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The eSports market is really lighting up thanks to awesome startups like Unikrn, but big business is getting involved too with the likes of Activision securing the former CEO of ESPN, and the co-founder of MLG to head its eSports venture.
But according to SuperData, the eSports market should be worth $1.9 billion by 2018 - for now, it sits at $748 million. Not too bad for professional gamers, eh? This is being driven by bigger and bigger sponsorship and advertising, which equates for a nice $579 million of that total from this year.
Brand advertising accounts for 77% of the market, which SuperData notes could reach $1 billion by 2016. SuperData's Director of Research and Consumer Insights, Stephanie Llamas, said: "eSports are becoming more mainstream and that has attracted traditional media channels like TBS and ESPN. So far, fans have had to seek out platforms to watch tournaments and players, but now people can stumble upon eSports while flipping through channels. Even old-fashioned brands are taking notice and there is a growing interest in advertising to the coveted millennial male demographic on a medium they know well".
Nintendo today unveiled a new step towards its plans for the future, announcing its first smartphone game, a unified new cross-platform account service, and the replacement loyalty program for Club Nintendo.
The Japanese console-maker will make its debut into the freemium mobile market with Miitomo, a free-to-play smartphone game that sports microtransactions. The Wall Street Journal notes that Miitomo sounds more like a "communications app" built around Nintendo's Mii avatars, which will let users interact with one another via Miiverse-style digital characters. Interestingly enough Miitomo seems to give the Miis their own personalities and lives, animating them in specific ways and letting them interact with other players, but it will all be built around actual player data. Sadly Miitomo has already been delayed until March 2016 so Nintendo can build up awareness on the game, and is the first of five smartphone games Nintendo will launch leading up to March 2017.
The new Nintendo Account service spans across all platforms, including console, mobile and PC. Using the new service users will be able to upload saved data and content onto the cloud and share it across different platforms. We've known for a while that Nintendo was going to make a service to unify all platforms, and this will carry over to the new NX console.
Heavy Rain was a big game at the time for the PS3, one of the only games that I sat through and finished, on a console. Quantic Dream made a big deal about it at the time about the graphics and facial animation of Heavy Rain, but the last thing we saw from the developer and David Cage, was "Kara".
We saw Kara all the way back in 2012 with a tech demo that was run on the PS3 at the time, but this all turned into their new game, Detroit. Detroit is all about Kara becoming human, with Quantic Dream boss David Cage saying that the PS4 exclusive will explore the question of "what does it mean to be human?"
The game explores how android can make us question our own humanity, with Cage adding: "we imagined our world in a near future where androids like Kara would look, speak and move like real human beings. We wondered how we - humans - would react if we were confronted with a new form of intelligence, how androids conceived as machines would be perceived if they started to have emotions".
Crytek announced that its first VR game, Robinson: The Journey, will be coming to PlayStation VR. Crytek boss Cevat Yerli announced the news at Sony's Paris Games Week conference.
If you haven't' heard about Robinson yet, Crytek teases that: "Robinson: The Journey will offer players an unparalleled sense of presence in a game world as they assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. With freedom to explore their surroundings in 360 degrees of detail, players will become pioneers by interacting with the rich ecosystem around them and unearthing incredible secrets at every turn".
Sony announced a bunch of great stuff at Paris Games Week 2015, but one of the stand out announcements would have to be Tekken 7, and that it would work on PlayStation VR. The official PlayStation Europe Twitter account announced the exciting news.
The @PlayStationEU account posted: "Jim with another surprise, Tekken 7 will be coming to PlayStation VR! Imagine that!" Tekken has been a huge fighting game for what feels like forever, but it's quite the killer app on the PlayStation VR headset. Can you imagine, Tekken on a VR headset? I can feel my excitement growing already.
Hello Games' procedurally-generated space sim No Man's Sky is one of the most anticipated games in recent memory, and now studio founder Sean Murray finally has a release window planned for the game.
According to an announcement made at Sony's showcase at Paris Games Week, No Man's Sky will be available on June 2016 for the PlayStation 4. We still have no word on when the PC version of the game will release, and we might even see another timed-exclusivity deal for No Man's Sky on PS4. Hello Games' founder and boss Sean Murray also announced the news on the PlayStation Blog, and affirms that Sony and the studio will reveal a ton of new information in the coming months.
"Since E3 our release date has now become clear. The game, our ambition and some key developments have fallen into place. It's incredibly hard work, but development is going really well," Murray said, iterating that No Man's Sky is the studio's swan song, their ultimate pipe dream fantasy made into a reality. "This is a game that means everything to our team. I have wanted to play something like No Man's Sky since I was a kid, and many of you have told me you feel the same. For all of us, we get one shot to make this game and we can't mess it up. Our small team knows the world is watching, we've come from the bottom and we don't take it lightly."
Xbox One gamers have been looking forward to the console's new Xbox One Experience update for quite some time. Not only does the update bring much-needed UI changes, it introduces backward compatibility, opening up new doors for a host of yesteryear games. While we've been told in the past to expect the update in November, Microsoft has finally revealed that we can expect the update in little over three weeks.
During last night's Halo 5 livestream celebration, Xbox boss Phil Spencer unveiled that the substantial Xbox One update will hit on November 12, just two days after the anticipated launch of Fallout 4. The update is set to completely optimize the Xbox One in a slew of different ways, including offering backward compatibility across 100 different Xbox 360 games, letting users set their own specific customized button-mapping profiles via controller settings, and a cleaner, much more responsive Xbox One UI.
Xbox fans mark your calendars: @XboxP3 just revealed new Xbox One experience & back compat start launching Nov. 12 for all Xbox One owners— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) October 27, 2015
One of the biggest additions comes with Windows 10 integration, which will come wrapped up within the console's big update. In order to bring the new OS to the Xbox One, Microsoft developed a console-specific kernel called OneCore, which aims to boost productivity and further optimize the Xbox One's cross-platform unification into the Windows 10 ecosystem. OneCore will also plant the seeds for DirectX 12 integration onto the console, which could boost the console's ESRAM performance by 15%.
Just how popular was the Star Wars Battlefront beta? Well, EA DICE noticed that they had around 9 million gamers participating in the beta, but there were over 38 full lifetimes of gameplay enjoyed. Considering it was the biggest beta EA has ever had, this should come as no surprise.
EA DICE released some other interesting facts and figures on Star Wars Battlefront, where it has told investors it expects to sell around 10 million copies of the game before the end of March 2016. The company also said that there were over 780,000 Imperial walkers taken down during the beta, with Darth Vader being played 5.9 million times, with the same numbers for those who played as Luke Skywalker.
There were over 1.6 billion minutes played during the beta, which is enough to watch the original Star Wars trilogy some 4.2 million times. Additionally, that's 78.7 years of the average life expectancy in the US. Crazy numbers.
Bethesda has just confirmed that Fallout 4 will be preloading onto the Xbox One, PS4 and PC very soon. In an official post on the Bethesda Softworks Twitter page, the developer said: "We can confirm that #Fallout 4 will have pre-loading on Xbox One, PS4, and PC so you have a few days to download the game before 11/10".
When exactly can we expect it, if Bethesda says gamers will have "a few days" before launch to get it preloaded? Bethesda boss Pete Hines posted on Twitter, saying: "We will be preloading for Fallout 4 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Exact day/time TBA. All should be available a few days before launch day".
As for the size of Fallout 4, we should expect it to weigh in at around 28GB (on the Xbox One at least). It might be a bit bigger on other platforms, however.
We've known for a while that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will have mod support for Fallout 4, allowing console owners to tap the wealth of potential that user-created mods bring to any Fallout game. But now Bethesda has confirmed that the mods themselves will still need a PC to create.
Bethsoft exec and wise Fallout guru Pete Hines revealed the news in a Twitter interaction, iterating that mods will indeed be playable on consoles, but the PS4 and Xbox One won't be getting the mod tools required to create mods.
@cjvaz9900 mods will be playable on consoles. The mod tools will not be released on console.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) October 24, 2015
Fallout 4's modding suite will be pretty expansive and matches the exact same software that the studio used to create the game. Sadly users will have to wait until 2016 before the modding tools are released. "Early next year we'll release for free the new Creation Kit for the PC. This is the same tool we use in the studio. You'll be able to create your own mods and share them with others. We're especially excited these same mods will then be coming to Xbox One, and then PlayStation 4."