Google’s latest venture has nostalgic Gen-Xers growing misty-eyed: They’re planning to launch Arcade, a social gaming platform. Rather than standing up feeding quarters into beeping machines, however, the platform will feature games on mobile devices. In an interview with Bloomberg news, Arcade will be an experiment “focused on mobile gaming with friends.”
This isn’t the first time Google has hosted a game platform of its very own; in the early days of the blog era, they had Widgets, small Flash games and apps which could be embedded in the sidebar of a blog. And of course there is the mighty Google Play system, which hosts apps for their own Android platform. Who would have thought, in the 2010s, that a mobile operating system based on Linux would be the most popular game platform in the world?
Google Arcade is spearheaded by Michael Sayman, a young Silicon Valley entrepreneur and software engineer who has previously worked at Facebook before coming to Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Inc. So far their first launch is speculated to be a quiz game, inspired by the popularity of HQ Trivia, a social quiz game that only runs on the Apple platform currently. The app is slated to debut this summer, with Android users naturally getting first pick. It’s likely to have connections to other Google services as well, the way Android and YouTube are integrated with Google+, Google’s home-grown social network.
The developer of the popular ‘Golf Club’ franchise, HB Studios revealed that the upcoming 2019 edition of their game will be featuring additional tournaments for players to participate in. They released a video on social media that teased that the upcoming golf experience is now officially partnered with the PGA Tour. This license agreements means that players will be able to complete within PGA Tour Career Mode, similar to that of what Electronic Arts built when they possessed the license for their Tiger Woods franchise.
When the game officially launches to the gaming world, the game will offer six officially licensed TPC courses that are played each year in real life on the Tour. The importance of the new licensing agreement is a bigger win for fans of golf games, especially considering that EA recently announced the removal of their previous golf installment from online gaming marketplaces. This strongly suggested that the franchise would be discontinued, as it was in the past.
The good news is that ‘The Golf Club’ is in the hands of a very capable developer, and with licensing agreements, the potential to develop a new style golf game is very real. It also doesn’t hurt that Tiger Woods has returned to golf in real life, bringing the old school golf fans back to gaming stores to get their very own craving to play a golf video game. The developer expressed their excitement for their brand new career mode, and talked about their favorite new features. These new features are not limited to the real life courses, but there are brand new rivalries and sponsorship relationships in the game, creating a genuine experience when competing on the tour.
The Crew 2 is an extremely hyped up open world racing game that comes to consoles and PC on the 29th of June. The closed beta is currently active as Ivory Tower and Ubisoft, the game’s developer and publisher, make final preparations for the upcoming release.
The Crew 2 features a wide variety of racing disciplines and a large selection of modern vehicles. Each vehicle can be heavily modified and suited to different racing disciplines. The new installment also features speed boat racing and stunt flying, which provides a breath of fresh air to the racers who were growing old of the same old features from the first game. The open world racer also received a massive graphics upgrade, one that offers an enhanced lighting system and the ability to run at a 4K resolution.
The racing environment seems to feature more events, and more activities to do when playing with friends, although details are still unknown as the closed beta does have a content lock on some of the features. The game takes an emphasis on exploration and excitement, and there is plenty of character spread across the MotorNation.
The standard edition of the game will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, on June 29th. The gold and motor editions of the game have special benefits, including in-game content and the season pass. Players who pre-order these editions will receive access to the game three days earlier than everyone else.
Good news exists in the world of social gaming. Revenues are up. The figures jumped 18% thanks to tremendous gains among mobile users. Free-play social gaming might not seem like an important pursuit, but mobile device users embrace the activity with a passion. In the first quarter of 2018, social gaming earned $1.27 billion in revenue. The 18% increase in revenues reflected in that figure hardly represents a ceiling. The growth potential of social gaming may continue to rise for many more quarters to come.
What drives all this social gaming activity?
New and innovative games continue to hit the market. Companies put tremendous amounts of money into the development of new projects and concepts. Gaming developers clearly hit enough home runs that millions of people enjoy playing social games. If they didn’t, revenue figures would only be a fraction of what they are now.
Several major companies entered or expanded into the social gaming market. Playtika was purchased at a price of $4.4 billion by a company based in China. Big Fish Games purchased Aristocrat Technologies for $990 million. These gigantic financial figures display a serious long-term commitment to the social gaming industry. To gain a return on their investment, these companies plan on releasing scores of interesting and compelling games to the market. New hit games mean more revenue.
The end user, the mobile customer, does his and her part as well. Since people spend so much time on their mobile devices, they are open to playing the various available social games.
Fortnite is among the most popular online social games currently available on the internet or on consoles. The sudden spike in the game’s popularity has had a significant impact on the road map of the game’s development. This game’s online battle royale mode is now approaching week six of the fourth season, with more content and features for players to enjoy.
The weekly challenges are highlighted by the exploration aspects of exploring chests in Loot Lake, the popular central region of the Fortnite map. The game has recently engaged users to spend several hours per day trying to win online matches and completing challenges to receive virtual bonuses.
The big question in regards to Fortnite is what it’s future life-cycle could potentially look like, and whether or not it is likely to see the popularity spike ever wear off. One important game to compare to could potentially be Minecraft, a game that still has a fairly large online community on modded servers. Minecraft may not be as popular as it once was, but it’s incredibly impressive how popular it has managed to stay, despite many months passing by since the game’s prime.
A similar question could be raised about Fortnite. Will the battle royale game mode stay popular for years to come? Perhaps, but it’s also likely that once the development slows down and updates become less frequent, it’s possible the community will start to disappear. It is likely that Fortnite will remain popular for quite some time however, and there are likely many seasons of online action ahead.
The new Icelandic company, Teatime Games, has attracted some big names in the technology space. Guzman Diaz of Index Ventures and Mattias Ljungman of Atomico have joined the board of directors. These VC firms, both of which have a history of funding games, have joined together to award Teatime Games with $9 million in funds.
Teatime Games has yet to announce what they are working on publically, but CEO Thor Fridriksson has given us an idea. Fridriksson believes that games have always been social, but some of the social experience has been lost in mobile gaming. Teatime Games aims to make the social aspect of games more streamline. They want a gameplay experience that is also social and personalized to the players. The company believes there is a problem with games that have tacked on social features.
This Series B funding that Teatime Games has received will allow them to increase their software engineers. They then will begin to offer their services to third-party developers. This development platform move will enable the company to help others with the social experience in their games. Teatime Games appears to have social connection embedded in their business decisions.
The Teatime Games headquarters is in Reykjavik, Iceland, where they specialize in gaming, mobile, and socialization. The company has already begun to post their office building pictures on Facebook. With a company working on social gaming, we can expect more social interaction with them soon.
The E3 gaming convention is set to officially begin on Tuesday, June 12 and run for three days with several press conferences, announcements, and other exciting things to explore around the gaming industry. The convention is hosted annually and is located at Los Angeles Convention Center. The gaming industry comes together to provide gamers some of the best access and behind the scenes looks at the newest gaming technology. Every year, the gaming world gets a special look at the newest gaming technology and hardware.
Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and Ubisoft are just a few of the star-studded development studios and publishers that make an annual visit to E3 to make massive gaming announcements relating to their own brands. There are always new gaming headlines that surround the industry around this time of year, and usually E3 is the perfect place for developers and publishers to advertise their most popular franchises in preparation for their holiday release schedules.
Fans are already speculating about what potentially lies ahead during the several press conferences at E3 2018. One exciting headline to keep an eye on in the coming days is the fact that a new game for the Fallout franchise was recently announced, and more headlines are likely to follow as more details are released at the E3 convention.
Detroit: Become Human is quite possibly the most popular game in recent months. It is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and it is the 10th PS4 exclusive to hit number 1 in the last twelve months.
The game was developed by Quantic Dream and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was only released a couple days ago, on May 25th, but it has already became the talk of the gaming community. The game has been praised for its ultra-realistic graphics and its excellent story telling. The game has been in development since at least 2012.
The game is about an android who has become deviant. He is taken down by the police with a trail of bullets and dumped off at a landfill full of broken androids. The android then proceeds to fix himself and leave. Eventually, the android, with the help from his fellow machines, finds his way to a safe haven for androids called Jericho. The rest of the game, without going into too much detail and providing spoilers, consists of the androids at Jericho struggling with a society that doesn’t accept them, even facing attack from government law enforcement agencies.
The game has been long awaited by fans. It was first announced in 2015 at a Sony press conference at Paris Games Week. It also appeared at E3 in 2016 and 2017, furthering raising the anticipation of fans. When anticipation of a game is so high, often it is a huge disappointment. Detroit: Become Human does not disappoint. The game received a 8 out of 10 on IGN, a 7 out of 10 on IGN, and an 8.5 out of 10 from EGM.
The Federal Trade Commission sent out notices to six companies back in April. These notices called for “do not remove” sticker to be removed from gaming consoles and other electronics. These stickers usually void the warranty when removed, but the Federal Trade Commission has declared this illegal. Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Hyundai, HTC, and Asus are the companies who are being forced to remove their “do not remove” stickers.
The notices were issued on April 9th, and all companies have been given 30 days to change their warranty policy.
The Federal Trade Commission, with the issuing of these documents, believes that these companies are in violation of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This act says that companies who charge more than five dollars for a product may not place restrictions self repair restrictions on machines that a warranty is offered for. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act only applies to consumer goods and is not a restriction upon any devices used for business purposes.
For years, game consoles from Sony and Microsoft have been telling consumers that they cannot work on their own consoles. In fear of the warranty being expelled consumers obeyed. Now, with the shipment of these notices, consumers are open to work on their own machines.
With the changes being forced upon the gaming and mobile phone industries, we may see class action lawsuits in the future. Any company that doesn’t comply to the notice is subject to fines, possibly for every device they sell past the cut-off date. Even though the notice has just went out, console manufacturers and cell phone creators have been in violation of this 1975 law since they began production. Everyone will have to wait and see what more comes from this FTC ruling.
The brand new Atari VCS console is on the way and avid gamers can pre-purchase one soon, although details still remain scarce as to what all the new console will feature. The consoles won’t actually be in use for about a year and so far nobody seems to know which modern video games might end up being available for the new system.
What’s known so far is that Atari will launch an Indiegogo campaign at the end of the month and will give customers the ability to lock in a pre-order to get the console in the future. There will be a $199 price available for “early bird adopters,” with a $300 price tag for the later release. The early birds can secure their console for just $199 but will be waiting for a year to receive the system. There will be an Onyx black variant version released as well as a “Collector’s Edition” woodgrain model. The design of the new gaming system is similar to that of the classic Atari 2600.
This particular gaming system was previously dubbed as the “Ataribox” and thought to be a console capable of only playing older Atari classic games. However, it appears the Atari VCS will try to become a competitor to the latest modern gaming systems based on its previously-announced technical specifications. These specs seem in-line with other popular systems on the market in terms of what it can handle for graphics, storage, and connectivity. The new game console will also feature a Linux operating system, allowing for installation of additional apps by users. These might include apps for streaming content, music playback, and web browsers, similar to other gaming systems.
A Forbes report indicated that the new VCS is set to launch with “100 classic games.” There will also be new modern titles that the company will announce at a later date, leaving it a mystery as to exactly which titles might arrive for the new platform. The new Atari game console won’t ship for a year, giving plenty of time for the company to partner with popular game makers ahead of the official product release to consumers.