That's a big part of why the company this week launched Epic Online Services, which will let video game developers easily create games that include cross-play across PCs, consoles, and smartphones.Sweeney says that it's all based on tech that Epic came up with itself for "Fortnite," and indeed, the success of that game has allowed the company to reinvest in Unreal Engine and the Epic Games Store, businesses that serve outside developers.Epic is making a big push towards helping other developers succeed, pro bono, because Sweeney says what's good for the industry is good for the company.Last year, Epic Games successfully convinced Sony to allow players of its smash-hit game "Fortnite" to battle each other across PlayStation and Xbox— a big win, given that Sony had publicly resisted this so-called cross-play.I think the cross-platform experience ... companies throughout the industry are not taking advantage of that yet.More than just a player-friendly feature that encourages more people to spend more time with more games, he says cross-play is a small part of a much bigger trend in video games that many are overlooking.
Sima Sistani, who co-founded the app and is its chief operating officer, is taking over the top job today.Ben Rubin, who has led the company since before its earlier incarnation as the live-streaming app Meerkat, will join the board and continue to advise the product teams.In an interview, the co-founders said the move was designed to reflect the company’s upcoming push into gaming and other media partnerships.In January, Houseparty added the popular mobile game Heads Up, offering in-app purchases for the first time.It’s part of an effort to build a social network around something other than advertising, at a time when scrutiny of ad-based business models has intensified.“We made this decision that the strategy now is games and media, and we’ve got the best person in the house to do that in Sima,” Rubin said.
AriseBank CEO Jared Rice, who faced 120 years in prison for defrauding investors of $4 million in a cryptocurrency scam, has pleaded guilty.The cryptopreneur plead guilty yesterday morning after standing in front of judges in Texas, local outlet Dallas News reports.Rice conned investors by guaranteeing “no-risk returns” of between 10 and 20 percent on investments made into his startup.He admitted to one count of securities fraud, saying that he did indeed lie to investors.He also promised Visa-branded cards despite having no relationship with the payment services provider.Rice has also claimed that AriseBank’s initial coin offering (ICO) raised $600 million in a few weeks, despite actually only raising $4 million.
GameStop has named George Sherman as its new chief executive officer.Now, he’s taking over the largest game-specific brick-and-mortar store chain.So he has a lengthy history of overseeing retail stores.“I bring significant experience working with other retailers that have undergone large, successful transformations and look forward to leveraging GameStop’s industry position, history, and brand.”Sherman is stepping into the shoes of GameStop chief executive Paul Raines who stepped down in 2018 for health-related reasons.Raines was attempting to shift GameStop’s focus away from just selling games.
Earlier this month, Volvo announced it will limit all of its future cars to 180 kilometers per hour, or 112 miles per hour, from the 2021 model year.Despite the angry comments you might have read online, Anders Gustafsson, Volvo Cars America president and CEO, said the move has been well-received by the general public.Gustafsson said that might be in part because Volvo buyers "have a specific DNA" that makes them more interested in safety-focused car innovation.Either way, he said that introducing car safety tech helps the company stand out in a crowded new-car market like the US."We can be more competitive based on our legacy of safety, instead of pushing in more discounts to move our metal," Gustafsson said.For Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson, the move is also designed to send a message that the brand has a big focus on safety.
This week I’m excited to feature Mark Sims, founder and CEO of Fikes Products.A former collegiate football player and past president of the Entrepreneurs Organization Seattle chapter, in addition to running his business Mark is active with the YMCA and helping new entrepreneurs worldwide.Location: My main distribution center in Kent, WA mostly but also Portland and Denver offices or wherever I travel I’m pretty good at making do.My ritual is 30 minutes of time at my desk working on activities that involve anything but e-mail.I instead have a drink comprised of 1 healthy teaspoon of turmeric, 1 cup of warm water, 1 whole lemon juiced and a pinch of black pepper for quicker absorption into my system.I do e-mail in a couple select segments throughout the day (late morning, right after lunch and late in the day) and don’t work on it continually.
Gaming hardware and peripheral company Razer made a big announcement today: the company is partnering with Chinese software giant Tencent (via TechCrunch).The Razer/Tencent collaboration will lead to more integration between Razer hardware and Tencent games and apps.During a press event announcing the partnership, though, Razer CEO Min Liang Tan discussed another topic: the Razer Phone and Razer’s overall strategy when it comes to the smartphone industry.Tan didn’t mince words when it comes to the Razer Phone: he thinks the phone defined an entire genre (the relatively-new gaming phone category) and boasted that Razer is unconcerned with competition from other companies, such as the Xiaomi Black Shark and the Nubia Red Magic Mars.Here’s what Tan had to say:Nobody was talking about gaming smartphones [before the Razer Phone].
In these politically divisive times, there's at least one thing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can agree on: The way we track who in America does or doesn't have broadband stinks.These faulty maps don't just rankle lawmakers who are flooded with complaints from constituents.The lack of visibility means 19 million people in this country still lack broadband access at a time when the service is considered as important as water or electricity.USTelecom, an industry group representing carriers like AT, CenturyLink and others serving rural America, says it may have the fix that will provide far more granularity in the data than ever before and unveiled the details to CNET.The trade group will announce Thursday it's joined with other telecom industry groups, including WISPA, which represents fixed wireless providers, and ITTA, which represents smaller rural carriers, to pilot a new mapping program in two states -- Virginia and Missouri -- that they say will lead to creating a better, more accurate nationwide broadband deployment map.The group has gotten some key support.
Two days after MoviePass announced the return of the company’s unlimited ticket plan, Ted Farnsworth, CEO of its parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics, sat down with TechCrunch to offer insight into the state of the beleaguered service.According to the executive, MoviePass Uncapped is already seeing positive results.So, that gives you an idea of when we really started focusing on getting rid of the 20 percent of the abusers.”The plan marks a return to the initial unlimited model that helped turn MoviePass into a household name in the past year.MoviePass withdrew the unlimited plan and began reworking its plans on what seemed to be a weekly basis.Helios secured a $5 million loan from creditors Hudson Bay Capital Management in order to turn the lights back on.
AT CEO Randall Stephenson got interrupted by a robocall while on stage at an Economic Club event in Washington, DC Wednesday, proving that the plague impacts everyone.AT didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
What happened: On Wednesday, Randall Stephenson, AT’s CEO said in a speech in Washington that Huawei is making it very difficult for European internet carriers to drop the Chinese tech giant from their supply chains for 5G.“If you have deployed Huawei as your 4G network, Huawei is not allowing interoperability to 5G—meaning if you are 4G, you are stuck with Huawei for 5G,” he said, adding that the US government could do a better job of explaining security risks related to using Huawei.Why it’s important: Stephenson’s statements add to the brewing row between Huawei and the US.As the Chinese company tries to convince foreign governments to allow internet carriers to use its equipment in building the next generation of the internet, Washington is advocating that this would come with huge security risks.Europe is a key battleground due to its market size and 5G readiness.The discord has mainly revolved around data privacy, but Stephenson’s remarks point to national security risks related with IoT infrastructure.
VMware and Cisco's rivalry is as fierce as ever, as both companies fight to stay relevant while their customers ditch old-fashioned tech for the cloud.VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger couldn't help but throw some shade at Cisco in a recent interview, calling its software a "bicycle" compared to VMware's "lamborghini."Years ago, VMware and its then-parent company EMC were best buddies with Cisco.They even sold their products together in a joint venture that did about $2 billion a year, we reported back in 2014.Nicira's software is now VMware's NSX division, and it's on track to do $1.3 billion in annual revenue and just reached 10,000 customers, VMware's CFO said during its earnings call last month.Read: Why SAP CEO Bill McDermott signs his emails 'XO, Bill' since buying Utah startup Qualtrics for $8 billion cash
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made an offering to the cryptocurrency community: he will pay developers to work full-time on Bitcoin BTC Core and other “cryptocurrency ecosystem” projects.Are you currently contributing to bitcoin-core or other crypto ecosystem projects for free in your off-time?We’d like to pay you to do it full-time.If interested, DM @SqCrypto, and follow for updates on our progress.Bitcoin Core is an open-source protocol.There is no one company funding Bitcoin development, and it has no leader.
The concept of an agency trading desk as a central hub within a holding group network, where media buyers can source audiences using ad tech, is a little over a decade old and a term that has fallen out of favor in more recent years.Voices raising questions around the margins these desks made became increasingly loud towards the middle of this decade, with many ATDs trading media using a model where they could be likened to holding groups’ internal supply-side platforms.Such dissenting voices brought about transparency conversations, which came arguably came to a head with the 2016 ANA transparency report and many holding groups subsequently have had to address how they position such offerings.Founded in mid-2011, Xaxis was one such unit housed within WPP’s media trading powerhouse GroupM.Its current CEO Nicolas Bidon is now making vocal comparisons between “Xaxis 1.0,” which was an ad network, and its current guise that leans into services.All the while, the entire agency network faces a shake-up under its new leadership.
At an Economic Club event in Washington, DC today, AT CEO Randall Stephenson was interrupted on stage by a robocall, pausing an interview in front of dozens of people and driving home that absolutely no one is safe from the spam epidemic.Over the past few months, regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have been feeling the pressure from lawmakers and consumers who are urging them to put an end to the relentless onslaught of robocalls people receive every day.Last year, consumers received over 26.3 billion of these scammy calls and the problem only appears to be getting worse.“I’m getting a robocall, too,” Stephenson said during the Economic Club event, ultimately declining the call on his Apple Watch.John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation that would work to tone back the number of calls, but there hasn’t been any similar reaction from the FCC to combat the problem.FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly threatened some method of regulatory intervention if carriers like AT and Verizon don’t step up with a solution, but he and the commissioners have yet to propose any new rules for carriers.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Epic Games Store's much-ballyhooed 88-percent revenue share has been great news for developers who are no longer forced to accept Steam's de facto 70-percent standard.Should PC games cost less on Epic’s Games Store?Speaking to Ars Technica, though, Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney says that players should look forward to paying less on the Epic Games Store in the future.While Epic leaves pricing decisions completely in developers' hands, Sweeney said, "after you go through several cycles of game developers making decisions, you're going to see lower prices as developers pass on the savings to customers, realizing they can sell more copies if they have a better price."It's a supply-side thing, this revenue sharing, it's some sort of business arrangement between developers and a store that [a] gamer generally doesn't see... [but] as developers reinvest more of that 18 percent of additional revenue into building better games, that's key to the long-term health of the game industry that we all have to look out for."Sweeney wouldn't share too many specifics but did throw out a few numbers to highlight that faster-than-expected growth: 85 million total players with Epic Games Store installed and 4.5 million downloads for a free game like Subnautica, including one million downloads from newcomers to the store.
One of the bigger challenges the company is pushing forward of late is its Epic Store, a new marketplace for PC games with an 88 / 12 percent revenue split that stands in stark contrast to Valve’s Steam, with its more traditional 70 / 30 percent split.(Valve has since altered its terms to make them more developer-friendly, but the terms are not as generous as Epic’s.)In an interview with The Verge earlier this week, ahead of the company’s State of Unreal presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sweeney outlined some of his positions on the Epic Store.The former is of particularly high interest in light of recent news that Valve took multiple days to consider whether it should ban a visual novel called Rape Day, which glorified sexual violence and featured disturbing scenarios set in a post-apocalyptic setting.“Epic has two different philosophies,” Sweeney says of moderating the Epic Store.You can make a game we disagree with.” But when it comes to the store, Epic’s marketing, and Fortnite, Sweeney says the company prioritizes “high-quality experiences.”
Here is the letter jointly penned by Spark, Vodafone NZ, and 2degrees:Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, FacebookYou may be aware that on the afternoon of Friday 15 March, three of New Zealand’s largest broadband providers, Vodafone NZ, Spark and 2degrees, took the unprecedented step to jointly identify and suspend access to web sites that were hosting video footage taken by the gunman related to the horrific terrorism incident in Christchurch.Other New Zealand broadband providers have also taken steps to restrict availability of this content, although they may be taking a different approach technically.We acknowledge that in some circumstances access to legitimate content may have been prevented, and that this raises questions about censorship.We appreciate this is a global issue, however the discussion must start somewhere.
It’s happened to all of us: your smartphone rings and you pick it up only to find that it’s a robocall from some spammer trying to sell you life insurance or something.It seems like once a day I get at least one robocall, and it’s frankly becoming quite annoying.However annoying it might be for us regular folk, imagine getting a robocall during an interview on live television.That’s exactly what happened to, of all people, the CEO of AT, Randall Stephenson.During a C-SPAN interview, Stephenson received a robocall which he swiped away on his smartwatch.Check out the clip below, published in a tweet from the official C-SPAN Twitter account:
Former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is getting a $60 million payout package from Verizon.The so-called golden parachute follows Armstrong's departure from the company in October, and comes after Verizon wrote down about about half of Oath's $9 billion value.The integration of AOL and Yahoo has never been on solid footing and Verizon is now taking a new direction with its recently re-named Verizon Media Group.Tim Armstrong, the former CEO of AOL and later Verizon's media and advertising business, Oath, is getting a $60 million payout package from Verizon, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.The so-called golden parachute follows Armstrong's departure from the company in October, and includes $31.1 million founders award and $16.6 million he's expected to get in June, according to The Journal.The Oath business unit, now called Verizon Media group, formed as a combination of technology and media assets gained through a 2015 AOL acquisition and a 2017 Yahoo acquisition, and has seen seismic changes in its roughly one year of existence.