Unlimited screen time and endless button mashing helped many of us blast our way through the pandemic. But now that restaurants, theatres and gyms are back in business, there are signs we’ve hit pause on the controllers for a bit of fresh air and sunshine. ☀️ According to Streamlabs, the number of hours broadcast on Amazon’s (AMZN) game streaming platform Twitch levelled down 11% in the June quarter vs the start of the year. That’s a trend that’s been bugging some of the biggest names in gaming.
Console makers Sony (SONY – ADR) and Microsoft (MSFT) both became Fall Guys in their most recent quarterly earnings, with gaming sales dipping 2% and 7% respectively. Soaring inflation has also pushed Sony to hike the price of their PlayStation 5 console. So Santa’s already exhausted helpers might have to put in for even more overtime this Christmas. 🦌
Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), which publishes Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K23, may have also disappointed investors - when their share price dropped 4% after they missed profit estimates - and warned they were seeing weakness in mobile gaming. That’s especially awkward because it comes just months after Take-Two splashed US$12.7 billion on mobile games maker Zynga. 💸 Not even ROBLOX (RBLX) has been able to resuscitate peak gaming, with average daily active users dropping in the June quarter.
Still, the industry isn’t taking their foot off the boost button. Gaming engine Unity Software (U), which last year swallowed up Weta Digital, is set to be gobbled up themselves through a merger with Israeli software publisher ironSource (IS). Meanwhile, Weta Workshop (Weta Digital’s cousin-once-removed) has entered into a new agreement with Take-Two to publish a game set in the Middle-earth universe. Grand Theft Auto Hobbiton anyone? 🧝♀️