TriplePoints of Interest – Week of April 18

This week, the Clash Royale-playing contingent of TriplePoint PR is devastated that a former low level colleague of ours has ABANDONED our clan. Something about not donating enough giants…we were all ignoring his near-incessant requests for high level cards anyways.

But, in all seriousness, this week’s TPoI is full of developer outrage, VR eSports, and the continued growth of mobile gaming!

Mobile Games Make Money, Lots of It

According to an industry report from Newzoo BV, mobile games are forecasted to generate more revenue that PC and console games in 2016. The Wall Street Journal reports that this will be the first year that mobile games overtake traditional games in revenue, and that mobile platforms will make for 37% of all software sales world-wide this year.

Games Industry Outrage on the Internet – Developer Edition!

Game industry vet Alex St. John penned a byline in VentureBeat this week shaming game developers’ “wage-slave” attitude and criticizing devs who complain about crunch and being overworked. This sparked much outrage in the games space, with many coming out to challenge his arguments – Rami Ismael of indie studio Vlambeer penned a line-by-line retort, and St. John’s own daughter even described his comments as “vile”. One particularly interesting topic that this has kicked off is that of video game developers potentially unionizing to help promote a healthy work-life balance and avoid the dreaded crunch.

eSports + VR = PlayStation VR?

Writing in Fortune, John Gaudiosi writes that Sony is thinking about virtual reality eSports in advance of the October launch of PlayStation VR. While there are no specific plans for VR eSports content just yet, Sony is starting to talk up the eSports potential for VR games like RIGS, a futuristic mech combat game.

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of September 28

Who is excited for Rock Band 4? I’ll see if I can cram all that awesome equipment into my small gaming room because I need to practice my ailing drumming skills. On that note, what is your favorite song from the Rock Band list?

Please Don’t Stop the Music!

With the impending release of Rock Band 4 next week, USA Today took a look at the resurgence of the music game genre, what led to its recession in the last 5 years, and how positive sales data for the newest generation of consoles can bring it back to the giant it once was.

Comcast: The Next Roller Coaster Tycoon?

Comcast announced it will purchase a $1.5 billion stake in Universal Studios Japan. This move comes after Comcast’s bid to purchase Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion collapsed. Wall Street Journal explains how this investment will help Comcast profit from the booming theme park industry in Asia, fueled by an influx of tourists from China and increasing competition from the likes of Six Flags and Disney, who plan to open major parks in the region as well.

…Or Digital Ad Tycoon?

In other Comcast news, the company announced the start of the beta period for Watchable, an app meant for streaming “short-form” content, with 30 video network partners including Machinima, Buzzfeed, VICE, and Maker Studios. CNBC reports this is part of Comcast’s strategy to tap into the digital video advertising business and help the transition of digital video to living room TVs. This is allegedly also a move away from the business of TV channel bundles and more about selling broadband access.

eSports is big. This is how it gets bigger.

The eSports industry could reach a value of over $1 billion by 2020, says Newzoo, if it can tackle five key areas. SiliconAngle details what they are: diversity of games i.e. moving beyond the MOBA safe zone and finding other accessible genres, regional expansion i.e. organizations that represent specific regions of fans (like traditional sports do), regulation, media rights, and breaking into traditional media like ESPN.

Microsoft and Twisted Pixel ended their relationship </3

Twisted Pixel, developer of the Splosion Man franchise, announced they had parted ways with Microsoft. GamesIndustry International says this ends a 2011 acquisition Microsoft made of the then-indie developer, making Twisted Pixel independent once again. Though now privately held, Twisted Pixel confirmed they will still continue to collaborate with Microsoft.

Photo from Harmonix

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of April 20

It’s time for the top news in tech and games from the penultimate week of April 2015. Big this week is research from analyst firm, Newzoo, who predicts a very fruitful year revenue-wise for the games industry in 2015. On that note, what games will you be picking up this weekend?

Make it rain, games industry!

Analyst firm, Newzoo, reports that the global games market will reach $91.5 billion this year, thanks to a projected 23% growth in Chinese game revenues, according to VentureBeat. They also predict China and the US will be competing for the #1 spot for the most game revenue generated this year.

Is your website mobile-friendly yet?

Google made a major algorithm change last Tuesday, April 21 bumping up search results for websites that are mobile-friendly. According to Fortune, this approach is likely to push websites who haven’t jumped on the mobile bandwagon to do so right away lest disappear off the first page of search results. This comes as the result of Google’s latest research, which shows 60% of search engine traffic comes from mobile.

Selling mods on Steam to be the new normal?

Valve rolled out a new feature on Steam for their vibrant modding community: the ability to list your fan-created mods on third-party games for free or for money. According to GameSpot, this is an extension of an existing policy where modders could sell their fan-made items on Valve games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 via Steam Workshop. Starting this week, mods for Skyrim began appearing on the store with more supported titles to be announced in the coming weeks.

This new program has not been without its share of backlash. According to GameSpot, well-known modders have spoken out against the commercialization of the hobby. A mod was also just removed from the store due to a dispute over whether the entirety of the mod’s content was created by the seller.

In getting a new game discovered, there is only Beast Mode

Cliff Harris, developer from Positech Games, maker of Gratuitous Space Battles, spoke to GamesIndustry International about the changing landscape of game discoverability and how the ease for developers to release a game on Steam has made it ever the more difficult for a game to succeed. He states that with each game launch, a year and a half’s income is based on a “roulette” with advertising costs rising and fewer gamers wanting to pay for a game before it becomes 50% off.

Minecraft is to YouTube what Game of Thrones is to HBO

In other research from Newzoo, the top 10 most viewed game content on YouTube for the month of March 2015 was revealed, with Minecraft taking the top spot with over 3.9 billion views, according to Game Informer. Grand Theft Auto and Five Nights at Freddy’s followed in 2nd and 3rd place. Other notable games included League of Legends at #7 and Mario games at #8.

Better question: what games will you be WATCHING people play this weekend?
Photo from My Nintendo News