In today’s video gaming news, learn more about New Delhi has banned a succession of highly popular battle royale games on national security grounds as part of a harsh assault on Chinese technology. Tencent, Singapore’s Sea, and South Korea’s Krafton have all had their games prohibited due to purported China-related security concerns. Domestic success is driven by a heavy-handed strategy, but executives worry that foreign publishers are now reluctant to invest in the country. Meanwhile, the head of gaming for Microsoft has commented on the current investigations into its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claiming that he feels heavy scrutiny from regulators is “appropriate” and “warranted.” These comments were made in response to questions posed by investors. Lastly, a job listing gives the impression that Sony’s new internal development team is working with Naughty Dog to create a video game based on “a beloved franchise.”
India’s Prohibition on Chinese Games Might be Double-edged
Original Source: India’s ban on Chinese video games proves to be a double-edged sword
It’s the year 2500. The 5,000-year-old Indus Valley civilisation has relocated to another world where it has lived undisturbed by outsiders.
But an international criminal organization has set its eyes on its home, sending mercenaries from throughout the cosmos to compete for its natural wealth while annihilating one other with weapons that make AK-47s and grenades look like child’s play.
Indus is a forthcoming game by SuperGaming. The “battle royale” title has themes from Indian culture, from the Taj Mahal to the Hindu Ramayana poem. One of the writers, Rishi Alwani, said it shows a hopeful India through sci-fi.
Since 2020, New Delhi has banned popular battle royale games as part of a national security assault on Chinese tech. Games from Tencent, Singapore’s Sea, and South Korea’s Krafton have been prohibited on China-related security concerns.
Studios and investors are turning to locally developed shooters like Indus to fill the hole. But critics say the government’s unpredictable, heavy-handed attitude is holding the sector behind.
“The only benefit I see from the games being banned is that Indian firms have started producing battle royale,” said Penta founder Anurag Khurana.
Foreign publishers are reluctant to invest in India since their game may be banned.
After a telecom price war lowered mobile data prices in 2016, gaming in India took off. SG
Redseer Strategy Consultants believes 450mn Indians played at least one game last year and valued the business at more than $2bn, albeit much of that comes from real-money games like online rummy and fantasy sports.
Before its game was banned, Krafton invested $100m in India. Last year, SuperGaming raised $5.5mn in Series A capital from foreign funds. Uncertainty has slowed investment in the sector, executives say.
In 2016, a telecom price war lowered mobile data prices, boosting gaming in India. Since most Indians can’t afford PCs or consoles, the industry focuses on smartphone games. Due of games optimized for low-cost handsets, Chinese companies grew.
Deteriorating relations between New Delhi and Beijing after a deadly clash on their Himalayan border in mid-2020 sparked a wide-ranging crackdown on Chinese tech, with hundreds of apps including TikTok and Tencent’s popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) banned on grounds that their harvesting of Indian user data posed a national security threat.
In February, Free Fire was banned, according to analytics data.
ai was India’s second-most downloaded game, causing a 20% decline in Sea’s US-listed shares. India ordered app shops to remove Battlegrounds Mobile India, a relaunched version of PUBG released by Krafton, which boasted it had 100mn users.
While officials could not explain why they targeted Sea or Krafton, neither of which is Chinese, both have Tencent as an investor. Ranjana Adhikari, a partner at Induslaw in Mumbai, said their games may be blocked in 2020.
The corporations deny that their data harvesting is unsafe. Krafton CFO Bae Dong-Geun indicated in August that the company will “closely cooperate with the authorities” to bring back BGMI.
Many Indian players are upset by the loss of three games in as many years. Naman Mathur, a 26-year-old esports player known as MortaL, tweeted, “Really a stunner.” Those who hoped will lose hope.
Esports players got screwed, says Penta CEO Khurana. They can’t swap battle royales overnight. Asking Virat Kohli to play football won’t work.
SuperGaming and other Indian producers expect their “made in India” games will fill the hole and that Indian themes would resonate more with users.
“We’re making bigger, more ambitious games for a caring audience,” Alwani added. “Where is India’s Zynga, Ubisoft, or Electronic Arts? Not true. The first step is to let people aware games are developed here.
Vishal Gondal, whose nCore Games is creating FAU-G (a play on the Hindi word for soldier), acknowledged that making India a gaming hub will take time. He stated the actual power wouldn’t be apparent for a few years.
India is drafting new gambling legislation that Adhikari thinks will clarify the business.
In the meanwhile, many gamers hope BGMI and others will be reactivated after fixing security issues.
“The Indian gamer won’t quit playing games because certain games were banned,” said Ashwin Suresh, founder of Krafton-backed live game streaming platform Loco.
Phil Spencer Says Activision Scrutiny is Reasonable and Justified
Regulators around the world are examining the planned transaction, with the UK’s CMA broadening its inquiry and raising fears that it could affect PlayStation and other game subscription services, which Microsoft has disputed.
The CMA has enlarged its inquiry to a second phase, while the European competition watchdog has set a November 8 deadline to clear the merger or enter a second phase. The FTC will rule in November.
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said he believes such a large purchase warrants examination and has been speaking with officials throughout the world.
“I’m not an expert on 70 billion dollar acquisitions,” he remarked. “We’re really focused on securing approval in the key jurisdictions, and I’m spending a lot of time in Brussels, London, and with the FTC here in the US.
“Discussions have been fair and honest.” It’s a huge purchase. Microsoft is a huge tech business, and I think the conversation around a large acquisition is fair. I’ve appreciated the time to go spend.”
“We’re focusing on getting the acquisition authorized in the markets,” he said. I was in London last week, continue to meet with regulatory boards, and am certain the merger will be authorized.
Much of the Activision Blizzard acquisition talk has centered on Call of Duty.
Despite Xbox’s repeated assurances that the Call of Duty series will continue on PlayStation, Sony has engaged in a public war of words over the potential sale, telling the press that Microsoft’s offer was “inadequate on many levels.”
UK’s CMA said the merger could hurt PlayStation and other game subscription services if Microsoft makes Call of Duty exclusive.
Spencer told the Wall Street Journal that Microsoft will continue to offer CoD on PlayStation platforms. The CEO said the corporation was more concerned in Activision Blizzard’s impact on mobile growth.
Phil Spencer says Xbox’s Activision agreement deserves investigation.
“Our intention is for Call of Duty to be available on PlayStation, but I’d love to see it on Switch and played on multiple screens,” he stated.
“But if we circle back to why this deal is essential to us, the opportunity in gaming is mobile.
“Most of the conversation is about consoles, especially Xbox and PlayStation. Only 200 million homes play console games out of three billion video game players. Most people who play use their phones.
Spencer said Call of Duty Mobile was “more fascinating” than the potential Xbox-PlayStation partnership.
“We were intrigued in Activision Blizzard King’s mobile followings,” he stated.
This franchise will continue to ship on PlayStation natively – we won’t move players to the cloud or pull the game in two to three years. Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation as long as it makes sense, but technology is continuously changing.
Another Job Listing States Sony’s New Studio is Working on ‘a Renowned Franchise’
Sony is “creating a new internal game development team in conjunction with PSS Visual Arts,” a San Diego firm that contributed to The Last of Us Part 1.
The job listing then indicated that the unannounced project was being created with Naughty Dog.
Sony PlayStation is developing a new internal game development team. This is the Last of Us team!”
Now, another San Diego job listing has been released. The post is for “a new PlayStation studio in San Diego, CA,” although the studio isn’t named.
“We’re co-developing an exciting new project with Naughty Dog in a beloved franchise,” it says.
PlayStation’s Visual Arts Service Group aims to build its franchises. According to sources, it has plans to lead its own projects after supporting Spider-Man and Uncharted for years.
Visual Arts planned to rebuild the first Uncharted game, but the project was deemed too expensive and time-consuming, so it focused on this year’s remake of The Last of Us, which required less design work.
Another Sony team, Bend, was reportedly allocated to work on a new Uncharted game under Naughty Dog’s oversight.
Another job listing states Sony’s new studio is working on ‘a renowned franchise’
Recent evidence suggest Sony may resurrect Uncharted. A Naughty Dog recruiter said she was hired to establish “future teams for new titles and the legacy of Uncharted”
All Uncharted games are remastered. Sony-owned Bluepoint Games developed Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (2015).
Naughty Dog, developer of all Uncharted mainline games, has discussed its The Last of Us multiplayer project, saying it will be as huge as any of its single-player games.
Summary of Today’s Computer Gaming News
Overall, on national security concerns, India has banned a series of highly popular battle royale games as part of a harsh assault on Chinese technology. Tencent, Singapore’s Sea, and South Korea’s Krafton have all had their games prohibited due to purported China-related security concerns. In their absence, studios and investors are attempting to fill the hole with a new crop of locally developed shooting games, such as Indus. However, critics assert that the government’s unpredictability and heavy-handedness are holding the sector back. “The greatest disadvantage is that foreign publishers are hesitant to invest in India since they are unsure whether their game will be banned.”
On the other hand, Regulators around the globe are actively scrutinizing the proposed merger, with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) widening its inquiry and expressing fears that it could affect PlayStation and other game subscription services – a claim Microsoft has disputed. The CMA has officially stretched its inquiry into a second phase, and the European competition watchdog has set a preliminary deadline of November 8 for either approving the merger or deciding to enter a second phase. Microsoft’s head of gaming has said that he thinks the heavy scrutiny from regulators is “fair” and “justified” when it comes to the company’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard.
Finally, another job listing centered in the same region of San Diego as Visual Arts has been published. Despite not mentioning the studio by name, the posting indicates that the position is for “a new PlayStation studio situated in San Diego, California.” The statement continues, “we are now developing an intriguing new project with Naughty Dog for a cherished property.”