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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

Weekly news discussion show offering insight into the global video games market for industry professionals. The GI.Biz's world-leading team of experienced trade journalists, who spend each week breaking down the biggest stories, lending their thoughts on the latest trends in the market, and discussing the implications for video games as a business
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Now displaying: 2021
Jul 12, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather to discuss the biggest news of the week: A new Nintendo Switch.

Not the the Switch Pro, New Nintendo Switch or Super Switch that had been rumoured and reported on for so long, but the OLED Model with a larger screen, wider kickstand and LAN port.

We discuss the root of the disappointment around its reveal, the implications of this handheld-centric update, who the new console appeals to and the consumer mentality around hardware upgrades.

As always you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 8, 2021

Over the next four weeks, we'll be taking a deeper dive into the world of video games recruitment and the challenges facing both applicants wanting to enter the industry and companies wanting to secure the best talent.

For our first 'jobscast,' we're joined by Square Enix Montreal recruiter Agathe Fallet, NDreams' chief people officer Tamsin O'Luanaigh and Marvelous Europe's head of production and operations Sarah Burns.

This episode looks at the biggest challenges developers and publishers encounter when recruiting, how they can stand out from the competition in appealing to potential new hires, and how the recruitment process differs across different markets and disciplines.

This series is part of our Get A Job In Games Month.

Title music composed by Thomas Marchant.

Jul 5, 2021

The Five Games Of is a special series of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast that explores the evolution of the video games business through the career of prominent developers, executives and more.

This time, we explore five games from the career of Warren Spector, industry veteran and one of the key figures crediting with defining the immersive sim.

We explore the breadth of Spector's career, starting with his time on classic Ultima RPGs and the groundbreaking Ultima Underworld.

We also exploring the origins of the acclaimed Deus Ex and the biggest commercial hit of Spector's career: Epic Mickey.

Title music by Juilan Villareal.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 29, 2021

This week, Brendan and James are joined by Michael Varner, director of executive compensation research at CtW Investment Group, to discuss recent developments in the world of AAA publishing.

Earlier this month, Activision delayed its say-on-pay vote at the request of shareholders amid an ongoing campaign by CtW and other parties to persuade shareholders to vote against compensation proposals for its biggest execs, including CEO Bobby Kotick.

That vote was later passed with 54% approval -- an all-time company low -- meaning Kotick and co will continue to receive what CtW describes as "outsized equity pay"

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts recently unveiled several changes to its executive compensation program -- although CEO Andrew Wilson still stands to receive $39.2 million, an increase of 83% year-on-year.

Our guest helps us dive into all this and more as we try to better understand these companies' justification for executives' more than generous compensation.

Title music by Thomas Marchant. Episode mastered by Thomas Quillfeldt. 

Jun 23, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around this mics to reflect on this year's E3 (and all the other adjacent events).

Rather than go through the announcements individually - we collated all the biggest reveals and release dates on the site - we insted each choose a trend, topic or announcement we found interesting from an industry perspective.

We also select the titles we are personally most looking forward to out of the hundreds tht were unveiled and showcased last week.

Jun 18, 2021

In our final GI at E3 Newscast, James and Danielle are joined by indie developer Shahid Ahmad to reflect on the full week of game announcements and reveals.

During the course of the conversation, we weigh up the strategies of both Xbox and Nintendo, discuss the shortcomings of a digital-only E3, and debate the merits of Microsoft's 'everything on Game Pass' model vs PlayStation's focus on $70 blockbusters.

You can find the newscasts on our YouTube channel and you can follow all our E3 2021 coverage at GamesIndustry.biz.

Title music composed by Thomas Marchant.

Jun 15, 2021

Throughout the next week, we're hosting (almost) daily video newscasts on the big news from E3, Summer Games Fest et al - with handy podcast versions for those who prefer audio discussions.

Today, Chris, James and Brendan are joined by Velan Studios co-founder Guha Bala to talk about the Nintendo Direct and the end of this year's E3.

We discuss the surprises of new Metroid and old Advance Wars, the ongoing wait for Breath of the Wild's sequel, the lack of Zelda anniversary celebrations, the intricacies of cross-play and the use of celebrities at events like E3.

You can find the newscasts on our YouTube channel and you can follow all our E3 2021 coverage at GamesIndustry.biz.

Jun 14, 2021

Throughout the next week, we're hosting (almost) daily video newscasts on the big news from E3, Summer Games Fest et al - with handy podcast versions for those who prefer audio discussions.

Today, James and Marie are joined by Cassia Curran of Wings Interactive to talk about some of the biggest news from the Xbox & Bethesda showcase and Square Enix Presents.

We also spend a good amount of the episode talking about the presence of indies at E3, the difference between riskier, more creative games and safer AAA bets, and the balance (or lack thereof) between violent and non-violent games.

You can find the newscasts on our YouTube channel and you can follow all our E3 2021 coverage at GamesIndustry.biz.

Jun 12, 2021

Throughout the next week, we're hosting (almost) daily video newscasts on the big news from E3, Summer Games Fest et al - with handy podcast versions for those who prefer audio discussions.

Today, Chris and James are joined by the first of our special industry guests: Grant Kirkhope, composer of Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye 64, Perfect Dark, Yooka-Laylee... and the newly-announced Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.

Grant joins us to share a little more on his role on the upcoming strategy game, as well as his thoughts on the Ubisoft line-up and a LOT of insight into what it's like both working on these projects and working at a typical E3.

You can find the newscasts on our YouTube channel and you can follow all our E3 2021 coverage at GamesIndustry.biz.

Jun 11, 2021

Throughout E3, we'll be running several video podcasts collecting our thoughts on the big announcements - and we'll be joined by some surprise industry guests to get their take, too.

For this first edition, Chris, James and Danielle discuss the first wave of news from Summer Games Fest Kickoff Live and the Battlefield 2042 reveal, as well as our expectations and hopes for the week ahead.

Jun 7, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz editorial team gather around their mics to discuss the oncoming storm that is E3 2021.

This year's show will be, to say the least, unusual. In the absence of a physical event, the ESA has endeavoured to get as many of the usual publishers and platform holders on board as it can.

Some of the outliers -- such as Ubisoft -- are hosting their own digital events independently of E3, but still running them within the usual window in order to capitalise on the interest around video games announcements. And then there's Summer Games Fest, Geoff Keighley's attempt to bring E3 and all related-but-not-related events under one umbrella.

There's also the ever-present shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact it's almost impossible to know what impact lockdowns and remote working have had on planned game announcements, even after a year of adapting to these new circumstances.

In the face of all this, we discuss what we expect from each of the major platform holders, as well as some of the biggest publishers. We ponder the plausibility of recent rumours and leaks, and inevitably once again discuss what the future holds for E3 in an age when companies can just broadcast their big news to consumers directly.

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 3, 2021

For the past few weeks, we've be delivering audio versions of some of the best sessions from our recent GI Live: Online event.

In our final week, our head of games B2B Chris Dring speaks to Peter Moore, currently heading up Sports & Live Entertainment at Unity and serving on the board of directors at sports-centric mobile publisher Nifty Games.

Moore is, of course, best known for his tenures at Xbox and Electronic Arts. Having now returned to games after a stint as CEO of Liverpool FC, he discusses the crossover between the worlds of sports and video games, as well as a few hints at what he might be working on at Unity.

You can also watch the full session on our YouTube channel.

For more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games, visit www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 31, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discusses the high-profile anti-trust case between Epic Games and Apple, joined by special guest Thomas Buscaglia of law firm The Game Attorney.

Buscaglia -- who has previously contributed to our weekly 'in review' roundups of the trial -- gives us insight into some of more interesting aspects of the court proceedings and the arguments both sides makes.

The conversation covers the long wait for a ruling and why that ruling will be far from final, the impact this case will have had on Epic's similar fight against Google, and the contention around the long-standing 30% commission fee.

You can find all our coverage of Epic vs Apple here, as well as our definitive roundup here.

And, of course, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 24, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz editorial team discuss the biggest news of the past week – including the future of Warner Bros' games studios, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick's skepticism about the metaverse, Embracer's plans for even more acquisitions, and the return of TimeSplitters.

With AT&T forming a joint venture with Discovery, it's been reported that not all of the Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment development teams will be moved over to the new company. We discuss what this means for the publisher's portfolio, and whether this could lead to studio closures.

Next, we discuss Strauss Zelnick's comments about the metaverse and his allergy to buzzwords from a recent investor call. The conversation expands beyond this to the future of Grand Theft Auto Online and the challenges facing GTA 6.

Then we take a look at Embracer Group's revelation that it has been speaking to more than 150 acquisition targets, including 20 with which is hosting late-stage talks. Given the company's reputation for absorbing a wide variety of studios, we ponder how much larger the group can grow and what's sustaining this strategy.

Finally, with news of Free Radical's revival and a new TimeSplitters in the works, we explore why the series remains so popular (at least, James tries to explain this to a justifiably skeptical Brendan and Danielle).

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz

May 21, 2021

For the next few weeks, we'll be delivering audio versions of some of the best sessions from our recent GI Live: Online event.

This week, our head of games B2B Chris Dring speaks to Jon M. Gibson, founder of specialist merchandise provider Iam8bit.

The interview explores the company's origins, some of its biggest successes in bringing collectors' items and even special boxed editions to indie games, and what motivates fans to invest in everything from vinyl soundtracks to art prints. 

You can also watch the full session on our YouTube channel.

For more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games, visit www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 17, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discusses the biggest stories of the past week -- and lays out some simple demands for PlayStation's future.

First up, we discuss Ubisoft's revelation that it will be investing more in high-quality free-to-play experiences based on its biggest brands. We touch on whether this is likely to become the norm for AAA publishers (if it isn't already) and whether free-to-play games might cannibalise their full price counterparts (hint: it's unlikely).

After that, we ponder the news that PlayStation has 25 first-party titles in the works, half of which are said to be new IP. Which Sony properties do we want to see continue, and what are the gaps in their portfolio we believe they need to fill?

Finally, we discuss the issue of scalpers -- or rather how the issue may actually be exaggerated (keep your eyes on the site for more on this topic later this week).

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 14, 2021

For the next few weeks, we'll be delivering audio versions of some of the best sessions from our recent GI Live: Online event.

This week, our head of games B2B Chris Dring speaks Tomas Sakalauskas from No Brakes Games and Curve's VP of Franchise Publishing Gary Rowe about the smash hit indie title Human Fall Flat.

The discussion explores why the physics-based platformer has such broad appeal, how it reached sales levels rarely achieved by indie games, why the developers continue to produce new content for free, and why there's more overlap betwen Human Fall Flat and PUBG than you might think. 

You can also watch the full session on our YouTube channel.

For more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games, visit www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 12, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discuss the biggest stories of the week -- which, of course, means Epic's ongoing antitrust trial against Apple.

We reflect on the first week's events and relevations, and share our thoughts on which side has the stronger argument. We also discuss the potential ramifications for the rest of the industry, and the impact it is already having on other major games firms.

For example, Sony's crossplay strategy was called into question when Epic revealed it agreed to pay an additional royalty in order to allows PS4 Fortnite players to connect with those on other platforms. We discuss Sony's decision and the importance of crossplay.

Finally, with E3 less than a month away, we discuss expectations for this year's digital-only show. Can the show cope with the absence of a few key players, and the continuing onslaught of other digital events?

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 7, 2021

For the next few weeks, we'll be delivering audio versions of some of the best sessions from our recent GI Live: Online event.

This week, our head of games B2B Chris Dring speaks to IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak about the rollercoaster journey the Hitman studio has been on for the past few years.

The conversation covers everything from IO's split with former publisher and parent Square Enix, through the risky period of supporting Hitman 2016 alone, charting the rise of the World of Assassination trilogy with Hitman 2, and culminating in full independence and self-publishing for this year's Hitman 3. 

You can also watch the full session on our YouTube channel.

For more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games, visit www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 5, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz editorial team discuss the biggest stories of the past week, starting with the inevitable discourse around Returnal and difficulty in AAA games.

The PlayStation 5 exclusive released to critical acclaim last Friday, but while it's designed to be a challenging experience, it has prompted a discussion as to whether intentionally challenging gameplay is viable at the level of $70 AAA releases.

We share our thoughts on the alternatives to punishing difficulty, the importance of accessibility and why it is separate from the difficulty discussion, and how indie title Hades has changed expectations for the genre.

Next, we reflect on the results of the recent Accenture survey, which showed 66% of gamers are keen to see more titles from socially responsible developers and discuss how to better drown out the 9% that actively don't.

Finally, we look at the recent changes at Toys For Bob, the Crash Bandicoot developer that has become yet another Call of Duty support studio. Are Activision's eggs all in this single (admittedly best-selling) basket?

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 30, 2021

For the next few weeks, we'll be delivering audio versions of some of the best sessions from our recent GI Live: Online event.

This week, our head of games B2B Chris Dring speaks to Guha Bala, co-founder of Vicarious Visions and Velan Studios, the team behind Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and the upcoming dodgeball multiplayer outing Knockout City.

The episode explores Bala's career and journey from indie developer to AAA and back again, as well as his advice on finding the magic in your game concept.

You can also watch the full session on our YouTube channel.

For more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games, visit www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 27, 2021

The entire GamesIndustry.biz team is on hand to discuss the biggest stories of the past week.

We start with unpacking the discourse and the original comments around an interview with Days Gone director Jon Garvin, in which he stated that those wanting a sequel should have bought the game at full price when it launched.

We discuss the many ways the industry has changed and why most titles are no longer reliant on strong early sales, as well as the disparity between demand for a sequel and whether people will actually buy one.

We also look at the implications of Epic adding Itch.io's marketplace to the Epic Games Store and weigh in on Epic vs Apple with our predictions (and concerns) about how the upcoming trial will pan out.

Finally, we also touch on Ubisoft's perhaps ill-advised decision to state that the Assassin's Creed-themed Mr Men books are aimed at young readers as well as adults, and why that's probably not a good idea.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 19, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discusses the biggest stories of the past week.

First up, we take a look at reports that the Epic Games Store is losing hundreds of millions of dollars in its efforts to rival Steam, where that data comes from, Tim Sweeney's cheerful response and why he might be right.

Then, we discuss comments by Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa about how the platform holder may focus more on original IP, and how rarely the company has produced new properties in recent generations.

Finally, we share our thoughts on points made in a recent article on GamesIndustry.biz around how design decisions made to improve the user experience can ultimately be twisted to exploit and monetise users.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 13, 2021

The Five Games Of is a special series of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast that explores the evolution of the video games business through the career of prominent developers, executives and more.

This time, we explore five games from the career of Brenda Romero, one of longest-running developers in the industry.

With a career spanning almost 40 years, we look at how Brenda found her start working on the Wizardy RPG series at the age of 15 and followed its evolution as the games industry matured around it.  

The discussion that follows encompasses social games, modding, the long-awaited fifth episode of Doom, the Prohibition Era as inspiration, and supporting a budding young game designer in the family as they achieved their first hit.

Title music by Juilan Villareal.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Mar 30, 2021

This special series of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast talks to developers about the titles that influenced their careers.

This time, our guest is Jean Leggett -- CEO of One More Story Games, leadership and career coach, and host of the Games, Grit & Graditude: Real Talk podcast. 

Leggett discusses the impact of the Tex Murphy adventure games on her career, her studio, and even her company's game engine, as well as the importance of story and dark humour in taking games forward as a medium. 

Game Developer's Playlist is an extension of a series we run on the site called Why I Love, in which developers explore their favorite games. You can find these articles here.

Title music by Julian Villareal.

[Please note: This episode was recorded a few months ago, hosted by our then-senior staff writer, Rebekah Valentine]

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