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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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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]

Mar 23, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz editorial team discuss the biggest stories of the past week from across the business of video games.

This week, Matt, Brendan, Marie and James elaborate on our recent stance concerning stories about blockchain and non-fungible tokens, and why GamesIndustry.biz will be more cautious about covering this going forward.

We discuss the potential benefits and the many, many downsides of this technology as it currently stands.

We also reflect of Techland's decision to include abusive tweets in a video update about Dying Light 2, and whether games companies should be doing more to discourage these attitudes and behaviours among their "devoted fans."

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

Mar 16, 2021

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

This week, we start with the recent wave of new indie publishers emerging, including new publishing arms for Sumo Group, Playtonic Games and Fundamentally Games.

We talk about the challenges new publishers face, whether the market is becoming overserved, and whether publishers need a distinct identity or speciality to succeed.

Then we expand on our recent 10 Years Ago This Month column, looking back at a period where the games industry was anxious about the rise of social, mobile and free-to-play games.

We reflect on the impact the growth of mobile games had on the industry and whether the fears and concerns expressed by veteran developers at GDC 2011 eventually came true.

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

Mar 9, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discuss the biggest stories from the past week in the business of video games.

This week, we start with EA's response to a FIFA Ultimate Team player that racially abused ex-footballer Ian Wright, blaming his in-game counterpart for losing a match. The player has been issued a lifetime ban, a response Wright commended.

We also explore Twitch's first transparency report and dive deeper into the missing numbers in order to illustrate the disparity between how the streaming site handles community infractions when compared to abuse, harassment or hateful conduct.

Finally, we discuss the most recent reports of a 4K-ready Nintendo Switch and why the platform holder needs to carefully consider its hardware strategy if it wishes to extend the Switch's lifecycle beyond that of its predecessors.

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

Mar 2, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team discusses the biggest stories of the past week, starting with news of Sony revitalising PlayStation VR.

With a new headset now in development for PlayStation 5, we reflect on Sony's impact on the wider virtual reality landscape and its strategy with the original PlayStation VR over the past four years.

We also debate the importance of software and whether Sony's first-party offering can provide any system-selling experiences -- especially as the platform holder continues to close its most experimental studios -- and what the haptic feedback of the DualSense controller might add to the immersion of virtual reality.

After that, we turn to the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, exploring its ongoing and cross-generational success as well as sharing our thoughts on the announcements from the recent Pokémon Presents broadcast.

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

Feb 23, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz editorial team discusses the most controversial game announcement of the year so far and weigh up whether developers can handle a topic as sensitive as war.

Following our interview with the company behind upcoming shooter Six Days In Fallujah, we explore the reaction to the game's existence -- both in 2021 and back in 2009 when the title was dropped by its publisher -- and the mistakes it already seems to be making.

We also discuss whether Victura's stated intention is appropriate for a conflict like the Siege of Fallujah.

Towards the end of the episode, we shift towards the announcement of the most recent Nintendo Direct, the 35th anniversary of Zelda, and the strange disconnect between Skyward Sword's high review scores but low reputation among many series fans.

You can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Feb 15, 2021

The GamesIndustry.biz team takes a deeper look at one of the biggest stories of the past week -- namely, Warner Bros securing a patent for Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system.

For this episode, we're joined by Kostya Lobov of law firm Harbottle & Lewis to look at the intricacies of patents and the implications for any other developers hoping to build games around a similar mechanic to the Nemesis system.

In case you missed the news, it was revealed last week that Warner Bros has finally secured a patent after repeated attempts to protect its method of creating a heirarchy for NPCs that changes based on player actions.

The move was widely criticised by developers, claiming it will stifle innovation in this space -- but is that the case? We discuss on this week's podcast.

If you'd like to find more about how developers can protect their intellectual property, check out our in-depth guide on the GamesIndustry.biz Academy.

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