TriplePoints of Interest – Week of Jan. 23

In the first TriplePoints of Interest of 2017, the big stories this week center around an Overwatch milestone, Switch prediction, and a new tabletop-focused version of PAX.

It’s 2017. Welcome to the future!

Overwatch Hits 25 million Player Milestone
Overwatch, Blizzard’s competitive team-based shooter that debuted in May 2016, now has more than 25 million players – up an additional 5 million from the 20 million milestone which the company celebrated in October. Thanks to the game’s constant updates, achievements, and new content, Polygon noted that the game has already become a classic.

Analyst Prediction: Nintendo Switch Will Sell 40 Million Units Through 2020
Research firm DFC Intelligence has predicted that the Nintendo Switch will sell 40 million units through 2020. If this forecast is to be true, Nintendo Switch sales in the first four years of the product’s life would account for 40% of Wii U’s lifetime sales (which is a somewhat conservative estimate according to Forbes). Forbes contributor Paul Tassi, is skeptical regarding DFC’s estimated sales, stating that its too early to know whether or not the Switch will be as successful as the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, noting that the product is positioned as a secondary console and is competing against other Nintendo products as well.
PAX Unplugged Announced, Focused on Tabletop Games
AX Unplugged, a new annual event focusing on tabletop games, was announced today at PAX South. The convention is set to debut November 17-19 of this year in Philadelphia. Organizers say the convention will highlight “board, card, and other tabletop games” and the event as a whole will include game reveals, tournaments, panels and special events. IGN says tabletop games will still appear at other PAX events, but Unplugged will focus on stepping away from digital gaming.

TwitchCon 2016: Amazon’s Growing Twitch Presence

Twitch Prime

The content creator market is maturing and growing. Bigger and more established companies are beginning to see the value in investing in the space, and nowhere was that more apparent than at TwitchCon 2016. For the second annual event, TwitchCon relocated to San Diego and we began to see Amazon’s impact on Twitch start to take shape for the first time. Below are three observations on how the future of Twitch will be impacted by Amazon.

First off, the announcement of Twitch Prime made clear Amazon’s desire to integrate more directly with Twitch. Twitch Prime is an extension of their regular Prime service that adds perks specific to Twitch users, which, surprisingly, does not come with a price increase. It’s the first time that Amazon has extended Prime beyond their own core brand, and the perks for the inaugural month were as follows:

  • Free game loot – Tyrande Hearthstone hero, copy of Streamline, Paladins Bomb King weapon skin

  • Discounts on new-release box games

  • Ad-free viewing on Twitch

  • Exclusive emote & chat badge

  • One free channel Twitch channel sub per month

  • Everything else included with Amazon Prime

Twitch Prime

Second, Amazon has started positioning Twitch as a digital game storefront with Steam-like functionality by introducing a “Game Details” page and supporting Twitch Launcher software. Amazon first introduced this new functionality by including a copy of Streamline in Amazon’s Twitch Prime service. The “Game Details” page is just an addition to the page that each game already has in the Twitch directory. This page contains screenshots, a trailer, and a download/purchase link. Once downloaded, the new game can be accessed and managed in Twitch Launcher.

This new functionality will make for an interesting customer browsing experience, as they have immediate access to see who is streaming it or who has made videos of the game. Additionally, when a Twitch Partner streams a game that is a part of this system, they get a referral link that their viewers can use to go purchase the game. Twitch incentivizes the streamer to participate by giving them a 30% cut of each sale. Right now, the only game in this system is Streamline but there is no doubt more will be added.

Finally, Amazon hosted a launch party for their new game studio’s first titles: Breakaway, a “mythological sport brawler,” New World, and Crucible, that will surely set the tone for how other gaming companies participate in the event. Of course, all three titles have promised a high level of Twitch integration such as the announced Stream+ feature, which has similar functionality to Proletariat Inc’s Amazon’s launch party was experience-oriented and put the games front and center with attendees, offering demo access and alpha codes (etched on heavy metal coins, no less).

It‘s quite clear that Amazon plans to use their purchase of Twitch to further their initiatives, which is great for gamers and content creators. Amazon seems keen to make use of Twitch streamers’ influence on their viewers to create a store/publishing platform. How this plays out in a Steam-centric world will be interesting. Any more methods they can create or provide for Streamers to monetize their shows, in a way that benefits viewers, is great for the market as well. In short, TwitchCon provided us with plenty of evidence to be optimistic about what Amazon will be bringing to Twitch in the future.

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of July 11 – Featuring Pokémon GO!!!

We’re proud to say that we’ve been INCREDIBLY busy with the launch of Pokémon GO, an understatement considering the social phenomenon it has become in just a week since launch! The news cycle was dominated by the game, as we’ve outlined below, and all of us at TriplePoint have also been busy exploring the world in search of our favorite Pokémon. Head to our website at for a little Easter Egg, and input the Konami code for a pleasant surprise.  Continue reading TriplePoints of Interest – Week of July 11 – Featuring Pokémon GO!!!

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of June 20

Tencent is now the proud owner of Clash of Clans thanks to their most recent acquisition. The Chinese publisher continues to establish its dominance in the mobile space. Over in Korean, a female Overwatch pro-player gets accused of cheating because she’s “unbelievably” good. In other news, we’ll be crying over our empty wallets as Valve launches off its annual Steam Summer Sale. Continue reading TriplePoints of Interest – Week of June 20

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of May 23

Calling all agents: Overwatch has finally launched this week — and we’re not the only ones excited about it! The game has been getting rave reviews and the hype train shows no signs of stopping. In other news, Tencent could soon be the proud owner of Clash of Clans, and the company behind Rolling Stone will be adding a new site devoted to gamers.

Continue reading TriplePoints of Interest – Week of May 23

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of April 11

This week in TPOI, Nostalrius, a private legacy server for WoW, shut down to the dismay of its many players. Rust also stirred up a bit of controversy by randomly assigning genders and races to players, but still managed to keep up its outstanding sales numbers. Oh and ESPN has also started investing in drone racing.

Goodbye, Nostalrius

World of Warcraft’s largest private server, Nostalrius, closed on Sunday night after receiving a cease-and-desist order from Blizzard earlier that week. According to Blizzard, private servers violate the company’s terms of use. The popular server, run solely by enthusiastic volunteers, was known for their support of a vanilla version of WoW and boasted over 150,000 active accounts. The forced closure drew a significant amount of backlash from the community and many felt that Blizzard should have supported the nonprofit fan project despite the illegal nature of the server, reports BBC. According to Polygon, in the days leading up to the closure, many players paid tribute to Nostalrius through a pilgrimage march from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff, while other fans posted footage of the crowds that gathered for the server’s final moments.

Rust Throws Gender and Race into the Mix

Rust, a multiplayer survival game still in Steam Early Access,has found itself in a strange intersection between controversy and impressive success. The game recently introduced an update that randomly assigned players a race and gender (mixing up the completely white, male character population it had earlier). The change has received both extreme criticism and praise from the community. Developer Garry Newman posted an interesting article on the feedback received after the update in The Guardian. Despite all this, Rust has reported hit 3.5 million in game sales, reports GamesIndustry, heralded as “a paragon of the creative potential of Early Access”.

ESPN Gets Their Drone Racing On

Drone racing is getting serious. ESPN has recently signed a broadcast deal with the International Drone Racing Association. Drone racing features fast-flying drones that navigate through preset courses, while racers don head-mounted displays that show them the view from the drone’s front camera. The network will stream the 2016 Drone Racing Championships on ESPN3, with an hour-long special on ESPN2 and potential other channels. Tech Crunch notes that drone racing may someday get its own vertical, much like ESPN’s efforts with eSports like DotA 2 and League of Legends