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Video game revenue tops $43 billion in 2018, an 18% jump from 2017

Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in america, computing, Earnings, Electronic Arts, Entertainment, entertainment software association, esa, fortnite battle royale, Gaming, HBO, Netflix, Reed Hastings, sensor tower, streaming services, TC, video game, YouTube | 0 comments

Video game revenue in 2018 reached a new peak of $43.8 billion, up 18 percent from the previous years, surpassing the projected total global box office for the film industry, according to new data released by the Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group.

Preliminary indicators for global box office revenues published at the end of last year indicated that revenue from ticket sales at box offices around the world would hit $41.7 billion, according to comScore data reported by Deadline Hollywood.

The $43.8 billion tally also surpasses numbers for streaming services, which are estimated to rake in somewhere around $28.8 billion for the year, according to a report in Multichannel News.

Video games and related content have become the new source of entertainment for a generation — and it’s something that has new media moguls like Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings concerned. In the company’s most recent shareholder letter, Netflix said that Fortnite was more of a threat to its business than TimeWarner’s HBO.

“We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO,” the company’s shareholder letter stated. “When YouTube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and signups spiked for that time…There are thousands of competitors in this highly fragmented market vying to entertain consumers and low barriers to entry for those with great experiences.”

“The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture,” said acting ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis, in a statement. “Across the nation, we count people of all backgrounds and stages of life among our most passionate video game players and fans. Interactive entertainment stands today as the most influential form of entertainment in America.”

Gains came from across the spectrum of the gaming industry. Console and personal computing, mobile gaming, all saw significant growth, according to Mat Piscatella, a video games industry analyst for The NPD Group.

According to the report, hardware and peripherals and software revenue increased from physical and digital sales, in-game purchases and subscriptions.

U.S. Video Game Industry Revenue 2018 2017 Growth Percentage
Hardware, including peripherals $7.5 billion $6.5 billion 15%
Software, including in-game purchases and subscriptions  

$35.8 billion

 

$30.4 billion

18%
Total: $43.3 billion $36.9 billion 18%

Source: The NPD Group, Sensor Tower


Source: The Tech Crunch

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Apple plans major US expansion including a new $1 billion campus in Austin

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Apple, apple inc, apple store, austin, boston, boulder, Colorado, computing, cupertino, Electronic Arts, Energy, Governor, iPhone, Los Angeles, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, pittsburgh, Portland, san diego, Seattle, Steve Jobs, TC, Technology, texas, United States | 0 comments

Apple has announced a major expansion that will see it open a new campus in North Austin and open new offices in Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles as it bids to increase its workforce in the U.S. The firm said it intends also to significantly expand its presence in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years.

The Austin campus alone will cost the company $1 billion, but Apple said that the 133-acre space will generate an initial 5,000 jobs across a broad range of roles with the potential to add 10,000 more. The company claims to have 6,200 employees in Austin — its largest enclave outside of Cupertino — and it said that the addition of these new roles will make it the largest private employer in the city.

Beyond a lot of new faces, the new campus will include more than 50 acres of open space and — as is standard with Apple’s operations these days — it will run entirely on renewable energy.

Apple already has 6,200 employees in Austin, but its new campus could add up to 15,000 more

The investment was lauded by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“Their decision to expand operations in our state is a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers. I thank Apple for this tremendous investment in Texas, and I look forward to building upon our strong partnership to create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State,” he said in a statement shared by Apple.

But Austin isn’t the only focal point for Apple growth in the U.S.

Outside of the Austin development, the iPhone-maker plans to expand to over 1,000 staff Seattle, San Diego and LA over the next three years, while adding “hundreds” of staff in Pittsburgh, New York, Boulder, Boston and Portland, Oregon.

More broadly, Apple said it added 6,000 jobs to its U.S. workforce this year to take its total in the country to 90,000. It said it remains on track to create 20,000 new jobs in the U.S. by 2023.


Source: The Tech Crunch

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Jam City is setting up a Toronto shop by buying Bingo Pop from Uken Games

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in 20th Century Fox, bingo, buenos aires, Chris DeWolfe, computing, Disney, Electronic Arts, Entertainment, entertainment software association, Gaming, harry potter, jam city, Los Angeles, MySpace, san diego, San Francisco, toronto | 0 comments

The Los Angeles game development studio Jam City is setting up a shop in Toronto with the acquisition of Bingo Pop from Uken Games.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The deal is part of a broader effort to expand the Jam City portfolio of games and geographic footprint. In recent months the company has inked agreements with Disney — taking over development duties on some of the company’s games like Disney Emoji Blitz and signing on to develop new ones — and launching new games in conjunction with other famous franchises like Harry Potter.

The Bingo Pop acquisition will bring a gambling game into the casual game developer’s stable of titles that pulled in roughly $700,000 in revenue through October, according to data from SensorTower.

“We are so proud to be continuing Jam City’s rapid global expansion with the acquisition of one of the most popular bingo titles, and its highly talented team,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City, in a statement. “This acquisition provides Jam City with access to leading creative talent in one of the fastest growing and most exciting tech markets in the world. We look forward to working with the talented Jam City team in Toronto as we supercharge the live operations of Bingo Pop and develop innovative new titles and mobile entertainment experiences.”

Founded in Los Angeles in 2009 by DeWolfe, who previously helped create and launch Myspace, and 20th Century Fox exec Josh Yguado, Jam City rose to prominence on the back of its Cookie Jam and Panda Pop games. Now, the company has expanded through licensing deals with Harry Potter, Family Guy, Marvel and now Disney. Jam City has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Bogota and Buenos Aires.


Source: The Tech Crunch

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Mass shooting at Madden Championship Series event in Florida leaves several dead

Posted by on Aug 26, 2018 in Electronic Arts, Florida, Las Vegas, madden nfl, player, steven, TC, twitch | 0 comments

At least eleven people have been shot and four people were killed in a mass shooting attack at a livestream event debuting the new “Madden NFL 19” game at an arcade in Jacksonville, Fla., according to local news reports.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office confirmed on Twitter that one suspect was dead at the scene and the police were still investigating.

“We just finished clearing The Landing of potential witnesses and victims there,” said Sheriff Mike Williams in a statement broadcast on Facebook Live. “We have no outstanding suspects,” Williams said. “We have one suspect in this case. He is deceased at the scene.”

According to a report in The Los Angeles Timesthe shooter was a player who had lost during the competition and then shot other attendees at the event before killing himself.

The event was live-streamed on Twitch and there are multiple audio streams that broadcast the sounds of the shooting live.

Multiple participants in the event took to Twitter to describe the scene.

The sheriff’s office confirmed via tweet that there witnesses to the shooting were hiding in locked areas in the shopping area where the event — and shooting — occurred.

“This is a horrible situation and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved,” said Electronic Arts in a statement about the shooting.

In a direct message to The Los Angeles Times, one witness, Steven “Steveyj” Javaruski, said that the gunman had targeted “a few” people  and shot at least five before shooting himself.

The event was a Madden tournament with about 250 people in attendance. It was intended to be a competition that would select attendees for a final tournament in Las Vegas.

This story will be updated with additional information


Source: The Tech Crunch

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GameFly to shutter streaming service this month

Posted by on Aug 3, 2018 in closing, ea, Electronic Arts, Entertainment, gamefly, Gaming, streaming | 0 comments

GameFly, the video game rental company, will be shutting down its streaming service at the end of the month, Variety reported earlier this week. This closure comes just over three years after the streaming service launched in 2015.

GameFly, the no-console streaming service for gamers, offered packages for $7 and $10 per month that gave users unlimited access to titles — as long as they had a smart TV like an Amazon Fire or Samsung Smart TV, in addition to a controller and access to the internet. Just as GameFly’s original snail-mail rental service for games mimicked Netflix’s from days of yore, many touted the streaming service as the Netflix of gaming.

Support for the service will be maintained through the end of August and accounts will not be charged for the service after that date, according to Variety. But people can still rent physical games (and movies) from the company for $9.50 per month (one rental at a time) or $13.50 per month (two rentals at a time.)

This news comes about three months after EA acquired the technology and team members from GameFly’s cloud gaming division — a division that helped make it possible to save your progress to the cloud while gaming on the streaming service. But the acquisition did not include GameFly’s streaming service.

“We acquired the team in Israel and the technology they’ve developed, we did not acquire the Gamefly streaming service,” an EA spokesperson told Variety. “We have not been involved in any decisions around the service.”

TechCrunch reached out to GameFly for comment but the company did not respond by the time of publication regarding the reasons behind this closure.

Meanwhile, the world of streaming games appears to be continuing on just fine. Sony’s PlayStation Now continues to add titles to its service, French startup Blade’s streaming service is expanding availability this week in the U.S. and EA itself announced at E3 this summer plans to start work on its own streaming service.


Source: The Tech Crunch

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EA launches premium subscription with latest Battlefield and Fifa

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in ea, Electronic Arts, Gaming | 0 comments

Video game company EA is slowly switching its business model to recurring subscriptions. The company just launched Origin Access Premier for $15 per month or $100 per year. This subscription is only available on PC.

This isn’t EA’s first subscription. The company first launched EA Access on the Xbox One. For $5 per month or $30 per year, you can download a play old EA games as part of your subscription.

EA Access doesn’t include the most recent games. But you can play the latest Fifa, Madden and Battlefield games a few months after their initial releases. Usually, EA Access games don’t include any DLC or extra content.

In addition to full games, EA Access lets you try new EA games for 10 hours. You also get 10 percent off on EA digital purchases.

In 2016, EA launched a similar service on PC for the same price. In addition to a collection of EA games, the company partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and other game companies. You can find indie hits, such as The Witness, Oxenfree and Trine 2.

And now, EA is launching a more expensive subscription tier. With Origin Access Premier, you get new EA titles a few days before launch day. For instance, you’ll be able to download and play Madden NFL 19, Fifa 19, Battlefield V and Anthem when they launch in the coming months.

Subscribers won’t have to pay for DLCs, or at least not as many. Games included in the subscription are deluxe editions (Fifa Ultimate Edition, Battlefield V Deluxe, etc.).

In order to convince people to subscribe right away, EA is adding deluxe editions of Battlefront II, Fifa 18, Unravel Two, Fe or The Sims 4 right away.

Other companies have launched subscription services, such as Microsoft with the Xbox Game Pass and Sony’s PlayStation Now. This is an interesting shift as game companies are getting ready for cloud computing.

While many people still buy games on DVDs and play on gaming consoles, the industry is slowly going to switch to cloud gaming. You will launch a game on a server in a data center near you and stream the video feed to the device in front of you.

It doesn’t make as much sense to own a game if you don’t even run it on your console in your living room. By creating recurring subscriptions and putting together gaming libraries, companies can increase recurring revenue.tt


Source: The Tech Crunch

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Here’s what EA announced at E3 2018

Posted by on Jun 9, 2018 in e3, e3 2018, ea, Electronic Arts, Gaming | 0 comments

Good afternoon, downtown L.A.! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the giant banners with gun toting cyborgs have been unveiled.

That can only mean one thing: it’s time for E3! Electronic Arts kicked the show off this morning with the first official press conference, and the big news was, as anticipated, Battlefield V.

Battlefield V

The World War II title will likely get a little more love at the Xbox press conference tomorrow morning, but we did get a look at some compelling gameplay. Notably, the title is getting a Fortnite-style multiplayer, battle royale mode.

Anthem

Bioware’s next title isn’t due out until next February, but Anthem still managed to get a lot of love today at E3. The multiplayer shooter finds players assuming the role of mech suit wearing “Freelancers.”

FIFA 19

Due out September 28, EA’s big soccer (or football or whatever) title is adding UEFA Champions League gameplay, after picking up the license from Konami. That’s big news for European soccer fans, bringing the annual tournament to the title. The company also announced a free trial for Xbox, Playstation and PC players.

Madden NFL 19

The popular football title (the other football) is destined for the PC for the first time in more than 10 years. It will bring with it new, more lifelike player animation when it debuts August 10.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

It wouldn’t be an EA E3 event without some Star Wars love. Due out during the 2019 holiday season, the title will offer a dark take on the familiar universe, allowing users to play as a Jedi. That’s all we know so far, and sadly, there’s no trailer yet to speak of.

Unravel 2

No waiting on this one, however. The yarn of a puzzle platformer sequel just dropped today for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


Source: The Tech Crunch

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