)Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio5 years ago”Brazil is clearly an emerging gaming market, one that is rife with potential for even further growth,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “Understanding this market is crucial as international markets become an essential part of any product rollout.”Not easy to understand a market with a collapsing economy and one dealing with inflation and a currency collapse. Brazil is a mess. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Xbox only hurting itself by refusing to share sales numbers

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyRichard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes5 years ago It’s sold enough that a quick port from the PS4 is a no brainer. Job done. But as Nick says, important for building models and such, but the Publishers are more than aware of the install base and sales. 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up5 years ago Investors give a damn, as should developers. Revealing negative news could have an impact on the share price and growth if they don’t seem attractive. It also impacts what platforms you would target first as a developer, since you want to ensure your own survival through as many sales as possible. Lets face it would you make a game for something that looks like sales are declining or stagnating? No, you would target the platform on the ascendancy with gamers. That’s generally why it matters. 5 years ago March 31, 2009, for the last time Microsoft reports 360 numbers in their official reports: 17.3 millionMay 2010, the 360 has now allegedly sold 40 million units.Same pattern here. At 10 million unit sold, the official reports stop. Sometime later inofficial reports start to suggests it’s twice the amount now.Basically all you have to do to boost sales is start reporting them. Fool me thrice, shame on… 5 years ago I seriously doubt not reporting official Xbox One sold through numbers is hurting Microsoft at all. The system still sells, has a ton of exclusive content and Xbox One customers are a lot more supportive of the brand with Phil Spencer in charge than they were when Don Mattrick was at the helm. Microsoft will probably just report milestone numbers such as when they get to 25 or 50 million units sold, etc. But them not reporting regular sales figures doesn’t seem to be affecting their bottom line at all. 5 years ago Sony was the master at obscuring the numbers when the PS3 was on the bottom of the stack. Reporting shipped vs. sold, combining sales numbers for PS2 and PS3 as “Playstation Sales” (they did this for a long time with PSP and Vita sales as well).It doesn’t surprise me that Microsoft does this.What we need is a return to the NPD reporting monthly hardware sales the way they used to, that way there’s nowhere to hide. Edited 3 times. Last edit by Bob Johnson on 11th January 2016 7:37pm 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyCasey Anderson Product Manager, Big Fish Games5 years ago Xbox is clearly in an untenable messaging position, however, I would suspect the extra control they get over their messaging by not publishing sales figures far outweighs the negative perception of the brand the average consumer would get from those numbers.In this age of social media, headlines drive significant consumer perception of and behavior towards a brand, and editorializing sales numbers makes for easy, high impact, click bait titles. Not publishing those sales numbers makes it much harder for journalists to generalize the success of the Xbox One vs PS4, which I imagine has a larger impact on consumer behavior than articles that compare the success of Xbox One vs Xbox 360. Xbox only hurting itself by refusing to share sales numbersFear of comparisons to PS4 is taking focus away from Xbox One’s considerable successesBrendan SinclairManaging EditorMonday 11th January 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleMicrosoftWhen Don Mattrick left Microsoft after the Xbox One’s disastrously mishandled E3 reveal, the tone of the company’s messaging changed. Policies for the new console seen as anti-consumer were changed, one after another. Incoming head of Xbox Phil Spencer said all the right things, from telling upset fans that the company heard them loud and clear to dropping the corporate talking points long enough to not just acknowledge the achievements of Nintendo and Sony, but welcome them as signs of a healthy industry.”Xbox One has recovered nicely from a potentially catastrophic unveiling, but you’d be hard pressed to know that from the way Microsoft has handled its messaging.” It was a refreshing bit of candor and straight talk from the company, an olive branch to customers who might have been turned off by the previous months’ PR concoction of aloofness and hubris. That tactic worked, and the Xbox One has recovered nicely from a potentially catastrophic unveiling, but you’d be hard pressed to know that from the way Microsoft has handled its messaging in the years since.In the months following the Xbox One’s November 2013 launch, Sony and Microsoft periodically shared sales figures for PS4 and Xbox One, respectively. However, it soon became clear that Sony had taken a solid lead in the generation’s early days, and Microsoft got very quiet about Xbox One sales. The last official word the company gave out was nearly 10 million shipped just before the system’s first anniversary. After that, it wrapped 360 sales in with Xbox One sales in its quarterly reports, then abandoned that entirely in favor of Xbox Live engagement figures.Late last week, reports circulated suggesting that the Xbox One’s installed base was about 18 million systems. That stemmed from the latest episode of Windows Weekly (around the 9-minute mark), in which tech journalist Mary Jo Foley discussed Microsoft’s recent announcement that Windows 10 had been active on 200 million devices in the last month. In breaking down that number between PCs, tablets, smartphones, and Xbox Ones, Foley said, “I can tell you what one source told me and I can’t verify this,” before sharing that 18 million of those active devices were supposedly Xbox Ones.”The Xbox One is tracking on par with, and possibly ahead of, Microsoft’s most successful gaming device to date.” In the absence of any official word from Microsoft in over a year, this tidbit was widely reported and essentially treated as accurate and used as a stand-in for the Xbox One’s installed base. The actual number may be higher given Xbox One owners who haven’t played recently or don’t typically have their systems connected online, but let’s assume for the moment that we’re in the right ballpark.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games So in its first 26 months of availability, the Xbox One has apparently sold 18 million systems. If we’re comparing it directly to Sony’s installed base of nearly 36 million PS4s in the same time frame, that doesn’t look too impressive. But if we’re comparing it to the Xbox 360, the number looks a lot better. The Xbox 360 took 30 months to reach a worldwide installed base of 19 million. The Xbox One is tracking on par with, and possibly ahead of, Microsoft’s most successful gaming device to date.Clearly, Microsoft has backed away from reporting straight-forward sales figures of Xbox One hardware because it believes they won’t look good compared to Sony’s PS4. The company’s right about that, but this tactic is just baking in the narrative that this generation has been all about Sony eating Microsoft’s lunch. By keeping secret numbers it once publicly shared because of the PS4’s performance, Microsoft is essentially forcing us to view this generation in terms of Xbox One vs. PS4, with one winner and one loser. One company is shouting its sales figures from the mountaintops with great frequency, while the other is hiding its figures in shame.But it doesn’t have to be that way. In 2013 and 2014, even as the PS4 was off to a historically hot start, the over-arching narrative of the generation was that consoles were back, that reports of their demise had been greatly exaggerated. Honestly, that should still be the case, and if Microsoft embraced a little more of the Phil Spencer-styled straight talk that helped the Xbox One turn around those bad first impressions, we’d have another possible lens through which to view this generation. But as long as Microsoft insists it’s in a direct competition with Sony where there can be only one winner, it’s going to be right about that.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesApple questions credibility of Xbox testimonyiPhone maker asserts that Microsoft did not produce evidence to back Lori Wright’s claims of unprofitable consolesBy James Batchelor 2 days agoEpic pushed for subscription-free multiplayer on Xbox ahead of Apple battleCEO Tim Sweeney told Xbox boss Phil Spencer that “certain plans for August” would create an “extraordinary opportunity”By James Batchelor 7 days agoLatest comments (12)Nick Parker Consultant Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 11th January 2016 11:38pm 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyPaul Jace Merchandiser 5 years ago As somebody who has a dialogue with console manufacturers, I have noticed over the years that the underperforming brand tends to be more shy so not surprising really. 5 years ago Installed base numbers are crucial for publishers as they provide volume forecast weightings by platform. Furthermore, regionality of installed bases provide publishers with valuable localisation planning. Publishers usually have close contact with the console manufacturers who provide analytics just for these sales planning requirements. 3Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensingcenter_img 5 years ago I would say a sizable number of those players have both, and many of them still spend a lot of time on their Xbox.So the question is where their time and dollars are being spent. By my anecdotal experience, it’s not as bad a split as these numbers indicateCasey is right on. How do you think Sony got game sharing, the digital ecosystem, and Kinect slimed and buried? 4Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyWesley Williams Quality Assurance 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJordan Lund Columnist 5 years ago When a lot of which console you purchase today depends on where the players are, rather than just where the games are, it’s understandable you wouldn’t want to be specific when your main competition has twice as many players. 5Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyNick Parker Consultant 4Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (12)Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago In my opinion, nobody really gives a damn… Players buy consoles based on whether they prefer Halo or Uncharted, or based on what their friends have. Publishers invest in games based on how much they are making on each device and what kind of deals happened behind the closed doors.The only one who actually cares is the press, so that they have something to report and speculate about. Microsoft is keeping the numbers secret because they don’t want the press to tear them apart for doing sightly better then they did with X360. Edited 2 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 11th January 2016 6:41pm 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyBob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona University5 years ago My grandma used to tell me, if you have nothing good to say then …don’t say anything at all. MS is listening to my grandma. ;)Also I feel like the X1 is doing worse than the 360 even if unit sales are currently greater at the same pt in their respective lifecycles.The 360 sales comparisons are going to get alot tougher in the next year or two. 360 sales ramped up alot after the S model hit. The S model quelled all the RRoD fears. and then Kinect came along and gave those sales another shot in the arm.And the 360 was selling better than the PS3 in the US whereas PS4 is beating the X1 in the US. So in terms of beating your direct competitor, the X1 is doing worse. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

CD Projekt made a $90 million profit in 2015

first_imgCD Projekt made a $90 million profit in 2015The Witcher 3’s success pushed revenue past $200 million, series has now sold 20 million units in totalMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefFriday 11th March 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleCD ProjektCD Projekt’s corporate entity made almost $90 million in net profit in 2015, while its revenue cleared $200 million.To call those figures an improvement over recent years would be a vast understatement. In 2013, the Polish developer earned 142 million PLN ($36 million) in revenue. In 2014, it earned 96 million PLN ($25 million). Last year, the Polish company’s revenue soared to 798 million PLN ($205 million), with 342 million PLN ($88 million) of that pure profit.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The main reason, of course, is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt’s sweeping RPG, which sold 6 million units in the six weeks following its launch. The game’s performance throughout the year has pushed the series’ total sales past 20 million units. That’s double the 10 million units the company expected by this point when it forecast sales back in 2011.CD Projekt’s development arm, CD Projekt RED, now has a team of 350 people, and it intends to expand significantly in the coming years. In a strategy document released alongside its financial results, the company stated that it would see a, “near-twofold expansion of the CD Projekt RED team.” That will include the creation of four new teams, two of which will develop games in new market segments.The document also mentioned a project due to be unveiled some time in 2016, which will be, “a new type of video game format previously unexplored by the studio.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesThe Witcher 3 director leaves CD ProjektInvestigation into workplace bullying reportedly cleared Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, but he has resigned and apologized “for all the bad blood I have caused”By Brendan Sinclair 7 days agoCD Projekt refunded around 30,000 Cyberpunk 2077 copiesDeveloper reports relatively few customers took it up on offer of a refund for game that sold 13.7 million copies in launch monthBy Brendan Sinclair 19 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

“For the consumer, Xbox Game Pass is fantastic. For retail, it just kills us outright”

first_img 5Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (10)Steve Ellis Managing Director / Programmer 3 years ago I’d love to sympathise but I can’t quite get there. Retail has spent around two decades starving publishers and developers of revenue through pre-owned sales. They didn’t even slightly care about the damage they were doing to the industry – to the very companies who create the games that they sell. Now the shoe is on the other foot, they’re crying foul.Retailers, please switch off the lights and close the doors on your way out. The industry will thrive without you… 3 years ago @AbdulBasit Saliu: Not a real surprise, Microsoft developed the original Netflix Streaming app and backend. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyRichard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes3 years ago I spent a great deal of my youth in my local game store Ram Electronics, talking nothing but games, playing all the new releases on every platform they had. Spending Saturday in their after being at school was the highlight of my week ; indie game stores rock. With all that said I don’t suppose anyone with a bucket caught the dripping irony of complaints about it hurting the second hand market did they?Now Indies doing it honestly hasn’t been the problem, the problem has been the major retailers like Gamestop and GAME reselling games, making it a cultural norm and having major ramifications on the line up of product we see in the store today. If Indie Shops want to point fingers at this decision, point it at high street chains, not Microsoft. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyRichard Westmoreland Senior Game Designer, Codemasters Birmingham3 years ago Diversify or die. You can’t blame Microsoft or Millenials for this, it’s the future. The market for physical games was always going to shrink – It happened with music, it happened with film, it will happen with games.I’ve not been to a retail game store in years. Why would I? Digital games give me access to my library no matter where I am, for everything else Amazon will send me it, for less money, and with next day delivery. With cross-play I can play my games on my work PC and at home on my Xbox and I’m happy to pay the premium for that!I get that they’ll be resistance from those of us who have grown up with games being a physical thing you own, but it’s the age of streaming now. You don’t pay for a product, you pay for the experience. 3Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyAbdulBasit Saliu Mechanic, Flowmotion Entertainment Inc3 years ago Fun Fact: Microsoft’s President Brad Smith is on Netflix board, and this is “The Netflix model” in gaming. Long Live Netflix! 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago While I can kind of understand the retailer’s(in general) complaints on this issue, there’s a few reasons why I have no sympathy for them. First, all the retailers that complained in this story said that the majority of their video game sales comes from PlayStation products. So this isn’t likely to affect them much, if at all.And second, and much more importantly, it’s not like Microsoft has stopped selling physical copies of their games. All their first party games that are launching on Game Pass will be launching SIMULTANEOUSLY with physical copies. Plus, it’s not like the 30-45 million Xbox One owners are ALL going to subscribe to Game Pass. Microsoft would be lucky to even get half those customers, which means there will be plenty of customers that still want to buy physical copies. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replymr mann game character, Moonfrog Labs3 years ago This feels like the same thing that happened when the candle store complained about the light bulb store destroying their business. Sorry Gamestop, you are slowly becoming the candle store. Change or be obsolete. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyPaul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago Music stores had a culture of going there, listening to stuff and buying it.This culture is gone.Video rental stores had a similar culture.Wiped out.Video game stores are next on the list. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing “For the consumer, Xbox Game Pass is fantastic. For retail, it just kills us outright”Independent games stores debate the impact of Microsoft’s decision to add new first-party releases to its subscription serviceJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefMonday 29th January 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleXboxLast week, Microsoft announced all new first-party releases would be included in the subscription-based Xbox Game Pass service from launch – including the upcoming Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2.It’s a bold move that prompted plenty of discussion around the platform holder’s long-term strategy, with our own Rob Fahey suggesting this may help Xbox catch up to Sony’s market-dominating PlayStation 4 while Chris Dring posited that this could be a sign of Microsoft preparing for a post-console future.Another notable reaction was that of Austrian retailer Gameware, which declared it will no longer stock Xbox products as a result. The argument is that if every Xbox sale essentially equips customers with access to a service as increasingly comprehensive as Game Pass, repeat business with those customers is minimal – why would they head to Gameware when they can subscribe and receive new Xbox releases automatically?”Essentially, it’s made [our Xbox business] worthless overnight… Why should we support them if we’re going to get very little out of it?” Stuart Benson, Extreme GamezIt’s easy to dismiss this as an extreme reaction, but GamesIndustry.biz has been speaking to various UK independent retailers and many of these businesses are just as unhappy.”Essentially, it’s made [our Xbox business] worthless overnight,” Stuart Benson of Leicestershire store Extreme Gamez tells us. “You’ve got the whole section sat there, and why would people buy a £12 to £15 second-hand game when they can just pay a tenner and get a massive catalogue of titles to keep them going? Effectively overnight they’ve wiped massive value off our company and made it not worth doing. “Why should we support them and sell their consoles and accessories if we’re going to get very little out of it? We don’t make anything off their digital selection. It’s pretty pointless. We might as well go where we’re supported, which is Sony.”Like Austria’s Gameware, Extreme Gamez now no longer plans to stock Xbox products. Benson adds: “I’ve got no hardware left, no control pads – and I’m not going to do an order now. I would have restocked normally, but now there’s no incentive for me to do so unless I get something dirt cheap. “It’s very frustrating, but we can see they don’t care about retail business in the slightest. We got a lovely little plaque last year saying we’re official Microsoft stockists, and that’s a lovely token gesture – but for what reason, because they don’t support us?”The inclusion of new releases has made Xbox Game Pass more appealing to consumers, but damaged the business for some independent retailersStephen ‘Stan’ Stangroon of Cornish indie Stan’s Games agrees, adding: “If they’re going to do this, I won’t bother [stocking Xbox]. You only make £3 or £4 on Xbox games like the new Monster Hunter, if you’re lucky.”They’ll kill the second hand market. I reckon even the public won’t like it in the end – I sold a Monster Hunter this morning and the bloke’s already brought it back.””It’s tough justifying to a customer why a game is £49.99, and this isn’t going to help.” Nick Elliott, Barkman ComputersSholing Video’s Paul Lemesurier says it’s “hard to not have the same stance as the Austrian retailer”, especially when he feels unsupported by companies such as Exertis, Xbox’s UK distributor. “Game Pass will have an effect on all first-party titles,” he says. “We have already told Exertis we will not be stocking Sea of Thieves at all. Why bother when supermarkets will throw it out less then cost, online e-tailers will break street dates – which are a joke – and ship up to five days before release cheaper than us, and now Microsoft is throwing it on Game Pass for a tenner.”Chris Bowman from Console Connections in County Durham asserts that indie retailers “cannot remain profitable by selling Microsoft gift vouchers”, and that he hopes Sony continues to support the High Street the same way it has in the past – something he believes will help grow their “already dominant market share.””People still want boxed product but with the price of an Xbox Game Pass, how long will they continue to do so?” he says. “If Sony and Nintendo were to follow suit, it’s game over.”Barkman Computer’s Nick Elliott notes that while Microsoft hasn’t “killed off boxed game sales overnight”, the Game Pass has “certainly put a dent in the business”. He argues that when retailers sell games hardware, it is largely an investment into a future customer that will hopefully return to the store to buy games for that system and perhaps accessories.”Anyone with any sense could have seen something like this coming since Microsoft’s fabled first press launch with their ‘no second-hand games’ policy” Stuart Walker, Insane Games”Without that possibility, there is little benefit in allocating our resources to a dead-end-sale,” he says, adding that he also doesn’t plan to stock Xbox products in future. “We will only support manufacturers and publishers who support us. If a customer comes into a retail store, and the retailer has a choice between selling an Xbox where they would never sell them anything again or a PS4 where they had a chance of some attach rate, they would surely sell them a PlayStation.”Elliott also warns that, depending on the success of Game Pass, his store may not even stock certain third-party titles: “We’ll be cautious about investing in software titles that are featured – or may be featured – in the scheme. We may insist on more favourable terms from the publishers. “As a retailer, we do an awful lot of back catalogue. That’s our mainstay, because chart is such a fragmented market. We do a lot of niche titles that obviously won’t end up on Game Pass because they’re a bit too specialist.”Sea of Thieves’ beta is only open to those who pre-ordered digitally, which indie retailers take as further proof of Microsoft’s lack of support for themOf course, a handful of independent retailers refusing to stock Xbox consoles and software is unlikely to damage Microsoft in the long-run. Lesmesurier suggests more extreme action may have more of an impact, calling on larger retailers to take a similar stand.”The whole industry should stop stocking Microsoft products,” he says. “But that won’t happen when most answer to shareholders and only care about the end-of-year bonus. “It’s only a matter of time before publishers monopolise the direct sale of games. Ultimately consumer buying habits will dictate its success or failure, not retail.” Robert Lindsay, Games Centre”They will be the ones to suffer the most when this industry is digital only. No one will walk into a store and pick up a digital copy when you don’t have to leave your house to do so. As it is currently, people still want tangible copies, not a digital copy that – at Microsoft’s discretion – can be blocked if you happen to fall foul of Xbox Live rules or fail to launch if servers are down.”It could be argued that Microsoft’s decision to include new first-party titles day-and-date with Xbox Game Pass is perhaps a sign of dwindling confidence in its current line-up. By including the hard-to-define Sea of Thieves or the long-delayed Crackdown 3 in its service, consumers unwilling to invest full price in a standalone copy may try them through the service.And Elliott argues this is even more likely now these games are included in the pass, with Microsoft essentially damaging its own launch sales.”It devalues their products and their offering,” he says. “If they’re saying their products are only worth £10 per month, why not release it in a physical form at £29.99? It’s tough justifying to a customer why a game is £49.99, and this isn’t going to help.”For every 20 PlayStation titles we sell, we only sell one or two Xbox titles. It’s not going to hit our bottom line massively.” Christian Le Cornu, Seedee Jons”I wonder who Game Pass is aimed at? Is it aimed at the hardcore gamer? It’s quite a big ticket to get into. £10 per month is a lot. If you look at what people are charged for on a monthly basis: Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, whatever your TV provider is – and you’re already up to £20 to £30 with those. In the current economy, are you able to do another £10 per month?”Christian Le Cornu, manager of Jersey-based indie Seedee Jons, believe it’s only the “die-hard Xbox fans” who are likely to sign up to Game Pass, and because first-party releases tend to be few and far between, the real impact is unlikely to be as severe as some might think.”If Microsoft’s games line-up were stronger, if someone big like Ubisoft started doing this, then yeah, that would be a cause for concern,” he says. “So I’m not overly worried about it. It’s just a trend, it’s where things are going forward.”The Xbox Game Pass is primarily made up of back catalogue titles, which is what many indie stores rely on to stay afloatSeedee Jons is one of the indies we spoke to that still plans to stock and sell Xbox – “We’re not in the habit of cutting our nose off to spite our face,” says Le Cornu. This is largely because these retailers don’t believe even the complete loss of Xbox consumers would hinder their business significantly. The UK games scene is dominated by PlayStation – with UKIE revealing to GamesIndustry.biz that it accounted for half of all physical game sales last year.”To be honest with you, our sales are quite predominantly PS4 – the ratio is something like 5 to 1,” says Steve Walker of Somerset store Insane Games. “So yes, I can see it making quite a big impact to Xbox gaming in general, but I don’t think it will affect our company as much.””If they’re going to do this, I won’t bother [stocking Xbox]. You only make £3 or £4 on Xbox games like the new Monster Hunter, if you’re lucky” Stephen Stangroon, Stan’s GamesLe Cornu agrees: “For every 20 PlayStation titles we sell, we only sell one or two Xbox titles. It’s not going to hit our bottom line massively.”Regardless of where they stand on what the news means for the future of indie retail, most stores we spoke to remain unsurprised by Microsoft’s decision, observing that it harks back to the very origins of its current console.”Anyone with any sense could have seen something like this coming since Microsoft’s fabled first press launch with their ‘no second-hand games’ policy,” says Walker. “They’ve made it clear from the offset of the Xbox One that this is the route that they want to go down – it’s only now becoming clear how they’re going to go about doing that. They’ve started to put their cards on the table.”Bowman agrees: “It was Microsoft’s intentions from the outset in this generation, but it is only now it has become a realisation. Look back at the launch and how damaging it was when they announced you couldn’t share your games or even trade. The uproar from retail was huge – where would that leave indies that trade games to make up the margins? Independents have been shunned in favour of supermarkets and onliners. It is becoming apparent we do not figure in Microsoft’s strategy any more.”Robert Lindsay, who heads up successful Scottish chain Games Centre, believes not only was this development inevitable for Microsoft’s business, but also the games industry in general and fully expects more platform holders and publishers to follow suit.”There is way more to this story than just the Xbox Game Pass. All the game companies are guilty of failing to support indies and offer a level playing field” Paul Lesmesurier, Sholing Video”Of course it will have an impact on traditional retailers, but digital sales have been steadily eating into physical sales for a long time now,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time before the publishers turn the screws even tighter and monopolise the direct sale of games.”As a retailer, we are always against anything that takes away business, but ultimately consumer buying habits will dictate its success or failure, not retail.” Le Cornu adds: “I think it’s the way things are going. If you look at the trends of the last five or ten years in music, film, TV – we’ve seen Netflix, Apple Music, Spotify and even things like EA Access. It’s just the way forward. “Sea of Thieves is a good example – you only get to do the closed beta if you pre-ordered it digitally. So the beta doesn’t account for indie sales. That’s an example of how they’re… not shutting us out exactly, but they’re not making life easy for us.”Multiple retailers will no longer stock the Xbox One console, citing that they will be unlikely to sell more games to those customers in futureAnd while indie retailers understand the appeal of such a scheme from Microsoft’s perspective, they also see why such a service could be beneficial to the customers they may or may not lose.”From a consumer point of view, it’s actually quite a good offering,” says Walker. “We might see some people defecting from PS4 to Xbox One because of this – which would obviously hurt us going down the line.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Benson adds: “For the consumer, it’s absolutely fantastic. For us in retail, it just kills us outright.”Lesmesurier concludes by highlighting Microsoft’s Game Pass strategy as just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges indie retailers face. This single service may not have the detrimental impact some may predict, but the ongoing digital trend and lack of support for independent stores is making business beyond difficult for certain companies.”We have been in this industry for 35 years, have seen the changes across all generations – there is way more to this story than just the Xbox Game Pass,” he says. “All the game companies are guilty of failing to support indies and offer a level playing field. Give it a few years and it will be only supermarkets stocking FIFA and COD.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesApple questions credibility of Xbox testimonyiPhone maker asserts that Microsoft did not produce evidence to back Lori Wright’s claims of unprofitable consolesBy James Batchelor 2 days agoEpic pushed for subscription-free multiplayer on Xbox ahead of Apple battleCEO Tim Sweeney told Xbox boss Phil Spencer that “certain plans for August” would create an “extraordinary opportunity”By James Batchelor 7 days agoLatest comments (10)Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago @Richard Westmoreland: this issue isn’t whether the physical market is going to shrink, it’s the game market, and the ability to have a diverse set of offerings people actually can discover. The millennials allergy to socialization, to physical stores and such hampers thst ability because your peer group bubble is rarely penetrated.And these kids aren’t even paying the price of a movie ticket for experience, and that particular experience they have on their laptops instead of a social setting. Probably the single biggest reason outside of translation issues comedies are so dumb these days. Instead of being wit based it’s all slapstick and gross out. Because those play better while you’re on your phone and bare,y paying attention. 3 years ago @Klaus The tradition of “buying it” is the issueMillennials grew up stealing everything. They value convienience, not ownership.The malls are dying, and kids don’t get drivers licenses because first and foremost, desperate adults have taken their entry level jobs, but because they have phones and Facebook and don’t need to go anywhere to privately hang just with their friends.The real issue of the digital culture is discovery. Without that record shop, and with the clustering of interests, it’s hard for the new and unusual to penetrate without prior approval of the peer group. You u don’t discover something new because the guy at the store put in a new CD (or equivalent). Browsing is dead, and that’s a real problem for the entire entertainment industry.People need to remember, this was NOT Microsoft’s goal in 2013It was simple. All games would go through an online serial registration to lock a copy of the game to your account. This copy could be bought, sold, traded, or lent. The translations of buying and selling wee subject to fees to the seller, a potion of which would be returned to the studio in question, to defeat the Gamestop issue. Any retailer could sign up and be part of it This was #1 on the request list of developers and Sony panicked when their total lockout of used game discs through burning an RFID chip roved to be anti competiton for this system. This same POS integration Gamestop, Best Buy and Walmart had already signed up for had a big advantage for them. They could sell Xbox credit, Gold, and games directly into your account, eliminating the need to deal with inventory and customer confusion. That’s #1 on their list, zero shelf space, zero stocking, nearly pure profit.Frankly, I think the next big thing in this system should be download stations in stores, where users can acces the current updated game code which is then “blessed” and completed in a comparably small download for those in bandwidth challenged areas. Since it can’t store the entire library, you’d also be able to order games pushed to your local kiosk. Blessed, reusable 128GB USB keys would do it for most people. Big game releases and the store already has a bucket of them ready to swap for the blanks.last_img read more

UK Charts: Metal Gear Survive debuts at No.6

first_imgUK Charts: Metal Gear Survive debuts at No.6£25 spin-off game fails to have a big impact on the chartsChristopher DringHead of Games B2BMonday 26th February 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleGfKMetal Gear Survive headlines a very quiet week for UK games retail, although struggles to make a meaningful impact on the charts.The Konami spin-off reached No.6. The last Metal Gear spin-off title, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in February 2013, debuted at No.2 and sold 85% more units in its first week.Metal Gear Survive is primarily an online multiplayer game and digital download sales have increased significantly since 2013. As a result, it’s likely the game will have performed much better than the physical GfK charts are suggesting.PS4 accounted for 68% of Metal Gear Survive’s sales, with the remainder coming on Xbox One. The title had a budget price point of around £25, so in terms of revenue, it only reached No.11 in the charts. Otherwise, it’s a pretty quiet week for games once again. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is the only other new game at No.37. FIFA 18 retains the No.1 spot for a second week in a row. And promotional activity around the first 2 Uncharted games (the PS4 versions) sees both games return to the charts (Uncharted 2 up 575% and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune up 622%). Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Last week’s new titles have taken a sizeable tumble. Kingdom Come: Deliverance dropped from No.2 to No.12 with a 80% sales fall. While Bayonetta 2 for Switch dropped from No.5 to No.19 after a 71% sales plunge.Alongside FIFA, the usual duo of GTA V and Call of Duty: WWII make up the remainder of the Top Three (although Call of Duty does rise up 5 places thanks to a 3% rise in weekly sales).Here is the UKIE/GfK Top Ten for the week ending February 24th:Last WeekThis WeekTitle11FIFA 1832Grand Theft Auto V63Call of Duty: WWII44Monster Hunter World65EA Sports UFC 3New Entry6Metal Gear Survive77Shadow of the Colossus98Mario Kart 8 Deluxe129Super Mario Odyssey1010Assassin’s Creed OriginsCelebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesResident Evil: Village is the third biggest PS5 launch so far | UK Boxed ChartsBut physical sales down over previous Resident Evil gamesBy Christopher Dring 2 days agoNier Replicant ver.1.22474487139 is No.1 in the UK | UK Boxed ChartsIt’s very quiet out thereBy Christopher Dring 16 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Grainger Games future in doubt amid UK retail turmoil

first_imgGrainger Games future in doubt amid UK retail turmoilUK retail chain loses supplier credit supportChristopher DringHead of Games B2BTuesday 20th March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleGrainger GamesGrainger Games says it is facing ‘significant operating challenges’ after having its supplier credit limits cut.The independent retail chain, which has almost 70 stores primarily in the North of the UK, reported a £1.3 million loss last year.However, the firm has been forced to speak to a number of parties regarding the future of its business as investors get spooked following the collapse of numerous High Street retailers, including Toys R Us and Maplins. The company has had to inform some consumers that their pre-orders for titles, such as Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5, has been cancelled. “Our trading has been strong in the period through Christmas with significant improvement against the previous year,” Grainger Games CEO Stephen Bowyer told Chronicle Live. “In January 2018 we secured long working capital facilities bucking the market trend to support our successful diversification strategy. However, confidence in UK high street retail has been at an all-time low which has been further impacted by recent retailer failures.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “On the back of this, we have very recently been notified that Grainger has had or will have certain supplier credit limits cut or removed. This has come as shock to us all and presents a significant operating challenge driven by factors outside our control.”Grainger has a strong brand across the North of England with a well known value proposition and diverse marketing offering. We are working tirelessly with our advisers to explore all options and are in dialogue with a number of interested parties regarding the future of the business.”Grainger Games – named after the Newcastle Grainger market where it began life – has been operating for over 20 years. It employs around 400 staff. Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesGrainger Games closing a third of its shopsEmail sent to staff reveals 21 closures, website already downBy James Batchelor 3 years agoGames Media Awards soured by sponsors Grainger GamesEurogamer scoops best website award, RPS takes best blogBy Rachel Weber 9 years agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Amazon officially benches Breakaway

Amazon officially benches BreakawayFantasy sports game no longer in active development as team focuses on other projectsBrendan SinclairManaging EditorMonday 2nd April 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleAmazon Game StudiosWhen Amazon Game Studios halted the public alpha of its sci-fi/fantasy sports game Breakaway, it was because the company wanted “to iterate and evolve Breakaway’s core gameplay.” It appears that didn’t go as planned, as the development team confirmed it has abandoned the title in a post on the game’s subreddit.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “While we have developed many ideas and made a lot of progress, we are also setting a very high bar for ourselves,” the statement read. “In spite of our efforts, we didn’t achieve the breakthrough that made the game what we all hoped it could be. After a lot of soul searching, the team decided to focus on new ideas. As a result, Breakaway is no longer in active development.”At the time the public alpha was terminated, a Kotaku report quoted people on the development team as saying the game was basically canceled, and on “indefinite hiatus.”Breakaway was one of three major announced projects in the works at Amazon Game Studios, along with the third-person team-based shooter Crucible and the MMO sandbox RPG New World in the works. The trio of projects marked the company’s pivot away from mobile development and toward high-end PC games for core audiences designed from the start to leverage Amazon’s Twitch video streaming platform.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAmazon cancels its Lord of the Rings gameThe cancellation of the MMO was caused by a dispute between Amazon and TencentBy Marie Dealessandri 23 days agoAmazon Games opens Montreal studioThe outfit will focus on a new online multiplayer IP, under the direction of veterans from Ubisoft Montreal’s Rainbow Six Siege teamBy Marie Dealessandri A month agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. read more