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Najeeb's Gaming Report - Issue #2

This is my weekly newsletter focusing on major developments within the Gaming industry. You can follo

Najib El Kihel

April 3 · Issue #2 · View online
Startup and Tech curious, with a focus on #Gaming. Runs a weekly Newsletter on this particular industry.

This is my weekly newsletter focusing on major developments within the Gaming industry.
You can follow me on Twitter here.

Issue #2 - 3 April 2017
Issue #2 - 3 April 2017
Industry News
After the alt-right controversy and the Zenimax lawsuit, this news should not come as a surprise to anyone. Since the first controversy surfaced last September, Luckey was no longer the face of VR at Facebook, being replaced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at major VR events.
Upcoming months will tell if Luckey intends to carry on working in the VR space. But this surely can’t be a great day for the medium when the company (Oculus) that brought VR back from the dead is losing one of its founders. 
It will be interesting to see if the game can find an audience on PC. Indications could potentially be found with Ubisoft’s The Division, another online-only shooter/adventure game. Unlike the first episode of Destiny, the Division was released on PC. While it had a promising start, it has remained a modest success on this platform. Sales on consoles however had driven the game to the #3 spot on the list of best-selling games in the US in 2016.
The streaming app has been rolled out to all XboxOne users this week and will arrive on PC on April 11th via the Windows 10 Creators Update. While Beam’s integration to the OS on both platform could make streaming a lot easier for many (especially on PC), it will have to bring serious innovations to drag people away from competition: 
- Twitch is backed by the incredible power of its community, with a great chat system.
- YouTube Gaming can rely on its bank of ‘Let’s Play’ content to facilitate YouTubers’ transition to streaming. 
These are competitive advantages that will not be easy to overcome.
This should make navigation and even gaming easier and immersive. It will also bring the Gear VR a lot closer product-wise to Google Daydream which already has its motion controller.
The new Gear VR and its controller will be released on April 20th.
I’ve never understood the idea that DLC for multiplayer modes 'should’ lead to a split in the player base. If the host has the DLC, it seems like a great idea to make the DLC available to players who join the session. It’s a clever way to give them a glimpse of that content and might lead to more purchases of DLC as a result. I’m glad EA’s getting it right and I hope to see more developers adopt this approach.
While the Overwatch-inspired Progression and Loot systems will definitely appeal to current HoTS players (and bring some of them back), the lack of changes in the gameplay will probably not put the game at the same level as competitors League of Legends and DOTA 2 on the esport scene. It is nonetheless a good news for HoTS players to see those changes, which indicate a long-term commitment and support from Blizzard.
Sales were largely driven by the Witcher 3 (released on all platforms, unlike previous episodes) which will go down as one of the best games of this generation. CD Projekt RED has reported a 27% decrease in 2016 revenues and profits vis-à-vis 2015 (boosted by the release of the Witcher 3 that year), but its online retail business has had a 15% increase in revenues over 2015.
App Annie’s report indicates however that the App Store should remain the single highest grossing store in 2021, with a projected $60B vs $42B for Google Play. While non-gaming apps will see their revenues triple, gaming apps will still represent the biggest share of revenues of the entire mobile ecosystem, with 76% in 2021 vs 81% in 2016.
Notable Game Reviews
Persona 5 is coming out next week in the US and Europe. Since its Japanese release last September, the game has received critical acclaim and been considered one of the best JRPGs of this generation.  Another proof that great Japanese games are definitely back.
I doubt Persona 5 will be among the best selling games of the year, but it is yet another console exclusivity for Sony, which has totally outplayed Microsoft in that regard over the last few months (Persona 5, Nioh, Horizon Zero Dawn, Yakuza 0/6, NieR:Automata. Phew).
Blog Posts
Post from Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s VP for Windows and Devices.
It is commendable to listen to your customers when designing a product so that it matches their expectations. But I believe it can also set you back on innovation. While Microsoft has shown its willingness to innovate and set itself apart from competition over the last two years (Backward Compatibility, Xbox Everywhere, Xbox Game Pass soon), it was mostly focused on catching up with Sony at the start of the current generation. And judging by the sales, MS will probably never be able to bridge the gap with Sony on that generation.
It is for that type of stories that we all love EVE Online (despite being such a niche game). For those who missed it 12 years ago, another legendary story about EVE.
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