Collaborating Authors


Activision Blizzard earnings miss estimates after Microsoft deal

The Japan Times

Activision Blizzard Inc. reported earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates just weeks after Microsoft Corp. announced its $69 billion acquisition of the video game publisher. Adjusted revenue fell 18% to $2.49 billion in the fourth quarter, Activision Blizzard said in a statement Thursday. Analysts had expected $2.84 billion, according to an average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.25, compared with analysts' forecasts for $1.31. The company cited "lower than expected performance" in its Activision division, which produces Call of Duty. Microsoft swooped in at a crucial time for Activision Blizzard, which is behind hit games such as Candy Crush and World of Warcraft.

Updated Grand Theft Auto Trilogy due this fall for Nintendo Switch, latest PlayStation, Xbox consoles

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

There really is a remastered version of some Grand Theft Auto video games in the works. Rockstar Games says Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, which includes the games Grand Theft Auto III, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas, will be released later this year for PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PCs. No price has been announced yet but these new versions will "feature across-the-board upgrades, including graphical improvements and modern gameplay enhancements … while still maintaining the classic look and feel of the originals," the company said in a news release. 'Five hours of silence was torture':Facebook and WhatsApp are lifelines for some families Over the summer, rumors circulated that remastered versions of GTA games were being developed. Rockstar is celebrating the 20th anniversary of GTA III with events marking the anniversary in GTA Online.

Netflix will press start on video game 'expansion' with games for smartphones, tablets

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Mobile video games will be the focus of the Netflix's video game initiative. These future mobile games will be included in members' subscriptions at no additional cost, the Los Gatos, California-based streaming TV provider company said in its second quarter 2021 shareholder letter Tuesday. "We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV," the company said. "We're excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games. Netflix:The 50 best TV shows to watch right now: 'Never Have I Ever' Season 2 in July Streaming TV:Can you have too much of a good thing? Netflix last week hired video game executive Mike Verdu as its vice president of game development. He had previously been at Facebook-owned VR company Oculus, where he oversaw games. Prior to that, he had worked at Electronic Arts and Zynga. The company is in "the early stages of further expanding into games, building on our earlier efforts around interactivity," Netflix said, noting its Black Mirror Bandersnatch "choose your own adventure" film and "Stranger Things" video games. This news about video games comes as Netflix sees its growth slowing. Worldwide, Netflix added 1.5 million new subscribers in the April-June period, beating their own 1.2M forecast. But the net TV provider lost 430,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada during the period. In the same period a year ago, Netflix added 10 million new global subscribers with about 2.9 million new additions from the U.S. and Canada. And the company's forecast of 3.5 million new subscribers expected for the current quarter (July-Sept.) is below what analysts hoped (5 million or more). "The pandemic has created unusual choppiness in our growth and distorts year-over-year comparisons as acquisition and engagement per member household spiked in the early months of COVID," the company said. Netflix shares were down 1% in after-hours trading. As for growing competition in the streaming market, Netflix pointed to the Warner Media-Discovery merger and Amazon's acquisition of studio MGM of "the ongoing industry consolidation as firms adapt to a world where streaming supplants linear TV." Such consolidation not affected Netflix's growth "much, if at all," the company said. "While we are continually evaluating opportunities, we don't view any assets as "must-have" and we haven't yet found any large scale ones to be sufficiently compelling to act upon.

GPT-3 Creative Fiction


What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.

Medical video game maker Level Ex acquired by surgical technology firm Brainlab - 360WiSE MEDiA


Level Ex, a Chicago startup that makes medical-training video games for doctors, has been acquired by Berlin-based medical-technology company Brainlab, the companies announced today. The companies did not disclose the terms of their deal, although Level Ex CEO Sam Glassenberg told MobiHealthNews that his company would continue to operate under the new ownership as an independent entity. "We're a bunch of game developers that have been parachuted into the healthcare industry, and we're constantly seeing technology that is, like, two decades behind what we're doing in the entertainment industry," he said. If you go to their offices and see their tech, it's incredibly forward looking. Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions.

Don't blame video games for El Paso, Dayton shootings. Leaders like Trump must face facts.

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

You won't find violent video game displays at Walmart anymore. Late last week the company announced it is removing them from stores. This came after President Donald Trump, commenting on the Dayton and El Paso shootings, complained from the White House about "gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace" and surround troubled youth with a culture that celebrates violence. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, told Fox News he has always felt violent games present "a problem for future generations and others." Would someone please point out to our leaders -- neither of whom cited actual evidence -- that they are more than a decade behind the scientific consensus?

Microsoft buys two more video game studios

The Guardian

In a broadcast from its Xbox Fanfest event this weekend, Microsoft announced the acquisition of two new video game studios: inXile Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment. Both studios are headquartered in California, and both specialise in role-playing games. Both studios also have their roots in the 1990s "golden age" of computer RPGs, staffed by veteran developers from beloved 90s studio Black Isle. Obsidian Entertainment is responsible for acclaimed modern RPGs Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Pillars of Eternity, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. These acquisitions mean that Microsoft now owns 13 game studios, seven of which have been acquired or founded in 2018.

Speedrunners raised $2.21 million for Doctors Without Borders


Speedrunning charity event Summer Games Done Quick finished up this past Sunday. The recipient of the funds raised druing the event, which saw players rushing as fast as possible through titles like Animaniacs, Pikimin 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, went to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Gamers raised $2,122,529.20 for the medical charity that provides emergency aid to anyone afflicted by conflict, disasters, epidemics and more. Last year, the event raised $1.7 million for the same charitable organization; it also raised $1.2 million in 2016 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year's Summer Games Done Quick was held at a hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, and ran from June 24th through July 1st with more than 2,200 attendees.

GameStop Up For Sale As Internet Takes Over Video Game Marketplace

International Business Times

As market trends shift away from physical video game sales in favor of direct downloads, the biggest remaining dedicated gaming retailer is up for sale. GameStop announced Tuesday that the Texas-based company is in "exploratory discussions" with possible buyers. GameStop announced the news in a press release on its website. The release is only three sentences long and gets straight to the point. "GameStop Corp.(NYSE:GME) today confirmed it is in exploratory discussions with third parties regarding a potential transaction.

E3 Is This Week And Its Game On With These Stocks

Forbes - Tech

A man walk past an Xbox sign during the Xbox 2018 E3 briefing in Los Angeles, California on June 10, 2018, ahead of the 24th Electronic Entertainment Expo which opens on June 12. The massive E3 gaming convention kicked off on Saturday June, 9th, 2018. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) started in 1995, when Donkey Kong Country and Full Throttle were popular, and has been getting bigger every year. This week, CressCap wants to identify some rising stocks with strong fundamentals that are likely to prosper on the back of the world's most popular gaming convention. As many eyes will be on new video game releases its a good time to look at gaming-related companies' stocks for possible investment opportunities.