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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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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast
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Sep 25, 2020

The Five Games Of is a special spin-off series of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast that charts the evolution of the industry through the careers and games of prominent developers and more.

This month's guest is Debbie Bestwick, CEO and owner of UK-based indie label Team17, whose first game was released in 1991.

On the show we discuss this and other formative titles, the changing opportunities for indie developers over the years, shifting attitudes at publishers, and how the very first Worms game was developed on a calculator.

The weekly news show will be back on Monday, and you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 21, 2020

Matt, Rebekah, Brendan and USGamer's Mike Williams discuss the biggest news of the past week.

We start with the PS5 launch plans and confusion over pre-orders, and move on to our wider thoughts about the next console generation.

With both platform holders offering digital-only consoles, what does this mean for the concept of ownership during the upcoming generation? And how does the rise of subscriptions factor into this?

Finally, we go round the table and share which next-gen machine most appeals to us.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 14, 2020

This week, James, Brendan, Rebekah and Chris discuss the biggest news of the past week, which is, unsurprisingly, Xbox.

The platform holder announced its long-rumoured Xbox Series S model at $299, priced the Xbox Series X at $499, detailed the Xbox All Access payment plan for both models, gave a November 10 launch date, and revealed that the EA Play library will be added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate later this year.

With all the pieces in place for the launch of Microsoft's fourth console generation, we discuss how the platform holder is trying to reshape the business, who the audience for the Series S might be, and whether Sony might respond to the EA Play deal, among other things.

And then we somehow masterfully manage to steer the last third of the episode to talking about Nintendo.

As always, you can get the latest news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 7, 2020

The Game Developers' Playlist returns with a look at RPG Maker.

In this new monthly show, developers join us to discuss the games that influenced their careers.

This episode features Davionne Gooden, the indie developer behind the upcoming She Dreams Elsewhere, talking about how tinkering with RPG Maker motivated him to make a living making games.

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

Title music by Julian Villareal.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 1, 2020

Matt, Brendan, James and USGamer's Mike Williams gather around their mics to discuss the biggest industry news of the past week.

Our first big discussion this week is Unity's long-awaited IPO. Having delved deeply into the filing, Brendan discovered some little known and surprising facts about the company behind the widely-used engine.

We discuss these revelations and ponder the future of Unity as it targets a potential growth area of £29 billion - but has its biggest competitor got there first?

Then we discuss the recent statement of support from 2K Games following the NBA's protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Major publishers already made similar statements and accompanying charity donations in the wake of George Floyd's murder earlier this year, but what more can the industry do to make an impact and drive positive change?

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 28, 2020

This is the first episode in a new spin-off series of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast, charting the evolution of the industry through the games and careers of prominent professionals.

In this monthly show, we'll be joined by developers, composers, writers, publishers and other members of the games industry to discuss five games they have worked on: their first, their last, and three of their choice.

Around each title, we'll be exploring how the business of video games has changed, the lessons that have been learned and areas that still need improvement.

To kick off this series, we're joined by indie developer Mike Bithell, best known for Thomas Was Alone and his most recent hit John Wick Hex.

Don't forget to download our weekly news discussion show every Monday, as well as our other spin-off The Games Developers' Playlist, in which game creators discuss the titles that had the biggest impact on them.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 25, 2020

Brendan, Marie, Chris and James discuss the biggest stories of the past week, starting with the allegations of inaction against abuse at Rocksteady.

The Batman: Arkham Knight studio has been accused of doing little to nothing to address the issues with toxicity and harassment raised by female employees back in 2018.

It's worth noting the studio has since released an updated statement that was not available at the time of recording.

After this, we discuss the first PlayStation 5 ad and the challenges of promoting a physical next-generation experience when the pandemic has cut off all the usual event marketing opportunities.

And with Bossa adopting a hybrid remote-office model, we debate whether a mix of the two can really work for games teams going forward.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 17, 2020

Matt, Rebekah, Chris and James gather round their microphones to discuss the biggest news of the past week -- starting, of course, with Epic versus Apple and Google.

In case you missed the news, the Fortnite firm skillfully goaded Apple into removing the world's biggest game from its App Store then followed up with a pre-prepared lawsuit and a conveniently-ready-to-go parody video. 

Google later removed the game as well and found itself facing a similar lawsuit.

Rebekah has already discussed the messaging around this video in her opinion piece on why it was an irresponsible piece of corporate propaganda, but we delve deeper on the podcast into the many nuances around what Epic is attempting to do.

We discuss the way it is mobilising its audience -- and whether the audience has any place in this fight -- as well as the ongoing and related investigations into big tech firms both in Congress and the European Commission, and whether Epic is right in its motivations.

We also discuss the delay to Halo Infinite, and the impact this will have on the launch of Xbox Series X, the all-but-confirmed Xbox Series S, and Xbox Game Pass.

As always, you can get the latest news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 10, 2020

Presenting the debut episode of a new spin-off from The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast: The Game Developer's Playlist

In this new monthly show, developers join us to discuss the games that influenced their careers.

Kicking off this series is Aaron Linde, lead narrative designer at Halo developer 343 Industries, who shares his love of SNES RPG Earthbound.

This podcast is an extension of a series we run on the site called Why I Love, in which developers explore their favourite games. You can find these articles here.

Title music by Julian Villareal.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 3, 2020

James, Marie, Chris and USGamer's Mike Williams weigh in on the big debate of the week: does the games industry need E3?

Studies from both Fancensus and SuperData show that this summer's big game reveals didn't suffer from the absence of the annual showcase -- certainly not when it comes to the platform holders and big publishers.

But there are many other aspects of E3 that aren't as easily recreated online and benefits that might be overlooked when focused purely on data -- something Chris discussed in detail last week.

We weigh up all these points and more, before turning our attention to the ongoing scrutiny around Apple's 30% share of all App Store revenues.

With big tech firms facing antitrust enquiries on both sides of the Atlantic, we debate whether 30% is too high a payment and, building on Rob Fahey's latest column, what the alternative might be.

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 24, 2020

James, Matt, Brendan, Rebekah and USGamer's Mike Williams reflect on the titles shown at this week's Xbox Games Showcase.

There was a diverse line-up of internally-developed titles, with the first look at Halo Infinite's gameplay and the long-awaited reveal of the Playground-developed Fable revival.

But the presentation did leave us with questions. After multiple instances of Xbox assuring that all title for Xbox Series X will run on Xbox One, the showcase announced several games that appear to be exclusive to the next-generation console (and PC, of course).

We delve into the possible reasons for the confusion in Xbox's communications, such as the practicalities of supporting a seven-year-old console while trying to sell the next one.

We also discuss the prominence of Game Pass throughout the presentation, and share our highlights from the line-up.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 21, 2020

This week, Rebekah, Matt, Brendan and James dive deeper into Rebekah's recent investigation into GlobalStep.

For those who haven't read the full article yet, we explore some of the accusations the UK-based QA company -- formerly known as Testology -- faces.

Claims include the "culling" and "ghosting" of staff, incorrect pay, and a stifling culture built on fear and zero-hour contracts.

We discuss the full findings of the investigation, as well as how such a culture has been sustained, and what other companies might learn from GlobalStep's mistakes.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 13, 2020

We have a double episode of the GamesIndustry.biz Podcast today, following developments over the weekend at Ubisoft as the publisher attempts to reign in its abuse problems. 

James. Matt and Haydn take a deep dive into the situation at Ubisoft, after several high-level staffers departed the company amid mounting abuse allegations. 

CEO Yves Guillemot, previously lauded for steering Ubisoft away from a hostile takeover by Vivendi, now finds himself heading a company which faces one of the largest abuse scandals in games industry history. 

After that Rebekah, Matt, Marie, and Mike tackle the wider issue of systemic abuse in the games industry. The discussion springboarded from an article by narrative designer Kim Belair, which addressed the need for a movement, rather than a moment, in the wake of these allegations. 

 

Jul 6, 2020

Matt, Brendan, Chris and James gather around their respective mics to discuss the biggest industry stories of the past week.

Once again, we've refrained from commenting on the ongoing stories of abuse and harassment as we don't feel the podcast is the right forum for this discussion. But you can find our in-depth coverage through the links below.

The main discussion this week follows 2K Games' revelation that NBA 2K21 will be priced at $69.99/£64.99 -- $10/£5 more than the current gen versions.

With IDG Consulting expecting more publishers to follow suit, we discuss the implications of a price hike for AAA games, whether it can be justified in a series so divisive over its use of microtransactions, and what this means for lesser-known and new IP trying to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with $70 established hits.

You can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz

Jun 29, 2020

Matt, Brendan, Marie and Chris are on hand to discuss the biggest games industry topics of the week.

The most prominent subject has been the latest wave of allegations concerning abuse, bullying and harassment that have emerged across the industry. As the podcast is not the best forum for such a discussion, we instead direct you to our detailed coverage on the site:

This episode focuses primarily on the subject of game length, following comments from former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden, who said he would "welcome the return of the 12 to 15 hour game."

This has reignited the ongoing debate about whether video games are too long, particularly in the AAA space. The team offers their thoughts on whether the biggest games are too big, and whether Layden is correct in calling this model "unsustainable."

We also discuss recent comments from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who said the cellphone-style payment program All Access will be "critical" to selling Xbox Series X.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 23, 2020

This week on the podcast, Rebekah, Matt and Brendan are joined by new regular guest Mike Williams, of former GamesIndustry.biz and current USGamer fame. 

In lieu of an formal E3 event this year, Electronic Arts went ahead with its own branded online presser, EA Play. Depending on who you ask, the show was either an exciting glimpse into what the publisher has to offer in the coming years, or a lacklustre display will little of note. 

But the publisher, which has long held onto dreams of its own highly-lucrative and DRM-riddled digital storefront, announced it was backtracking on the idea and would return to Steam. Combined with a renewed focus on the Nintendo Switch, there’s a lot of change afoot at EA. 

Finally, The Last of Us Part may have been met with critical acclaim, but the discussion of the game was tainted somewhat by highly restricted review embargoes. 

Sony forced reviewers to remain tight-lipped on certain story elements which turned out to be a controversial move given the content and Sony’s marketing approach. 

Jun 12, 2020

The GamesIndustry.biz team share their initial thoughts on Sony's long-awaited reveal of the PlayStation 5.

Recorded mere minutes after this week's showcase ended, we share our first impressions on the line-up, the overall presentation, and (of course) the final design of Sony's next-generation console.

Along the way, we discuss the diversity of the games' protagonists, question Sony's growth strategy for the next generation, and weigh up how the showcase stands compared to both Microsoft's previous effort and the E3 conferences missing from 2020. 

We also pick out favourite games from the line-up and debate whether we want the disc-based or digital-only edition of the console.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games from www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 8, 2020

As you'll hear, there is no regular podcast this week. 

In light of the ongoing protests against racial injustice and police brutality, we recognise that our team is currently not diverse enough to contribute significantly to the discussions.

Instead, we're using this week to recommend other podcasts that have already commented on the deeper issues at hand, and that you might find worth listening to on an ongoing basis.

Please give a listen to:

Spawn On Me: A Lesson In Blackness by Khalief Adams, Parris Lilly, Blessing Adeoye Jr, Cameron Hawkins and streamers Pikachulita and Zombaekillz

(More from Khalief and Blessing on Kinda Funny Games Daily June 6, 2020)

Throwndown 287: We've Been Here by Torrence David, Andre Tipton and Richard Bailey Jr

Techish: #BlackLivesMatter, Profiting off Black Culture, Deleting Trumps Tweets, Space X Launch by Abadesi Osunsade and Michael Berhane

EXP Podcast 575: A Conversation Only Somewhat About Games by Scott Juster and Jorge Albor

Jun 1, 2020

Matt, Brendan and James discuss the biggest stories of the past week, starting with speculation about the potential release window for GTA 6.

Rumours circulated that a spike in marketing commitments found within Take-Two's financial documentation placed the launch of GTA 6 around 2024 -- but Brendan's ready to shatter that hope.

Elaborating on his piece from last week, our North American editor explains why it's far more likely the that surge in marketing spend is more likely to coincide with a major push into sports games than a new Rockstar release.

We also unpack David Braben's recent comments about how physical games could more or less go away in three years' time. We look at where physical media stands in the general world of entertainment, and what the Frontier CEO really meant about its diminishing importance.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 26, 2020

Matt, James, Marie and Chris are on this week's podcast to discuss the biggest stories of the past week.

We start with comments from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who suggests tech and digital industries (including video games) are unlikely to adopt remote working on a permanent basis as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a similar note, we discuss commnets from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick on how lockdown measures have accelerated the trends towards digital distribution, and how games have an advantage over film, TV and other forms of entertainment when it comes to producing content remotely.

Finally, we look at the recent milestone announced for PlayStation Now: 2.2 million subscribers. A significant uptick over the past year, but still lagging behind Xbox Game Pass. What is it about Microsoft strategy that gives Game Pass the advantage and why, in the grand scheme of things, does it not currently matter to PlayStation?

As usual, you can get your daily dose of news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 18, 2020

Matt, Rebekah, Chris and James gather around their mics to discuss the biggest stories of the past week - primarily Epic Games.

The company debuted the first footage of Unreal Engine 5 with a technical demo that also gave us the first glimpse of gameplay on the Playstation 5.

Around this unveiling was also the news that the revenue limit at which Epic will claim royalties from Unreal-powered games has been raised to $1 million, and plans for the Epic Online Services SDK, which will enable other developers to implement cross-play into their titles.

Plus, Fortnite is heading to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 at launch, so we discussed the potential for current multiplayer hits on the next generation of consoles.

We also touched upon the new PlayStation Studios branding and how the platform holder will create a stronger identity for its first-party titles.

You can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 11, 2020

The GamesIndustry.biz team offer their thoughts on last week's Xbox Series X showcase.

Recorded in the immediate aftermath of the presentation -- technically during some of the post-show interviews -- we offer our immediate reactions to the first glimpses of next-generation gameplay we saw. 'Glimpses' being the most appropriate word.

Both Xbox and Ubisoft have since admitted it may have oversold how much insight into upcoming Series X titles the special episode of Inside Xbox would offer. During our discussion, we delved a little deeper into what people expect when companies promise to show "gameplay."

We also weigh up the most promising titles in the round-up, discuss the impact this will have had on their publishers, ponder the next steps for Xbox -- beyond the planned first-party showcase in July -- and even how Sony might be able to improve on this with its first PlayStation 5 showcase.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

May 4, 2020

Matt, Rebekah, Chris and James discuss the biggest news of the past week.

We begin by unpacking Xbox boss Phil Spencer's comments in a recent interview, in which he talked about how Microsoft was taking care to ensure it was "not exploiting" the COVID-19 pandemic and the "big flood" of new users it has brought to gaming.

Then, after a tangent about streaming services and the bizarre communications around the launch of Stadia's free version, we reflect on the ongoing success of Xbox Game Pass, which has already amassed more than 10 million subscribers.

Finally, following leaks around The Last of Us: Part 2, we talk about the challenge of avoiding and preventing spoilers, not only in games but in any form of entertainment.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 27, 2020

Taking a break from our usual weekly news discussion, the GamesIndustry.biz team carefully place their crystal balls next to their microphones for an unusual E3 predictions podcast.

E3 is, of course, cancelled this year and the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in delays for several high-profile games -- and that's not counting all the unannounced ones lurking behind the scenes.

Rumours suggest that game reveals and other news lined up for E3 will be spread out across the entire summer, with some big announcements expected in the next few weeks, so we figured we'd get in a little earlier with our predictions podcast and discuss what we expect -- or hope -- to see emerge over the summer.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 20, 2020

Rebekah, Matt, Chris and Marie gather around their mics to discuss the biggest issues of the past week.

Firstly, we discuss the recent Kotaku report on Rockstar's attempts to change its internal crunch culture, with the prominent suggestion that the next Grand Theft Auto may be of a more moderate size but then expanded post-launch.

Then we reflect on the mixed initiatives the games industry has launched to help raise money towards COVID-19 relief efforts. We reiterate some of the points Chris made in his editorial about how the larger players can help smaller businesses that may struggle and praise PlayStation's $10m fund for indie developers.

Finally, we reflect on the ongoing success of remakes -- most recently, Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil 3. We also discuss whether there are any classic games left that could benefit from such treatment, and then suggest a few personal favourites we'd like to see.

As always, you can get your news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

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