Report: EA Sports to finally move forward with FIFA-less soccer game

Ars Technica's MS Paint interpretation of what appears to be a finalized divorce between EA Sports and FIFA.

Enlarge / Ars Technica’s MS Paint interpretation of what appears to be a finalized divorce between EA Sports and FIFA. (credit: EA Sports / Sam Machkovech)

Hidden amidst the usual “coming this fall” slate of video game announcements is one big change: the extrication of “FIFA” from all future EA Sports products.

On Thursday, Giant Bomb reporter and host Jeff Grubb followed up on an October 2021 report about the trademarked term “EA Sports Football Club,” possibly shortened to “EA Sports FC.” Grubb wondered exactly what the EAFC might refer to. EA Sports games come packed with a variety of single-player and online modes that range from cinematic story sequences to card-collecting, microtransaction-fueled frenzies. So the trademark could have referred to any kind of in-game mode—or the term could have been snapped up for nonpublic-facing reasons.

Around the same time, EA Sports provoked questions on the topic by publicly suggesting on its official blog that it might “rename our global EA Sports [soccer] games.” EA did this all while retaining its licensing arrangements with various soccer leagues and clubs. This public suggestion could have been done for any number of reasons—perhaps to put pressure on FIFA itself to relent in aggressive, high-dollar licensing requests, lest EA Sports take both its literal and figurative ball and go home. Privately, EA executives told staffers that its arrangement with FIFA was far from fruitful, in terms of holding back possible development and design directions for future games.

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#ea-sports, #electronic-arts, #fifa, #gaming-culture

How The Sims Became the Internet’s Most Exciting Place to Eat

The 22-year-old life-simulation video game has evolved into a world where players can farm, forage, cook and learn about the many ways people experience food.

#computer-and-video-games, #electronic-arts, #food, #the-sims-4-video-game

Three new Star Wars video games are in development at EA, Respawn

Screenshot from videogame Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Enlarge / Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Yes, the colon comes after the “Jedi.” (credit: EA)

EA and Lucasfilm Games have jointly announced that three new Star Wars games are in development at Respawn, the studio that developed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Among those three planned games is a sequel to Fallen Order, which was a story-driven, Souls-like melee combat action and exploration game. The other two games include a first-person shooter and a strategy game, but EA’s press release did not provide details about those titles beyond their respective genres.

The first-person shooter will be led by a former producer for the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise of online shooters set in the Star Wars universe. The strategy game will be produced by Respawn, but its lead developer will be Bit Reactor. Bit Reactor is a new studio formed in part by developers who previously worked on the recent entries in the XCOM franchise.

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#disney, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #lucasfilm, #lucasfilm-games, #respawn-entertainment, #star-wars, #star-wars-jedi-fallen-order

Titanfall 2 video game allegedly hacked via “simple exploit”

Knifin' around. Cutcutcutcutcutcutcutcut.

Enlarge / Knifin’ around. Cutcutcutcutcutcutcutcut.

Popular first-person shooter video game Titanfall 2 has been rumored to have a severe security vulnerability that has been exploited.

The reports of the game having been hacked started circulating on Twitter after Titanfall 2 community members, including Leon Benkovic, were seen urging players to uninstall the game:

Gamers allege that the vulnerability lets attackers gain local code execution abilities from Respawn’s servers, affecting Titanfall 2 players on all platforms—Windows, PlayStation, and Xbox.

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#computer-security, #electronic-arts, #exploit, #gaming-culture, #hacked, #respawn-entertainment, #tech, #titanfall-2, #video-game, #vulnerability

EA bucks convention with preview of extremely unfinished Dead Space remake

Thirteen years after EA first scared players senseless with Dead Space, the publisher confirmed plans for a stem-to-stern remake of the sci-fi survival horror classic. The brief, cinematic sizzle reel of brooding tracking shots and environmental gore from July’s EA Play event was followed this week by a behind-the-scenes look, full of clearly unfinished content, rudimentary “gray boxes,” and a glimmer of hope that EA’s attitude behind this retelling might be the right one.

The 40-minute broadcast with Motive’s senior producer Philippe Ducharme and creative director Roman Campos-Oriola was, much like Dead Space‘s working-class protagonist Isaac Clarke, fairly lean and utilitarian. Right now, what we still don’t know about the remake could fill a haunted derelict infested with ravenous space zombies—and that’s intentional.

Out of the gate, Ducharme and Campos-Oriola stressed that the preproduction build they had running on the Frostbite engine was nowhere near representative of final gameplay. Instead, they offered only the slightest indication of how the developer behind Star Wars Squadrons plans on tackling a faithful—yet more gruesome—reimagining of the 2008 original for modern hardware. What we saw were a few work-in-progress environments for the decrepit mining freighter USG Ishimura, a rough in-game model of Clarke’s engineering suit, and a lesson in destructible necromorph biology inside an entirely unfinished framework. The reason for this unusually candid approach was to provide a sounding board so that the Dead Space team can get as much feedback as early as possible from the game’s fans.

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#dead-space, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture

F1 2021 reviewed: Codemasters adds story, keeps the racing sim feeling fresh

If you’re old enough to have started playing video games by the turn of the century, the words “EA releases a new Formula 1 game” might strike fear into your heart. After all, the gaming behemoth published some pretty bad F1-branded racing games between 2000-2003. But even though this year’s box art has the EA logo on it, F1 2021 still feels solidly like a Codemasters’ game through and through (EA bought the British studio earlier this year).

That’s good news, as Codemasters has been responsible for several extremely good F1 games over the past few years. As ever, the studio’s challenge is to make this year’s installment sufficiently different from last year’s version to get people to open their wallets. For F1 2021, the changes are largely down to a new single-player story mode and a two-player career mode, which are both in addition to the various single-player, multiplayer, and esports modes you might remember from F1 2020.

These new feature-filled modes are interesting experiments from a development team better known for good physics, but in an era of an engaging new documentary series about F1, this is a clever move to capture some of the sport’s new fans. And it’s executed well, too.

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#cars, #codemasters, #electronic-arts, #f1, #f1-2021, #formula-1, #gaming-culture, #playstation-4, #racing-game, #racing-sim, #sim-racing

The best version of FIFA 22 won’t be on PC

Promotional image for soccer video game.

Enlarge / The ball is the latest consoles. The player in blue is EA. The player in red is the PC. (credit: EA)

The PC version of the upcoming FIFA 22 will be missing certain features available on the latest generation of consoles and Google’s Stadia streaming platform. The PC version will be comparable to the “last-generation” console versions on PS4/Xbox One.

Promotional materials for the newly announced game highlight “groundbreaking new HyperMotion gameplay technology,” which purportedly “combines Advanced 11v11 Match Capture and proprietary machine learning technology to deliver the most realistic, fluid, and responsive football experience… unlocking the raw emotion, passion, and physicality of the world’s game.” Unfortunately for PC players, though, that AI-powered animation is available “only on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Stadia,” publisher EA says.

The missing features for PC players are somewhat reminiscent of last year’s FIFA 21. For that release, console players got a free update on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S that added advanced features like ball deformation and special camera angles. Those updates never came to the PC version of the game, though, a situation Executive Producer Aaron McHardy told Eurogamer was part of an effort to keep the PC minimum specs down “so that we can open the doors and be inclusive to everybody who wants to play FIFA.”

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#ea, #electronic-arts, #fifa, #gaming-culture, #pc

Electronic Arts buys mobile game studio Playdemic for $1.4 billion

Video game giant Electronic Arts is continuing to make M&A moves as it looks to bulk up its presence in the mobile gaming world.

Fresh off the $2.4 billion acquisition of Glu Mobile this past April, their biggest purchase to date, Electronic Arts announced Wednesday that they are buying Warner Bros. Games’ mobile gaming studio Playdemic for $1.4 billion in an all-cash deal. The Manchester studio is best known for its release “Golf Clash” which the studio boasts has more than 80 million downloads globally.

The rather ominously-named startup is being jettisoned to its new home ahead of the $43 billion WarnerMedia-Discovery deal where the rest of the Warner Bros. Games division will live post-merger.

Electronic Arts is the second-largest Western video games company with a market cap around $40 billion. Their success has largely come from desktop and console titles including titles in their most popular franchises like Battlefield, Star Wars and Titanfall. Mobile dominance hasn’t come easy to the company which has spent much of the past decade or so trying to keep pace with competitors like Activision Blizzard which struck gold with its 2016 King acquisition. 

Electronic Arts has been on a studio buying spree as of late — in 2021 they’ve announced three major acquisitions worth some $5 billion combined.

#activision, #activision-blizzard, #companies, #electronic-arts, #gaming, #glu-mobile, #king, #titanfall, #video-gaming, #warner-bros, #warnermedia

EA source code stolen by hacker claiming to sell it online

EA source code stolen by hacker claiming to sell it online

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Game-maker Electronic Arts and the Presque Isle Police Department in Maine are responding to an event they had both been dreading: the theft of gigabytes of private data by hackers who breached their Internet-connected networks.

In EA’s case, the theft included 780GB of source code and tools for FIFA 21, according to a post published earlier this week on an underground crime forum. The person who published the post, with the username Leakbook, was offering to sell the data.

“You have full capability of exploiting on all EA services,” the person wrote.

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#biz-it, #data-breaches, #electronic-arts, #ransomware, #tech

Schumacher, Senna, and co-op multiplayer are new additions for F1 2021

This year's installment of the official Formula 1 game, <em>F1 2021</em>, arrives on PCs and consoles on July 16.

Enlarge / This year’s installment of the official Formula 1 game, F1 2021, arrives on PCs and consoles on July 16. (credit: Codemasters)

If you’ve ever wanted to race with Formula 1 legends like Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna, your wish could come true later this summer—sort of. The iconic drivers and their driving styles have been put into F1 2021, which arrives on consoles and PCs in July.

“We’ve always spoken about ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have as your teammate the drivers that we all remember?’ And that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Lee Mather, franchise game director at Codemasters, who briefed Ars on the new game recently.

Mather’s team started programming the game’s AI to race like the sport’s current stars in last year’s F1 2020. “We put so much time and effort and science into how you do driver ratings [for F1 2020] and how you manage those on a race-by-race basis. So we built the data [ranking different attributes for each of the current F1 drivers] and then we updated every three or four grands prix,” Mather explained.

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#cars, #codemasters, #ea-sports, #electronic-arts, #f1, #f1-2021, #formula-1, #gaming-culture, #michael-schumacher, #racing-game

Knockout City is the best team-deathmatch game we’ve played in years

Knockout City is the best team-deathmatch game I’ve played in years. It celebrates and elevates the genre’s roots in ways that make me think I’ve somehow reinstalled my old Voodoo2 GPU. And the game elevates this familiar format all under the guise of family-friendly dodgeball.

I wish describing an online game like that was enough to guarantee its success. But as I’ve learned over the years, a great online game can fail without a boisterous playerbase, an adept publishing hand, or good reasons for friends to keep playing with each other.

So I’m left with two obstacles: convincing you that Knockout City is worth your time, and convincing you that EA isn’t going to get in the way of its success.

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#ea, #electronic-arts, #features, #gaming-culture, #knockout-city, #velan-studios, #vicarious-visions

Women-led sports media startup The GIST raises $1M to challenge sports reporting norms

The three co-founders of The GIST are all themselves sports fans, but realized in 2018 that sports media in general left a lot to be desired when it comes to catering to audiences outside of the traditional, male-dominated stereoptyical sports audience. So they started a new kind of sports media enterprise, taking a risk on a very different kind of careers vs. their background in financial services in Toronto.

On the back of impressive 350% audience through 2020, c-founders Jacie DeHoop, Ellen Hyslop and Roslyn McLarty have now raises an initial $1 million round of seed funding, form investors including 3GP Capital, JDS Sports, August Group, Even Odds Investments, and Bettor Capital. The company also just got approved for a $350,000 loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada, bringing its total new funding across venture and state-backed credit incentives to $1.35 million.

“In the sports industry, as you probably are aware, less than 4% of coverage is on female athletes, and less than 14% of sports journalists are women,” explained McLarty, who is also The GIST’s head of finance, operations and growth. “It’s no wonder, as women, we don’t necessarily resonate with the the more traditional male-dominated sports media and the way that sports is represented. So we were finding it hard to be a part of that community sports can provide, and around the same time, we were seeing a trend of media companies developing these more authentic relationships with their audience, and building community and being built a little bit more ground up, and that being really effective.”

McLarty cites other media ventures including theSkimm, Morning Brew and The Hustle as examples of what her and her co-=foudners saw was working well in media. That approach, combined with what they saw as a massive potential untapped audience, led to the creation of The GIST, which because as a newsletter and has evolved into a news site, a podcast and more.

“We started with the purpose of making sports more accessible, inclusive, approachable and fun for a casual fan, or a female fan,” she said. “For anyone really, that hadn’t resonated with traditional sports media.”

I asked McLarty why her and her co-founders wanted to get into the media business specifically, given that their experience prior to that was on Bay Street, which is effectively Toronto’s equivalent of Wall Street. She admitted that it took the trio some time to find their footing, but that now the business has opened up a new and growing audience that basically wasn’t served previously, which is helping them win over advertisers and brand partnerships.

“I think we’ve discovered an audience that is really valuable, and there hasn’t really been a way for brand partners to engage with a female audience through sports,” she said. “So we’ve kind of found our niche, and have built really built things out and gotten to the point where we are today in a really lean lean way. The hard part was the initial investment in the audience to get it to the point where it is now, but once you hit that scale in the audience, the margins on the newsletter are obviously awesome for every additional person that we add on.”

The GIST’s partners include brands like the NBA, FanDuel, Red Bull and Adidas, to name a few, and it says its revenue is up over 1,000% this year vs. the year prior, on course to meet its goal of $1 million in total revenue for 2021. The company says it will be using the new funding to grow the team, including new hires on the content side, as well as additional headcount on the sales and operation teams, too.

#adidas, #articles, #business-development-bank-of-canada, #daily-fantasy-sports, #electronic-arts, #entertainment, #fanduel, #finance, #financial-services, #funding, #gaming, #gist, #media, #national-basketball-association, #nba, #red-bull, #tc, #toronto

Turkey’s Ace Games raises $7M to develop casual and ‘hyper casual’ games

Ace Games, a Turkish mobile gaming company founded by a former Peak Games co-founder, has raised a $7 million Seed funding round led by Actera Group. Co-investment has come from San Francisco’s NFX. Former gaming entrepreneurs Kristian Segerstrale, Alexis Bonte, and Kaan Gunay also participated. Firat Ileri is previous investors from the pre-seed round.

The company runs two studios, one focused on casual and one on ‘hyper-casual’ games.

Co-founded by CEO Hakan Bas, the former Co-Founder, and COO at Peak Games, Ace Games has had some success on the US iOS Store with its hyper-casual title, ‘Mix and Drink.’

In a statement, Bas said: “Ace’s main focus is actually the casual ‘hybrid puzzle’ game that we have been working on for a while now. However, our hyper-casual studio assists the main studio in many aspects like training talent, coming up with creative game mechanics and marketing ideas, generating cash, and creating user base.” Ace’s casual title is to be released late-summer this year and the global launch is expected in early 2022.

Peak Games, Gram Games and Rollic Games were all acquired by Zynga, showing that Turkey is capable of producing decent exits for gaming startups.

VCs such as Index, Balderton, Makers and Griffin have all made M&A deals with Dream Games, Bigger Games and Spyke Games.

#ceo, #co-founder, #electronic-arts, #griffin, #hyper, #mobile, #peak-games, #san-francisco, #tc, #turkey, #video-gaming, #zynga

Riot Games and Konvoy Ventures back games publisher Carry1st in $6M Series A

Africa is the last frontier for basically anything. Mobile gaming is no exception. For a continent that is home to more than 1 billion millennials and Gen Zers, mobile gaming has never really picked up, despite the continent witnessing rapid economic growth and smartphone adoption.

Two issues have proved detrimental to this growth: distribution and payments. With fragmented and unresolved distribution and digital payments ecosystems, game studios have found it difficult to serve African consumers and make a ton of money doing so. Carry1st is a mobile games publishing platform fixing this problem, and today it is announcing the close of its $6 million Series A round.

This month last year, we reported that the company had just raised a $2.5 million seed investment. CRE Ventures led that round, but this time, the company, which has offices in Cape Town and New York, brought in a blue-chip group of investors spanning gaming, media and fintech.

U.S. VC firm Konvoy Ventures led the Series A round. The firm is known for its investment in the video gaming industry’s infrastructure, technology, tools and platforms. Riot Games (developer of League of Legends), Tokyo’s Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund (the company behind Dragon Ball Z), Raine Ventures and fintech VC TTV Capital participated.

Carry1st was founded by Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman and Tinotenda Mundangefupfu in 2018. The company started as a game studio, developing and launching its own mobile games. But a projection on what it could be in the long run made the company switch tactics.

Instead of the studio model (quite popular among gaming companies in Africa), Carry1st sought to become a regional publisher, thereby opening the continent to international studios. Also, the company helps local studios that find it difficult to create games with a global appeal by pairing them with strong operators.

“We learned that African users don’t need their own games; they want to play the best games in the world,” CEO Robbin-Coker told TechCrunch.

COO Hoffman said that the company provides a full-stack publishing platform for its partners. It also handles localization, distribution, user acquisition, monetization, customer experience for studios and licenses their games on exclusive, long-term contracts.

“We fund user acquisition so that the games are played by as many users as possible, and then send our partners a royalty in return for the ability to leverage their IP,” Hoffman said.  

Carry1st

L-R: Cordel Robbin-Coker (CEO), Lucy Hoffman (COO) and Tinotenda Mundangefupfu (CTO)

This is somewhat akin to how Tencent-backed Sea Limited (parent company of Garena) took off. The company was the publisher of League of Legends across Southeast Asia but launched its own game, Free Fire. Now, the company has built out the largest consumer payments and e-commerce platform in the region, which is now worth over $130 billion. Carry1st aspires to do the same for Africa.

Although there aren’t many details about its e-commerce activity, Carry1st is tackling payments and difficult monetization issues by partnering with some fintechs like Paystack, Safaricom, and Cellulant. These partnerships have been pivotal to developing its in-house payments platform Pay1st, which allows customers to pay in their preferred way. “For global studios, this is the difference between making money and not,” Robbin-Coker added

Demand for Carry1st has grown rapidly. Since its seed round last year, the company has signed seven games with well-known mobile gaming studios. They include Sweden’s Raketspel (the company has more than 120 million downloads across its portfolio), Cosi Games and Ethiopia’s Qene Games.

All these signups happened in 2020 and the catalyst for this growth has pandemic-induced lockdowns written all over it. The African mobile gaming market has always pointed toward a strong growth market, but being forced indoors surely skyrocketed mobile usage and gaming.

People who might not have previously needed a mobile phone have now come to rely on them to keep in touch with family and friends. For the average user using a smartphone for the first time, there’s a natural tendency to explore the fun things available on their device.

Typically, the first things people do when they get their first smartphone is to chat with friends and play games. This is the same all over the world — Africa is no different. For that reason, we are seeing more and more mobile gamers across Africa,” remarked Robbin-Coker.

The company has also grown its team from 18 to 26 across 11 countries with recruits from Carlyle, King, Jumia, Rovio, Socialpoint, Ubisoft and Wargaming — a testament to the company’s global ambitions to be a top gaming publisher. 

Expanding the team, which cuts across product, engineering and growth departments, is one way Carry1st will put the new investment to use. The company also plans to secure new partnerships with global gaming studios while launching and scaling its existing games like Carry1st Trivia and All-Star Soccer.

Carry1st

User playing a Carry1st game

With this investment, Carry1st has raised a total of $9.5 million. On the caliber of investors brought on, Robbin-Coker said their investment in the company would put them in a place to “delight millions of users across Africa and the globe.”

Carry1st is Konvoy Ventures first foray into the African gaming market (same can be said for Riot Games), and representatives from both teams (Konvoy managing partner Jackson Vaughan and Riot Games head of corporate development Brendan Mulligan) believe the company is unequivocally solving the continent’s distribution and gaming experience problems. Vaughan will also join the company’s board.

Africa’s gaming industry has lacked innovation in times past. While we’ve seen companies try to change the narrative, most have operated as studios. Carry1st is one of the few companies to operate a hybrid model, but the endgame for the company really is to be one of the region’s dominant consumer internet companies. 

We think social games and payments is the best first step to doing so, but we have very large ambitions. If we execute this, we will catalyze massive growth in the digital ecosystem across the region, creating tons of high-quality jobs in the process. We think all of the ingredients are in place — we want to be the catalyst,” Hoffman said. 

#africa, #carry1st, #consumer-internet, #cordel-robbin-coker, #electronic-arts, #gaming, #konvoy-ventures, #league-of-legends, #mobile, #mobile-game, #recent-funding, #riot-games, #smartphone, #startups, #tc

The Roblox final fantasy

Hello friends, and welcome to Week in Review.

Last week, I talked a bit about NFTs and their impact on artists. If you’re inundated with NFT talk just take one quick look at this story I wrote this week about the $69 million sale of Beeple’s photo collage. This hype cycle is probably all the result of crypto folks talking each other up and buying each other’s stuff, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be lasting impacts. That said, I would imagine we’re pretty close to the peak of this wave, with a larger one down the road after things cool off a bit. I’ve been wrong before though…

This week, I’m interested in a quick look at what your kids have been talking about all these years. Yes, Roblox.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.


David Baszucki, founder and CEO of Roblox - Roblox Developer Conference 2019

(Photo by Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Roblox)

The big thing

Roblox went public on the New York Stock Exchange this week, scoring a $38 billion market cap after its first couple days of trading.

Investors rallied around the idea that Roblox is one of the most valuable gaming companies in existence. More than Unity, Zynga, Take-Two, even gaming giant Electronic Arts. It’s still got a ways to go to take down Microsoft, Sony or Apple though… The now-public company is so freaking huge because investors believe the company has tapped into something that none of the others have, a true interconnected creative marketplace where gamers can evolve alongside an evolving library of experiences that all share the same DNA (and in-game currency).

The gaming industry has entered a very democratic stride as cross-play tears down some of the walls of gaming’s platform dynamics. Each hardware platform that operates an app store of their own still has the keys to a kingdom, but it’s a shifting world with uncertainty ahead. While massive publishers have tapped cloud gaming as the trend that will string their blockbuster franchises together, they all wish they were in Roblox’s position. The gaming industry has seen plenty of Goliath’s in its day, but for every major MMO to strike it rich, it’s still just another winner in a field of disparate hits with no connective tissue.

Roblox is different, and while many of us still have the aged vision of the image above: a bunch of rudimentary Minecraft/Playmobile-looking mini-games, Roblox’s game creation tools are advancing quickly and developers are building photorealistic games that are wider in ambition and scope than before. As the company levels-up the age range it appeals to — both by holding its grasp on aging gamers on its platform and using souped-up titles to appeal to a new-generation — there’s a wholly unique platform opportunity here: the chance to have the longevity of an app store but with the social base layer that today’s cacophony of titles have never shared.

Whether or not Roblox is the “metaverse” that folks in the gaming world have been hyping, it certainly looks more like it than any other modern gaming company does.


SHENYANG, CHINA – MARCH 08: Customers try out iPhone 12 smartphones at an Apple store on March 8, 2021 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Other things

Apple releases some important security patches
It was honestly a pretty low-key week of tech news, I’ll admit, but folks in the security world might not totally buy that characterization. This week, Apple released some critical updates for its devices, fixing a Safari vulnerability that could allow attackers to run malicious code on a user’s unpatched devices. Update your stuff, y’all.

TikTok gets proactive on online bullying
New social media platforms have had the benefit of seeing the easy L’s that Facebook teed itself up for. For TikTok, its China connection means that there’s less room for error when it comes to easily avoidable losses. The team announced some new anti-bullying features aimed at cutting down on toxicity in comment feeds.

Dropbox buys DocSend
Cloud storage giants are probably in need of a little reinvention, the enterprise software boom of the pandemic has seemed to create mind-blowing amounts of value for every SaaS company except these players. This week, Dropbox made a relatively big bet on document sharing startup DocSend. It’s seemingly a pretty natural fit for them, but can they turn in into a bigger opportunity?

Epic Games buys photogrammetry studio
As graphics cards and consoles have hit new levels of power, games have had to satisfy desired for more details and complexity. It takes a wild amount of time to create 3D assets with that complexity so plenty of game developers have leaned on photogrammetry which turns a series of photos or scans of a real world object or environment into a 3D model. This week, Epic Games bought one of the better known software makers in this space, called Capturing Reality, with the aim of integrating the tech into future versions of their game engine.

Twitter Spaces launches publicly next month
I’ve spent some more time with Twitter Spaces this week and am growing convinced that it has a substantial chance to kneecap Clubhouse’s growth. Twitter is notoriously slow to roll out products, but it seems they’ve been hitting the gas on Spaces, announcing this week that it will be available widely by next month.

Seth Rogen starts a weed company
There’s a lot of money in startups, there’s really never been a better time to get capital for a project… if you know the right people and have the right kind of expertise. Seth Rogen and weed are a pretty solid mental combo and him starting a weed company shouldn’t be a big shock.


A Coupang Corp. delivery truck drives past a company's fulfillment center in Bucheon, South Korea, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. and that could raise billions of dollars to battle rivals and kick off a record year for IPOs in the Asian country. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:

Coupang follows Roblox to a strong first day of trading
“Another day brings another public debut of a multibillion-dollar company that performed well out of the gate.This time it’s Coupang, whose shares are currently up just over 46% to more than $51 after pricing at $35, $1 above the South Korean e-commerce giant’s IPO price range. Raising one’s range and then pricing above it only to see the public markets take the new equity higher is somewhat par for the course when it comes to the most successful recent debuts, to which we can add Coupang.” More

How nontechnical talent can break into deep tech
“Startup hiring processes can be opaque, and breaking into the deep tech world as a nontechnical person seems daunting. As someone with no initial research background wanting to work in biotech, I felt this challenge personally. In the past year, I landed several opportunities working for and with deep tech companies. More

Does your VC have an investment thesis or a hypothesis?
“Venture capitalists love to talk investment theses: on Twitter, Medium, Clubhouse, at conferences. And yet, when you take a closer look, theses are often meaningless and/or misleading…” More


Once more, if you liked reading this, you can get it in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

#apple, #apple-inc, #china, #cloud-gaming, #computing, #coupang, #docsend, #dropbox, #electronic-arts, #epic-games, #extra-crunch, #facebook, #gamer, #getty, #getty-images, #iphone, #microsoft, #online-games, #roblox, #smartphones, #software, #sony, #tc, #technology, #twitter, #week-in-review, #zynga

EA confirms it isn’t secretly “fixing” FIFA matches

EA has convinced a set of class-action lawyers that there isn't a secret algorithm affecting the results for <em>FIFA</em> Ultimate Team squads like this one.

Enlarge / EA has convinced a set of class-action lawyers that there isn’t a secret algorithm affecting the results for FIFA Ultimate Team squads like this one. (credit: Electronic Arts)

A group of California players has dropped a class-action lawsuit accusing Electronic Arts of secretly using a “Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment” (DDA) to covertly affect the outcome of FIFA: Ultimate Team matches. The group did so after EA proved that the controversial, patented system is not in use in the game.

We first covered EA’s Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment system back in early 2018, after a late-2017 academic paper laid out the basic framework. That research found that automatically adjusting a match-three puzzle game’s difficulty based on the player’s demonstrated skill level led to a 9 percent “improvement in player engagement,” (i.e., players wanted to play a bit more). On the other hand, it had a “neutral impact on monetization” (i.e., it didn’t lead to players spending more money). EA filed for a patent on the same basic idea in 2016, and the patent was granted in 2018.

Some FIFA players have long suspected that patented technology was at work in at least some of their “Ultimate Team” games. To hear these players tell it, the game secretly uses a hidden, scripted “momentum” system to adjust the results of specific shots or touches based on the current state of the game. It’s all part of an effort to manipulate players to spend more money on better Ultimate Team player cards, as outlined by that DDA patent. Or so the theory goes.

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#ea, #electronic-arts, #fifa, #gaming-culture, #loot-boxes, #ultimate-team

Maestro nets $15 million for its interactive commerce, community and engagement tools for livestreams

Making money on livestreams has never been easier thanks to a suite of tools from the Los Angeles-based startup Maestro, which just nabbed $15 million in financing to grow its business.

As video commerce becomes the norm and entertainers, brands, businesses, and franchises of all sizes and stripes look to cut out the middle man, the array of services on offer from Maestro may be the scissors these entities need to cut the cord.

The company has already worked with names as diverse as the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Cowboys, and pop sensation Billy Eilish on embedding its interactive tools into various live events and promotions.

Initially the LA-based company launched to the gaming community with interactive features that folks could use in-stream to create better engagement with fans. But what started in the gaming world quickly spun out as the company slashed prices to $500 per month for its services.

The pandemic also helped as artists who were cut off from their audiences began to explore alternative ways to reach fans — and make money.

We were targeted to a small number of very premier customers. It was around 50 to 60 and we grew to in the hundreds,” said Maestro chief executive, Ari Evans, said. “2020 was a blowout year… People needed an interactive streaming platform that they could spin up quickly that they could launch on their website.”

Celebrities from Katy Perry to Post Malone to Billie Eilish all turned to the service and so did other streaming platforms like the Los Angeles-based virtual concert platform, The Wave.

Now the company has $15 million in new financing to capitalize on its growth from investors including NetEase, Sony Music Entertainment, and Acronym Venture Capital, alongside a host of industry titans including Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and Moonwell Capital, founded by former Activision Blizzard executives Michael and Amy Morhaime, the company said in a statement. 

Existing investors like SeventySix Capital, The Strand Partners, Stadia Ventures, Hersh Interactive Group, and Transcend Fund, as well as early Zoom employees Richard Gatchalian and Aaron Lewis, also participated. 

Since the launch of monetization tools in May of last year, Evans estimated that the platform has paid out at least $5 million to entertainers who used the service.

“We are pleased to be supporting the continued development of Maestro as part of our ongoing investment in new technologies that provide artists with cutting-edge tools and solutions for growing their careers. Maestro gives artists greater flexibility and control to build the most engaging and customized events for their fans, allowing creators at any stage of their career to put together a world class live stream event,” said Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment, in a statement. 

“Maestro is at the forefront of redefining the relationship of content owners and creators with their viewers. Instead of relying on incumbent distribution platforms, customers control the audience relationship directly and maximize engagement and monetization in a way that fits with their brand objectives. We are very excited by Maestro’s potential to be a fundamental driver in the growth of the creator economy,” said Joshua Siegel, General Partner, Acronym Venture Capital.  

“Maestro… started off with the content and now we’re adding membership and community management and ticketing and all that stuff,” said Evans. 

The next step, and a big part of what Evans and his team of 55 employees will work on building will be a developer ecosystem, so software designers can start building out new tools to sell through the Maestro platform.

“The third piece is a developer ecosystem,” Evans said. “We’re really copying Shopify, Squarespace for video or Shopify for video. It’s kind of strange that this has taken so long to develop.

The one thing that Maestro won’t do is discovery or search services, Evans said. “We’re helping creators make money and build a business on top of video. That’s something creators need to be aware of if they’re going to  build that direct to consumer channel,” he said. “If you do do that and you’re successful you’re in control over your audience.”

#activision-blizzard, #billie-eilish, #co-founder, #companies, #electronic-arts, #general-partner, #golden-state-warriors, #katy-perry, #kevin-lin, #los-angeles, #louisiana, #maestro, #michael, #musicians, #netease, #shopify, #sony, #sony-music-entertainment, #tc, #technology, #twitch, #united-states, #unity-technologies, #website

Mass Effect Legendary Edition 4K remaster coming May 14

Getting up close and personal with Reapers in 4K.

Enlarge / Getting up close and personal with Reapers in 4K. (credit: EA)

The long-awaited Mass Effect Legendary Edition bundle will be available for Xbox and PlayStation consoles and PC on May 14, publisher EA said today.

BioWare, the developers of the fan-favorite Mass Effect trilogy, confirmed in November that a 4K remaster was on the way sometime this spring. The Legendary Edition includes all three Mass Effect games as well as all their single-player DLC content. PC players will be able to purchase and play the Legendary Edition on both Origin and Steam. Console players can pick it up for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with forward compatibility to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

In addition to 4K support and HDR compatibility, the Legendary Edition includes remastered character models and improved textures, EA said, as well as improvements to shaders, VFX, lighting, shadows, depth of field, and other visual elements. Pre-rendered cinematic scenes have also been upgraded, and controller support has been added to the PC edition.

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#bioware, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #mass-effect, #mass-effect-legendary-edition, #remakes

EA to acquire Codemasters for $1.2 billion

Everybody thought the deal was done — Take-Two was supposed to acquire Codemasters for nearly $1 billion. Take-Two even reached an agreement with the board of Codemasters. But Electronic Arts crashed the party at the last minute and offered even more money. EA now plans to buy Codemasters for $1.2 billion.

Sky News originally reported that EA was planning a knockout bid. Since then, EA has officially announced that it has reached an agreement with the board of Codemasters.

If you’re not familiar with Codemasters, the British game studio has been around since 1986, making it one of the oldest game studio still operating today. It has developed and published dozens of games. In recent years, the company has been focused on racing games across multiple franchises, such as Dirt, Dirt Rally, Formula One, Grid and (of course) Micro Machines.

EA is offering to buy Codemasters for £6.04 per share ($7.98) in an all-cash deal. The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021.

EA has had a tumultuous relationship with racing games. It has created the Need for Speed franchise, which is one of the most popular racing franchises. But is has also neglected racing games in recent years, which led to disappointing games.

Similarly, EA has acquired Criterion Games in 2004 — the game studio behind Burnout games. But Criterion Games now mostly work as a secondary studio on Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront games.

Codemasters will be able to take advantage of EA’s distribution resources, including EA Play, EA’s subscription service. It positions EA Play as an interesting subscription if you care about racing games.

Take-Two probably didn’t expect to lose the deal, but the company is going to be fine. Take-Two owns Rockstar Games (GTA, Red Dead), Firaxis Games (Xcom, Civilization), 2K Sports (NBA 2K) and a lot of other studios.

2020 has been an important year of video game consolidation. Microsoft has been leading this trend with the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, id Software and Arkane. Microsoft also acquired Double Fine Productions, Obsidian Entertainment and Ninja Theory in the past couple of years.

#codemasters, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming, #take-two

“Mass Effect Will Return:” Teaser trailer sets a new (old) direction for the sequel

Mass Effect 4 trailer.

We knew it was coming, and now we have confirmation: a new Mass Effect game is on the horizon. It was announced with a teaser trailer during last night’s Game Awards broadcast.

What we have is a short trailer with no gameplay but one that still makes a few things clear about the direction of the series. The new game will be made by BioWare under the EA umbrella, and the foremost revelations are that it appears set in the same galaxy as the original trilogy of games, it occurs immediately after the conclusion of Mass Effect 3, and it appears to feature at least one returning character (Liara T’Soni).

As for what gameplay looks like or where the story goes from here, it’s anyone’s guess. We don’t want to spoil anything here, but each of the Mass Effect 3 endings left the game’s setting unrecognizable compared to how it appeared during the course of the trilogy—hence BioWare’s decision to set the poorly received follow-up Mass Effect: Andromeda in a completely different galaxy with a new cast of characters.

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#bioware, #ea, #electronic-arts, #game-awards-2020, #mass-effect, #tech, #the-game-awards

BioWare studio GM and Dragon Age lead are both leaving company

BioWare studio GM and Dragon Age lead are both leaving company

Enlarge (credit: BioWare)

Casey Hudson, BioWare’s general manager, and Mark Darrah, the executive producer of the Dragon Age franchise, are both leaving the company before the end of the year, BioWare announced today.

EA executive Laura Miele announced the departures in a corporate blog post. “I want to personally thank Casey and Mark for everything they have done for the BioWare community, and particularly for our players,” Miele wrote. “They will always be an essential part of the studio’s history, we appreciate their many contributions, and we look forward to seeing what they’ll each do next.”

Leaving is “not an easy decision to make,” Hudson said. Hudson served as project director on the Mass Effect trilogy before departing BioWare in 2014. He returned in 2017 to take on the role of general manager.

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#bioware, #casey-hudson, #dragon-age, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #mark-darrah, #mass-effect

BioWare confirms Mass Effect remaster in 2021, new Mass Effect later

BioWare confirms Mass Effect remaster in 2021, new Mass Effect later

Enlarge (credit: BioWare)

BioWare today confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in video games, announcing an HD remaster of the Mass Effect will be coming to Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as PC, in 2021. The company also surprised fans, however, by announcing that an all-new Mass Effect game is additionally in the works.

BioWare general manager Casey Hudson revealed the news in a post on the BioWare Blog this morning.

“We really struggled to keep this one a surprise,” Hudson admitted, “But now it’s official: today we announced the Mass Effect Legendary Edition!”

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#bioware, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #mass-effect, #n7, #video-games

Osso VR raises $14 million to bring virtual reality to surgical and medical device training

It seems that distance learning is even coming for the healthcare industry.

As remote work becomes the order of the day in the COVID-19 era, any tool that can bring training and education services to folks across industries is gaining a huge amount of investor interest — and that includes healthcare.

Virtual reality tools like those on offer from Osso VR have been raising investor dollars at a rapid clip, and now the Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtual reality distribution platform joins their ranks with a $14 million round of financing.

The money came from a clutch of investors led by the investment arm of Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare giant whose network of managed care facilities and services spans the country. Previous backers and new investors like SignalFire, GSR, Scrum Ventures, Leslie Ventures and OCA Ventures, also participated in the funding. 

Osso has seen its adoption skyrocket during the pandemic as medical device manufacturers and healthcare networks turn to training tools. that don’t require a technician to be physically present.

According to company founder Dr. Justin Barad, the market for medical device education services alone is currently around $3 billion to $5 billion and growing rapidly.

Staffed by a team that comes from Industrial Light and Magic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, and Apple, Osso VR makes generic educational content for training purposes and then produces company specific virtual reality educational videos for companies like Johnson and Johnson. Those productions can run the gamut from instructional videos on vascular surgery to robotic surgery training tips and tricks.

While Kaiser Permanente Ventures’ Amy Belt Raimundo said that the strategic investor’s decisions to commit capital aren’t based on what Kaiser Permanente uses, necessarily, the organization does take its cues from what employees want.

“We don’t tie our investment to a deployment or customer contract, but we look for the same signals within Kaiser Permanente,” said Belt Raimundo. But the organization did have employees interested in using the Osso technology. “We made the announcement that we are looking at [Osso VR] technology for use. And that’s where the investment and commercial decision was signaling off of each other, because the response showed that there was an unmet need there,” she said.

Osso VR currently has around 30 customers, 12 of which are in the medical device space. The company uses Oculus Quest headsets and is deployed in 20 teaching hospitals across 20 different countries. In a recent validation study, surgeons training with Osso VR showed a 230 percent improvement in overall surgical performance, the company said in a statement.

The goal, according to Barad, a lifelong coder with a game development credit from Activision/Blizzard, is to democratize healthcare. “This is about improving patient outcomes, democratizing access, and improving education,” said Barad. “Now that the technology is growing and maturing and VR is growing as a platform, we can attack the broader problems,” in healthcare, he said.

 

#activision, #apple, #california, #distance-learning, #electronic-arts, #healthcare, #healthcare-industry, #johnson, #kaiser-permanente, #microsoft, #oculus-quest, #palo-alto, #tc, #virtual-reality, #within

EA shareholders say no to massive proposed raises for executives

Some of the executives in this building may be getting less money than they expected this year, thanks to a shareholder vote.

Enlarge / Some of the executives in this building may be getting less money than they expected this year, thanks to a shareholder vote. (credit: Eliot Lash)

A significant majority of Electronic Arts shareholders voted against the company’s executive compensation plans late last week. The vote follows a pressure campaign from activist investor groups against what they see as excessive bonuses for executives at the company.

So-called “say-on-pay” votes rarely fail when put before shareholders of major publicly held companies; a recent Harvard Business School study showed well below 3 percent of such votes failing in the last decade or so. And while the results of the vote aren’t binding on the company’s board of directors, they would have to overrule a full 68 percent of the company’s voting shares that rejected the pay plan.

The rejected payment plan included a proposed $21.37 million in total compensation for CEO Andrew Wilson in the 2020 fiscal year, up from $18.3 million in 2019. Other executives were set to see much larger bumps, including CFO Blake Jorgensen ($9.41 million in 2019 to $19.5 million in 2020) and Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele ($6.95 million to $16.1 million), and CTO Kenneth Moss ($6.95 million to $14.2 million).

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#ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #pay

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection review: Loving the smell of Tiberium

The strategy, the explosions, the FMV sequences, the ripping guitars, and the Kane-fueled cheese—they’re all back. The original 1995 game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and its 1996 prequel Red Alert have returned in today’s launch of the C&C Remastered Collection on Windows 8/10 (AmazonSteamOrigin). In good news, the package is right for the price: $20 gets you both original games, all of their expansion packs (one for C&C:TD, two for Red Alert), and each game’s console-exclusive content. The complete package has been aesthetically touched up for the sake of working on modern PCs.

I’ve spent the past week tinkering with Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection to break down exactly what to expect and how you should temper your real-time strategy expectations. Despite a few quality-of-life tweaks, the package is otherwise faithful to the originals—almost to a fault—while its compatibility with modern PCs is mostly good enough.

From 400p to 2160p, but not without issues

The package’s biggest selling point is a new coat of high-res paint. Every single asset and map element has been redrawn, and like other recent classic-game remaster projects, this one includes a handy “graphic-swap” button. By default, tap the space bar at any time during single-player modes to switch from the original 400p assets to a new, 2160p-optimized suite of units, buildings, and terrain. Here, enjoy an after-and-before gallery of both zoomed-in units and full battleground scenes.

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#command-conquer, #command-and-conquer, #ea, #electronic-arts, #gaming-culture, #kane, #westwood-studios

With stadiums closed, TV networks turn to live esports broadcasts

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out the spring seasons for professional sports and associated revenue for TV networks, but esports is filling part of that void.

Gaming companies behind titles licensed by each major league are the winners in this unexpected shift; Electronic Arts (EA) is first among them with FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live and NHL in its EA Sports portfolio and more than 100 esports events planned for 2020. The way EA, networks and sports leagues are responding to production challenges in this crisis will reshape the esports market going forward.

Millions of people sheltering in place has created a breakout opportunity for esports broadcasting:

  1. A large portion of the internet-using population is at home 24/7, with screens as their main entertainment outlet;
  2. Sports fans have few competitive live events to watch;
  3. Broadcasters like ESPN, CBS, and Sky lost their most valuable content for attracting live viewers and need alternative content;
  4. Star athletes and non-sports celebrities are stuck at home with wide-open schedules.

In late March, 900,000 viewers tuned into Fox Sports for Nascar’s iRacing series, with 1.1 million watching in early April; the network has also broadcast Madden NFL tournaments with NFL commentators and athletes. ESPN is televising NBA players facing off against each other in NBA 2K (by Take-Two Interactive) and pro drivers (and other pro athletes like Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero) are racing each other in Codemasters’ F1 2019 game. ESPN has broadcast competitive play of non-sports games with League of Legends (by Riot Games) and Apex Legends (by EA) tournaments.

To be clear, ratings for these events have have varied widely, but networks and game companies are rethinking how esports is broadcast, which will advance its pop-culture appeal.

Games adapting pro sports are best bridge to non-gamers

Esports is a massively popular activity with its own large piece of turf in pop culture, but it hasn’t secured a central role. Research firm Newzoo pegs the global audience of “esports enthusiasts” at 223 million. But unlike soccer and basketball, esports is siloed because it caters to viewers who are generally avid gamers. The action is extremely fast, so commentary by a streamer rarely helps outsiders understand what is going on enough to become engaged.

#coronavirus, #covid-19, #electronic-arts, #entertainment, #espn, #esports, #extra-crunch, #facebook, #gaming, #league-of-legends, #market-analysis, #media, #mlb, #nascar, #nba, #newzoo, #nfl, #nhl, #riot-games, #space, #tc, #twitch

EA games on PS4 and Xbox One could be ‘upgraded free’ to next-gen console versions

2020 and 2021 will be one of the periodic transitional eras in gaming as Sony and Microsoft debut their shiny new consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. To ease the process (and spur adoption of the next generation), EA may make its upcoming titles free to “upgrade” to your chosen console.

On an earnings call last night, EA COO Blake Jorgensen at the end of his remarks noted a possible effect on revenue “from the games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded free for the next generation.”

EA declined to comment on the comment, but the meaning seems obvious enough. It likely refers to “cross-gen” games that will appear on both existing consoles and those set to debut later in the year. If you buy the next, say, “Battlefield” game on PlayStation 4, you will have the option to transfer it somehow to the PlayStation 5.

Exactly how this would work is not clear — there will almost certainly be some rigmarole involving deactivating the license on your old copy — but the effect is a positive and consumer-friendly one. People can buy a game, from EA anyway, safe in the knowledge that they can continue to play it even if they buy a new console. That hasn’t been the case, in general, before.

In fact, the whole transition is looking to be a relatively easy one: The new consoles will be backward-compatible with many games from the previous generation; services like online access and monthly free games will cross over; some hardware and accessories will be shared; built-in streaming options mean improved portability.

EA’s apparent commitment to cross-gen upgrades is among the first, though some publishers and developers have floated the idea or declared support for it, pending approval from the console makers themselves. The confirmation could trigger an avalanche of announcements as others hurry to assure gamers that they, too, will provide this option.

Sony and Microsoft are the ones left holding the bag here: While a sale is a sale for EA or Ubisoft, the console makers are under tremendous pressure to show their console launches are successful. (Nintendo, as usual, is pursuing its own agenda independent from the cadence of its rivals.)

Part of that strategy is high-profile next-gen exclusives that people save up to buy alongside the new consoles, providing revenue spikes and platform lock-ins. When a large amount of those sales occur earlier in the year, and technically for the previous consoles, it’s not a good look.

These policies have a way of evolving right up to and beyond the moment of release. Sony clowned so devastatingly on Microsoft’s confusing and limited game transfer policies at E3 2013, the outset of this console generation, that it affected the whole zeitgeist, boosting PS4 sales and forcing Microsoft to reconsider. (You can see me in the video of it; I’ve rarely heard a crowd so excited about something.)

It’s better to err on the side of liberality, it turns out. EA, which has routinely erred in the other direction over the last few years, hopes perhaps to curry favor in advance of a gaming market opening up in new directions. We’ll see if other companies follow suit.

#ea, #ea-games, #electronic-arts, #gaming, #hardware, #microsoft, #playstation-4, #playstation-5, #ps4, #ps5, #sony, #tc, #xbox, #xbox-one, #xbox-series-x

The next “NFL2K” won’t be a simulation—here’s what that might mean

"The one football game you must have" is coming back after a long absence.

Enlarge / “The one football game you must have” is coming back after a long absence.

Take-Two subsidiary 2K announced today it will be returning to “football-themed” video games for the first time in well over a decade, thanks to a “multi-year partnership” with the NFL. The first games in this partnership, expected in 2021, will offer an NFL-licensed alternative to EA’s best-selling Madden NFL juggernaut for the first time since 2004.

“Expanding the NFL’s presence in the world of gaming has become a focus for the League as we look to grow the next generation of our fanbase and reviving our partnership with 2K was a natural step in that effort,” Joe Ruggiero, NFL senior VP of consumer products, said in a statement. “2K is a worldwide leader in sports video games, with a proven track record of creating best-in-class and award-winning games, and we look forward to sharing more about the projects we are working on with them in the future.”

While any new NFL2K game will be able to use the names, logos, and stadiums of real NFL teams, the licensing deal does not cover virtual versions of the players themselves. Rights to those players would have to be covered by a separate deal with the NFL Players Association union, which was pointedly not mentioned in 2K’s announcement. A 2K representative refused to comment on the existence of any NFLPA deal when asked by Polygon.

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#2k, #american-football, #ea, #electronic-arts, #football, #gaming-culture, #nfl, #take-two

Bremen als Top-Favorit! – Das ist die eMeisterschale!

Bremen als Top-Favorit!: Das ist die eMeisterschale! Werder Bremen steht kurz vor der Titelverteidigung in der VBL. BILD zeigt, wie die neue Trophäe der Virtuellen Bundesliga aussieht
Foto: Bundesliga Collection via Getty

#dfl, #e-sport, #ea-fifa, #efootball, #electronic-arts, #mehr-sport, #sport-mix