TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: EA bullish on cloud gaming; Roblox Mobile passes USD$1bn (£776m) in lifetime revenue; and Rebellion acquires The Bitmap Brothers portfolio.
EA bullish on cloud gaming
EA executives are highly bullish on the future of cloud gaming, with CTO Ken Moss claiming in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that streaming platforms will bring “another billion players into the gaming world”. The company is currently testing its Project Atlas platform while also licensing its titles to alternative services such as Microsoft’s xCloud, with Moss stating that it is “not our goal” to compete with other options on the market.
While Moss is excited on how the streaming aspect of cloud gaming will introduce new audiences, he is more enthusiastic on the capabilities of cloud server and AI technologies in powering next-generation titles, as well as helping developers with iterative game design. “It’s actually one step on a journey. The main difference in cloud is not really that the CPU is sitting in a big building versus being in your living room; the main difference is now you can have dozens or hundreds or thousands or millions of computers that can do stuff to help power the game.” said Moss, “If you apply that to an actual game like Battlefield… DICE prides itself on amazing destruction. They blow stuff up better than anyone. But the simulations they do for destruction are very limited compared to what they would really like to do, because they have a certain amount of GPU and a certain amount of CPU and they have to do it in real time. If they could have a pool of servers up there that can be running our physics engine in Frostbite and be calculating better destruction, it can be like real life.”
Roblox Mobile passes USD$1bn (£776m) in lifetime revenue
Roblox Mobile has surpassed USD$1bn (£776m) in lifetime revenue since its launch in December 2012, according to data released by Sensor Tower. The title has been downloaded an estimated 290 million times, with 75% of users installing the app through Google Play. While Android users make up the bulk of the downloads, iOS accounts for the majority of revenue, with 76% of spending on Roblox Mobile being directed through iPhone and iPad devices.
While Roblox Mobile has passed the USD$1bn milestone, revenue shows no sign of slowing down, with quarterly spend having increased consistently since the first quarter of 2016. The title grossed USD$143m (£111m) in Q3 2019 alone, with player spending in 2019 has so far having reached USD$435m (£338m), 30% more than the total revenue attained in 2018. The revenue figures cap a successful year thus far for Roblox, with the desktop and console version of the game creation system having reached 100 million monthly users in September.
Rebellion acquires The Bitmap Brothers portfolio
Rebellion has acquired the rights to the portfolio and brand of celebrated developer The Bitmap Brothers. Founded in 1987, The Bitmap Brothers were behind several iconic titles released during the late 80’s and early 90’s, including Xenon, Speedball, and The Chaos Engine franchise. While several titles from The Bitmap Brothers are available on modern platforms, it is likely more will be converted to run on current systems, as well as the development of new titles based on the IP. While the terms of the purchase have not been disclosed, the move is the latest spending move by Rebellion, with the Oxford-based firm having recently acquired British comic series 2000 AD and Radiant Worlds (the developer behind SkySaga), along with launching a board game division and opening a USD$100m (£78.4m) film studio.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and co-founder of Rebellion, said, “We’re delighted with the addition of The Bitmap Brothers to the ever-growing Rebellion portfolio. The Bitmap Brothers are renowned for making great games and for bringing gaming into the mainstream with inimitable style. We’ve known Mike Montgomery [co-founder of The Bitmap Brothers] for many years, and we’re honoured by the faith and trust that he has shown in us by passing on the torch. We’ll strive to be vigilant custodians of one of gaming’s great names.”