This Week In The Business: Place Your Bets

"For example, if the player purchased a particular weapon, the microtransaction engine may match the player in a gameplay session in which the particular weapon is highly effective, giving the player an impression that the particular weapon was a good purchase. This may encourage the player to make future purchases to achieve similar gameplay results." -- A recently approved Activision patent details one of several techniques for encouraging microtransaction purchases that the publisher now owns exclusive rights to.

QUOTE | "It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design." -- EA Worldwide Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund explains why Visceral Games' long-awaited Star Wars title won't be arriving anytime soon, in a statement which incidentally also announced Visceral Games will be shut down entirely.

QUOTE | "Until we have hard data that the presence of loot boxes in a given title is negatively affecting sales and profitability, rather than just being a thing people talk about on the internet, we should not worry about messaging issues." -- The Outsiders CEO Ben Cousins is just one of several developers weighing in on the hot topic of loot boxes.

QUOTE | "In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony PlayStation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day." -- Former Naughty Dog environment artist and level designer David Ballard accuses Sony of firing him after he reported being sexually harassed by one of the studio's leads.

QUOTE | "Like it or not, the hammer is going to fall very hard -- and I'm going to do everything I can to enable that to happen sooner than later." -- In a wave of games industry responses to the #MeToo campaign, former IGDA executive director Kate Edwards warns sexual harassers that they will be called to account for their actions.

QUOTE | "I cannot afford to and I don't want to, take the same amount of risk and stress. If you're thinking about sustainability and running a business, for me, I would just rather do something else." -- William Chyr, who has spent the past five years making his first game, Manifold Garden, explains why he's thinking of leaving the industry once it's done.

QUOTE | "We have a 'no dead monkeys' policy at our studio, and we've let a corpse go already. This is actually our second baby." -- Ignited Artists co-founder Scott Foe describes his company's mindset by bringing up the tendency of some animal mothers to cling to ill babies even after they die.

STAT | 665 million -- Number of people who watch gaming content on YouTube, Twitch, or a similar service, according to research firm Superdata.

STAT | $US5.5 ($7) billion -- Estimated net worth of Valve founder Gabe Newell, number 97 on Forbes' list of the 400 richest people in America.

STAT | 5 -- Number of times Harmonix has laid employees off in the last four years. This week saw the company drop 14 people a month after it shipped DropMix, a music mixing collaboration with Hasbro.

QUOTE | "Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied." -- Apple CEO Tim Cook says augmented reality tech is still too early to deliver a good experience, says Apple doesn't "give a rat's about being first".


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