20 August, 2020 | By Anzu
Ongoing ramifications of Epic’s frivolousness, a completely table-turning course on esports, a bunch of new acquisitions, investments, and deals — read on to get more details in our weekly news digest.
Epic Games, locked in a legal battle with Apple and Google over developer payments, now says Apple is threatening to cut the company off from developer accounts, as well as iOS and Mac development tools. This decision, expected to go into effect Aug. 28th, might have widespread effects. Epic is also the creator of Unreal Engine, which has not only become an industry standard for creating video games, but also film, commercial business, and TV shows like “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus. Without full access, all future versions of Unreal Engine can’t be developed for iOS and Mac devices and subsequent updates could make software running on Unreal Engine unusable, reports the Washington Post.
Take-Two Interactive has acquired mobile studio Playdots for $192 million. Founded in 2013, Playdots is the developer behind Dots, Two Dots, and Dots & Co., which have amassed over 100 million downloads combined. Take-Two, which owns publisher 2K Games and Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar, said the acquisition will "diversify and strengthen" its mobile offerings, specifically within the casual, free-to-play segment. Find more details on the deal on Gamasutra.
Tencent just added another portfolio member to its expanding global gaming empire, reports TechCrunch. Voodoo, a French company that has amassed 300 million monthly active users from its suite of mobile games, announced earlier this week that Tencent has become a minority shareholder in its business - valued at $1.4 billion. For Voodoo, the Tencent deal is clearly a gateway into the massive Asia Pacific gaming market, while for Tencent, Voodoo’s reservoir of mini games is an ideal match to WeChat messenger, which itself runs a platform for light and simple games that can reach over 1 billion users. Seems like a win-win deal!
PUBG Corporation has announced a $10 million investment in venture capital firm 1Up Ventures. Established with the goal of building a "diverse and inclusive global community of independent game developers," 1Up Ventures' portfolio includes indie studios such as Playable Worlds and Funomena. GamesIndustry.biz quotes Chang Han Kim, CEO of PUBG, saying that, with investment in 1Up Ventures, the company is “looking to foster the next generation of video game developers around the world,” and that “a vibrant and diverse indie community benefits the entire industry.”
And last but not least! This coming September, Nottingham’s Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies will be offering a new three-year degree course on esports production. The course has received an official endorsement from the British Esports Association and is backed by Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch. According to Esports Insider, the degree “specialises in the live production and broadcasting technology of esports events” and could help usher in the next wave of production staff in the industry.
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