Pinterest Acquires Kosei to Help Improve Pin Recommendations

Social network Pinterest has purchased a startup that powers a machine-learning recommendation engine. The seven-person company Kosei, which was founded less than a year ago, has developed a graph that understands the relationships between millions of products. Image-driven Pinterest can use this recommendation engine to help detect spam, recommend more relevant pins, and target its advertising. Pinterest just rolled out advertising on its platform earlier this month. Continue reading Pinterest Acquires Kosei to Help Improve Pin Recommendations

GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has sold more than 33 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since the game’s launch in September, generating an estimated $1.98 billion in retail sales. The New York-based company claims “GTA V” was the best-selling console game last year in North America, Latin America and Europe — and the fastest title in video game history to reach $1 billion in sales. For additional perspective, it’s worth noting that Take-Two generated $2.4 billion in total revenue for its fiscal year. Continue reading GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

Gamers have opted to hold off on purchasing some high-profile games until Sony and Microsoft release their next-gen consoles. The PlayStation 4 is scheduled to launch November 15 and the Xbox One will be available November 22. Although consumers are showing hesitation ahead of the new hardware launches, Activision Blizzard has shipped $1 billion worth of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” to retailers worldwide. “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” earned $1 billion in 15 days when it was released last year. Continue reading Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

“Grand Theft Auto V” Generates $800 Million on its First Day

On its first day of availability, sales of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” have topped $800 million worldwide, reports publisher Take-Two Interactive (and the game has yet to make its debut in Brazil and Japan). “GTA V” has been praised by critics, averaging a 98 score on review site Metacritic and is expected to generate impressive numbers, despite a 22 percent drop in video game disc and console sales in 2012 due to the rise of online and mobile games. Continue reading “Grand Theft Auto V” Generates $800 Million on its First Day

Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

A significant threat to the video game industry is harassment targeting game developers from gamers. Video game fan obsession has led to death threats among game developers, forcing them to leave their positions or the industry as a whole. Many fault the anonymous nature of the Internet, and others see the immediate availability to voice one’s complaints or gain notoriety. Groups look to support developers as threats become more commonplace. Continue reading Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

According to an annual study by the Entertainment Software Association, video games are beginning to have a larger impact on other media. The study found that active gamers are more inclined to give up time spent with television and movies while pursuing interactive entertainment. However, the ESA also notes that 42 percent of the console owners they surveyed indicate that their game systems are used to watch movies and play games. Continue reading E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

Steam Takes on the Console Competition with Launch of Big Picture Mode

  • In a challenge to console makers, Valve has officially launched its “Big Picture Mode” for its cloud-gaming platform Steam, enabling users to play titles on their televisions by simply connecting their computers.
  • “Steam has been offering its users the option to put the service on their television since September in beta mode,” the Washington Post reports, “but the company has deemed it ready to lose that testing tag. The mode makes it possible to use almost all of Steam’s features including its Web browser, social network and — of course — its games in a way optimized for television screens.”
  • To promote the new mode, Steam has put the compatible games on sale. “All the sale titles have full controller support, which means that users won’t have to tote their mouse and keyboard to the living room,” the article notes.
  • “There are also quite a few partial support titles, such as ‘XCOM Enemy Unknown,’ ‘Hitman: Absolution,’ and ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.’ Steam is very clear about which titles have full support and which do not,” explains the article. “Titles with partial support may need the keyboard and mouse during installation or for ‘limited interactions’ throughout the game.”
  • Because Valve has established itself in the gaming community, the company could move further into the console territory currently dominated by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. “Some see this step into the living room as a test for bigger things in the future,” the article suggests.

Activision Breaks Record as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Tops $1 Billion

Activision announced yesterday that “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” beat its own record by earning $1 billion in just 15 days (last year’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” reached $1 billion in 16 days).

“‘Black Ops 2’ earned $500 million in the first 24 hours,” reports PCMag. “Since its release, Activision reported that gamers have logged more than 150 million hours playing the game on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.” The game is currently available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Windows PC.

“Last month, millions of fans descended on 16,000 midnight openings at retail store worldwide,” notes the post. “Within 24 hours, ‘Black Ops 2’ was a Twitter trending topic in 23 cities worldwide.”

According to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, the game’s release “has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years.”

Since the “Call of Duty” franchise launched nine years ago, Kotick says cumulative worldwide revenues have exceeded the global box office numbers for the top 10 grossing films of 2012.

“This is an incredible milestone for an incredible franchise, and I want to thank every passionate, talented, committed person on our team who made it happen,” added Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, who referred to “Call of Duty” as an “entertainment juggernaut.”