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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

Regular 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 episode 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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Dec 2, 2022

For the latest episode of the Playable Futures Podcast, games journalist Will Freeman is joined by representatives from three of the many independent and mid-size studios that are currently making waves in the games industry.

Playtonic Games business development manager Stephanie Darrah, nDreams CEO Patrick O'Luanaigh, and Nosebleed Interactive managing director Andreas Firnigl discuss how much the game space has changed in the past decade and what it means to be an indie in a world where their titles are vying for audiences’ attention alongside AAA behemoths.

With the landscape ever changing, many developers are becoming publishers themselves, taking their experiences of working with external parties to inform their own ventures into the space.

“A lot of developers like us have become publishers because we’ve been through the process ourselves,” Stephanie explains. “We’ve developed a game from start to finish. We’ve done ports ourselves. We’ve had publishing partners and we know the next steps after development, like QA and localisation… We know the pitfalls and we know the milestones.”

Community is integral to industry success too, with many publishers increasingly focusing on nurturing talent and sharing knowledge across the indie space.

“We’ve been in those shoes and we know people who are now trying to be in those shoes,” Stephanie adds. “For us, it fits the model of the industry as a whole. It’s about helping people. It’s about trying to make it a better space… You connect with people who are needing that support and suddenly you’re a consultant, or a publisher.”

The Playable Futures Podcast accompanies Playable Futures, a collection of insights, interviews and articles from global games leaders sharing their visions of where the industry and medium will go next. A series of ten articles so far have been published on GamesIndustry.biz, with more planned. Playable Futures is a collaborative project brought to you in partnership with GI.biz, UKIE and Diva.

Nov 25, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast is back, as the team once again gathers around their mics to discuss the biggest stories of the week.

We start with the highs and lows of the latest Pokémon launch. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are smashing series records in key territories and are the most ambitious entries to date – but it turns out that ambition comes at a price.

With widespread complaints and viral examples of technical issues, we discuss the potential impact of Scarlet and Violet's woes on the franchise's reputation, and what Game Freak and The Pokémon Company need to do to avoid this in future generations.

We also discuss the end of Blizzard's 14-year partnership with NetEase, how the publisher might try to re-enter the lucrative Chinese market, and why NetEase is setting its sights on the Western markets.

(A quick apology about the audio quality, particularly for Jeffrey. We are investigating the issue and hope to fix this by the next episode)

Nov 18, 2022

For the second outing of the Playable Futures Podcast, games journalist Will Freeman chats with Tommy Palm, founder and CEO of Resolution Games to reflect on the future of virtual reality. 

An industry veteran responsible for the enormous success of Candy Crush Saga, Palm has since shifted his focus to the world of virtual reality, courtesy of Ultimechs, Resolution’s new multiplayer VR gaming experience.

There are now more than ten million headsets in the market, so with VR well established as an accessible gaming platform, the barriers to entry are now significantly reduced. With the initial years of hype behind us, the format has begun to flourish on its own terms, becoming a fertile creative space for experimental games and ideas that were previously impossible to achieve.

Palm reflects on VR’s complete reinvention of the traditional gaming experience, which in many ways parallels the evolution he witnessed in the mobile gaming space. 

“One of the most exciting things about mobile games in the beginning was the touchscreen. It enabled direct control. You could see it so clearly with small children. They would touch the object they wanted to move. It was so incredibly intuitive and we have a little bit of that going on with VR.”

Palm also discusses a world of creative possibilities that are only possible in VR. However wonderful and engaging the best games are, they still exist within the standard confines of gaming. VR continues to pioneer away from this, removing the need for a conventional controller-based experience in place of intuitive, responsive play that has continued to change the game.

“You want more intricate interaction with games. Visually, they are stunning, but you want more interaction with your games. In VR you have hands, eye-tracking, and voice.”

The Playable Futures Podcast accompanies Playable Futures, a collection of insights, interviews, and articles from global games leaders sharing their visions of where the industry and medium will go next. A series of ten articles so far have been published on GamesIndustry.biz, with more planned. Playable Futures is a collaborative project brought to you in partnership with GI.biz, UKIE, and Diva.

Nov 4, 2022

"In eight years' time, I'd like to see the video games industry being the greenest industry in the world and that the players that play games are coming to it, not just to escape, but to give back as well."

The wider creative industries are increasingly looking to games for inspiration. After all, it’s probably fair to say that gaming is now bigger than the Beatles – so why wouldn’t the world of music and film be looking to video games for a steer on how to engage their audiences?

In the first episode of the Playable Futures Podcast, games journalist Will Freeman – a regular GamesIndustry.biz contributor – speaks to the UN Environment's Chief of Education, Youth & Advocacy, Sam Barratt, about the United Nation’s Playing for the Planet Alliance, and why the UN sees games as part of its mission’s future. 

In this wide-ranging chat, Sam reflects on how the gaming sector can use its influence to shift the world from where we are to where it needs to be. As a medium that inspires and engages like no other, he discusses how games could encourage audiences to act and make a real difference. 

The Playable Futures Podcast accompanies Playable Futures, a collection of insights, interviews, and articles from global games leaders sharing their visions of where the industry and medium will go next. A series of ten articles so far have been published on GamesIndustry.biz, with more planned. Playable Futures is a collaborative project brought to you in partnership with GamesIndustry.biz, UKIE and Diva.

Nov 2, 2022

Our special podcast series The Five Games Of returns with Tim Schafer, founder, CEO and president of Double Fine Productions. And the episode is available to download now.

For those who may have missed past episodes, this is a series of interviews in which we explore how the games industry has changed over the course of five games from our guest's careers: their first, their latest, and three of their choice.

In this episode, Schafer shares how he came to work at LucasFilm Games, the evolution of the adventure genre that the studio was best known for, the transition to early 3D graphics, the complexities of music licensing, and the changing attitudes towards comedy in games.

Oct 18, 2022

To succeed in mobile games today, you not only need to make a great game, but you need to have a strong monetisation plan from the very beginning.

In this special GamesIndustry.biz Podcast, Meta Audience Network’s Michael Bertaut discusses the state of in-game advertising, player acquisition and the future of monetisation. He reveals the latest data on where things are heading and details Meta’s view on how developers can make the most of the new opportunities.

"We’ve noticed a shift from building great games to building a great gaming business," said Bertaut. "Sure, great games are foundational, but long term-success means shifting the focus a bit. To build a strong and sustainable gaming business, one needs both great games and game monetization expertise."

As far as challenges go, there is no question that a loss of mobile ad identifiers had a significant impact on the ecosystem. Developers are facing the reality that old ad formats can no longer be relied upon and innovation solutions are required."

Sep 30, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest stories from the business of video games.

We start this week's episode with thoughts on how the industry will fare in the impending recession. The business models supporting games companies have changed dramatically since the last financial collapse, so how will economic changes affect spending on everything from free-to-play titles and in-game purchases to subscriptions?

We also discuss the recent Grand Theft Auto 6 leak and the consequenes of leaks in general on the industry in general. For one thing, it's highlighted the misconceptions that video games' graphics are finalised before the gameplay, but do consumers need to understand more about how these titles are developed?

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz. For the biggest news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to our daily newsletter at www.gamesindustry.biz/newsletters

 

Sep 16, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest stories from the business of video games.

This week, we focus on Ubisoft - starting with our interview with CEO Yves Guillemot. The company has faced years of scrutiny following the wave of abuse allegations in 2020, but is it doing enough to address the issues within its workplace? 

We also talk about the accountability of leadership at AAA firms, as well as Ubisoft's plans for its flagship franchises - especially Assassin's Creed - and the implications for its business going forward.

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

Aug 24, 2022

James Batchelor is joined by VG247's Alex Donaldson to discuss the biggest reveals and announcements at Gamescom Opening Night Live.

Over the course of the episode, we discuss the breadth (or perhaps lack thereof) of games on show, the importance of giving smaller publishers the opportunity to shine in the absence of major players, and the long-awaited reveal of Everywhere - the debut game from the studio formed by ex-GTA producer Leslie Benzies.

We also share our personal highlights, and talk about the range of new IP on show.

For more news, insight and analysis, head to www.gamesindustry.biz

Aug 8, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast is back, with the team once again gathering around their mics to discuss the biggest stories from the business of video games.

This week, we're taking a look at the current wave of financial results, showing each company's performance for the first quarter of the financial year (April to June 2022). Most, but not all, show some form of decline - an inevitable sign as pandemic measures ease and more people venture outside.

We discuss the implications for each of the platform holders and two AAA publishers. If you're not familiar with their most recent results, check out our coverage here:

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

Jun 15, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics and discuss the biggest news of the past week.

Naturally, this episode focuses on the various showcases that filled the void left by the absence of E3. From Starfield to The Plucky Squire and beyond, we dive into the highlights, lowlights and the impressions we got about where games are headed in the next year.

From a AAA standpoint, it was a largely underwhelming week, but has that hindered the many indie games shown off over the last two weeks?

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz. And be sure to check out our extensive roundup of everything announced this month.

Jun 7, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics and discuss the biggest stories from the business of video games.

With the wave of livestreams and showcases that would traditionally have been grouped around E3 now upon us, we ponder the week ahead and what we can expect from each of the major events.

We also reflect on PlayStation's most recent State of Play, diving into the line-up, the prospects for PlayStation VR2 and the curiously low profile of PlayStation Plus ahead of its revamp.

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

May 20, 2022
On this episode of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast, we're joined by former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé.

Following the launch of his memoir, Disrupting The Game, we talk to him about his experiences at Nintendo and as one of the industry's few prominent Black gaming executives.

He also shares his thoughts on the industry's ongoing diversity issues in general, as well as thoughts on the future of games, including the use of cloud technology and how Nintendo can follow up on the success of the Switch.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz. For the latest and biggest industry news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter.

May 6, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gathers around their mics and discuss the biggest stores from across the business of video games.</p>

Well, we say 'team' but this week it's just Brendan and James, and we say 'stories' but there's only one topic we're diving into this time: Square Enix's sale of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal for $300 million.

We discuss the surprisingly low price tag given that the deal includes major IP such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain, as well as the many commercial struggles Square Enix's Western studios have gone through that likely led to this sale.

We also talk about the news in context of a wider existential crisis among Japanese publishers, which you can read more about in Brendan's excellent piece from earlier this week.

Apr 29, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest news from across the business of video games.

For this episode, we start by discussing the news that both Sony and Microsoft are reportedly considering introducing in-game ads into free-to-play titles on their consoles.

While both are said to be working on inobtrusive methods, the initial reception to the news has not been positive. We discuss the rise of advertising in games, previous attempts to establish this as a model on consoles, and what limitations remain.

We also reflect on the recent news that Apple is requiring developers to update years-old apps, with the threat of removal if they don't, and what impact this will have on game preservation and more.

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

Apr 22, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gathers around their mics to dive deeper into some of the big discussions coursing through the business of video games.

First, we explore a recent article written for us by TinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik on why review scores are dead. We share our own thoughts on the relevance of both reviews and the numbers attached to them, as well as the many hurdles that have been thrown at critics as video games have evolved as a medium.

Then we discuss this week's comments from Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda, who suggests that Japanese studios are likely to struggle if they attempt to emulate Western-developed games.

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

Apr 1, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest news from the world behind video games.

This week, we focus on the long-rumoured overhaul of PlayStation Plus, now revealed to be a three-tier system (with a fourth for regions without streaming).

The team shares their reactions to Sony's souped-up offering, and our thoughts on how benefits such as a retro library and access to PlayStation Now have been spread across the tiers.

We also discuss the (unsurprising) lack of simultaneous launches of new first-party titles, and the broader implications as the games industry expands how it uses the subscription model to engage with consumers.

Mar 22, 2022

GamesIndustry.biz is hosting a special episode of Video Games Real Talk, featuring former Sony PlayStation Studios chairman Shawn Layden.

During the session, Layden shares his insighs of the global video games industry, offers advice to games studios and tells us what it was like working for the founder of Sony, Akio Morita.

Hosted by Streamline Media Group CEO Alexander Fernandez and recorded just over a year ago, the session discusses topics such as industry diversity, how the games industry can expand beyond its borders, the increase in the finance industry's involvement in games and the importance of culture, leadership and disrupting your business.

Mar 10, 2022

This week, we start by discussing the varying responses from games companies of all sizes to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine -- with a particular focus on the many major firms who have halted all sales in the region.

We’ve since reported that these platform holders and publishers areturning their back on a $3.4 billion market -- a not insignificant move on their part -- but we also discuss the precedent the industry is setting with this show of support ahead of the next inevitable conflict.

If you haven’t already, be sure to also read our interview with a Kyiv-based developer about his experience of living in a city under siege.

Elsewhere on the podcast, we ponder the implications of Epic’s surprise acquisition of Bandcamp -- something we have explored in even further depth with music creators here.

Mar 2, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest news from the past week.

On this episode, we start with a discussion about the DICE Summit keynote from EA executive vice president and chief operating officer Laura Miele, in which she said that games company leaders who “fall short of basic standards” should be removed.

Next, we address the implications of the rumoured delay to the Call of Duty planned for 2023, which would mark the first year without a premium title in almost two decades. Has Call of Duty finally peaked, and could it be time for a new approach?

Finally, we discuss the announcement of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and Game Freak’s open-world ambitions. (Ironically, while we were recording a conversation in which some members of the team suggested the studio take a break, another member published an article about why now is not the time to do so).

We would also like to direct listeners’ attention to the industry efforts raising funds to support those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. You can find more information, including donation links, here.

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

Feb 10, 2022
The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics and discuss the biggest news of the past week.

Following Team17's speedy withdrawal from its proposed NFT project, we explore the sentiments behind the backlash against this divisive technology (for more on this, be sure to read the latest This Week In Business).

We also discuss the debate around Sifu and other games about different cultures that are still developed by studios predominantly staffed by white men.

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

Feb 3, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gathers around their mics and discusses the biggest news of the past week.

On this episode, we are of course delving into Sony's $3.6 billion acquisiton of Bungie, as well as our exclusive interview with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan and the Destiny studio's CEO Pete Parsons.

The discussion explores the future of Destiny (and any other properties Bungie creates), Sony's live-service ambitions, the increasing consolidation in the AAA games industry, and that hefty price tag.

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

Jan 26, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gather around their mics to discuss the biggest news of the past week.

This week, that does of course mean delving deeper into Microsoft's record-breaking plan to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7bn.

We've already spoken to analysts about, as one referred to it, "the deal that will change the industry forever" and posed our own unanswered questions about the deal.

During this episode, we discuss the wider implications of the acquisition, why the companies might be a good fit for each other, and what we might expect from the next 18 months.

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

Jan 19, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz team gathers around their mics to discuss the biggest stories of the past week.

On this episode, we start with Take-Two's $12.7bn acquisition of mobile giant Zynga, delving into why the publisher of GTA and Borderlands might want to grow its presence in the mobile market.

We also discuss a similar topic: the rise of the Apple Arcade subscription service and how it clashes with typical free-to-play games design, following an article we ran by Seattle University's Dr Christopher A Paul.

(Please note: This episode was recorded before Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We will discuss that story on next week's episode)

Jan 14, 2022

The GamesIndustry.biz podcast is back, with the team gathering around their mics to discuss the year ahead.

Following our annual analysts' predictions feature, we discuss some of the more interesting topics that emerged and how we think they might develop.

Subjects include the ongoing rumours around PlayStation's subscription plans, renewed interest in virtual reality, the impressive release slate for 2022 (and potential for delays), and more.

As always you can get more insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

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