Consolidation is coming to gaming, and Jam City raises $145 million to capitalize on it

A slew of banks are coming together to back a new roll-up strategy for the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio Jam City and giving the company $145 million in new funding to carry that out. There’s no word on whether the new money is in equity or debt, but what is certain is that JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and syndicate partners, including Silicon Valley Bank, SunTrust Bank and CIT Bank, are all involved in the deal. “In a global mobile games market that is consolidating, Jam City could not be more proud to be working with JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Silicon Valley Bank, SunTrust Bank and CIT Group to strategically support the financing of our acquisition and growth plans,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “This $145 million in new financing empowers Jam City to further our position as a global industry consolidator. Read the full article…

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Fortnite bugs put accounts at risk of takeover

With one click, any semi-skilled hacker could have silently taken over a Fortnite account, according to a cybersecurity firm that says the bug is now fixed. Researchers at Check Point say the three vulnerabilities chained together could have affected any of its 200 million players. The flaws, if exploited, would have stolen the account access token set on the gamer’s device once they entered their password. Once stolen, that token could be used to impersonate the gamer and log in as if they were the account holder, without needing their password. The researchers say that the flaw lies in how Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, handles login requests. Researchers said they could send any user a crafted link that appears to come from Epic Games’ own domain and steal an access token needed to break into an account. Check Point’s Oded Vanunu explains how the bug works. (Image: supplied) “It’s Read the full article…

Protect your cores portably: ‘Defense Grid 2’ is coming to Nintendo Switch next month

(Official Hidden Path image) Hidden Path Entertainment, headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., announced on Wednesday that it will release a remastered edition of Defense Grid 2 on the Nintendo Switch on February 7th. Defense Grid 2 is a “tower defense” game, where players must protect vulnerable assets from enemy attack by setting up layers of fortifications, obstacles, and automated weapon systems. You rarely if ever take direct offensive action. Instead, you build up a potentially elaborate series of defenses that slow, stop, redirect, or destroy the enemy’s onslaught. In DG2 in particular, your goal is to keep hordes of invading aliens away from your outposts. You can set up systems that shoot down, reroute, block, or slowly whittle away at the advancing aliens before they’re able to reach, grab, and escape with the floating cores that power your defenses. The game features “couch co-op” on the Switch, with each player using Read the full article…

SanDisk’s 400GB microSD card is $84 today at Amazon

SanDisk’s 400GB microSD card is $83.98 on Amazon today, which is just a few dollars over its lowest price ($80) that popped up around Black Friday a few months ago. If you are thinking about buying some extra storage for your smartphone, or Nintendo Switch, this is a good opportunity to buy a high-capacity card that will take you a long while to fill up. Storage is one of the many tech products that you should avoid buying at full price. Seeing as how this 400GB microSD card started at $249 when it debuted, buying now is wise. We expect to see it fall even more, especially as models with even larger capacities hit the market. Lexar, for example, will soon launch a 1TB SD card for $399, though it’s currently far cheaper to buy two 512GB… Read the full article…

Fortnite vulnerability let hackers take over player accounts

A Fortnite security bug let attackers access user accounts after they clicked a suspicious link that was sent to them. Researchers at Check Point Research found the bug and notified Epic Games in November, which then patched the vulnerability within a few weeks. Epic Games told The Verge in a statement: “We were made aware of the vulnerabilities and they were soon addressed. We thank Check Point for bringing this to our attention. As always, we encourage players to protect their accounts by not re-using passwords and using strong passwords, and not sharing account information with others.” After the takeover, attackers could potentially use the accounts to purchase and gift the in-game currency V-Bucks. Since Fortnite doesn’t allow… Read the full article…

Fortnite made an estimated $2.4 billion last year

In 2018, Fortnite became a full-fledged pop culture phenomenon, one that has turned out to be incredibly lucrative. According to analyst firm SuperData, Fortnite was the top-grossing free-to-play game in the world last year, raking in an estimated $2.4 billion over 12 months. While much of Fortnite’s revenue comes from selling character skins and emotes, SuperData says that 34 percent of all US players also purchased a seasonal “battle pass,” a feature that has since made its way to other online games like PUBG and Rocket League. For comparison, according to SuperData’s findings, Fortnite made significantly more than established free-to-play games like Tencent’s Honour of Kings, known as Arena of Valor in the West ($1.3 billion), League… Read the full article…

Build a better personal brand

Browsing the portfolio websites of design studios and freelance creatives, you can easily play a successful game of bingo. ‘About’ pages brim with words like ‘meaningful’, ‘impact’, ‘stories’ and ‘difference’, and you’ll be striking white-walled offices, brainstorm scribbles, bikes and plants from your scorecard like nobody’s business.  It shows that even creatives who craft the most thought-provoking, disruptive and provocative work for their clients can be a bit – we hate to say it – unadventurous when it comes to presenting themselves to the world.  34 brilliant design portfolios to inspire you But whether you’ve just started out or currently run a decades-old studio with a zillion employees, it’s never too late for a bit of self-love. Not only will it make sure your work is getting the presentation – and explanation – it needs, but rethinking your own brand can be a trajectory-changing experience that helps you recalibrate and prepare Read the full article…

Houdini 17 Banshee review

Some serious users of Houdini might say that the software is more of a 3D operating system, because of its complexity and versatility. The newest release, 17 or Banshee, is the heaviest release in recent years. As usual, the dev team at SideFX have focused mostly on the effects modules, but have also touched on almost all other parts of Houdini, so just listing all of the new features and enhancements would take a while. As you may have noticed in previous releases, many new features are ‘by TDs, for TDs’ kind of tools and the low-level, hard-coded ones are throttled back. It’s the same with this version, and we’ve got quite a few new, ready-to-cook shelf tools that will help you create stunning 3D art. Get Houdini 17 Banshee from $269 per year Houdini 17: New tools This new release has a range of new tools and features added Read the full article…

5 Ways To Optimise Your App For High User Retention

According to mobile app user retention rates from Statista, 55% of mobile app users will abandon an app one month after downloading it. That number grows to 68% after three months. Localytics gives an even more alarming statistic: 21% of mobile app users will abandon an app after only launching it once. Today’s users will […] The post 5 Ways To Optimise Your App For High User Retention appeared first on Usability Geek Read the full article…

New GT Sport Update Includes Returning Track from GT5, GT6

The latest free update for Gran Turismo Sport features eight new vehicles and, for the first time, the return of an existing original GT track from a previous instalment of the series: Special Stage Route X. Special Stage Route X began life as DLC for GT5, and later appeared in GT6. Its pedigree doesn’t trace back as far as the likes of classic original circuits like Grand Valley or Trial Mountain but its unique layout has made it popular with fans looking to hit absolute top speed. Special Stage Route X is an enormous, 18-mile oval – two huge banked corners connected by a pair of seven-mile straights – so it’s been a useful place to benchmark a variety of performance metrics. Read the full article…

Will PS4’s Biggest Exclusives Come Out in 2019?

Beyond and hello, everyone! On this week’s episode of IGN’s weekly PlayStation show, Beyond!, host Jonathon Dornbush, Max Scoville, and Lucy O’Brien follow-up on last week’s discussion about when we’ll see the PS5 to take a look at PS4’s upcoming major exclusives. The trio discusses when we think we’ll see The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Ghost of Tsushima, and whether they could also become PS5 games. And while those titles remain unconfirmed for release this year, we also run down our excitement for the confirmed PS4 exclusives of 2019. Plus, Jonathon offers an exclusive Kingdom Hearts 3 preview and becomes a real gamer before ending the episode in a Resident Evil trophy test. Read the full article…