This Week in Gaming Business – It’s The Green You Need

It’s time for another gaming business roundup, and this week, we’ve got green initiatives in gaming, as well as another round of acquisitions, more layoffs, and some slightly sobering losses for a couple of studios.

Let’s take a look at what’s been happening this week on the business end (so to speak) of the gaming industry!

Guilty Gear dev Arc System Works opens a new branch

Arc System Works now has a European presence.

Arc System Works, best known for fighting games like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, opened a new branch this week, expanding its operations to Europe for the first time.

Catchily named Arc System Works Europe, the branch is based in Paris, and its first endeavor is the European release of upcoming anime and manga tie-in game Hunter x Hunter Nen x Impact, which is coming to PC, PS5, and Switch later this year.

Green initiatives abound in the gaming industry

The environmental impact of game development is an issue that’s becoming more and more pressing for the industry. Whether it’s developers commenting on the harmful nature of NFTs or indie devs sharing reports on their climate impact, the green question is one that pressingly needs to be answered.

This week, two new initiatives sprung up that aim to contribute to this conversation.

The first, Make Green Tuesday Moves, sees not-for-profit climate organization Planet Play bringing new DLC to games like Avakin Life and Subway Surfers in order to highlight green initiatives and projects. The org’s first partner is none other than 80s legend David Hasselhoff.

This week also saw the launch of the Sustainable Games Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to making the gaming industry “the leader in sustainability” by setting new goals for environmental responsibility.

Layoffs and losses

The player running to avoid a boss in Tales of Kenzera: Zau, a game included in this week's gaming business roundup
Tales of Kenzera: Zau developer Surgent Studios has been hit by layoffs.

Sadly, the gaming industry is still looking a little gloomy, and that means some studios made layoffs this week, while others reported somewhat sobering losses that should give us pause for thought.

In the world of layoffs, Watch Dogs: Legion studio Ubisoft Toronto laid off around 30 employees earlier this week, ostensibly an effort to “deliver on its ambitious roadmap”. I’m not much of a fan of that kind of wording.

Tales of Kenzera: Zau developer Surgent Studios also confirmed layoffs this week, letting around a dozen employees go and pointing to a “difficult time in the games industry” as its reason.

Two major companies also announced losses this week, the first of which was Dying Light 2 studio Techland, which lost around $25 million last year.

It joins workhorse studio Tose, which revised its projection for the financial year ending in August from a 20 million yen profit to a 450 million yen loss owing to the cancellation of projects by some of its partners, likely including Square Enix. This one hits particularly hard because Tose hasn’t posted a loss in 20 years.

More acquisitions

This week has also seen a number of studios being acquired or gaining new investment, beginning with legendary iconoclast Devolver Digital, in which publisher Kwalee now owns a 3.58% stake.

Keywords, a large “technical and creative solutions provider” that counts studios like Hardsuit Labs and High Voltage among its roster, was acquired this week by newly-formed UK company Houting UK for a whopping £2.2 billion (roughly $2.81 billion).

Elsewhere, Capcom announced that it has acquired two thirds of CG production company Minimum Studios’ shares, and sports media company Sporty Group acquired the rights to Sensible Soccer spiritual successor Sociable Soccer.

Also in the industry this week

Two characters fighting in Warlander
Warlander is being published by its developer now. Hooray!

We’ve just got time for a little look at some of the other stories that have been circulating in the gaming industry this week.

If you’re a fan of MOBA-come-hack-and-slash-RPG Warlander, you’ll be pleased to know developer Toylogic took over its publishing duties this week, and if you love military warfare games, then World of Tanks Blitz passing $1 billion in revenue is sure to tickle you.

We also took a detailed look at two major stories in the industry: Palia developer Singularity 6 being acquired by Daybreak, and Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium being ordered to pay compensation to a disabled employee over a discrimination claim.

That marks the end of another gaming business roundup! There’s lots to chew over this week, but make sure you join us again next week, when we’ll be taking another look at the industry and all its goings-on.