Epic Pitches Big Tent in Metaverse with Bandcamp Purchase

Epic Games has purchased online music store and community Bandcamp. Citing a shared “mission of building the most artist friendly platform that enables creators to keep the majority of their hard-earned money,” the blockbuster game developer explained in a statement that Bandcamp will play an important role in the gamer’s “vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more.” It’s an interesting strategic move. Competitor Electronic Arts has had success with music, getting its “Star Wars” scores released and creating hits through its “FIFA” and “Madden NFL” games. Continue reading Epic Pitches Big Tent in Metaverse with Bandcamp Purchase

Amazon Achieves Success in Gaming with MMO ‘New World’

After some false starts, Amazon has released its first hit original video game production, “New World,” and company CEO Andy Jassy is predicting games could become the biggest category in entertainment programming. The new MMORPG, fraught with archers and axe wielders colonizing a fantastical land, scored one of Steam’s biggest launches with more than one million players logging on for launch day last week. The momentum hasn’t slowed down, with more than 277,000 gameplay viewers on Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch and over 700,000 concurrent players on Steam. Continue reading Amazon Achieves Success in Gaming with MMO ‘New World’

Amazon Games’ Relentless Studios to Roll Out First AAA Title

Amazon Game Studios will release “Crucible” — its first big budget original game — on May 20. In the free-to-play PC hero-shooter developed by Amazon’s Relentless Studios, the user plays as one of ten hunters, each with his or her own weapons and abilities, all of them battling for Essence, a resource that enhances those abilities. Amazon has game studios in Seattle, San Diego, Orange County (Southern California) and San Francisco, with such home-grown executives as vice president of games Mike Frazzini, who has been with Amazon for 16 years. Continue reading Amazon Games’ Relentless Studios to Roll Out First AAA Title

Expert Predicts Madden NFL and Reality Shows Coming to VR

Videogame designer, Carnegie Mellon University professor and former Disney Imagineer, Jesse N. Schell, soared through a list of 10 virtual reality prognostications at Unity’s recent Vision AR/VR Summit in Hollywood. One of five speakers asked to soothsay about VR’s future, the creative director behind the “Toontown Online” massive multiplayer online game (MMO) predicted that by 2018, “Madden NFL” will be released in VR, and by 2020, there will be at least 10 VR reality television shows and a $10 billion VR adult video industry. Continue reading Expert Predicts Madden NFL and Reality Shows Coming to VR

Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

Valve’s popular Internet gaming platform Steam hosts some of today’s largest online games. “Dota 2” alone has more than 870,000 concurrent players in a single day. To keep up with the increasingly heavy traffic, Valve is working with Level 3 Communications to install a network infrastructure with 100Gbps Internet ports. Standard game downloads are generally about 10 to 40 gigabytes, but because the site averages more than 10 million concurrent players, massive bandwidth is necessary. Continue reading Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

Oculus Story Studio, a lab program within Oculus VR dedicated to experimentation with the goal of helping virtual reality grow as a platform, is using “Lost Director’s Cut,” a new version of the studio’s short VR film as the basis for a new social experience that promises to change the paradigm of VR experiences from solitary to shared. The purpose of the new demonstration is to show filmmakers and other creatives how far they can push virtual reality beyond current single-person, isolated experiences. Continue reading Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

YouTube is looking to take on game-streaming services such as Amazon’s Twitch by allowing live video streams that run at 60 frames per second (double its previous limit). Higher frame rates are vital for fast-moving games including racers and first-person shooters, and attracting gamers will be important if YouTube hopes to remain competitive in the growing eSports market. To address growing interest in gamers sharing their sessions, YouTube has been upgrading playback quality, adding support for HD, 4K, and most recently, browsers that use HTML5. Continue reading YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch

French startup Dailymotion announced this week that it is launching a streaming site for the growing number of fans who enjoy watching video of live gaming, a move that would put the company in competition with Twitch, the leader in this emerging field. The move will also provide Dailymotion with another means of taking on its rival YouTube. Gaming video has grown increasingly popular due to new streaming services, the appeal of live professional gaming events, and the rise of massively multiplayer team-based games. Continue reading Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch

EA and Maxis Defend MMO After SimCity Launch Problems

Electronic Arts’ long awaited release of “SimCity,” the first new edition in 10 years, was abruptly halted two weeks ago when servers gave out, unable to handle the influx of gamers. “SimCity” was not designed with an offline mode, and recovery efforts have been challenging. Since the launch, both EA and developer Maxis have been working hard to fix the situation and communicate its ongoing efforts with gamers. Continue reading EA and Maxis Defend MMO After SimCity Launch Problems