Mobile gaming is a $68.5 billion global business, and investors are buying in

Omer Kaplan Contributor Omer Kaplan is CMO and co-founder at ironSource. More posts by this contributor Why non-internet companies are buying into adtech By the end of 2019, the global gaming market is estimated to be worth $152 billion, with 45% of that, $68.5 billion, coming directly from mobile games. With this tremendous growth (10.2% YoY to be precise) has come a flurry of investments and acquisitions, everyone wanting a cut of the pie. In fact, over the last 18 months, the global gaming industry has seen $9.6 billion in investments and if investments continue at this current pace, the amount of investment generated in 2018-19 will be higher than the eight previous years combined. What’s interesting is why everyone is talking about games, and who in the market is responding to this — and how. The gaming phenomenon Today, mobile games account for 33% of all app downloads, 74% of consumer Read the full article…

Epic finally backpedals on Fortnite’s B.R.U.T.E. mech suit with dramatic nerfs

Image: Epic Games Epic Games has heard the feedback loud and clear, and this afternoon the Fortnite developer announced a series of sweeping changes to its newly introduced B.R.U.T.E. mech suit that has had game’s community in open revolt for the last few weeks. The changes have mostly gone into effect immediately, with Epic saying players will not need to update the game at all. In a post titled “B.R.U.T.E. balance adjustments,” Epic details the substantial nerfs coming to the item, including a reduction in the number of rockets it can fire, the rate it fires those rockets, and number of other powerful advantages the suit offered players. The mech suit first arrived in early August with the launch of Fortnite’s tenth season. Unfortunately, it’s caused… Read the full article…

How to enable cross-save with your Destiny 2 data

Bungie has activated the long-awaited cross-save feature for Destiny 2, meaning you can finally move your Guardians, with all of their loot, to a different platform and freely jump between console and PC at your leisure. Here’s how to do it, whether you want to transfer your account data between a PC and PS4, an Xbox One and PS4, or even (in the future) a PC and Stadia. First, there are a few important disclaimers to keep in mind before you go through with activating cross-save for your account: For now, you’ll need to repurchase the base game to use on other platforms. Of course, that will no longer be the case once Destiny 2: New Light, the free-to-play version of the game, releases on October 1st (the same day as the new Shadowkeep… Read the full article…

You can now sign up for the Minecraft Earth beta on Android

Microsoft first opened up its Minecraft Earth beta to compatible iOS devices last month, and now it’s heading to Android. The software maker is accepting sign-ups for the Android version, and you’ll need an augmented reality (AR-capable) handset running Android 7 or above. Naturally, the more modern and powerful your phone is, the better this AR game will run. Minecraft Earth is a new AR game that’s similar to Pokémon Go. Microsoft has spent months building the new game with its Mojang development studio. Players will be able to collect materials and build giant Minecraft structures with friends. Microsoft’s goal is to cover the world in Minecraft blocks. Beta gameplay is rather limited right now to collecting resources and crafting,… Read the full article…

Gears POP! Gameplay Showcases Marcus Fenix, Cole Train, and Chainsaws

Gears POP! is now available on iOS, Android, and PC and merges together Gears of War and Funko Pop! in a multiplayer PvP battle arena-style game, and we have nearly ten minutes of gameplay for you to see the game in action for yourself. Gears POP! is a free-to-play game that features over 30 characters from throughout the Gears of War universe with a Funko Pop! design, including Marcus Fenix, Augustus “Cole Train” Cole, General Raam, Kait Diaz, and many more. New characters are unlocked from Gear Packs and allow players to mix and match their favorite COG and Locust units into one epic team. Gears POP! players can also utilize Ultimate abilities like the Emergence Hole that “floods the battlefield with Wretches.” Read the full article…

Riot Games Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Gender Discrimination

Riot Games has settled the class action lawsuit in principle for gender discrimination, according to a new statement from the Riot Walkout group. “Settling this class action is a victory for women in games,” a representative from Riot Walkout said in a statement today. “We believe that the policy changes Riot agreed to make will continue the progress toward equality that we’ve made over the last year.” An explosive investigation by Kotaku uncovered widespread discrimination and harassment at Riot Games. Following the report, a class action lawsuit was filed against the developer accusing it of gender-based discrimination and violating the California Equal Pay Act. Read the full article…

Dark Crystal Offers Solid Tactics Game But May Release Too Late

The Dark Crystal was one of my favorite childhood movies – even though it was objectively terrifying – so it should come as no surprise that the news of the Netflix series was a joyous occasion. During the E3 announcement for BonusXP’s tactics game, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, I was one of (maybe) two people in our office who audibly WHOO’d when Aughra showed up during the Nintendo press conference. Read the full article…

LA-based gaming company, Scopely, expands in Spain and Ireland

The Los Angeles-based gaming company Scopely is expanding its geographical footprint in Spain and Ireland. The company is building out its Barcelona offices, tripling its office space and planning to significantly expand its 100-person-strong team in the city. Meanwhile, Scopely is also planning to invest heavily in expanding its strategy-focused game studio, DIGIT, in Dublin. Scopely didn’t say how many jobs it would be adding in either location. The company has now hit lifetime revenue of more than $1 billion across its franchises and recently launched “Star Trek Fleet Command” and “Looney Tunes World of Mayhem.” Scopely also has licenses to develop games for World Wrestling Entertainment and The Walking Dead franchise. “We are thrilled to expand our European footprint to accommodate our exponential growth,” said Javier Ferreira, co-CEO of Scopely, in a statement. “I am excited to further lean in to the Barcelona market, which has top-quality talent. The same is true Read the full article…

YC’s latest VR bet is a team building a cyberpunk anime MMO

There are niche startups and then there are VR companies going after fans of the “cyberpunk fantasy anime aesthetic.” Ramen VR is one of only a few virtual reality startups that Y Combinator has bet on in the past few years and is only one of two in the company’s most recent batch of bets. It has a niche approach, but it’s hoping to build an MMO that can leanly grow alongside the slow-but-steady virtual reality market. Like any content play that’s hoping for VC dollars, Ramen VR wants eventually to be a platform. “Long-term, our goal isn’t just to create a game, but we’ve seen the issues of VR platforms that tried to be platforms before they had a meaningful use case. If you’re just trying to be a chat room or platform without any users, that doesn’t work,” CEO Andy Tsen tells TechCrunch. The company’s first title is Read the full article…

These are the games coming to Google Stadia

Google’s game streaming service isn’t set to launch until November, but the company kept the hype train going through the mid-August doldrums with a Gamescom Stadia Connect live stream. As promised, the online press conference was “all about the games,” featuring what looks to be a nearly complete list of launch (and some post-launch) titles. Here are all of the trailers from today’s Google Stadia announcement The games include some top names, like Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy XV, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Mortal Kombat 11. It also enlists a number of top publishers, including Bethesda, Square and Ubisoft. A number of key publishing partners have opted to keep their lists under wraps until closer to (or at) launch, however, including EA, Capcom and Rockstar. As previously noted, the service will run $10 a month, including access to games and discounts on purchases. A base version of the service will also Read the full article…

Why the developers behind PAX 10 game ‘Heartbound’ live stream their production process

(Heartbound screenshots) At first glance, Heartbound looks like a nostalgia trip. Its Steam page describes it as a “non-traditional RPG,” with hand-drawn pixel-art graphics and a jazzy, catchy chiptune soundtrack, in the spirit of weird ‘90s 16-bit games like Secret of Mana, Illusion of Gaia, and Earthbound. Jason Thor Hall, founder of Pirate Software. (Jason Thor Hall Photo) Once you actually play it, though, things get strange. Heartbound goes against the grain in a lot of ways, from the player’s path through its story to how it handles its UI to its development process. Whether you like it or not, it’ll give you a lot to think about, particularly if you’re at all interested in game design or production. Heartbound is one of this year’s picks for the PAX 10, a curated list of ten new indie games that will be shown at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle. The Read the full article…

Leaked setup wizard reveals Microsoft’s plan to turn Xbox One into personal xCloud game streaming server

The Xbox One X. Microsoft’s Project xCloud — a new cloud gaming initiative that will let people play high-powered Xbox titles on smartphones — has the potential to upend the gaming world. But one aspect of the project that has flown under the radar is the ability to turn an Xbox One console into an xCloud server that lets players stream all their saved games on a smartphone. Windows Central obtained screenshots of the setup process for turning on game streaming from an Xbox One to a smartphone. The new feature works through users’ internet connection, meaning they can stream games throughout the house but can’t go beyond the reach of the home network. The feature requires the Xbox console to stay on at all times during the streaming process. The new feature is expected to debut with the upcoming 1910 Update for Xbox One. Microsoft will begin public trials Read the full article…

Microsoft contractors have listened to voice recordings from the Xbox One

X-Box One S | Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge Microsoft contractors have listened to voice recordings captured by the Xbox One console, according to Motherboard. The practice dates back to the early days of the Xbox One when it could be controlled with voice commands directed at the optional Kinect camera accessory, and it continued after Microsoft added its more advanced Cortana voice assistant to the console. Motherboard spoke to several contractors who could listen to these Xbox recordings. Many of them were intentional, with users commanding the Xbox One to perform a certain function, but others were triggered accidentally by unknowing customers. Microsoft has already confirmed contractors have similarly screened voice recordings from Cortana (on Windows) and listened to Skype… Read the full article…

Ninja’s first book isn’t literature — it’s a brand extension

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images While I paged through Ninja’s first book — with its few words sandwiched between high-gloss promotional photos and charts — I got the distinct feeling that I was consuming something from the future. The book, Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming, is itself gamified; it has a progress bar, for example, near the page numbers that’s akin to the one under most videos online. The text is big and pops, as they say, and the pages are broken up with the kind of interesting graphic design that you used to find inside of books at Urban Outfitters. Scattered throughout are shoutouts to Red Bull, his main sponsor. As Ninja, the first celebrity gamer, Tyler Blevins has played Fortnite with Drake, made millions of dollars off streaming his gameplay… Read the full article…