Intellivision REVIVAL, Roblox LESSONS & MORE?! – Industry Developments

From Intellivision making a console comeback
to Roblox entering the education scene, , we have the latest headlines from across the
game industry. so let’s load ‘em up and dive right in! Why pay employees when you can have volunteers
do the work for prizes? According to a report by Polygon with backing
from two affected individuals, it seems Microsoft laid off about twelve of its support team
members earlier last month and effectively replaced them with Xbox Ambassadors: community
members who volunteer to help manage the Xbox brand in their freetime. To add insult to injury, some of the folks
who were let go had been tasked with training their unpaid replacements before being kicked
out of the company. Xbox Ambassadors interface with customer and
field their inquiries through the @XboxSupport handle on Twitter, and through a dedicated
online chat tool, where they’re rewarded for their efforts through gamification, like
leaderboards that dole out experience, missions and sweepstakes! It should be noted that Microsoft has still
kept a small team on payroll to manage said volunteers, but it’s still unfortunate to
see paid people being replaced by players. But if you have some free time on your hands
and want to level up, we’re sure Microsoft would love to let you play as a support! Mark your calendars for October first, ladies
and gentlemen. It looks like a new console is coming to disrupt
the industry and it’ll be falling under the classic Intellivision brand! The company relaunched under the title of
Intellivision Entertainment, and is headed up by president Tommy Tallarico: one of the
original personalities from Reviews on the Run and Electric Playground, and a notable
composer and advocate in the video game music scene. There may not be any details available regarding
the system at this time, but you can sign up for updates, and listen to their live Q&A
from earlier in the week on their official Facebook page. During their stream, Tommy claimed that there’s
no individual group in their ecosystem that’s more important than any other, following up
to suggest we forget about hardware specs and target demographics. In his own words, “At the end of the day,
the system is going to live or die by the amazing games it has available on day one.” It seems like quite the gamble in today’s
metrics-led market, but we hope their angle helps set precedence in the future and doesn’t
face the same fate as the Ouya! The United States has another record under
their belt. According to a survey conducted by the fine
folks at Superdata on behalf of PayPal, nearly half of women and a quarter of men who stream
games online in the country aren’t paid for it. Male streamers seem to be performing better
than in other nations, with the global average being at thirty-eight percent relative to
America’s twenty-four, but there’s a gender gap with women who see forty-three percent
globally and forty-eight percent domestically. What makes these numbers stand out is that
they’re not reflective of the value streaming brings to the industry. Superdata reports that many consumers have
been turning away from written reviews, and are looking to friends, family, streamers
and esports stars to inform their purchasing decisions. The States saw this as a shift from sixteen
percent to twenty-one percent between twenty-sixteen and today, while Japan saw the most striking
results: observing a drop from forty-six percent a meager sixteen. If there’s anything for developers to take
away from this, it’s that the written word isn’t moving units like before, so consider
leveraging streams where possible. And definitely offer those folks free copies. A lot of them aren’t turning a profit promoting
for you! It looks like a Battle Royale is about to
be staged in the courtrooms. PUBG Corp. has filed a lawsuit against Epic
Games on the grounds of plagiarism regarding similarities between PUBG and Fortnite. The Korea Times reported on the legal move,
stating that a spokesperson for the aggressor filed an injunction in the country back in
January. For those following the two companies, this
shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since PUBG Corp. has taken issue with Epic
Games ever since they launched a Battle Royale mode in Fortnite. What makes this case interesting, though,
is that PUBG is developed with Unreal Engine 4: an engine licensed by the very company
their taking action against. And considering the formula their suing over
found its footing with multiplayer mods predating both titles, it doesn’t seem like PUBG Corp.
has a leg to stand on in this case. But what do we know? We’re not lawyers! It looks like Goldman Sachs is getting into
Voodoo. The private equity firm has taken an interest
in the French mobile developer, and has invested two-hundred million into it. Voodoo claims this partnership will help accelerate
their global expansion in what they call their “phase of hypergrowth.” Their portfolio of games boasts a hundred
and fifty million active monthly users, and the company has seen three-hundred million
downloads last year, so it’s not hard to see why Goldman Sachs took an interest in
them. The terms of the investment weren’t publicly
disclosed, but the company’s co-founders confirmed that they’ll still maintain majority
control of Voodoo going forward. They also mentioned that their challenge now
is to bring in engineers and managers with artistic skills and sensibility. At the moment, they operate solely out of
France, but they’re considering to open a sales team overseas in the States to bolster
their relationship with Apple and Google. So if you’re in the marketing department
at your company and want to change things up, keep an eye out for when that division
makes its way over! It’s common knowledge that mobile gaming
continues to dominate much of the industry, but market intelligence firm App Annie did
some digging to see how it’s grown over the last decade on Apple’s App Store, and
the results won’t surprise you! According to their findings, games account
for seventy-five percent of spending on the platform, although it only makes up thirty-one
percent of downloads. iOS games raked in 31.8 billion dollars in
2017, and accounted for only 9.4 billion of the year’s worldwide downloads of 3.5 billion. In general, the App Store has seen a steady
decline in its market share for downloads, dropping over twenty percent from its height
of fifty-four percent in twenty-twelve, but in spite of that, it still holds a higher
share of spending from consumers relative to Google Play. So if you’re launching your next mobile
game on iOS, the numbers say you may not get as many downloads, but you might spot a few
more whales in that ocean of content! It looks like there’s another contender
in the educational software market. Roblox Studio is launching a free curriculum
within its platform, targeting children aged ten and up. Dubbed Roblox Education, it’ll include tutorials,
lesson guides and handouts, and they’re getting it into the hands of a variety of
classrooms, coding camps and after-school programs for this summer’s sessions. Koding Kingdom, Code Ninjas, Coda Kid: there’s
upwards of five-hundred different groups that’ll have access to the tools, and more will no
doubt follow suit in the future. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics
have always been a staple of the studio’s software, and they feel like Roblox Education
is the right direction for them. Through this initiative, they hope to help
teach kids real coding, game design, digital citizenship and entrepreneurial skills. Now that’s a goal I’m sure we can all
get behind! GameStop has found itself another temporary
CEO. Former Microsoft Executive Shane Kim will
be holding the position as their hunt for a permanent replacement continues. Shane has been on the board of directors for
the company for seven years so far, and worked at Microsoft for nineteen, where he was involved
with the original Xbox and 360 platforms before he left in 2010. Although this marks the fourth change in leadership
since November twenty-seventeen, Shane seems like he’ll be an effective and stable representative
for the company until their next CEO can be named. With his extensive experience in the industry,
he’ll be adding a lot of value to the company, if not only for the short-term! And that covers this week’s lineup, ladies
and gentlemen. Was there anything you found particularly
insightful? Did we miss something you think should’ve
been covered? Let us know in the comments below and be sure
to tune in next time for another newsworthy breakdown!

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