Triplepoints of Interest: Jan.15

In this week’s TPoI, Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale receives 40 million downloads, Bungie issues an apology for throttling progression in Destiny 2, and the Nintendo 3DS 2017 sales recap is made public.  

Fortnite Battle Royale Downloaded Over 40 Million Times

Epic Games recently revealed that more than 40 million players have downloaded Fortnite, which means that over 10 million players have started to play the game since their last playerbase update in December. Glixel highlights the game’s runaway success but also notes that the success comes mainly from the addition of the Battle Royale mode, which is a far cry from the game’s original theme of zombie survival and resource management. While the game’s success has certainly helped Epic Games, Kotaku notes that the development of Fortnite has become a major focus for the studio and that it has hurt the development of their other games including Paragon and Unreal Tournament. Forbes speculates that the game’s free-to-play and multi platform release helped the game outstretch it’s competitor PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which currently has sold over 30 million units on PC and Xbox One.

Bungie Issues Apology after Destiny 2 Progression Throttling

In a blog post published Thursday, Bungie apologized for issues which have stopped players from actively participating in Destiny 2’s latest Faction Rally, a regular event in which players accumulate points for one of the game’s three factions. The blog post explains that Bungie’s development team added a hard cap to the amount of tokens a player can earn during the event, which has frustrated players who had played through content multiple times without seeing any rewards. GameSpot reports that the studio plans to make changes to the system before the next Faction Rally, but will not be extending this week’s event. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier broke down the recent Faction Rally issues and berates Bungie for not addressing the problem quickly. WCCFTech notes that this apology follows a series of similar incidents which have frustrated the Destiny fanbase.      

Nintendo 3DS Sells Well During Holiday Season

Nintendo surprised analysts on Wednesday by announcing that the Nintendo 3DS sold more than 750,000 systems last month, making December 2017 the best sales month for the device since December 2014. VentureBeat notes Nintendo’s hardware and software releases have been performing well throughout the holiday season, with games like Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe being part of the top five most purchased games of the season. Polygon speculates that the system’s huge backlog and current 2018 lineup is still a strong motivator for Nintendo fans, as the system has sold more than 69 million units worldwide. The Verge reports that the system may see a drop off in sales after this year, as Nintendo shifts development towards new titles on the Nintendo Switch.

Triplepoints of Interest: Jan. 8

Week of January 8th

In this week’s TPoI, Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League kicks off, Japanese console market sees profit increase for the first time in 11 years, and new gaming innovations are announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show.   

Overwatch League Season One Debuts Exclusively on Twitch

The inaugural season for Blizzard’s Overwatch League Kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. Forbes reports that the English stream for the tournament, which was broadcast exclusively on Twitch, had an average of nearly 300,000 concurrent viewers throughout the first night of matches. Gamespot featured the league’s first week schedule, which see’s each of the league’s 12 team’s playing at least once between Wednesday and Saturday. PC Gamer called the tournament a colossal undertaking which may help mainstream audiences see professional esports matches as legitimate spectator events.

Japanese Console Market See’s First Profit Increase in 11 Years

2017 was a great year for gaming as a whole, but also a spectacular year for the Japanese console market, with hardware sales increasing 73% over last year. Gamesindustry.biz reports that a key driver in growth was the Nintendo Switch, which sold over 3.3 million units in its first year on the market. Metro reports that exclusive launches like Splatoon 2, which was the first console title to hit 2 million sales in Japan this decade, pushed Japanese gamers to pick up new console hardware. Metro also speculates that the Japanese Console Market will continue to see positive growth with the launch of more Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4 exclusive releases throughout 2018.

New Virtual Reality Tech and Gaming Innovations Unveiled at CES 2018

Companies including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Nvidia have been showcasing new products at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, all week. Some of the most exciting gaming news includes HTC announcing their latest VR headset, the Vive Pro, which Verdict praised for its increased resolution and wireless functionality through an additional adapter. The Verge also featured Sennheiser’s new Game Zero Headset, which includes features like pressure sensitive materials and suede ear cuffs. Outlets are speculating that more gaming related announcements will be published before the event concludes this weekend, with press excited to see more gaming focused products from companies like Nvidia, who have so far only shown off a new lineup of large format monitors.

Triplepoints of Interest: Dec. 25

Happy Holidays from everyone at TriplePoint! In this week’s TPoI, the Nintendo Switch sets a new first year sales milestone, Apple apologizes for slowing down iOS devices, and a gaming-related swatting incident leads to fatal shooting.  

Nintendo Switch Breaks First Year Sales Record

Data from Media Create’s recent gaming market survey indicates that the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest selling console in the Japanese market, even outstripping Sony’s Playstation 2, which sold 200,000 less units than the Switch in its first year. IGN reports that these numbers were helped by the recent holiday season, where over 221,000 units were purchased from major Japanese retailers. My Nintendo News reports that the Nintendo Switch has now outsold Nintendo’s previous Wii U console, which sold 3.3 million units throughout its lifespan. Polygon speculates that these high sales numbers indicate the consoles cultural appeal and expect the console to sell well in the future.

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iOS Devices

In a lengthy blog post posted to the company’s website Thursday morning, Apple gave an in-depth explanation of why recent updates to iOS devices have been slowing them down. CNN reports that the updates purposely slowed down older devices in hopes to extend their battery life. The Verge praised Apple for temporarily discounting the price of battery replacements on older devices from $79 to $29 while nothing that Apple’s decision to slow down devices greatly impacted the performance of devices for heavy tasks like app use and gaming. Business Insider reports that Apple will be adding new features to indicate battery health and increase performance, which should help consumers decide if they want to upgrade or fix their current device.

“Swatting” Incident Leads to Fatal Shooting   

Swatting, the act of calling in a fake threat of violence to the police which has seen a rise in popularity in the gaming and live streaming community due to an increase in internet trolling and doxing, may have led to the deadly police shooting of Kansas man earlier this week. The Wichita Eagle reports that the false story reported to the police may have been made by a disgruntled gamer who lost a small bet while playing Call of Duty with a friend. The Verge reports that Andrew Finch, the victim of the fatal incident, opened the door for the SWAT team and was shot down in response. The Chicago Tribune featured a statement from Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston who said that they had reason to believe that the shooter was holding his mother, brother and sister hostage and that the police force is investigating the incident and hope to find the instigator soon.    

Triplepoints of Interest – Nov. 6

In this week’s TPoI, EA acquires Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, third-party publishers scramble to develop Nintendo Switch titles, and Telltale Games lays off 25% of workforce during company restructure.

EA Acquires Respawn Entertainment

Electronic Arts Inc. announced on Thursday that they have acquired the developers of the popular shooter Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment. Eurogamer confirmed that EA has agreed to pay over $150 million to acquire the company and is set to pay up to $164 million in long term equity. Ars Techinca featured excerpts from EA’s statement which confirm that the studio is set to develop a new Titanfall game and a new Star Wars VR title with the help of EA. VentureBeat reports that previous titles produced by Respawn Entertainment have been financially successful due to the skill and pedigree of the developers, who previously worked for Infinity Ward before leaving to develop their own games.

Third-Party Developers Scramble to Develop Nintendo Switch Titles

The consistent success and high sales numbers of Nintendo Switch titles seems to have influenced several developers to bump up their production of Switch-exclusive games. Gamesindustry.biz reports that developers like Square Enix, Ubisoft and Bandai Namco are all planning to release multiple games for the device in 2018. This support, which SegmentNext references as a great example of the Switch’s success, shows that developers are confident with the sales numbers they can achieve with Nintendo Switch games. Express features a quote from Square Enix’s earnings report which says that the company would be interested to publish multiplatform games on the Switch as well.

Telltale Games Lays Off 25% of Workforce

Telltale Games announced on Tuesday that the company will lay off 90 employees and restructuring their workforce in an effort to create higher quality games. GameSpot commented that Telltale Games has been struggling to develop engaging titles due to the aging game engine the company uses and the large portfolio of games they are currently developing. PC Gamer reports that the company plans to focus on the quality of their projects and not quantity after their current projects are completed. Gamesindustry.biz reports that the restructuring should not have any impact on any of the developer’s previously announced projects.

Triplepoints of Interest – Oct. 30

In this week’s TPoI, Super Mario Odyssey sells over 2 million units in its launch week, EVE Online developer CCP closes two studios as they exit VR development, Sony reveals more details about its 2018 PlayStation lineup at Paris Games Week, and Bluehole Software announced the release date for the record-breaking PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One.

Super Mario Odyssey Sells 2 Million Units in a Week

Early Thursday morning, Nintendo announced that Super Mario Odyssey is the fastest-selling game in Super Mario History. This announcement follows reports from Fortune that the game has sold over two million units worldwide and 1.1 million domestically. Since the game’s release last Friday, Super Mario Odyssey has received universal acclaim from fans and press alike, receiving near-perfect marks from outlets like Forbes, IGN GameSpot, and Trusted Reviews. VentureBeat references the game’s high sales numbers as a good indication of the Nintendo Switch’s potential and future.

EVE Online Developer CCP Shutters Studios and Halts VR Game Development

EVE Online studio CCP announced in a statement sent to Gamesindustry.biz that the company will be restructuring their studios worldwide and halting further VR games development. TechCrunch featured statements from company representatives which said that the company will continue to support their previous VR title EVE Valkyrie but will be closing its Atlanta VR development studio and selling off their Newcastle studio in an effort to focus on their main three studios in Reykjavík, Shanghai, and London. Eve Valkyrie was one of the first major virtual reality titles to launch alongside the Oculus Rift and it led to discussions among developers about the state of VR. In the meantime, CCP has announced that no changes have been made to EVE Online’s development schedule and that the company will continue to support their products.

Sony Showcases 2018 PlayStation Lineup at Paris Games Week

During a press conference at Paris Games Week on Tuesday, Sony featured trailers for the 2018 PlayStation games lineup. Outlets including The Verge, GameSpot, and Glixel highlighted some of the best trailers from games like The Last of Us 2, Ghosts of Tsuhima, and Spelunky 2. The press event featured first party titles as well as games made by independent developers which will launch first on Playstation 4 like Star Child and Guacamelee 2. Fans and press seemed to be excited for the announcements, but IGN reported that the trailer for The Last of Us 2 was distasteful and drew additional responses from gamers who disliked the violent content of the video.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Release Date for Xbox One Announced for December

During an announcement at Paris Games Week, as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole revealed that the game will arrive on Xbox One early access on December 12. GameSpot reports that the game will retain its $30 price point on Xbox One and that the the 1.0 P.C version is still on track for a late December launch. The Verge has confirmed that the development roadmaps for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be platform specific and that features may come earlier to PC than to consoles. CNET reports that the game is still selling incredibly well and has sold over 18 million units since its initial launch in March.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – JUNE 26

In this week’s TPoI, Twitch revamps its mobile app, the SNES Classic hits stores in September, and Super League Gaming raises $15 million in funding.

Twitch to Update Mobile App With Major Changes

Twitch has announced that their mobile app will receive an upgraded design alongside new features that will launch in the next two weeks. PC Mag disclosed that the app will feature a social feed called Pulse, allowing users to like and comment on posts from other broadcasters. VentureBeat adds that streamers can livestream directly from their phone’s camera allowing for vlog-style broadcasts, but gameplay footage will still be unavailable. Nonetheless, Engadget surmises that this may help Twitch expand its platform beyond games, and is curious to see how these changes will impact Twitch. TechCrunch states that the app is slowly rolling out to iOS and Android and will be made available to all users by early July.

SNES Classic Released in Late September

Nintendo revealed that the Super Nintendo Classic will be available on September 29 for $80. Kotaku reports that the SNES will come with 21 games along with the unreleased Star Fox 2. Washington Post feels that the throwback to old school consoles is a great way for Nintendo to boost its revenue and success, since this launch will follow the release of the Switch and the NES. Thrillist expressed excitement for the release and hopes that the SNES won’t sell out as quickly as the NES Classic. Forbes reports that Nintendo has promised that there will be a significant increase in production this time around, but advises consumers to pre-order a console as soon as the option becomes available as the SNES may still be difficult to find.

Super League Gaming Raises $15 Million from Nickelodeon, DMG, and Others for Amateur Esports

Thursday, Super League Gaming which hosts esports competitions in movie theaters and online for amateur video game players, announced it raised $15 million in Series C funding. Backers include entertainment players like DMG and Nickelodeon, as well as traditional sports owners like the Tampa Bay Lightning ownership and esports VC group, aXiomatic. IB Times believes that Nickelodeon’s investment in Super League Gaming is a notable move due to the kid-friendly focus and predicts that the network will launch potential new competitive shows or partnerships in the near future. GameIndustry adds that Super League Gaming has now raised more than $28 million to date since launching in 2014. Engadget states that investors are becoming interested in esports because the industry’s estimated worth was recorded at $1.13 billion this year.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – MAY 8

In this week’s TPoI, EA addresses mixed reactions of Mass Effect: Andromeda, Nintendo Switch’s eShop is upgraded, and Project Scorpio shows off its official headset.

 

EA’s Response to Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson disclosed that despite the varied critiques on Mass Effect: Andromeda which launched back in March, he trusts that developer BioWare will make the right modifications to please disappointed fans. Gamespot reports that during an earnings call Wilson recognized players’ dislike for the game stating, “It represents a fanbase that’s very passionate, that’s looking for very particular things, and many players found exactly what they’re looking for, and some players did not.” VentureBeat felt that the game narrative lacked depth, and wished the facial features had more expression. GameRant states that BioWare is currently working on a patch to resolve these issues and will continue to regularly release new content to increase interest in the game. According to Kotaku, Wilson is confident that the game will continue to be a success with these improvements.

 

Nintendo Switch eShop Gets New Feature

Two months after launch, Nintendo’s eShop now allows users to store credit card information. Gamespot confirms that the option appears to be working for accounts in the US, Japan, and Australia. Slashgear noticed that no official statement was made regarding this, and wonders if this is a stepping stone for upcoming updates. BGR feels that this feature should have been available from the get-go, and wants to know more details on the console’s future paid online service. Additionally, Shacknews wonders if Nintendo plans to add Virtual Console games to the Switch, and is hoping that they will reveal details at E3.

 

Xbox’s Project Scorpio Reveals Official Headset

Although Project Scorpio is still in the works, IGN revealed that the newest licensed Xbox product is LucidSound’s LS35X wireless gaming headset. Slashgear notes that what sets this piece apart from others is its ability to to use wireless technology without extra attachments or configuration settings. Trustedreviews found its stats to be decent and doesn’t find the headpiece to have any outstanding flaws, and believes it would be a good investment for consumers. The headset is expected to release during the holidays of this year. Digital Trends is looking forward to its debut at E3 in June, but wonders if this new concept will end up hurting Microsoft in the long run.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 24

In this week’s TPoI, Atlus updates and apologizes for their Persona 5 streaming ban, Nintendo announces new hardware coming this summer, and Sony releases PS4 sales numbers.

Atlus Apologizes for Streaming Restriction Ban

Atlus’ streaming guidelines around the launch of Persona 5 were heavily contested by streamers, fans and press, and this week the company has announced changes to the policy. In addition to the policy change, which allows streamers to capture and present up to the in-game date of 11/19 (when the main story gears up for the final act), the company issued a formal apology regarding the way they initially presented the guidelines. In response to the policy change, Engadget ponders whether or not the original strategy was “simply a bid to forcibly drive more sales” while The Verge poses that streaming guidelines for the game aren’t necessary, since the community has policed itself and proven themselves loyal to Atlus. GameSpot doesn’t seem to mind the streaming restriction or care for the apology, stating the game is so good everything else is hogwash.

Nintendo Announces the New 2DS XL

In a late night announcement this Thursday, Nintendo revealed a brand-new piece of hardware set to launch this summer – the New Nintendo 2DS XL. The new piece of hardware will join the now-discontinued NES Classic Edition and the Nintendo Switch also released this year. Ars Technica has taken to calling the new device, “a handheld for gamers who can’t afford a Switch.” Forbes contributor, Paul Tassi, sees the announcement a bit differently, expressing frustration over understanding Nintendo’s strategy in the hardware space. Tassi writes, “Nintendo’s commitment to producing overlapping hardware remains incredibly confusing,” noting he sees too much overlap in the product market. The Verge took a less critical position, but made mention that the common theme between all the devices Nintendo has launched this year is the constrained supply of units available to consumers.

PS4 Shipments Reach 60 Million Units Worldwide

Sony’s latest sales numbers for the PlayStation 4 are now reported at 60 million units shipped worldwide. Polygon however reports that this figure represents PS4 shipments to retailers, not necessarily sales through customers. Alongside the report of the new sales numbers, Sony states they plan on shipping 18 million PS4’s for the upcoming fiscal year. Hardcore Gamer reports that this estimation is down from the 20 million they sold this year, which tracks for a four-year old console. On the heels of the sales numbers, The Wall Street Journal quoted an analyst that suspects Sony will release its next-gen PlayStation by the second half of 2018.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 17

In this week’s TPoI, we bring you the latest updates on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service, Twitch’s new subscription service, and the possibility of a Mini SNES Classic Edition from Nintendo.

Xbox Game Pass Coming Later This Spring

Microsoft is preparing to launch Xbox Game Pass, a subscription gaming service similar to Netflix that gives users access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles for $9.99 a month. Gamespot notes that the service’s alpha test is coming to an end on April 28, signaling an impending launch, and CinemaBlend predicts that it could come as soon as E3. Michael Pachter is confident that Microsoft won’t be able to replicate Netflix’s success, due to the lack of newly released titles being offered on the Game Pass.

Twitch Expands Subscription Service Options

Twitch has announced new $24.99 and $9.99 level subscriptions options, allowing fans to support their favorite streamers in bigger ways. TechCrunch reports that higher payment level subscribers will count more toward a channel’s overall subscriber number than non-paying viewers. EsportsPro believes this could significantly increase partnered streamers’ revenues, with a potential for streaming to turn into a full-time job for more users of the platform. Per Eurogamer, Twitch plans to release the beta version “very soon.”

Nintendo to Release a Mini SNES Classic Edition?

With the global discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition, there is speculation that Nintendo has plans to launch a Mini SNES Classic Edition, according to a report from Eurogamer. Nintendo has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, but Fortune surmises that this may have been why production of the NES Classic was stopped. If the SNES is to be released, GameSpot expects it to launch sometime around December, a perfect gift for the holidays. Polygon suggests that Nintendo implements a pre-order program to prevent the type of shortage issues that were present at the NES Classic launch, with Forbes going so far as to advise Nintendo to triple the amount of SNES available.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 10

Here’s the scoop in this week’s TPoI: Nintendo soars in the US with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sales on the Switch, Microsoft introduces a new refund program for Xbox One and PC games, and Germany instructs Twitch streamers and YouTubers to purchase a broadcasting license. With spring in the air, we give you full permission to indulge in chocolate covered sweets!

Nintendo Surpasses Own Record With Switch and Breath of the Wild Sales

New data released by Nintendo and NPD reveals that the Switch is now the fastest-selling console in Nintendo history, with Breath of the Wild attributing to its success. IGN reports that in North America, Nintendo sold 906,000 Switch units while Breath of the Wild sold 925,000 copies. WCCFTech explains that this means the title has an attach rate of 100%, possibly due to consumers unable to obtain a console along with the game. TheVerge adds that Nintendo is working hard to ensure that everyone who hasn’t purchased a Switch will be able to do so in the near future. While the numbers are impressive, Business Insider is curious to see how the upcoming launch of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 will affect Switch sales. CNN believes the Switch needs more data before concluding that it’s a hit. Polygon disclosed that Nintendo will unveil worldwide Switch sales on April 27, so a final verdict won’t be made until then!

Microsoft Store Revamped in Response to User Feedback

 Nothing’s worse than spending money on an app or game online and not knowing what to do with it once you’re done playing. Due to overwhelming response from gamers, Gamespot revealed that Microsoft sent a message to those enrolled in the Xbox Insider program, stating “In support of offering gamers the freedom of choice, we’re making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience by offering customers a simple way to instantly return digital products like games and apps through account.microsoft.com.” According to ArsTechnica, only Alpha members currently have access, but the feature should be available to the public soon. Metro reports that Microsoft will monitor activity and block users that attempt to abuse the program. BGR finds it to be almost identical to Steam’s refund system, but commends Microsoft’s decision and encourages other companies to take the same steps. Waypoint foresees that this may entice users to choose Xbox titles over PlayStation, but expects Sony to release their own refund system to keep up with its competition.

Broadcasting License Required for Twitch Streamers and YouTubers in Germany

German broadcast authority Landesmedienanstalt has deemed live-streaming as “radio broadcast”, enforcing YouTubers and Twitch streamers to provide a broadcasting license from now on. VG24/7 reports that YouTuber PietSmiet was informed he’ll need to apply for a license by April 30 if he were to continue making videos. Depending on the number of viewers, a license may cost between 1,000 to 10,000 euros, and SegmentNext believes streamers may have to turn to alternative websites or launch a Kickstarter to receive donations from fans. PCGamesN warns that those who fail to comply to the ruling will have their channel classified as a pirate station and subject to fines. Thankfully, Gamezone states that Germany is aware that this ruling is outdated and may be overruled in the future, but streamers are not exempt until further notice.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 3

For this week’s TPoI, we dive into YouTube’s latest partner program update, PETA’s dispute with Nintendo, Atlus’ debatable decision to enact a strict streaming ban, and the launch of Twitch’s very own gaming store.

YouTube Enacts Stricter Creator Monetisation

In an effort to catch suspicious channels, YouTube has changed its partner program by enacting stricter guidelines for channel monetization. The Verge reports that going forward, YouTube won’t allow monetization until a creator has reached 10,000 lifetime views on their channel. MCV speculates that the true reasoning behind the move is to lessen the chances of brands finding themselves aligned with hate speech or racist content, an issue that YouTube has been battling. Aspiring creators will undoubtedly have a harder time earning money with this new policy in place, but ArsTechnica advises that using GoogleAdSense is an option to obtain ad revenue without relying on the total view count. Furthermore, Fortune revealed that YouTube plans to add a new review process for the partner program that will monitor a video publisher’s activity to ensure the creator is adhering to the rules and regulations.

PETA Shames Nintendo For 1-2 Switch Milking Game

Milk, one of 28 mini games on Nintendo’s multiplayer party game 1-2 Switch has been deemed unrealistic according to PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk. The milking simulator portrays no cows on-screen and the farmers appear to be happy-go-lucky during the entire process. Polygon reports that Newkirk personally wrote a letter to Nintendo to address her concerns stating, “We have more than 35 years of experience investigating dairy farms where cows are exploited for their milk, and it is NEVER that pleasant for these animals. Can we have some realism here, please?” Uproxx adds that Newkirk suggests either Nintendo depicts the cruel reality of animal abuse or consider simulating a game where no animals suffer. Nintendo has yet to respond but we anticipate a thought-out and respectful rebuttal.

Atlus Threatens Gaming Community With Harsh Consequences

The long awaited Japanese RPG series Persona finally launched its fifth entry to the series Persona 5 outside of Japan on April 4. The day after its release, a report from Kotaku revealed that developer Atlus threatened to issue channel strikes and content ID claims on any streamer or YouTuber that showed footage beyond 7/7, a date in the calendar of the game. The purpose of the ban is to prevent spoilers for those who haven’t obtained or played the game, but Forbes argues that users could easily search for a playthrough of the game considering it’s been released in Japan for a whole year. Atlus’ concerns are valid, but ArsTechnica adds that in this day and age, gaming companies should view gameplay videos as a way to boost exposure not hinder it. In recent news, Polygon reports that several streamers and YouTubers are showing content past the 7/7 mark and are well aware of the potential repercussions to follow.

Shop and Stream: The Future of Twitch

Amazon-owned Twitch has released a purchasing system for streamers and audience viewers. The Escapist disclosed that users will now be allowed to buy a game while watching a stream, with over 50 different titles released so far. Games can be downloaded and played through the Twitch launcher or on a publisher’s service, such as Uplay. Not only that, streamers will get a cut of the sales as well, with partnered streamers earning up to 5% of the sales that originate from their channel, according to The Verge. This is a smart move on Twitch’s part, as it offers revenue for both the company and streamers. Although Engadget believes this is a smart move, it worries that content creators may abuse the system and only stream games purely for financial gain. PCWorld agrees, but also argues that it’s a great way to showcase a game and see a streamer’s honest reaction and feedback.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 27

With the madness of GDC dying down, we here at TriplePoint thought we could sigh in relief. Little did we know…This week’s TPoI features PSVR’s success, Twitch announcing that it will sell games directly, and of course, the launch of the Nintendo Switch! What a week!

How Impressive Are Sony’s ‘Surprise’ PlayStation VR Sales, Really?

In the four short months that PlayStation VR has been available, it has already sold over 915,000 units – beating even Sony’s own projections. The New York Times reports that even the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, had doubts regarding the PSVR and advised a slow approach towards production. Despite this, the PSVR managed to outsell both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive which moved a total of 663,000 units combined. TechCrunch provides insight into PSVR’s strong market performance, pointing out that the PSVR is cheaper than its competitors and an accessory to the already successful PlayStation 4 with over 50 million units sold. In addition, Forbes highlights that the PSVR’s purchase rate is less than 2% when considered alongside the total number of PS4s sold. Beneath all these numbers, however, is the fact that PSVR’s success is a boon to the VR industry and will help it develop faster. In an interview with UploadVR, HTC Vive China expressed this exact sentiment while congratulating their competitor on its success.

Twitch partnering with game devs, studios to sell games on site

Love to donate to your favorite streamer on Twitch? Now you might be able to get a game with that money! According to Polygon, Twitch is edging into the online marketplace for video games, but with a twist. Instead of a simple click-and-buy market, Twitch will allow its users to purchase video games right from their favorite streamer’s page. To sweeten the deal, Twitch will contribute 5% of the sale to the streamer and give the purchaser a digital Twitch Crate, which will contain a randomized item such as a chat badge or game-specific emoji that you can use on the platform. The Verge reports that Twitch’s move into the marketplace will help streamline the purchase process as many gamers watch streams before making the decision to buy or pass up a game. By allowing its users to purchase from the site and contributing a portion of the sale to the streamer, Twitch hopes to be one step closer to being the ultimate hub for gaming on the web.

Nintendo Switch Sells Out All Over The World

Finally! It’s the day that everyone has been waiting for – Nintendo Switch launch day! All the anticipation ends today as every major retailer has stocked their shelves with the new portable gaming system from Nintendo. Or does it? Chances are, if you don’t already have a Nintendo Switch in your hands, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. Forbes is reporting that the Nintendo Switch is sold out around the world and to expect a trickle of inventory as Switches will continue to fly off the shelves in the upcoming months. According to USA Today, some gamers lined up for more than 12 hours in order to get their hands on the highly coveted device. It’s no surprise as the Nintendo Switch launches with Breath of the Wild, which received a perfect 10 rating from GameSpot. So if you don’t have the Switch yet, keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled for restocks from retailers, and if you did manage to get your hands on one, happy gaming!

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 13


In TPoI this week, we see a sneak peek at the Nintendo Switch, mobile esports comes on the scene, and Microsoft releases news that we can expect to see an update at E3 regarding Project Scorpio.

Here’s 3 minutes of the Nintendo Switch menus, thanks to an early shipment
Although details regarding the Nintendo Switch have been kept under wraps by Nintendo, Switch fans eagerly awaiting the console’s launch were treated to an early look at the product this week thanks to one lucky gamer who uploaded videos of their new Switch and its system menus after receiving an early shipment from an undisclosed retailer. Polygon reports that the user interface and system menus have been carefully guarded by Nintendo – though it’s no longer a secret as the video garnered over half a million views in just two hours. According to Business Insider, the short video shows a notable improvement in the Switch’s processor speed and responsiveness from previous handheld consoles. With this level of hype surrounding the Switch, the console may very well outperform some analysts’ projections of 40 million units sold through 2020. In the meantime Switch fans… keep waiting.

UK esports champions Fnatic are getting into mobile gaming
With the popularity of games such as Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Defense of the Ancients 2, esports has reached a golden age of success and viewership. However, teams such as Fnatic have refused to limit themselves to console and PC games and are beginning to branch out towards popular mobile games such as Vainglory. Fnatic’s growth into the mobile gaming industry reveals the ever increasing popularity and potential of mobile games as the demographic that owns a smartphone is much larger than those who own a gaming console or computer. WIRED reports that Fnatic and others in the esports space see mobile gaming as the next play in esports due to its accessibility and intuitive gameplay. So if you like mobile games and esports, you might be able to tryout for your favorite team in the near future!

Xbox Project Scorpio will finally get some face time at Microsoft’s E3 Event
As E3 draws closer, the gaming world is officially abuzz as companies put the finishing touches on their games and products for the summer event. Earlier this week, Microsoft tweeted an announcement from their official Xbox account regarding Project Scorpio – their next-gen console. The exact specifications of Project Scorpio are still unknown, but what we do know is that it will have the most powerful GPU installed in a console to date, allowing it to run games in true 4K resolution along with VR capabilities. TechCrunch reported that we’re not likely to learn anything else about the project until June, since the company has been very “mysterious” surrounding the product up until now.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 6

In this week’s TPoI; press reaction to Nintendo announcing 2-3 mobile games per year, E3 opens up to the “public”, and Valve confirms VR game development (no proof of Half-Life 3… yet).

Nintendo Aims to Make 2-3 Mobile Games A Year From Now On
In this week’s Q&A session for investors, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima announced that the company plans to make 2-3 mobile games a year moving forward. IGN reports that the company will still primarily focus on the Switch and 3DS, but that it seems Nintendo sees mobile gaming as a serious prospect with potential for long-term gains. GamesIndustry sees the plans as potentially precarious, due to the parallel business risks to manage simultaneously, while iDigitalTimes is a bit more optimistic noting it believes Nintendo will learn what it needs to continue creating classics for a new generation. No doubt that the success and fanfare surrounding Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run played a role in the decision, and it will continue to pursue a strategy of expanding its core IP into mainstream audiences to drive sales of its primary business units.

 

E3 Opens To The Public For the First Time Ever
This week the ESA announced that 15,000 tickets will be made available for anyone wishing to attend E3 this June, for a price of $250 (or $150 for lucky early birds). Tickets provide access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other related events Tuesday-Thursday of the week. Gamespot noted availability to the public may be in efforts to keep the conference relevant, as major players like Activision and EA have pulled out in recent years. For their part, the ESA has noted the success of the public-facing E3 Live, held outside the convention center last year that drew impressive numbers as the catalyst to give access to the full convention to fans. Our take here at TriplePoint is that there were already 15k “loose”, non-trade attendees already making their way into the show in recent years. With some tightening of the admission process we could see non-trade attendees – like GameStop employees for example – having to pay their way into the show moving forward.
 

Valve is working on three ‘full’ VR games
This week Valve founder Gabe Newell confirmed that the company currently has three full VR games in development. He noted that, with the HTC Vive on the market, Valve is now in a position to develop hardware and software simultaneously, nodding to Nintendo’s success with the same framework. Engadget added that with low headset sales and the difficulty in persuading developers to make VR software, Valve and their games could turn the popularity and ubiquity of VR around.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF JAN. 30


This Valentine’s month brings us nothing but love… for Nintendo! (okay, and maybe a bit of controversy)

This week’s TPoI include: Nintendo’s potential VR plans, a Switch Super Bowl commercial, a big fat lawsuit for Oculus, and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem is a gacha!

Nintendo’s Fire Emblem introduces controversial Japanese concept of “gacha”
Nintendo’s first free mobile game, Fire Emblem, is making waves this week as players are lured into purchasing special in-game items in a gambling-like fashion, employing a tactic the company has previously avoided – “gacha”. Bloomberg notes that after Super Mario Run launched on iOS priced at a premium $10 and without in-app monetization, the gacha mechanics in Fire Emblem are problematic, saying, “the Japanese powerhouse is taking a different approach that is potentially more lucrative — and much more controversial.” More information can be found on Inverse.

Nintendo plans to add VR to Switch
Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima reportedly discussed potential virtual reality plans for Switch in a conversation relayed by Kantan Games, a Tokyo-based consultancy firm. The company has previously shied away from sharing any VR plans, citing concerns around common VR issues and side effects like nausea or headaches. However, patents emerged in December regarding the design of a VR accessory to be used with Switch. Little is known about the service, but GamesIndustry reported that it will be a monthly and/or yearly service priced between $17.70 and $26.50 and including with a free NES or SNES game every month.

Nintendo Switch-ing it up with first Super Bowl ad
Nintendo’s first-ever Super Bowl ad will feature the Switch, and at $5 million per 30 seconds of airtime, the company is showing how serious they are about the new console. Excitement about the Switch and its fourth quarter slot has been voiced by outlets like The Verge, Polygon, and Engadget. Nintendo’s YouTube channel provides an extended commercial that has broad appeal -speaking to hardcore gamers, families, and everyone in between, mimicking TPCi’s approach last year in revealing a longer commercial before the actual Super Bowl ad aired. The two minute ad features many Switch game previews, as well as hints at the availability of household names like Super Mario, Street Fighter, and Mario Kart. The extended cut can be found here.

ZeniMax lawsuit seeks injunction to temporarily halt sale of Oculus headsets
The years-long lawsuit of Maryland-based game developer ZeniMax and VR leader Oculus has come to a close – with ZeniMax being awarded $500 million on February 2nd, for Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey’s violation of an NDA. After the “win”, ZeniMax reportedly told Polygon that the company was deciding whether or not to file an injunction – which would temporarily stop the sale of Oculus Rift headsets.