Play Labs, LLC and the MIT Game Lab announced this week that they are open to applications from a new round of startups who wish to participate in their “playful technology” accelerator program. Successful applicants will receive mentoring, facilities, and funding (in cash or Bitcoin) in return for common stock. The incubator hopes to receive applicants from startups developing technologies for use across a broad spectrum of industries, including finance, healthcare and manufacturing. Examples of technologies the incubator hopes to see amongst startups span the realm of digital currency/blockchain, eSports/video games, VR/AR and machine learning/AI. The program will be ran by Rizwan Virk, an MIT
There’s no shortage of funding for new and exciting companies which are focusing on providing a new experience for the consumers. One such examples is the “mainstreamization” of eSports, with tournaments receiving as much visitors as many mainstream sport events. That’s not all, as eSport streamers drove YouTube and Twitch to new heights in terms of videos being generated and followed. Building on its launch in 2016, SLIVER.tv signed numerous partnerships to bring their technology into eSports. The company signed agreements and started streaming numerous events, bringing brands such as DreamHack, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters. Their focus on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and
While most video games possess some semblance of an economy, even if that’s just trading bottle caps for heavy artillery (as in Fallout’s perversion of the barter system), online games and competitions under the eSports banner take the concept so much further. Free-to-play MMOs in particular usually finance their servers with nickel and dime payments, letting players buy access to new areas, earn powerful buffs, or gamble on the outcome of loot boxes. Knives and Stickers It’s the same for competitive games and multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), which, while occupying a niche distinct to the MMO, nevertheless given their players the option of using
As a part of a broader push, YouTube is now working on making its virtual reality app a more social experience. During Google’s annual I/O developer conference, the video site announced that the VR users will be able to watch VR videos together while in its VR app. Not far away from a movie theater experience, the goal is that a viewer is put together with a small group of friends that can sync up videos to watch together simultaneously and talk to each other about what’s going on. At the bottom of the screen, users see which of their friends is in the “room,”
In today’s roundup, we look at the most interesting news around the world. AMD’s Financial Analyst Day PDFs Available for Download http://ir.amd.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=74093&p=irol-analystday AMD’s Financial Analyst Day was marked with the stock shooting for the stars one day, and then crashing down the other, as investors didn’t got the expected Intel announcement. Intel is currently operating in dangerous territory with a month-to-month agreement with NVIDIA, after the original contract expired on March 31st, 2017. Intel has to sign either with AMD or NVIDIA, or face the (legal) music again. But forgetting about the legal wranglings, if you’re an enthusiast or want to see what AMD is cooking for
Since the beginning of racing games, virtual racers are trying to be better and faster with each and every stage. I can still remember the first NFS and Midnight Club games, different Grand Prix titles and all the time, it was about competing against my friends. Looking into the typically closed world of Formula One, or F1 for short, we’re quite delighted to see how McLaren F1 Team decided to step up a notch. The racing team partnered with Logitech G (gaming division) and have launched an EGaming competition in order to find the best simulation racing gamer in the world. The winner will be offered a
Just two decades ago, if somebody prophesized that reality TV would have the lion’s share of airtime on some channels, a job posting for a soothsayer wouldn’t be too far behind. There’s something bizarre about tuning in to watch others do things we’re capable of doing ourselves, not so much the pro sports of this world but the bundling everybody in the same house (Real World) expanded to sitting on sofas (Big Brother) or partying (Jersey Shore), and the arguing that typifies an hour with the Kardashians. Thus, the question present itself – are eSports and the popular forms of entertainment – actual sports themselves? Twitch
Last week, Las Vegas released a report showing a breakdown in visitor profiles. While there’s no doubt that Vegas is going through a renaissance, with numerous international visitors flying in directly (there are even rumors that Singapore Airlines will restart a direct flight to Las Vegas), the biggest growth is coming from 18-35 year olds, also known as “millenials”. It seems that just over a third of Las Vegas’ nearly 43 million tourists last year were millennials, who are drawn into a new form of entertainment. In order to address the need for new generation of content, MGM Resorts revealed plans for a multi-level eSports arena
From its humble beginnings, competitive gaming or eSports for short has become a mainstream stay. Regardless of are you or watching TV in Germany, entering a Business Class lounge in Istanbul, Turkey – you’ll see League of Legends or a similar eSports title playing on one of the screens, and even two gaming systems plus the consoles. Move to the United States, and you’ll see eSports players even being betted on, with services such as UNIKRN. Draftkings and Fan Duel need no introduction. ESPN today has an eSports channel… and yet, all of this pales in comparison to the destination I am currently heading to.
Gaming is not just popular in China, it’s more widespread than mainstream sports. For example, there are over 540 million registered gamers in China. United States has 325.5 million, while European Union has 510.1 million people. Unlike its western counterparts, massive number of gamers in China play not in their homes, but rather in locations such as iCafes i.e. ‘internet cafes’. According to a report from Niko Partners, the research company in Asian Games Market Intelligence, in 2015 there were 146,000 icafes with 20 million daily users. In 2016., revenues from mobile, PC and console games in China exceeded $26 billion. Besides the mobile gaming, internet cafe is
Winter time. Heavy snow should have already been on all of the hills around. Rain was falling all night, tapping on improvised canopy above me. Everything is damp. Rain is drizzling from above and from below, the steam is rising up. Black bark of trees is in contrast to white mist. Every now and then some of the old branches gives in to the time and knocks on to the ground. Starting a new phase of its existence. Dawn is short and inevitable. The world is driven by desire and the same world is a small place. A new day, a new beginning and a new
While VR commands a lot of attention from up and coming experiences and franchises, there is no denying that the first really big shots in VR games are yet to come. On the other hand, impact and workflow of today’s 3D games are all established and known. For some franchises, one might say that they’ve been here from the beginning of gaming. Milestone for many young (not so young) lives. One such game is Valve’s Counter-Strike i.e. CS. Together with League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2, this holy trinity of eSports reach over 140 million players and attract more viewers globally than numerous mainstream sports.
Virtual Reality Gaming isn’t coming, it’s already here. With the introduction of Google Cardboard and the Daydream VR platform, Oculus and HTC discrete VR headsets and GearVR headsets for even smartphones like the Samsung’s Galaxy S7, the first tentative steps towards virtual reality gaming are being taken. With Facebook announcing its buy-in of virtual reality technology for a whopping $2 billion, Google has responded with its own VR system, a simple piece of cardboard that can turn your Android phone into a neat virtual reality headset. This all proves that VR gaming is here to stay. Already, the range and quality of available games is encouraging.
During the Nvidia’s “Power of 10” event, Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation talked about the positive shift in mentality for game developers. Game development in the past segmented resources between consoles and PCs, often resulting in sub-par experiences on the more powerful hardware. PC-focused eSports today have an audience of over 300 million viewers, easily rivaling or even beating more established ‘real’ sports. In 2013, the situation for PC gaming was rather grim. The arrival of new, AMD powered consoles brought the x86 architecture back to Microsoft (Intel x86, IBM PowerPC, AMD x86), and marked the third architectural change for Sony (SGI MIPS, IBM PowerPC,
As a category of motorsport, an all-electric FIA Formula E championship is gaining in popularity. Even though it is only in its second year, the sport made a lot of progress by interacting with the fans and the media in a more open way than any other branch of motorsport. The Formula E organization is taking a full advantage of its collaboration with its technical partners. From offering the races live on YouTube throughout the race day (most of them last for 9hrs+) to replays and highlights shot with HD and 360 ‘virtual reality’ videos, the championship is more attractive than ever. If you want to follow
Valve Corporation is an organization responsible for not one, but two of the most popular and influential eSports franchises: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (aka CS:GO) and Dota 2. Given that Virtual Reality (VR) titles debuted strongly, and there are two VR titles in Steam’s Top 10 “Popular New Releases” category, it was a question of time before the potential of a tie-up between eSports and VR appears. Not surprisingly, VR has that potential to become the social tool like Nintendo Wii once was. In an article on Fortune, Chet Faliszek, game developer and Valve’s VR evangelist talked about the appeal of VR: “While we have The International and events where
As we move into 2016 it’s time to look ahead to the newest technology being used in gaming releases next year. For once, the eSports tournaments are now increasingly attended and these might incorporate elements of the latest technologies on the market. eSports traditionally have been considered of a flop as the reality never quite lives up to the consumer idea. Many go along expecting a virtual reality environment and are disappointed when presented with a room of gamers going head to head. The broadcasting of these matches can leave a lot to be desired, with large screens displaying out of ratio game screens. Still, eSports
Ever since developers started turning code into pixels, and pixels into virtual worlds, the overriding desire has been to make things more realistic. While Pong was the perfect way to pass the time back in the Seventies, its basic graphics and simple structure simply wouldn’t make it a hit in the modern day. Similarly, while Super Mario was a pioneering plumber in his day, the two-dimensional mushroom hater is now nothing more than a “classic” that inspires fond memories from “back in the day.”
Even though he can legally drive a car in Europe for just a few weeks, Max Verstappen made headlines this year, achieving several records which are likely to stay for a long time, especially after FIA imposed age-limits for Formula 1. This Scuderia Torro Rosso driver will be remembered as the youngest debutant in the Formula 1 World Championship, youngest points scorer, and if there wasn’t for poor reliability of his Renault engine, he would probably score even higher in a rare season where Scuderia Torro Rosso even has better chassis than its parent, Red Bull Racing (which is ‘pathetic’ and troublesome at the same time).
Following his tenure by running Microsoft’s Venture Capital fund, well-known tech entrepreneur Rahul Sood and his friend Karl Flores started a project of his own, named Unikrn. Recently, the project exit the silent phase and it was revealed that Unikrn is a betting website for – eSports! With the growth in popularity of eSports, especially in countries like South Korea, Germany or the United States, final matches for games such as League of Legends reach seven and eight figure prize, cementing eSports as an upcoming trend globally. Given that it is a question of time before eSports becomes mainstream – we were not surprised to see Unikrn closing a Series