Microsoft’s plans spring a leak

We all think acquiring Nintendo would be a good idea! Plus, the latest on the Unity pricing changes.

Microsoft’s plans spring a leak

You would think a company like Microsoft would know how to secure a document on the web. However, when it comes to providing the FTC with classified documents about their future and past plans, they kinda dropped the ball. Read about that, the latest developments in the Unity fee controversy, and much more!

Xbox leak: New games, consoles and more

Xbox Brooklyn via leaked documents

Documents that Microsoft published on a court website as part of their legal battle with the  Federal Trade Commission have leaked to the public. They contained confidential information on their Xbox strategy for the next few years. According to the judge in the case, Microsoft is to blame for the leak

What was contained in the documents that leaked? Some of the biggest revelations:

Spencer sent an internal memo to his team, and took to Twitter to address the leak:

Despite all this confidential information becoming public, the news for Microsoft was not all bad this week. Their plan to sell their cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft in the UK has addressed the Competition and Markets Authority’s concerns about their merger with Activision. The sale is now likely to go through.

Unity against Unity

After unpopular updates to their pricing model bombed among developers, popular game development tool Unity addressed their community to say they were sorry in an open letter. They also made changes to their fee structure, though the controversial Runtime Fee is still in place. However, according to Marc Whitten, president of Unity Create, “The Runtime Fee policy will only apply beginning with the next LTS version of Unity shipping in 2024 and beyond.”

After over 500 developers joined a protest over the new policy, Unity is on a mission to earn back their trust. However, many developers say that “trust is gone forever.” 

“Even if they backtrack this time, who's to say they won't do something like this again in the future," says Tamara Alliot, CEO of Nerial. Danny Gray of Ustwo Games says:

If you want an example of how crazy this is, anecdotally some developers who've been paid already for their subscription titles are now hoping nobody plays their game. It's literally and figuratively flipped the industry on its head.

Some developers are taking their distrust a step further. Re-Logic, developer of Terraria, donated $100,000 each to open source game engines Godot and FNA, and will continue to support them with a $1,000 donation each month. AppLovin, a mobile monetization platform launched free tools to help developers migrate their games to other engines

Meanwhile, the European Games Developer Federation has asked the EU to regulate non-negotiable contracts, saying the Runtime Fee is akin to "anti-competitive market behavior."

Finally, Skill Up did a piece on Unity CEO John Riccitiello. The video points out Riccitiello was CEO of EA when they made many controversial and unpopular moves.

Dungeons & Dragons Planescape via Wizards of the Coast

Editor’s note: I am on vacation this week, so expect a slimmed-down version of The Games Letter next Monday. 

🤖 Cyberpunk 2077’s expansion Phantom Liberty releases this week. Find out all the changes in the 2.0 patch and when you can start playing

👩🏽‍🚀 Starfield reaches 10 million players, the biggest launch in Bethesda history.

🔫 Ubisoft casually announces Tom Clancy’s The Division 3.

🐉 Dungeons & Dragons announces a new version of Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse.

⚽️ Can’t wait for EA Sports FC 24? You can listen to the soundtrack for the popular soccer game on Spotify

🚀 Read about everything announced at EVE Online Fanfest, or watch the keynote

🇯🇵 The Tokyo Game Show also took place last week, and some of the biggest announcements came from Microsoft

⚔️ The voice actor who plays Cal Kestis in the Star Wars Jedi games confirms a third game is in the works

📺 The death of Google’s Stadia was due to a ‘self-sustaining cycle’ of lacking games and players.

🎮 Waiting for new Valve hardware? You might need to wait until 2025 for a new Steam Deck.

🎙️ The Baldur’s Gate 3 voice actors played D&D together as their characters

🥽 Meta is shutting down three Oculus game without explanation: Dead and Buried, Dead and Buried II and Bogo.

🌳 Studio Private Division teased a new Lord of the Rings game called Tales from the Shire

🗿 Archaeologists found a 500-year-old board game in the ruins of a Polish castle.

🃏 Magic: The Gathering will add Jurassic World cards to their lineup in 2024.

🤑 Rather than creating new games, Square Enix wants to ‘upgrade some existing IPs to AAA status.’

🐺 While the creator of The Wolf Among Us says the content is in the public domain, DC says it is not

🦸🏻‍♀️ Marvel’s Avengers delists from digital stores Sept. 30. You will still be able to play the game, but will no longer be able to purchase it digitally. It is currently selling for $4 on Steam

👼🏻 We recently kicked off our 2023 Extra Life campaign to raise money for Children’s Hospital Of Wisconsin. Support a good cause if you are willing and able. 

New Releases this week: 


9/26: Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
9/26: Mineko's Night Market (Switch and PC)
9/26: Truck Driver: The American Dream (PlayStation and Xbox)
9/26: Paleo Pines (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
9/28: Afterdream (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
9/28: Overpass 2 (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
9/29: Cocoon (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
9/29: EA Sports FC 24 (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)

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