Playgroundz: The Leisure Economy rises with mobile esports, female gamers, and influencers
- The study’s findings reveal data showing the evolution and reasons behind the rise of professional gamer compensation, the impact of changing demographics on the gaming landscape, and a future outlook for esports and influencers.
- Over the past several years, new revenue streams have led to the rise of the Leisure Economy – which in the game industry represents the idea that gamers can earn a living by doing what they love – playing games.
- Research study findings reveal the rise of esports and influencers, supported by global communities like Twitch, will lead to drastic increases in nontraditional revenue streams – potentially equating 60 percent to 70 percent of revenue for gamers – including ad revenue, subscriptions, sponsorships and donations.
- Meanwhile, pro gamers are finding new audiences for hardcore difficult games like Dark Souls – with average compensation based on donations increasing by 550 percent since 2016.
How Europe’s Rewired GG fund will invest $57 million in esports
- A couple of weeks ago, European esports organization Team Vitality has raised €20 million, or $22.7 million, in an investment from entrepreneur Tej Kohli.
- That was part of a larger commitment by Kohli, through his Rewired GG fund, to invest €50 million, or $57 million, in esports startups.
- Vitality was also recently confirmed as one of the teams that has secured a long-term partnership in the newly franchised European League of Legends Championship Series, which has been rebranded as the LEC.
- It’s things like we’re doing with esports – forward-looking projects where you invest in the right place at the right time and things work out.
- The 50 million, I’ve given that to Rewired, which is a group that’s invested with Vitality.
- A lot of people and a lot of companies are trying different things in esports, and that’s one of the most interesting things about it.
Here’s how you can master the latest AI technologies
- The Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence Introductory Bundle breaks down what can understandably be an intimidating AI education into simple, digestible parts that appeal even to those who lack a more rigorous background in the field, and the entire bundle is currently available for over 90 percent off at just $39.
- From there, you’ll dive into more advanced elements of the field with instruction that teaches you about using Python for logistic regression, how to build powerful predictive models that can forecast data outputs, how to work with some of the most popular Deep Learning techniques using Theano and TensorFlow, and more.
- Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked.
DeltaDNA: In-game advertising becomes viable alternative to in-app purchases
- The In-game Advertising Study 2018, published today by data analytics and player marketing firm DeltaDNA, also found that the relationship between ad networks and game-makers is maturing.
- Above: In-game ads are on the rise.
- Whereas the majority of respondents used to source ads from multiple suppliers in the hope of striking the best deal through competition, an increased demand for transparency and campaign data from the ad networks has led to a marked increase (61 percent year-over-year) in the number of developers showing loyalty to a single network that meets those demands.
- As a result, 26 percent of developers now rely on just a single ad network, whereas ad exchanges are still the most popular choice among respondents (28 percent).
- Above: Here’s the mix of ads that game developers use.
Heroes of the Storm eulogy: For once, Blizzard couldn’t balance the casual and competive
- That lack of esports success reveals the core tensions at the heart of HOTS, and the thing that probably doomed it: as a game, it was never able to remedy the difference between casual and competitive play.
- It bet heavily on being the MOBA for casual players while also trying to develop a competitive playerbase and an esports league of the sort that Blizzard games have been known for.
- But Blizzard was always unable to take that next step of casual players learning the depths of the game — and largely due to its own mistakes, which can be seen in how Heroes esports never caught on.
- So what ended up happening, throughout all of Heroes of the Storm’s existence, is that the pros, by and large, played an extremely different game from general use in Quick Match, and a game that was still pretty damn different from competitive players.
IMAX VR: RIP
- A regulatory filing confirms what’s been clear for some time — the IMAX VR experiment is over.
- The location was also separated from a theater multiplex so it was unlikely to get much foot traffic — an odd choice for the premiere location of the IMAX brand of VR arcades.
- Many of the virtual worlds IMAX VR embraced for selling tickets were readily available on home VR systems.
- Other types of location-based VR, like The VOID and Dreamscape Immersive, however, have roll-outs planned heading into 2019 for a caliber of immersion that is unattainable at home.
- Some of those locations are in the highest foot traffic areas on the planet with brands like Ghostbusters or Star Wars offering exclusive experiences meant to draw people in — so we will be curious to see how those perform over time.
U.S. Switch owners power Arena of Valor past 1 million downloads
- Free-to-play games are finding a curious and willing audience on Nintendo’s latest platform.
- Switch owners have downloaded Tencent’s Arena of Valor more than 1 million times since it launched in September.
- Arena of Valor is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle game similar to League of Legends and Dota 2.
- What’s especially important for Arena of Valor and publisher Tencent is that the United States is the biggest territory for the Switch version.
- And the timing of a successful launch of a new game on a popular platform in the United States is a big help on that front.
- Beyond Arena of Valor, however, is more evidence that the Nintendo Switch audience is embracing free-to-play.
- It is free-to-play, and it surpassed 1 million downloads in under a month.
- That free-to-play battle royale shooter was already popular, but launching on the Switch helped it reach even more people.
Niantic games generate significant social impact in 2018
- Niantic said that its games Pokémon Go, Ingress, and Ingress Prime generated a lot of social impact in 2018.
- Since Pokémon Go alone has more than 800 million users, it has become a big platform for charitable and social events, as documented by Niantic.
- The San Francisco company said that 142 Niantic community events were held around the world by city governments, nonprofits, and community members.
- Its games led to 331 national parks, rivers and trails visited and 17,000 kilometers walked at social impact events.
- More than 6.8 tons of food collected and given to shelters and food pantries, seven tons of garbage picked up around the world, and 40,000 people came out to support charities and their local communities.
- Niantic said you can expect to see more events, activities and partnerships with local and global organizations that continue to support players and local communities in 2019.
AI Weekly: This machine learning report is required reading
- As the Index reports, Europe leads the world in total number of research papers produced, followed closely by China.
- Within less than five years, China could lead the world in total number of papers published, according to an Elsevier report released this week.
- One of my favorite stats by far in this year’s report, however, is the total number of mentions of AI and machine learning in earnings calls by companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Earlier this week ahead of the release of the AI Transformation Playbook, I spoke with Andrew Ng. The former Baidu AI chief scientist and Google Brain cofounder said that as he was encouraged and a bit surprised that the irrational AI hype around AGI and killer robots did not seem as prevalent as it has been in the past.
- China could lead the world in total number of research papers produced annually within four years, according to a report by Elsevier.
Free Capture app turns some iPhones and iPads into 3D scanners for AR
- As of late 2018, Apple has brought depth-sensing front cameras to six of its flagship iPad and iPhone devices, but the hardware has largely been limited to two purposes: Face ID unlocking and creating cartoony Animojis.
- Now there’s a compelling new use for the camera, as developer Standard Cyborg has released Capture, a free app that lets users create detailed 3D scans of people and objects for use in augmented reality or other purposes.
- Using Capture is straightforward: The screen reflects what the front camera is seeing, offering a preview of the object you want to scan.
- The sensed object appears in almost comically basic rainbow shades within the preview window, and fine details such as hair may not be captured ideally by the scan.
- Additionally, you can activate an AR mode where you can preview how the scanned object will look in a real-world environment, including intuitive ARKit-based room measurement and pinch-to-resize motions.