I think the last time I played a Windows game—as in, a Microsoft game that comes baked into the Windows operating system—was back in Windows 95. Ah, FreeCell. That’s not to say that Microsoft’s games were bad
, it’s just not very often that I find myself needing to strike up some Minesweeper to kill time.
Microsoft today is rolling out a new version of its game streaming service, Mixer, which it’s calling “Season 2” to reflect the fact that the changes are ongoing, not a one-day release. The company says it’s specifically investing in new areas around expression, monetization, and creator communities.
The first of these, called Skills, are focused on giving users more ways to participate in chats with stickers and GIFs, and other screen effects that remind you a bit of those you’d find on iMessage. For example, there are celebratory fireworks and confetti to be tossed around, as well as a beachball that the community members can keep bouncing.
Streamers will like these, too, as it helps them to make money.
“Every time you use a Skill on a partner’s channel, it supports that partner financially,” Microsoft says.
It also says the selection of Skills will be updated regularly, going
Continue reading "Microsoft’s game streaming service Mixer adds more ways for streamers to make money"
Google’s Halloween-themed doodle went live Tuesday and it just so happens to be a competitive multiplayer game, of all things, called Trick-or-Treat: The Great Ghoul Duel
You can find just about anything on Reddit, for better or worse. It’s one of the reasons why the site remains so universally popular, as it’s an easy way for newbies to have near-unlimited access to everything that used to be a little harder to find: day-of downloads for new movies, streams of their favorite sporting…
Twitch continues to dominate the live streaming market, with approximately 2.5 billion hours watched by viewers in the third quarter of 2018, according to a new industry report out this morning. While YouTube still trails, it’s begun to close the gap with Twitch, it appears. YouTube’s live streaming platform, YouTube Live, started the year with 15 percent of the overall live streaming market’s viewership, but by September 2018, it had grown to roughly 25 percent of all live streaming hours viewed.
These findings, and more, were the subject of a “state of the industry” report released today by StreamElements
, which also dug into what’s making these live streaming sites tick.
Of course, Twitch is still the market leader, with around 750 million monthly viewers, on average, who watched over 813 million hours in September. YouTube Live, by comparison, saw over 226 million hours that month, and Microsoft’s Mixer
Continue reading "YouTube is closing the gap with Twitch on live streaming, report finds"
When Epic Games initially released Fortnite for Android earlier this year it made it exclusively available on Samsung devices. If you’re rocking a Galaxy S9 or Note 9, then that was great news. If you had any other Android phone on the planet, it was kind of a bummer.
Fresh off a $150 million round of funding, kids’ gaming platform Roblox is making its first acquisition. The company says it’s acquiring the small startup PacketZoom, bringing its team and technology in-house to help it improve mobile application performance as its platform expands further into worldwide markets.
Founded in 2013, and based in San Mateo, California, PacketZoom
had raised a $5 million Series A late last year
. The company combines a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up performance with an application performance management tool to identify issues in a single package, TechCrunch had explained
at the time.
The company’s products allow developers access to analytics about the app and network-performance related issues, as well as optimize app delivery and content downloads – up to 2 to 3 times faster.
The system in particular is designed to overcome the limitations of slow and unreliable networks, like those found
Continue reading "Roblox makes first acquisition with purchase of app performance startup PacketZoom"
Running has always been one of those things that I needed some sort of motivation for. Go out on a Saturday run for my health? I’ll pass. Go out on a Saturday run so I can crush all my friends in a FitBit challenge? Now we’re talking.
Escape rooms are a game where a group of friends or co-workers get locked into a space to play some puzzles, so they can all win the reward of leaving the room slightly early. Maybe you love escape rooms and you want to get faster at them; maybe you hate them and you want to get them over with. Either way, you’ll…
Rumors of Google’s entry into the game-streaming space have circulated for ages, but today those rumors were finally confirmed when the company announced it will be teaming up with game publishers for its newly announced Project Stream service
. Project Stream will allow users to play fully-fledged console and PC games…
Merriam-Webster just updated the official Scrabble dictionary
for the first time in four years (buy it here
), adding some new words like bizjet
(opening with the plural bizjets
gets you 120 points)—plus some old words that are finally deemed playable, including OK
, and qapik
. These new words will change…
YouTube will no longer maintain a separate app targeting gaming and live game streaming, the company announced today. The YouTube Gaming app, which first arrived in 2015
, will be sunset sometime next spring as its host of features make their way over to YouTube’s main site.
Over the years, the YouTube Gaming app has been a place where YouTube experimented with features catering to game creators and viewers who like to watch live and recorded esports. Here, it tested things like Game Pages to make games more discoverable, Super Chat, and Channel Memberships – features which the Amazon-owned game streaming site Twitch had also popularized among the game community.
Some of YouTube Gaming’s features became so well-received that the company brought them to YouTube. For example, this June YouTube introduced channel memberships
to its main site. And before that, it had brought Super Chat
– a way for creators
Continue reading "YouTube to shut down standalone Gaming app, as gaming gets a new home on YouTube"
HQ Trivia is aiming to attract more players following a slight decline in downloads
with a new, large prize. The company announced today it has bagged Target to sponsor to sponsor a special Emmy-themed game featuring its biggest-ever single winner prize of $100,000. The game will air on Monday, September 17 at 9 PM ET, but will be played in a different fashion than usual.
Typically, HQ Trivia players compete to win or split a cash prize, which often doesn’t amount to much more than enough for a cup of coffee. But this time around, HQ Trivia will run in a “one winner takes all” format, meaning only one individual will earn the winnings from the game.
Instead of a normal 12-question round with 10 second to answer, the game will continue until only one winner remains. Players can still use their extra lives, but only until question number 15.
Continue reading "HQ Trivia nabs Target to sponsor game with biggest ever single winner prize of $100K"
, the award-winning and beautifully designed mobile puzzler from ustwo Games
, is being turned into a movie, according to a report from Deadline
. While the game involves a manipulating Escher-like architecture in order to guide a princess through her quest, the movie version will feature live-action characters being thrown into the game’s “mind-bending world,” the report says.
Paramount Pictures and Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures have selected Patrick Osborne to direct the movie, which the studios hope to turn into a franchise. There’s already more material for them to use, if that’s the case – Monument Valley’s sequel
continued the story, this time guiding a mother and a child through the magical architecture.
Osborne won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for “Feast,” and is now directing “Nimona” for Fox and Blue Sky, based on the popular graphic novel. That experience could serve him well for this
Continue reading "Monument Valley is becoming a movie"
Pinball was once outlawed, Prohibition-style, as a gambling game. The New York City police commissioner went around bashing pinball machines for photo ops
. And if you play it the amateur way, only trying to keep the ball from falling off the board, then you might also think pinball is a random game that gets boring…
Say goodbye to Twitch’s
Communities. The game streaming service says it’s soon killing off this still relatively new addition to its site in favor of implementing a tagging system instead. With the changes, users will be able to filter streams by tags within a directory or across different games on the Browse page, in order to better find the sort of streams they want to watch.
The closure of Communities and addition of tags is being planned for mid-September, says Twitch.
Twitch launched Communities just last year
, with the goal of better catering to users’ unique interests. For example, different types of gaming, like retro, or different activities, like speedrunning, could then have their own community. There are also communities centered around titles like Fortnite Battle Royale, PUBG, League of Legends, and others, as well as those focused on creative endeavours like music, drawing, cooking, cosplay, and more.
Continue reading "Twitch is closing its Communities"
When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it bypassed Google Play
in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process, it’s costing Google around $50 million this year in platform fees, according to a new report.
As of its Android launch date, Fortnite had grossed over $180 million on iOS devices, where it had been exclusively available since launching as an invite-only beta on March 15th, before later expanding to all App Store customers.
According to data
from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the game has earned Apple
Continue reading "Google will lose $50 million or more in 2018 from Fortnite bypassing the Play Store"
wants more people to stream, so it’s going to begin teaching them how. The video game streaming site today announced the launch of Twitch Creator Camp
, a new educational resource that helps newcomers learn the basics of streaming, as well as how to build up a channel, connect with fans, and earn rewards.
The launch of the how-to site comes about a week after an article by The Verge
detailed the long tail of Twitch streamers, with a focus on those who spend years broadcasting to no one in the hopes of one day gaining a following.
The article raised the question that, in the age of live streaming, where every major social company – including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – today offers easy streaming tools, there many not be enough of an audience for all the content creators are producing.
Twitch, apparently, believes the issue is one
Continue reading "Twitch launches a ‘how-to’ site for streamers, Twitch Creator Camp"
I’m an incredibly competitive person, especially when it comes to board games. That means that I will always be the first person to declare someone is “breaking the rules” and whip out the rulebook to prove it.
There’s a special place in hell for people who think it’s funny to rape a 7-year-old girl’s avatar in an online virtual world designed for children. Yes, that happened
. Roblox, a hugely popular online game for kids, was hacked by an individual who subverted the game’s protection systems in order to have customized animations appear. This allowed two male avatars to gang rape a young girl’s avatar on a playground in one of the Roblox games.
The company has now issued an apology to the victim and its community, and says it has determined how the hacker was able to infiltrate its system so it can prevent future incidents.
The mother of the child, whose avatar was the victim of the in-game sexual assault, was nearby when the incident took place. She says her child showed her what was happening on the screen and she took the device away, fortunately
Continue reading "Roblox responds to the hack that allowed a child’s avatar to be raped in its game"