In The News
The United Kingdom is investigating “Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to see if their online service practices violate consumer protection law,” Engadget’s Jon Fingas reports. “It wants to know whether their auto-renewal policies are fair, how easy it is to get a refund (or cancellation) and whether or not the terms of service grant these companies too much power.”
The Federal Trade Commission will hold a “public workshop on August 7th to look into consumer protection issues linked with them,” Engadget’s Kris Holt writes.
Univision sold the Gizmodo Media Group, GI.biz’s Brendan Sinclair reports. “Great Hill Partners today announced that it has acquired the Gizmodo Media Group … The deal will see the Gizmodo Media Group — including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Deadspin, Jezebel, and others — and Univision’s satirical humor site The Onion brought together as a new company named G/O Media.”
NantG Mobile “has announced that it is giving up on the newly-renamed Z1 Battle Royale and returning it to original developer Daybreak Games,” PC Gamer’s Andy Chalk reports. “The studio did not confirm that the change has resulted in layoffs, as reported last week by Massively Overpowered, but said that it ‘will focus on its core mission of developing mobile games moving forward,’ and has ‘refocused our team toward this vision.’”
Sumo Group “increased its revenues by 35% last year, thanks to a busy schedule of releases and acquisitions,” GI.biz’s Matthew Handrahan writes. “In the year ended December 31, 2018, Sumo Group earned £38.1 million in revenue, up 35% over 2017. Gross profit increased 39% over the previous year to £18.4 million.”
Keywords Studios revenue is up “66% to €250.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018. The results are in line with an unaudited trading update it released earlier this year, and show adjusted profit before tax increased by 65% year-on-year to €37.9 million, up from €23 million,” GI.biz’s James Batchelor writes.
Xbox may launch a new version of its Game Pass called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It “combines Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass into a single monthly charge,” The Verge’s Tom Warren reports.
Roblox is now at 90 million users, VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi reports. “Players are playing a billion hours a month in the user-generated virtual world and games. Roblox’s top 150 games — which its players make — are now available in French and German”
Xsolla, a “games business services firm … has launched a funding club that it hopes will ‘bridge the gap between developers and investors’. The club is free for developers and investors to join,” GI.biz’s Christopher Dring reports.
Kabam and NetEase are partnering, VentureBeat’s Mike Minotti writes. “Kabam announced today that it is partnering with NetEase to bring the mobile fighting game Marvel Contest of Champions to China.”
Sony filed a patent for “prescription glasses that are meant to be used with VR head-mounted displays. In the patent, filed in December 2017 and published this month, Sony first describes the problems with wearing glasses together with eye gaze tracking systems,” Siliconera’s Alistair Wong writes.
Tencent’s WeGame X service has been made available “worldwide, including in English (available through a drop-down menu), through both the web as well as a dedicated client,” Fingas writes.
Jen MacLean, the executive director at IGDA, is stepping down. Her last day is April 14 and she is leaving to “pursue new career opportunities,” Minotti reports.
Interviews: Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot (IGN).
Extra Esports News:
Celtic FC eSports is partnering with “gaming chair brand GT Omega Racing for its esports efforts. A limited edition, branded gaming chair will be unveiled and available for purchase in the near future,” Esports Insider’s Adam Fitch reports.
Mike “Shroud” Grzesiek and the Predator brand are partnering, according to a tweet.