Microsoft has officially acquired Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, for a truly massive $2.5 billion. After announcing the deal in September, all the required paperwork is now done, with the deal now complete.
Minecraft earned around $326 million in revenue last year across all of its game sales, ports and merchandising. Markus "Notch" Persson, Minecraft's creator and company co-founder, has left the company, as he said he wanted to "go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments".
OnePlus has had quite the year, with its Smash the Past promotion, something it promoted right after unveiling the One itself, which had people around the world smashing their current smartphone for the sheer opportunity of getting the OnePlus One smartphone.
Second, was the referral program that had people inviting others to have the opportunity to buy a One smartphone, but now we're hearing the company has sold over 500,000 devices, with the aim now shifted to 1 million units. The company opened up its pre-order window for a single hour last month, which had their servers overloaded with requests. Now the company will be holding a similar event on November 17, where it hopes its servers will handle the load a little more.
During an interview with Forbes, co-founder and director of OnePlus, Carl Pei, said that they've sold 500,000 handsets, and hope to reach one million units before the end of the year. With OnePlus spending just $300 on marketing so far, I'd call that a success.
September 2014 has come and gone, with Google securing more of that coveted mobile OS market share pie. Android continues to lead, according to ComScore's latest data, with 52.1% of the mobile OS market, leaving iOS with 41.7% and Windows Phone with 3.6%.
When it comes to the OEM market share, Apple actually lead the pack with 41.7%, while Android is the leading platform spread across multiple partners in Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC. Not only that, but ComScore is looking at what users are running on their phones, with Google and Facebook owning most of the top-used applications.
Facebook and its own app leads the pack, with YouTube coming in second, Google Play in third, and Google Play in fourth place. Pandora takes fifth place, Facebook returns for sixth place with Messenger, and then Google makes a return for seventh and eighth place with Maps and Gmail, respectively.
It's been literally years in the making, with An Unexpected Journey released in 2012 and The Desolation of Smaug in 2013, but its all coming to an end next month, as the final entry in 'The Hobbit' trilogy, now known as 'The Battle of Five Armies' is finally released in cinemas worldwide.
Warner Bros and New Line Pictures have now released the final theatrical trailer for the film, which shows just how epic the scope will be, harkening back to the huge epic scope and intensity of battle as seen in the original 'Lord of the Rings' films.
'The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies' drops by the UK on December 12th, the US on December 17th and finally in Australia on December 26th.
NVIDIA has just posted its Q3 fiscal year 2015 results, which ended on October 26, with some impressive results. The chipmaker has posted a Q3 revenue of $1.23 billion, which is up 16% year-over-year, while revenues are at $3.43 billion, up 15% year-over-year.
The company launched their second-generation Maxwell GPUs in the quarter, with the GeForce GTX 900 series performing, and selling well. NVIDIA's GeForce division also did well, which shouldn't be surprising, with their GPUs being the biggest revenue generator for the company. GPU sales were up 13% year-over-year, and quarter-over-quarter, with GeForce-branded GPU revenue up 36%. Gaming notebook sales are also up, more than double what they were last year. Tesla GPUs and GRID sales were also high, but no exact numbers were released.
NVIDIA's Tegra processor sold well over the three-month period, with a 51% increase year-over-year, with Tegra in vehicles being big business for NVIDIA. The company noted that over six million vehicles on the road right now have Tegra-powered infotainment systems. When it comes to mobiles, NVIDIA had quite a few products on the market with their chips: Shield, Google's Nexus 9 and some Chromebooks are powered by the company's Tegra K1 chip.
Massive Entertainment, the developer behind The Division, recently sat down with Open World Games, talking about its open-world tactical shooter. Martin Hultberg, Head of Communications at Massive, said that the developer will be optimizing The Division for all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC, instead of optimizing for a single platform.
He added that the game will not be "downgraded" from consoles to the PC, with each version receiving its own attention, utilizing each platform's strengths. With a capable PC, it means that the best version of the game will again be on the PC. Hulberg said: "Downgrading is a weird term to use. Obviously, we want to make a game that looks the best it can on its respective format, so Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. So I think the term downgrade is a bit confusing and weird because we're trying to get the most out of every machine we use. So Xbox gets its attention, PlayStation gets its attention, and PC of course will be able to cram it up a bit more depending on the hardware you have".
Hulberg continued: "We address every console, every platform, as its own version, so we try to stay away from the thing where you go for the least common denominator, and everybody suffers for it". Hulberg added that each version of The Division will be handled individually, with resolutions and frame rates decided on a platform-to-platform basis, instead of pushing one standard across multiple platforms to hit uniformity. He added: "We want to make a good experience on all respective formats". Remember, the last time we heard about The Division was that it was locked at 30FPS, so this is a 180-degree change in direction for Massive and Ubisoft, but it's not confirmation that we should expect over 30FPS, which is what we need to hear most of all.
Over the last 35 years, Director and 'Star Wars' creator has made a lot of bank from his creation, with his wealth estimates at over $7 billion. Now at 70 years old, he's wanting to give a little bit back, with plans to create a sprawling museum in Chicago, to house his extensive collection of movie props, memorabilia and art collection. So why are some in the community up in arms against the plans?
Well, apart from plans to remove two large parking lots utilised by fans of the Chicago Bears pro-football team to park near the Soldier Field stadium, the designs for the museum are quite new-age, and... well, hideous.
Designed my Beijing architectural firm MAD, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is planned to open in 2018.
DICE has been working on something behind the scenes, porting its Frostbite engine over to iOS, the engine that powers its Battlefield games. Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner for Mobile at Frostbite has talked about the ways of getting Frostbite on iOS on the Frostbite blog.
Parts of Frostbite are already working on iOS, with DICE and its Battlefield 4 Commander app, but the company also showed off Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on an iPad Air earlier this year at Apple's WWDC event, which is powered by its Frostbite engine. After that, the company wanted to see Battlefield 4 running in iOS, which has been quite the task.
With the Frostbite engine handling dynamic features like destruction or moving light sources in real-time, rendering all of this on a mobile device is extremely hard. But, DICE says that this "puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed world's with superb visual quality. We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects".
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes out early next year, but we're being introduced to its DLC a little early - but it's not all bad, as CD Projekt Red are offering all 16 pieces of DLC for free.
The developer has said that each piece of DLC will be free on all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC, no matter what - whether you pre-order the game now, or buy it down the track. After years of developers and companies sucking money from gamers in the form of DLC, it feels like a really nice breath of fresh air to see a big title like The Witcher 3 enjoying free DLC, and even better, that there's 16 parts of it.
Far Cry 4, The Crew and Assassin's Creed: Unity are some of Ubisoft's biggest games coming out this year, and early 2015 have all but disappeared from Valve's digital distribution service, Steam.
A representative for Ubisoft UK told PCGamesN: "We've been in discussions with Valve about Assassin's Creed Unity but for the time being the game is not available via Steam in the UK". I've just checked Steam here in Australia, and all of those games do not show up, but I did see them just two days ago. This could be because Valve takes a cut of the sales, while Ubisoft has games big enough they'll still sell through their own distribution software: uPlay.
With everything going on surrounding Ubisoft pissing PC gamers off, you'd think the company would be trying all attempts to make up for it, and not dig the hole deeper. This move feels like the company has hired machinery to help dig its hole quicker from a construction company called 30FPS Construction, which would probably have a slogan like: "Digging At 24FPS Is More Cinematic".