In this week’s TPoI, Atari releases more information about their new Ataribox console, YouTube changes policies on external links for non-monetized users, and Bluehole confirms negotiations with Tencent.
Atari Unveils Details on the Ataribox
Atari sent a newsletter Tuesday morning with details on their upcoming Ataribox retro gaming console, including details on the hardware and initial pricing. TechCrunch reports that the system will run Linux and will be powered by a customized AMD processor and Radeon graphics processing unit. These components, which SegmentNext reports are very similar to parts used in traditional PCs, allow the Ataribox to run modern games as well as arcade classics. The Verge reports that preorders for the system will begin this fall on Indiegogo and that the system will start at $249 and could go up to $299.
YouTube Restricts External Links for Non-Partners
Non-partnered YouTubers have recently been reporting that they are no longer able to post links to online merchandise stores, personal websites, and their crowdfunding platforms. A representative from YouTube told Polygon that the site is changing their external links policy to “combat inappropriate and abusive content.” Engadget reports that this policy change affects non-partnered YouTube channels and that a YouTube channel needs 10,000 views before it can be considered for partnership, a number which many smaller content creators are struggling to meet. VentureBeat mentioned that this change follows YouTube’s recent demonetization policy changes and the decreased advertising revenue which many content creators are struggling with.
Bluehole Begins Business Negotiations with Tencent
South Korean developer, Bluehole Software confirmed on Thursday that they are talking with Chinese publisher Tencent about publishing PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds in China. Gamesindustry.biz reports that while Bluehole had previously denied rumors of the partnership plans but that Bluehole chairman and cofounder Chang Byung-gyu has now announced that Tencent is interested in buying an equity stake in the company to help encourage development. Bloomberg reports that Bluehole, which is now worth over $4.6 billion dollars, is interested in expanding the feature set of their game and launching it before the end of 2017. PCGamesN reports that Tencent has now purchased a 5% share in the company and is planning to buy a larger stake in the company in the future.
As we wind down and relax from the E3 madness, in this week’s TPoI, Mojang reveals cross-console play for Minecraft, Xbox One X’s price tag is debated, and Anthony Padilla of Smosh leaves the channel to move onto his own solo project.
Minecraft to Feature Cross Platform Online Play
During E3, developer Mojang and Microsoft revealed that gamers will be able to play Minecraft with friends on almost every platform due to a new server update titled “Better Together.” TechCrunch disclosed that Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch will be the supported devices allowing for unified gameplay. Mashable states that Minecraft will be moved over to Bedrock Engine, making the cross-platform play possible. As for why PS4 is not listed as a supported console, IGN reports that Sony’s Global Sales and Marketing Head Jim Ryan stated, “While Sony has no philosophical stance against cross-play at all, it’s concerned with its players’ safety on non-PlayStation platforms.” The Verge doesn’t find Sony’s reasoning to be valid, and feels it’s simply an excuse to force consumers to choose between Microsoft and Sony. GameSpot reveals that Microsoft is hoping to put differences aside with Sony and come to an agreement in the future.
Is Xbox One X Price Worth It?
Microsoft announced that Project Scorpio’s official name is Xbox One X, available on November 7, 2017 for $499. In an interview with Business Insider, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated that Microsoft wouldn’t be making any money from Xbox One X sales, and did not go into further details for the reasoning. GameSpot reports that Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities commented, “I think that the price point is too high. Consoles have historically failed at this price point, and consumers seem unwilling to accept anything over $399.” Forbes points out that the Xbox One X is $100 more expensive than the PlayStation 4 Pro and twice as expensive as a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One S, predicting that sales won’t be successful. Washington Post critiques that despite the impressive 4K resolution, it’s definitely a steep price to pay for consumers. PCMag presumes that Microsoft will be taking a loss for Xbox One X hardware sales, is hopeful that the manufacturing price will go down so that a profit margin appears soon.
Anthony Padilla Moves on From Comedy YouTube Channel Smosh
Smosh co-founder Anthony Padilla revealed that he is leaving the channel to pursue and focus on his self-titled channel, which currently has 1.3M subscribers. Variety interviewed Padilla, and he explained that he had been contemplating the change for several months and felt a lack of creativity as Smosh is managed by Defy Media, who approves all of the creative decisions. Vulture disclosed that Padilla and fellow co-founder Ian Hecox remain close friends and that Padilla’s departure is not tied to any personal conflicts. This move has Recode questioning how long a content creator can remain popular and lucrative and at what point would their career potentially come to an end. It’s hard to say for sure, but it’s definitely something for influencers to keep in mind. Whatever Padilla decides to work on moving forward, we wish him the best of luck!
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.
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.
In the last week of March, we’ve been paying attention to stories about Nintendo Switch scam, YouTube’s continued tweaking of their advertising rules and features, and the return of Club Penguin! On to April!
In this week’s TPoI we cover the uproar over YouTube’s restriction mode, updates on Nintendo Switch sales and Joy-Con controller issues, the controversy surrounding Ubisoft’s title For Honor, and how influencer JonTron’s personal views on race and immigration are damaging his career.
This week’s TPoI features the first reactions to Nintendo Switch, big shakeups over at Disney and Maker, Nvidia’s transformation into a gaming platform, and the response to the death of Twitch streamer Brian Vigneault.
Nintendo Switch: Here’s What the Critics Are Saying
This week, intial reactions and reviews started to surface from lucky journalists that were able to review Switch, prior to its official launch next week. Overall press reaction has been positive despite these early versions of Switch lacking the crucial “Day One” update that will go live on launch. The update will allow network connectivity, social media integration, and some minor bug fixes. Business Insider reports that the Nintendo Switch is a fast and efficient system that smoothly combines portable and console gaming with the caveat that some games, when played on a TV, have “issues with consistent framerate.” Similarly, Polygon also reports that the fit and feel of the Switch as a finished product is fantastic, but there are some issues with the Joy-Con controllers losing connectivity while the handheld is docked. The trouble surrounding the Joy-Con controller doesn’t end there as Ars Technica also writes that the controllers are, “a little hard to get a solid grasp on.” With the launch less than a week away, the Switch is shaping up to be a great product for those who like to game at home and on the go.
Disney cuts about 80 jobs in digital media unit that includes Maker Studios
LA Times reported that the Walt Disney Company has laid off about 80 employees in its digital media unit, which includes Maker Studios, the digital media company representing YouTube successes such as “Epic Rap Battles of History” and PewDiePie. Earlier this month, Maker severed ties with PewDiePie in response to a story from The Wall Street Journal that alleged anti-Semitic references the creator was including in videos. The PewDiePie scandal, and the recent cutbacks at Maker, have reportedly caused the company to further cull their roster of YouTube creators. Polygon reported that Maker will now only sponsor 300 content creators; the company currently supports more than 60,000. According to Develop, Maker will now look for two qualities in affiliated creators – 1) that the creators have their own established audience and large following, and 2) that the creator material is family friendly and in alignment with Disney’s corporate culture.
In The Wake of Marathon Streamer’s Death, Twitch Community Discusses Healthy Streaming Practices
In what was both a tragic and eye-opening week for Twitch users, Brian “PoShYbRiD” Vigneault passed away last Sunday after attempting a 24 hour charity stream for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Vigneault has done multiple charity streams in the past, raising over $10,000 to date for various organizations by playing, World of Tanks. According to IGN, World of Tanks issued a statement of condolence and to pay their respects to Vigneault’s family. Polygon has reached out to Twitch for comment, but as of yet the company has not made an official statement. In addition, Kotaku reports that Vigneault’s death should help raise awareness towards the unseen pressure on streamers to grow their fan base at the cost of their own health. The outlet also called for Twitch to “choose to take a firmer stance against unhealthy streaming practices.” According to IGN and Kotaku, Twitch has yet to make official comment. His fans have set up a GoFundMe page and turned his Twitch channel into a memorial.
NVIDIA GeForce Has Moved From Graphics Card To Gaming Platform
NVIDIA has set the gaming world astir with hints at a potential announcement of the long awaited GTX 1080 Ti at GDC next week in San Francisco. The company is coming out with all guns blazing, choosing to unveil the previously delayed graphics card on the same day that competitor AMD streams its Capsaicin event to announce its next-generation Vega graphics cards. Although details regarding the announcement and the card itself are still uncertain, Digital Trends implies that both NVIDIA and AMD are racing to make virtual reality the mainstream form of gaming. In addition, according to Forbes, NVIDIA is aggressively competing with mobile, console, and handheld gaming platforms through its GeForce line, which is responsible for the company’s high level of growth and success. Look for the drama between NVIDIA and AMD to unfold in a few days at GDC.
Tis the season for gift guides. You can’t click a link in a google search without tripping over a “10 best tech gifts” story. One category of guide is always missing though: what to get for content creators.
More accurately, this guide is for the friend/parent/significant other of a content creator. One of the great things about streaming is the low barrier to entry; people can start with a pretty low-budget setup. What makes it even better is the amount of impact each new piece of hardware can make on your content.
Let’s start off with an area in which a creator can easily improve: audio. Microphones, to be exact. Starting off with your gaming headset’s built-in mic is fine, but people will notice the extra buzz or your breathing. A streamer can spend hours on third-party programs to try to smooth out the audio. Eventually, though, it is time for an upgrade.
My first suggestion is a personal one, as it is the mic I use, the CAD U1. It is a very cheap upgrade option, usually going for $20 – $25. Additionally, I bought and suggest this mic because unlike most microphone suggestions, it is not a condensor mic but is a dynamic mic. This immediately cuts down on environmental noise and, with the $3 foam cover, cuts way down on breathing noises.
If you want to really give them a treat (or treat yourself!) I highly suggest considering the Rode NT-USB. It is 6x as expensive as the CAD and returns to the condenser style of microphone, but provides a lot more options. Additionally, it has a clarity and fullness of sound that other mics just cannot touch. You will need a couple of additional accessories to make full use of the NT-USB but your stream will thank you.
Next up are webcams. You may be using your laptop’s built-in camera or something you dug out of a drawer from the good old days from before the dot-com bust! This is fine to get started, but now it’s time to get rid of that pixelated mess and step up your game.
The first camera almost needs no description. The Logitech C920has become the streaming camera of choice (and for good reason). It will give you a (nearly) flawless 720p or 1080p signal. It may not be one of the fancy new 60fps cameras that have entered the market (such as Logitech’s own C922x) but you won’t be disappointed. Best of all,with new cameras releasing, the price on this slightly older one is dropping and can usually be found for around $60.
Next is if you are really ready to step up your game: the Razer Stargazer which will run you around $150. The first camera to offer Intel Realsense, which uses multiple cameras to perform depth sensing and remove the background of the video even without a greenscreen! On top of that, it does 60fps at 720p. If you don’t have use for either of those features the last camera will cover your needs, but if you stream in a cramped space or do some crazy movements on Twitch’s new IRL category, this is the camera for you.
Lights are an important component, but one of the hardest to find a good brand. A majority of them are of the same quality and will last you a number of years if you treat them right. The best thing is to find a decent deal on a two softbox combo. A quick search on Amazon brought up a pair that are cheaper than the recommended Cowboy Studios from Fancierstudio. Whichever you go with, good lighting is a must. Be prepared to spend around $100.
Lastly, we’re going to get into a couple of miscellaneous and premium add-on items once you have everything else decently setup.
Virtual Reality is starting to really take off but has a rather high barrier to entry. There are options from Oculus and HTC/Valve but both will run you around $800. A slightly cheaper option if you already own a Playstation 4 is the PSVR. No matter which one you gift (or buy for yourself), it will add a whole new dimension to the content produced.
If the content creator is starting to explore the idea of a two-computer setup, you can help them by giving them a capture card. There are a lot of options out there but the most popular among streamers is the Elgato HD60s. They will have to have a fairly modern computer because this card uses USB-C, but it will be well worth it. Real time 1080p 60fps recording with no impact on the gaming PC — truly the next level of recording for just $170.
Finally, if you’ve looked through this list and wondered where the reasonably priced gift idea was, giving a Steam Gift Card of any amount is a great way to support your favorite content creator. One of their largest expenses, year after year, are the games they have to purchase in order to continue to produce up-to-date content. Giving them Steam credit means they will have the funds they need the next time a game launches.
These are all great options but they certainly don’t cover the full spectrum of possible gifts. Content creators are constantly upgrading, whether it is various internal computer components, trying out new web services, or even switching out their chairs in hopes that it will improve their content and allow them to keep making a great show. No matter what you get your favorite content creator (yes, even that ugly sweater), hopefully they are thankful that you thought of them this holiday season.
This week in TriplePoints of Interest content creators call out YouTube for demonetizing videos, Quake VR works with Valve to make the HTC Vive wireless, and the first Google Play Indie Games Festival comes to San Francisco this September.
Breaking a record is usually an admirable feat and often desired outcome, but Activision might not be too happy with its latest record. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s newest trailer just became the most disliked gaming video on YouTube. On a more positive note though, Oculus is shipping off a few Rifts into stores and YouTube just announced cable bundles for streaming. So that evens it out, right? Continue reading TriplePoints of Interest – Week of May 1
This appears to be a very numbers-driven week! Here is this week’s awesome collection of earnings and funding news you won’t want to miss!
Kickstarter funds yet another major franchise revival…in 24 hours!
Koji “IGA” Igarashi, the video game designer best known for his work on the Castlevania series, has stepped out on his own seeking crowdfunding for his upcoming game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. According to The Verge, the game received over $1 million less than 24 hours after it appeared on Kickstarter. The game is set for a March 2017 release. This is the latest in a wave of veteran game developers getting overwhelming support from Kickstarter for reviving their game series independently from their publishers. In 2013, Keiji Inafune’s Mega Man revival, Mighty No. 9, reached its funding goal within 2 days of its reveal and was recently picked up for publishing by Deep Silver.
Games on your wrist?
GamesIndustry International takes a deep dive into how the Apple Watch can change mobile gaming for the better. Writer, Graham McAllister, explores new genres that can be created on the device, as well as more user data developers can reap by leveraging yet another device that is part of users’ daily lives.
Asia is the mobile gaming behemoth
App Annie released their Insights into App Engagements report for Q1 2015, revealing that Asia is still the biggest driver of the mobile app ecosystem, according to GamesIndustry International. The report reveals that games account for 90% of mobile app revenues in Japan and South Korea alone, citing that Japanese and South Korean users spend more time in games than their counterparts in the West, with 3x more game activations in Japan versus the United States. Japanese Android users also spent 4x more on mobile games than American Android users.
New 3DS XL is king in Japan
More stats from the Japanese games industry: GamesIndustry International reported on the top games and games hardware sales in Japan this week. Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition came in at #1 and Minecraft at #3. The New 3DS XL and PS Vita came in at #1 and #2 in top hardware.
What are the most-watched games on YouTube?
YouTube just revealed the top 10 games that receive the most let’s play attention on the site. According to Game Informer, Minecraft tops the list, with the Grand Theft Auto series and League of Legends coming in 2nd and 3rd. Puzzle & Dragons was the only mobile-exclusive game to make the list.
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?
Welcome to a new weekly feature here on the TriplePoint blog: TriplePoints of Interest, where we recap the biggest news from around the games and tech industry, plus subjects we just can’t stop talking about around the office!
Fixing the image of free-to-play
The image of free-to-play games has been a hot topic as of late. Steve Peterson of GamesIndustry International describes why free-to-play games have built a bad reputation and how it can be fixed. He first cites how quickly widespread the business model has become as reason for the extreme divide on opinions from within the games industry.
He then suggests that in-game merchandise must improve on the game, not be required to play the game, and that players shouldn’t have to feel they must make microtransactions to remove “annoyances” in the game or get to the fun. Developers and marketers also must be clear about the ways to spend money in the game. If a developer does not feel it is beneficial to “celebrate” the microtransactions, then the microtransactions are probably not ones that should be built in in the first place and will likely anger players.
The YouTubers versus Nintendo: the saga continues
Nintendo’s controversial YouTube policies have caused another YouTuber to cease reviewing Nintendo games. Joe Vargas of the Angry Joe Show stated in a video, according to Polygon, that he will no longer make videos relating to Nintendo games after his Mario Party 10 video was flagged for copyrighted material, keeping him from making ad revenue. Mr. Vargas has also been a staunch opponent of Nintendo’s Creators Program.
Heroes of the Storm collegiate league needs a GPA boost
The rise of collegiate competitive gaming, while growing exponentially, has not been without its share of snags. Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm collegiate tournament, “Heroes of the Dorm,” has been marred with no-shows and website bugs, leading to a host of scheduling difficulties, according to Daily Dot. The $450,000 prize pool, and involvement of Blizzard and TeSPA (high-profile collegiate eSports organization) meant very high expectations for the tournament from fans and participants alike, begging the question of the effectiveness of allowing over 800 teams to participate.
Ads and Kids, like water and electricity, do not go together
Consumer advocacy groups are asking the FTC to investigate Google’s YouTube Kids app due to concerns that it aims advertising at young children on smartphone and tablets, according to San Jose Mercury News. The concerns cite laws on broadcast TV that prohibit TV stations from placing products around kids’ programming due to children having not developed cognitive skills to resist advertising.
An old dog returns to the doghouse: Mark Pincus is back!
Zynga announced that Don Mattrick, their CEO of less than 2 years, is leaving and will be replaced with former CEO, Mark Pincus. GamesIndustry International believes that the company’s great losses under his leadership caused the change, but credited Zynga’s sharp rise in mobile profits–from 27% to 60% of the company’s worth–over the last 2 years to Mr. Mattrick’s work.
Check back again next week for more of the top news from games and tech!