Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsbrooklynResidential Real Estate Share via Shortlink 442 Union Street and 257 Berry Street (Google Maps)For the second week in a row, Brooklyn’s luxury market saw sales volume climb to record levels during the pandemic.Last week, 12 properties went into contract for a combined total of almost $36.1 million, according to a Compass weekly report. The data tracks the borough’s contract activity for properties asking $2 million or more. The previous week saw 10 properties go into contract for a total of $30.2 million.The pre-coronavirus bar was set on the week of March 9, when 15 contracts were inked for a combined $45.3 million.That was before nonessential businesses were orderedto close and in-person showings were banned.Of the deals last week, nine were townhouses, two were condos and one was a co-op. The median asking price was $2.5 million, and the average listing discount was 4 percent. The properties spent an average of 179 days on the market.The most expensive deal was a Williamsburg townhouse, at 257 Berry Street. The four-bedroom home spans 4,700 square feet with three outdoor landscaped terraces, and a drive-in garage. It went into contract asking $5.25 million.The second priciest property was a 4,320-square-foot Carroll Gardens home at 442 Union Street. The four-bedroom townhouse has a backyard, a rooftop terrace and an elevator. Its final asking price was $4.39 million.Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected] moreBiggest week of pandemic for Brooklyn’s luxury marketGreenpoint condo was Brooklyn’s priciest contract last weekBrooklyn’s back: Luxury contract volume hits four-month high
Willow Smith and her Malibu home (Getty, Google Maps, Realtor)Willow Smith is officially a homeowner.The soon-to-be 20-year-old musician and talk show host paid $3.1 million for a home in Malibu. The contemporary house is just less than 3,000 square feet in size, according to Variety. It sits on 0.37 acres on a hillside on a private street overlooking the Pacific Ocean.The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home was built in 2011 and meets LEED energy efficiency standards with the help of a greywater recycling system, solar power, and energy efficient appliances. The garage also has a Tesla charging station. The small lot doesn’t have a pool, but does have a patio and a raised deck.The house has an open floor plan, and the interiors are in line with the modern-style theme — grey hardwood floors, muted furnishings, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The master suite has a fireplace, dual vanities, and a spa-style bathroom.Smith won’t be too far from her parents and her brother. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have long lived in a huge 150-acre estate in the hills of Calabasas and brother Jaden Smith lives in Hidden Hills.As far as Malibu properties go, Smith’s new digs are relatively modest. Properties regularly trade in the eight figures in the beachside city and the pandemic hasn’t stopped deals from closing.In July, Gateway computer co-founder Ted Waitt paid $43.2 million for a 1.3-acre estate in the city. A month later, Compass agent Chris Cortazzo sold his 55,000-square-foot beachfront property for $39 million. [Variety] — Dennis Lynch Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink TagsCelebrity Real EstateMalibu
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink A study found that NYC renters lose $178M per year due to long-term rentals being reallocated to the short-term market (Getty; Pixabay)Tech founders have long proclaimed that their products or services will change the world — to the point where it’s become a cliche — and Airbnb’s founding team is no exception.“What we’re doing with Airbnb feels like the nexus of everything that is right,” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia once said. “We’re helping people be more resourceful with the space they already have, and we’re connecting people around the world.”But that resourcefulness has also impacted permanent residents in Airbnb markets — and not necessarily positively.Studies have examined the impact of Airbnb on rent prices in New York City, finding that the short-term rental service pushes up rents. But Sophie Calder-Wang, an assistant professor at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, took things a step further in a new study, which looks at the differential impact of Airbnb on renters by race, income, education or location.ADVERTISEMENTCalder-Wang combined data on 2018 Airbnb listings scraped by AirDNA with demographic data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to assess the impact of reallocation of units from the long-term market to the short-term rental market. In Calder-Wang’s study, a unit is considered “reallocated” if it has been marked as available on Airbnb for at least 180 days in a year.The analysis found that New York City renters suffer a net loss of $178 million per year from rent increases, which stem from units being taken off the long-term rental market and listed on the short-term market.Those losses aren’t concentrated among New York’s most vulnerable residents: Renters that are white, highly educated and high-earners lose more money, according to the study.Source: Sophie Calder-WangWhile the median loss due to unit reallocation for all New York City renters is $125 per year, the median loss for white renters is $152 per year. Median losses are also higher for those with a college degree, those whose incomes fall in the top 20 percent of earners and those who live in single-person households.The location and size of units occupied by those renters is key: White renters with college degrees with high incomes tend to live in desirable neighborhoods.In Greenpoint and Williamsburg, for example, Airbnb listings made up nearly 10 percent of all housing units. The population in those neighborhoods is 61 percent white and has a median household income of $99,000, according to the 2019 American Community Survey data. The population of New York City is only 32 percent white and has a median household income of $69,407.Calder-Wang also found that single-person households tend to suffer bigger losses, likely because Airbnb penetration is highest citywide for one-bedrooms.Renters aren’t likely to make up the difference by putting their homes on Airbnb: New York City renters gain only $23 million per year via hosting, and those gains are highest among small, high-income households who live in expensive and desirable neighborhoods. The median gain for renters in the top 20 percent of earners is $5; that same figure is only $.01 for the renters in the bottom 20 percent of earners, the study found.On its face, the study shows that Airbnb doesn’t worsen inequality among renters, because the most financially secure renters suffer the biggest losses. But Calder-Wang cautions against this conclusion, since those losses constitute a significant transfer of wealth over to property owners, who on average tend to be wealthier.“In the presence of severe housing market supply restrictions, the welfare transfer from renters to owners becomes substantial,” she writes. “In a city where the majority of the residents are renters, unregulated Airbnb will likely hurt the median person.”Calder-Wang also notes that the severe housing shortage in New York City is partly to blame for this dynamic.“The entry of Airbnb provides a channel for the existing space to be used by the highest value bidder, but the total quantity restriction raises rents for everyone,” Calder-Wang writes. “Therefore, a reasonable alternative regulatory approach is to allow housing supply to expand more easily.” Share via Shortlink TagsAirbnbResidential Real EstateTRD Insights
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tagsdavid geffenKurt RappaportLA luxury real estate Share via Shortlink David Geffen and 1169 N. Hillcrest Road (Getty, Google Maps)Billionaire entertainment mogul David Geffen sold a development site in Beverly Hills for $33.8 million, more than a year after he bought the mansion-ready property, The Real Deal has learned.The buyer of the 1-acre parcel at 1169 North Hillcrest Road is a Santa Barbara investor, who sources declined to identify. The sale closed Nov. 20.Geffen paid $30 million for the property in what’s considered “Billionaires Row” in July 2019. It includes plans for a 24,500-square-foot mansion designed by architectural firm Shubin Donaldson. According to PropertyShark, the property has changed hands six times since 2013, with no owner holding onto the land long enough to develop it.The sale is the latest in what has been a prolific year of real estate deals for the founder of Geffen Records and former DreamWorks executive and co-creator. Geffen set a record in February for the priciest single-family home deal in California when he sold a Beverly Hills estate to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $165 million.ADVERTISEMENTWestside Estate Agency co-founder and CEO Kurt Rappaport represented Geffen in the Hillcrest Road sale, and in his $68 million purchase of Casey Wasserman’s Beverly Hills mansion in June.Rappaport declined to comment. A message left with a Geffen representative Monday was not returned.
N-Space closes after 21 yearsStudio artist posts news on Twitter, thanks president for transparencyRachel WeberSenior EditorThursday 31st March 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articlen-SpaceSad news from social media this afternoon, n-Space employee Ben Leary has reported that the studio is closing after 21 years. We’ve reached out to n-Space exectuives for confirmation but Leary’s statement seems fairly straightforward. In it he praises the actions of president Dan O’Leary.n-Space has closed. My statement – https://t.co/HaV3mv9ihIpic.twitter.com/uwaNpOft1u— Ben Leary (@Polygoblin) March 29, 2016
Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 3rd March 2018 6:52pm 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. Unhappy Rovio says 2017 was its ‘best ever year’Revenue and Profit rise sharply, but miss analyst expectationsChristopher DringHead of Games B2BFriday 2nd March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleRovio EntertainmentA defiant Rovio says that 2017 was the best year in its history, amid investor disappointment, high profile departures and the closure of its London studio.2017 revenue increased 55% to €297.2 million. Operating profit rose to €31.4 million (from $16.9 million), and its games revenue in particular increased by 55.9% to €248 million.Declines were felt in its licensing division, hit by a slowdown in sales of Angry Birds Movie merchandise during Q4 – as would be expected a year after launch. Rovio expects revenue in 2018 to come in at between €260 million – €300 million, as previously reported.It is this that has scared investors, and seen the firm’s share price fall sharply. Despite strong figures, the firm is performing well below expectations.The main reason for this is the under-performance of its most recent games – Angry Birds Match, Angry Birds Evolution and Battle Bay. All three have fallen short of its expectations. To make matters harder, Rovio’s games boss Wilhelm Taht has now left the firm due to personal reasons.The company says it is going to focus on growing the Angry Birds brand via other entertainment mediums – including video, a theme park and the build up to the next Angry Birds movie. It has also closed its London studio to focus development efforts in Espoo and Stockholm.”The year 2017 was the best year in Rovio’s history,” said CEO Kati Levoranta in a statement.”The performance indicators of the company’s top games improved and hames revenue grew by 56%. Group revenue increased by 55%, and both the adjusted operating profit and earnings per share doubled.”During the year the key figures of games segment showed strong development due to the improved monetization of the top games. However, in the last quarter of the year our new games, Angry Birds Match, Angry Birds Evolution and Battle Bay landed short of our expectations. Competition in the market intensified, which led to a significant increase in the unit costs of user acquisition, especially in the puzzle genre. “Although Rovio’s business has a healthy foundation, we are not satisfied with the current performance. Our intention is to return to a higher growth path. We seek to grow our Games business through continuous development, renewal, and improved monetization of our current top live games, and through profitable user acquisition. “This Games-as-a-Service model was well proven by our top game Angry Birds 2 as it grew its gross bookings by 83% in 2017. Likewise Angry Birds Friends, launched in 2012, still goes strong. While we see a lot of potential in our existing live game portfolio, Rovio also continues to invest in the development of new games. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “In response to the increased competition we want to raise our game development and operations to the next level.””The revenue of the Brand Licensing business decreased in the fourth quarter as expected by the declining revenue profile of the Angry Birds Movie. In spite of the decrease in revenues, the unit’s EBITDA amounted to nearly 50% of revenues. Rovio will continue to strengthen the Angry Birds brand in 2018 by bringing new video content to the market in cooperation with partners, licensing the brand for new activity parks, and preparing the launch of the Angry Birds Movie sequel, set for release in September 2019.”Rovio will continue to invest in its Hatch mobile streaming service.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Mobile newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesRovio shuts down HatchUpdate: Rovio clarified that the family-focused branch of the service, Hatch Kids, is still openBy Marie Dealessandri 3 months agoRovio names Alexandre Pelletier-Normand as new CEOFormer EVP of games will take over from Kati Levoranta on January 1By James Batchelor 4 months agoLatest comments (1)Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio3 years ago see this is the problem with tying exec. salary with stock price., because if you didnt, then there would be NO reason to care about investors feelings. They are profitable so they are more than capable of funding their needs. Are they in need of a new round of stock offerings for some new big capital expenditure? if not who cares what the investors think.Do most people even understand how the market works? Im not sure they do. The stock market is about a company selling their stock in an IPO in order to raise needed capital. After that, the company should be pretty much out of the picture. The only reason its not the case is because they have stupidly tied their execs bonus and salary to stock price, so now the execs are more worried about the stock market daily swings instead of building long term health.They had a good year, but since they didnt hit some imaginary benchmark created by some third party, all of a sudden its not a good year, even if the numbers prove otherwise. WTF.
DouYu goes public with $775m Nasdaq IPOTencent-backed Chinese streaming platform is valued at more than $3.7 billionMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefThursday 18th July 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareThe Chinese video streaming platform DouYu raised $775 million in its initial public offering this week.The company issued around 67.4 million shares at a price of $11.50 each on the New York Stock Exchange. Roughly two-thirds of that stock was new shares, which the other third coming from its existing stockholders.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The $775 million that DouYu raised makes it the biggest IPO from a Chinese company this year. It is also far more than the $500 million it expected when the IPO was announced in April.The IPO valued DouYu at $3.73 billion, and Tencent remains its single biggest stockholder.DouYu’s streaming platform hosts a huge amount of content focused on video games and esports. In the first quarter of this year, it had 159.2 million monthly-active users.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision no longer working with Call of Duty actor after hateful sexist commentsA video resurfaced on social media showing Jeff Leach making offensive, sexual and threatening remarks targeting women By Marie Dealessandri 1 days agoHow Women in Gaming survived its publisher’s demiseMeagan Marie explains how Crystal Dynamics stepped in after Prima Games, the original publisher of her book, shut down right after launchBy Brendan Sinclair 4 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. 38 reasons why 2019 was not all badFrom charitable acts to crank-powered consoles, we round-up the best things to happen in the games industry over the past 12 monthsJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefThursday 19th December 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIt’s true that 2019 has been a rough year for many reasons.Rebekah did a superb (if depressing) round-up of those reasons, but as the year draws to an end, it’s important to also reflect on the positives — whether that’s our favourite games of the year, the growth of the global games market, or some of the wonderful companies and individuals driving us forward.And, lest we forget, we work in an industry dedicated to video games, an immersive form of entertainment specifically designed to elicit joy or exhilaration from its audience.Through this lens, there has been plenty happening in 2019 to be happy about, and we thought we’d round off the year with a collection of all the very best examples.So, in no particular order…1. “You’re breathtaking”Let’s start with the obvious, right? Keanu Reeves’ surprise appearance at E3 2019 won the hearts of gamers everywhere, thanks to two simple words.2. Swery and Suda51 get so drunk they can’t remember the game they designedTwo notable Japanese games developers finally collaborating together is already newsworthy. The fact that whenever they have met up so far, copious amounts of alcohol have prevented them from remembering their ideas and decisions (resulting in them essentially brainstorming live on stage) was an added delight. Oh, and the publisher said to be bringing this project to market has no knowledge of any such agreement. Not the biggest story of the year, but it’s one that just keeps on giving. 3. Nintendo gets the obvious Bowser joke out of the wayAfter Nintendo of America’s popular president Reggies Fils-Aime retired, the wonderfully named Doug Bowser took his place. Bowser got his most public outing to date in Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct and the platform holder couldn’t resist the opportunity for another riff off his name.4. Early payout for Psychonauts 2 investors after Microsoft acquisitionMicrosoft’s slew of studio acquisitions continued in 2019 with the shock purchase of Tim Schafer’s studio Double Fine. The Psychonauts 2 developer is now part of the Xbox family of game studios — and this turned out to be good news for investors in the upcoming adventure. Because Microsoft also spent $1 million on Fig’s publishing rights for Psychonauts 2, every $500 share people had taken in the game saw a 139% return. Fig also said it will be paying out a dividend of 85% rather than the previously listed 70%. Not a bad result for those Psychonauts fans.5. Untitled Goose Game gets a shoutout at a Blink-182 concertThe mischief-based goose ’em up reached a level of mainstream attention that few indie games achieve when Blink-182 vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus shared his love of the game on stage.House House’s title got a less organic mainstream crossover recently at The Game Awards where it became the centre of a skit with fuzzy entertainment icons, The Muppets.6. Star Control legal dispute finally resolved… through beekeepingIt’s true. The long-running battle between Star Control publisher Stardock and two of the series’ creators was not only settled over a mutual love of keeping bees but the pastime was also written into the legal agreement. Having previously gone to great lengths to block each other’s games, the two parties eventually arranged to share technology, expertise, and honey. Bee-autiful.7. A new Half-Life was finally announcedNo, it’s not Half-Life 3. Obviously. But, as we’re sure you’ll agree after watching the trailer below, Half-Life: Alyx is certainly looking impressive and the closest thing to a ‘killer app’ that virtual reality has had to date. The game is being developed with the help of former Campo Santo developers.8. Shenmue III finally existsBrendan dedicated an entire People of the Year article coming to terms with the sheer wonder of this. After 18 years, Ryo’s story finally continued and held true to the gameplay and structure that made the originals so iconic. Designer Yu Suzuki has even started talking about a Shenmue 4 — hopefully it won’t take another two decades before such a dream becomes reality.9. Rami Ismail’s game-a-day Meditations collectionWhile most games focus on generating competition, adrenaline, tension and other less-than-relaxing feelings, Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail kicked off a project in January to provide a whole year of calmer gaming experiences. Meditations was a free downloadable launcher for PC and Mac which offered one game per day. Each title is designed to take no more than five minutes to play and has no text, ranging from minimalist puzzlers to games exploring personal and sensitive topics. Ismail worked with more than 350 developers, with a full list due to be published on December 31. The next day, the collection kicks off again for anyone who missed it this year.10. Berlin hosts exhibition on LGBTQ gaming historyBack in January, the German city’s Schwules Museum explored the queer history of the games industry in an exhibition that featured art, merchandise, video interviews and playable games spanning 30 years. The event was co-curated by Dr Adrienne Shaw, who also founded the LGBTQ Video Game Archive website back in 2016, and was designed to show that, while we’re seeing more and more titles explore different lifestyles through the medium, “this kind of content has always been in games.”11. Launch of Gayming MagazineHaving first been introduced to the public during the London Games Festival in April, onling games publication Gayming Magazine finally launched on June 1, creating an LGBTQ+-focused destination for video games content. Since then the site has been giving voice to a diverse roster of writers, and even run a week of live events in London. 12. Formation of the Playing for the Planet AllianceThe games industry can be a competitive one, so it’s always wonderful to see so many rival firms united — especially around a topic as important as the future of this planet. An initial 21 companies announced they were working with the United Nations as part of the new Playing for the Planet Alliance, using their resources and reach to hundreds of millions of gamers to help raise awareness of the climate change crisis. Each company also made their own pledges to reduce the impact of climate change in their own way, whether it was Xbox’s promise of carbon neutral consoles, Sony’s low-power suspend mode for PS5, or Football Manager director Miles Jacobson’s call for everyone to ditch plastic packaging. 13. Frontier Developments’ support for a terminal Elite Dangerous fanIf you missed this wonderful account of how the Cambridge-based studio rallied to make 15-year-old Michael Holyland’s final week more tolerable, do so now. What began as bags of signed merchandise, well-wishing tweets and visits from the developers escalated into the production of a full novel and audiobook set in the world of Elite Dangerous — with Michael as the star. It’s a beautiful example of game makers taking the time to support dedicated fans in their time of need.14. Best Places To Work Awards UK winners20 different companies scored highly enough with their own employees to pick up a badge at this year’s awards, plus there were eight special awards for particularly outstanding developers, covering workplace aspects such as health and wellbeing, corporate social responsibility and best boss. We also had a great turnout for the new conference element of the event, where experts from the industry discussed the key factors behind a supportive workplace, including accessibility and diversity.15. GI 100 Women In GamesOur third annual GamesIndustry.biz 100 was dedicated to celebrating some of the most influential women in the UK games industry. We say ‘some’ because while there was only room for 100 in the list, there were more than 450 nominated. Over 600 people attended our winners’ event alongside EGX Rezzed in April, which enabled this wonderful group shot.16. First female player in NBA 2K LeagueAs esports continues to grow, some of the biggest players are finally starting to diversify their player rosters. Notably, 2K Games and the National Basketball Association welcomed Chiquita Evans as the first female player in the NBA 2K League — a drafting that prompted the room to erupt with cheering. We spoke to Evans about her achievement earlier this year.17. First woman to win a Hearthstone tournamentNo amount of protests and internet boycotts could drown out the victory of Xiaomeng ‘Liooon’ Li at this year’s Blizzcon as she stormed the Hearthstone GrandMasters. Li thrashed her opponent by three-nil during the global finals, earning her the grand prize of $200,000 and a place in history as the first woman to win any major competition at Blizzcon. Speaking on stage, she said, “I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream for esports competition, for glory, if you want to do it and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”18. Work begins on Universal Studios Japan’s Nintendo landA lot of exciting things will happen in Tokyo next year, what with the Olympics and everything. But can we all admit the thing that really had us looking up affordable flights and accommodation was the first tantalising glimpse of these Mario-style hills?19. Detective Pikachu wasn’t rubbishVideo game movie adaptations don’t have the best track record (or a particularly promising future), but thankfully there are exceptions and this year’s came in the oddly-realistic-yet-fitting form of Pikachu. Detective Pikachu, specifically, voiced by Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds and based off a 3DS spin-off series that remains unresolved (until the Switch sequel arrives). The movie took $161 million globally in its opening weekend, with subsequent showings driving this to $436 million — the highest-ever for a film based on a video game. And, as a lot of people keep telling me, it’s brilliant and you should go watch it. Now. 20. A hand crank-powered games handheld was announcedThis industry is so wonderfully weird. While Microsoft and PlayStation are talking about solid state drives and Google is pushing streaming as the future of gaming, Firewatch publisher Panic is making a Game Boy-esque console that you need to literally wind up to play some of its games. The Playdate has been in development for four years and is due to ship in ‘Early 2020’. And doesn’t it look glorious?21. Humble Bundle passed $150m raised for charityThe pay-what-you-want bundles have been doing the rounds since 2010, and as of this summer have raised more than $150 million for various charities around the world. Even though the founders have left, the company continues to press on with its altruistic mission.22. YouTuber aims to raise $500 for trans charity, passes $340,000Charity livestreams are an increasingly common occurrence, but this one was particularly special. In the wake of an attack against Mermaids, a British charity that aims to raise awareness and support around gender nonconformity in young people, YouTuber Henry ‘H.Bomberguy’ Brewis decided to do a livestream marathon as he tried to complete Donkey Kong 64. The aim was to raise $500, but support came flooding in as he was joined on the stream by famous industry faces such as the game’s composer Grant Kirkhope and Doom developer John Romero. He even had US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the broadcast, as well as a host of journalists and streamers. By the time he finished the game, which took just under 60 hours, he had raised $340,000. Incredible.23. Fortnite World Cup winner takes home more than Wimbledon champions2019 saw the first (of no doubt many) Fortnite World Cup, which saw US player Kyle Giersdorf take home a prize of $3 million — a little more than had been awarded to the winner of the recent men’s competition at Wimbledon. Fun facts: the chap who came in second was from the UK, took home $2.25 million, and his mum once threw away his Xbox to make him concentrate more on his schoolwork.24. Apex Legends updates less to protect developersThe surprise launch of Apex Legends was undoubtedly one of 2019’s big success stories, but Respawn’s attitude to updating the game was also worth noting. The same day that a report on crunch conditions at Fortnite developer Epic Games emerged, Respawn CEO Vince Zampella explained that Apex Legends would have less frequent updates in order to maintain a decent quality of life for its developers. Despite the game’s initial success and calls from fans for weekly updates, Zampella stressed that, “We don’t want to overwork the team, and drop the quality of the assets we’re putting out. We want to try and raise that.”25. Alan Wake 2?Now, there’s nothing official but it’s hard for fans of Remedy’s ghost-fighting author not to get excited by the news that the studio has reclaimed publishing rights to Alan Wake. The IP was previously owned by Microsoft, but Remedy has been branching out and targeting multi-format releases, starting with this year’s seminal Control. An Alan Wake was in the works, but never got off the ground. Time to dust off that design doc, perhaps?26. Skatebird hits Kickstarter goal in one day during E3It’s hard enough to make your voice heard during E3 without asking people to donate cash as well. Yet Glass Bottom Games managed to pull off a successful Kickstarter campaign during the busiest week of the gaming calendar, not only reaching its target of $20,000 but doing so within 24 hours. To quote studio boss Megan Fox: “[incoherent birb screaming] [AAAAA]”27. No smoking in Gears 5Video games feature many of life’s vices: drugs, gambling, alcohol, rummaging through bins. But Gears of War developer The Coalition decided to take a stance against one in particular — smoking. Partnering with non-profit Truth Initiative, the studio announced Gears 5 would not feature smoking or tobacco use of any kind. Sure, it would still involve chainsawing aliens in half, but at least the COG soldiers doing it would have healthy lungs. 28. Watch Dogs Legion’s killer grannyUbisoft’s next outing for the ‘go anywhere, hack anything’ action series is already one of the most anticipated releases of 2020. Some might say it’s the bold promise that every NPC can potentially become a playable character as you attempt to recruit Londoners in your revolution against a drone-controlled state. But, let’s be honest, we all just want to see if ruthless pensioner Helen proves to be as kick-ass as she appeared during the E3 demo.29. There was a Colonel Sanders dating gameBecause why not?30. The global games market value roseAccording to Newzoo (as seen in our lovely annual Year In Numbers infographic), video games are on course to generate $148.4 billion in 2019, up 7.2% year-on-year.31. Ask Ketchum FINALLY won the Pokémon LeagueIt’s a testament to the value of perseverance, to that ‘try, try again’ attitude, to the belief that dreams really can come true. After more than 20 years, 22 series and an unnecessary number of spin-off movies, Ash Ketchum finally won the official Pokémon League in the popular anime series. Fans around the world rejoiced, as did his younger self.32. We didn’t lose Annapurna InteractiveA fair number of the GamesIndustry.biz team are big fans of the games published by Annapurna Interactive — hence the company’s place among our 2018 selections for People of the Year. So we were a tad concerned when parent Annapurna Pictures was potentially facing bankruptcy. Fortunately, less than one month later, further reports emerged that the Hollywood firm had resolved more than $200 million in debt, stabilising the future of the ambitious games publisher. Now here’s hoping for an early 2020 release date for 12 Minutes.33. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2It took six years for the first one to arrive, so many Zelda fans had assumed the chances of another epic outing to Hyrule appearing during the same generation were minimal. Even another announcement would be years away. But we were wrong. So gloriously wrong.34. Xbox Adaptive Controller used to rehabilitate US veteransBuilding on its work with the Adaptive Controller, Microsoft this year teamed up with the US Department of Veteran Affairs to explore the medical benefits of the device. The controller has been rolled out to 22 veteran rehabilitation centres, some of which will be hosting weekly sessions for outpatients. There is even talk of esports events at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in July 2020.35. Microsoft and Dontnod announce game with a transgender protagonistWhile there are plenty of examples in the indie space, Dontnod’s Tell Me Why is the highest profile project to feature a transgender character as one of its leads. Announced at X019 in London, the episodic game will be released next summer and has been developed in partnership with GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation. We spoke to Dontnod and Microsoft about this promising title last month. 36. Former AAA devs form a studio that aims to diversify the industryOn a similar note, new developer Brass Lion Entertainment announced its mission to create games that “center on Black and Brown characters, cultures, and stories.” Aiming to add some much-needed diversity to video games, the studio is led by Manveer Heir, Bryna Dabby Smith and Rashad Redic. The trio’s first game is Corner Wolves, which will follow Afro-Latina proganoist Jacinte through a murder mystery in ’90s Harlem.37. A new BioShock was finally announcedWhile series creator Ken Levine is off doing… whatever it is he’s doing, 2K Games has opened a brand new studio, Cloud Chamber, to bring back the acclaimed first-person shooter franchise. The game will be in development “for the next several years” but at least we’re finally one step closer to something that follows up on BioShock Infinite’s series-expanding ending.38. Two next-generation consoles announcedAnd on top of all that, we got the first taste of the next generation. Sony got the ball rolling with an oddly low-key announce, dropping details into an exclusive Wired article and stubbornly refusing to call its next console PlayStation 5 (until it finally started calling it PlayStation 5). Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X — likely just one of the new consoles the platform holder is working on — at The Game Awards earlier this month. Both platform holders are talking up the importance of streaming, backwards compatibility and minimal load times. With the two consoles due on shelves by next Christmas, 2020 is already shaping up to be a busy year.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair An hour agoUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 5 hours agoLatest comments (1)Rick Raymo Founder & CEO, Self-EmplyedA year ago Just.Thank you.Stellar list work.This particular instantiation of a human appreciates your efforts.Query? LuigiLand?
Disruptor Beam lays off nine as it pivots away from game developmentFinal game project canceled, company to focus solely on Disruptor Engine platformRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterTuesday 10th March 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleDisruptor BeamDisruptor Beam has laid off nine of its game development staff as a part of the company’s pivot to focus solely on its Disruptor Engine, GamesIndustry.biz has confirmed.In a statement, CEO Jon Radoff said that the layoffs affected developers involved in the company’s final in-progress game development project, which it had planned to complete following the sale of Star Trek Timelines to Tilting Point.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games However, he added, the licensor for the project said they did not wish to continue with the game, forcing Disruptor Beam to cancel it and lay off its team.Disruptor Beam has retained the engineering and development staff working on its free-to-play, games-as-a-service-focused Disruptor Engine, which it will prioritize going forward.The company also lost an additional 19 staff members last week with the announcement of Star Trek Timelines’ move to Tilting Point, with the key members of that game’s team — including former Disruptor Beam CTO David Cham — forming new, Tilting Point-owned studio Wicked Realm Games in Boston.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesBeamable files for bankruptcyThe studio formerly known as Disruptor Beam reported $3.4 million in liabilitiesBy Marie Dealessandri 6 months agoDisruptor Beam rebrands as BeamableStar Trek Timelines studio drops games development to focus on back-end tech for free-to-play gamesBy James Batchelor A year agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
SuperData: Big publisher showcases did not suffer from absence of E3Twitch numbers were higher than E3 2019 showcases for major publishers, but PC Gaming Show’s audience was down compared to last yearMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefThursday 30th July 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareMajor publishers have not struggled to get attention for their announcements in the absence of E3, according to a new report from SuperData.The analyst firm gathered data from Twitch following online showcases from both PlayStation and Ubisoft this year, and found a higher level of engagement than similar broadcasts associated with live events.The PlayStation 5 reveal on June 11 was watched by an average of 1.51 million people at any given minute of the live broadcast, much higher than the Xbox briefing at E3 2019. It should be noted that Sony didn’t have a presence at E3 2019, and had not planned to attend this year’s event before it was cancelled. In a statement, the company said “we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.”SuperData highlighted a similar trend in audience engagement for Ubisoft Forward on July 12. It attracted an average of 1.02 million a minute during the live broadcast, versus 0.75 million viewers during Ubisoft’s presentation at E3 2019.SuperData noted that the audience was given an incentive to watch, however, in the form of a free copy of Watch Dogs 2 on PC. Even so, Ubisoft attracted 60% more viewers than during E3 2019.However, while SuperData noted that big publishers like PlayStation and Ubisoft seem capable of creating the same — or even greater — levels of interest around their products, that isn’t the case for every company that attends E3.”For example, the PC Gaming Show, which focuses mainly on a wide range of indie to midsize games, experienced lower live viewership on its official stream in 2020 than in 2019,” SuperData said. “Without the likelihood of headline-grabbing announcements, some viewers may not have felt it was worth tuning in when the event wasn’t already part of wall-to-wall E3 press conferences.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Smaller companies benefit from “proximity to bigger announcements” that take place at E3, and so the annual show’s absence may be keenly felt outside of the industry’s biggest companies.The question raised by this year — in which the COVID-19 pandemic forced every company to move their marketing efforts online — is whether the results of these digital showcases have undermined the value of a live event like E3 for the major publishers.Yesterday, we published a report from Fancensus that analysed the media response to this year’s online events and concluded: “We don’t need E3 anymore” — you can read that article here.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision no longer working with Call of Duty actor after hateful sexist commentsA video resurfaced on social media showing Jeff Leach making offensive, sexual and threatening remarks targeting women By Marie Dealessandri YesterdayHow Women in Gaming survived its publisher’s demiseMeagan Marie explains how Crystal Dynamics stepped in after Prima Games, the original publisher of her book, shut down right after launchBy Brendan Sinclair 4 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.