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Week in Views - What caught our eyes in the last seven days

The Pocketgamer.biz team take their pick of this weeks big news, including acquisitions, giving Apple the swerve, shutterings, layoffs and more...
Week in Views - What caught our eyes in the last seven days
  • After months of back-n-forth Microsoft have sealed the deal and taken ownership of Activision Blizzard at last.
  • Gaming is a massive business, so it makes sense that a powerhouse such as Disney should want a wider market presence.
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The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths

Editor - PocketGamer.biz

It's official. Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is now complete

They've only gone and done it… After months of back-n-forth Microsoft have sealed the deal and taken ownership of Activision Blizzard at last. You can bet that there's plenty of sighs of relief going on right now and more than a few champagne bottles popping as various execs get their backs slapped. It's a big one and no mistake.

But best of all we get to finally find out just what Microsoft REALLY wants with the company. All that talk of mobile? Just a smokescreen to draw the attention away from their real eye on the prize? Were the UK's CMA justified in clamping down on cloud gaming intentions or were they kicking up a fuss for nothing? And what's to stop Ubisoft simply licencing the games that were annexed in order to deal the deal back to Microsoft as if nothing had happened? Where there's a will (and a few mill') there's a legal loophole way…

And the small matter of Call of Duty now being under the sole ownership of one of the world's biggest gaming platforms. Are Microsoft REALLY going to play fair and make sure that everyone get's a slice of the action?

And spare a thought for all those backroom staff who suddenly have a Microsoft opposite number doing exactly the same job for perhaps less money? Or there suddenly being more studios and staff than there are hit games in the pipeline?

One thing's for sure. This is just the beginning of Microsoft's Aquiblizz adventure.

Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Deputy Editor

Disney CEO Bob Iger is considering the acquisition of a major publisher

The Disney CEO is apparently being nudged towards acquiring a major games publisher. Gaming is a massive business, so it makes sense that a powerhouse such as Disney should want a wider market presence.

EA is the biggest possibility, given that they have already worked with Disney licenses like Star Wars. While the recent Jedi Survivor title was a success, I remember the not so great launch of Battlefront.

I’m not yet sold on this being the perfect fit; everything EA does would need to be approved by Disney, which has shown it doesn't quite grasp how the gaming industry works. If EA were granted more autonomy, that may be a smoother transition. While I think EA would be willing to sell, I’m not sure if Iger will be the one to do it.

Aaron Astle

Aaron Astle

News Editor

Too big for your rules? miHoYo tried to dodge Apple App Store fees twice in one month

News that the Chinese developer of Genshin Impact has been trying to dodge Apple’s App Store fees has come as a bit of a surprise, especially with miHoYo and Apple’s relationship looking so strong from the outside.

Then again, if you’re making billions off your mobile games, you probably would be a tad reluctant to fork over 30% to Apple!

So far, we know of two strategies miHoYo’s tried since August. Will there be a third attempt at slipping under the radar? Will miHoYo bow down to the Apple overlords and keep on paying the tax? Or will Honkai: Star Rail reach such galactic heights that even the App Store won’t be able to catch it…?

Lewis Rees

Lewis Rees

Staff Writer

Alien: Isolation spin-off mobile game Alien: Blackout to be shuttered, joining raft of closures this year

Alien: Isolation is arguably the scariest game of all time, and for good reason, with fans clamouring for a sequel for years - a sequel that eventually arrived in the form of Alien: Blackout. However, it appears that the game failed to capture the attention of players in the same way as its predecessor - and while some part of me is eager to think we’ll get another attempt at a sequel (after all, stranger things have happened in the Alien universe - including a crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the most likely explanation is that the developers aren’t happy with the game’s performance or its ability to attract an audience.

Horror is a tricky genre to get right, especially on mobile, so it’s a shame that players will lose the opportunity to play the mobile exclusive sequel to one of the genre’s strongest games and reiterates the continued importance developers are putting on consistent revenue streams.

Iwan Morris

Iwan Morris

Staff Writer

Team17 cuts are so deep that devs are concerned whether company can still function

It’s a shame that Team17 have felt these cuts are necessary, but I do think it represents a terrible dichotomy for game companies. On the one hand, when times are good - i.e. during Covid when everyone was playing games - they come under constant pressure to expand. But when times are bad - like right now - they have to start cutting costs more rapidly. There’s no good way to go about them, but it still stings, not least for the people losing their jobs.

But it's the loss of knowledge and experience loss that can potentially be more damaging than the costs involved. Here’s hoping that the management of Team17 has a solid plan for the future and can allay such fears. Bearing in mind that the current level of job cuts is unconfirmed, it may be that the losses are less serious than expected. But any level of redundancy will always be a loss for the UK games industry.