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Endemol Shine Group Launches New Games Developer ‘Good Catch’

Variety reports “TV production and distribution powerhouse Endemol Shine Group is pushing further into the gaming world with the launch Thursday of a new games developer and publisher, Good Catch.

The wholly owned offshoot is expected to come up with both original and IP-based games to add to a stable that includes “Pointless Quiz,” a trivia app keyed to the popular British game show “Pointless,” and two games featuring the hapless character Mr. Bean. Thursday’s launch of Good Catch coincided with the unveiling of new game “KSI Unleashed,” described by Endemol Shine as an “arena-style, beat-’em-up game” featuring KSIOlijadebt, a gamer who is one of Britain’s most-watched people online.”

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ZeniMax raises the stakes in Oculus VR lawsuit

GamesIndustry reports “ZeniMax Media has issued an amended complaint in its lawsuit against Oculus VR, one that implicates John Carmack and calls into question Palmer Luckey’s role in the emergence of the consumer VR market.

The amended document – which was sourced by Game Informer, and can be found here – makes specific allegations regarding John Carmack, who left the ZeniMax-owned id Software to join Oculus VR in November 2013.”

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‘Angry Birds Movie’ Sequel in the Works at Rovio

Variety reports “A sequel to “The Angry Birds Movie” is in the works at Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd., maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game.

“Angry Birds” grossed a solid $347 million worldwide, including $107 million domestically, since its release in May. Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta made the disclosure as part of the company’s earnings report.”

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ITV Withdraws Proposal To Acquire eOne

Deadline reports “Earlier this month, Toronto-based media conglomerate Entertainment One rejected a takeover approach from UK broadcaster ITV. The British company today says it is withdrawing its bid altogether. Its proposal valued the global film and TV indie at about £1B ($1.3B) and eOne at the time said the offer “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects.” ITV evidently disagrees.”

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Futureplay Games raises $2.5 million for ‘view-to-play’ mobile entertainment

VentureBeat reports “Futureplay Games has raised $2.5 million to fund more titles in its “view-to-play” ad-based mobile gaming portfolio.

Started by former Angry Birds veteran Jami Laes, the Helsinki, Finland-based company creates mobile games such as Farm Away! and Build Away! that skirt the usual in-app purchases in favor of an ad-boosted monetization strategy.

The funding comes from London Venture Partners, DN Capital, Sunstone, and Creandum. This fresh infusion will help Futureplay to accelerate its growth by expanding its team size and production capacity while continuing to develop accessible games and an ad-boosted monetization strategy.”

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“Where are all the women at?”

GamesIndustry reports “This morning marks the wide release of FarmVille: Tropic Escape. It’s the latest in Zynga’s invest/express games for mobile, a follow-up to FarmVille: Country Escape with a new theme to match its new mechanics and features. But on top of whatever it does to further the franchise’s fortunes, it’s also notable for the uncommon construction of its dev team. Nearly 40% of the developers on the team are women, including team lead and Zynga GM Nicole Opas.

‘Diversity has been really important for me as a female leader,’ Opas toldGamesIndustry.biz last week. ‘I’ve been in the game industry for 18 years, and frankly, I’ve always had male bosses. So it was important for me to seek out women, whether it be experienced and seasoned female leaders or new employees to our company fresh out of college.'”

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‘Bad for the Industry’: Spotify’s Artist Whisperer Troy Carter Slams Exclusives, Updates Company’s Subscriber Total

Billboard reports “In June, when Atom Factory founder/CEO Troy Carter announced he was joining Spotify as global head of creator services, many music executives thought he would be securing his new employer exclusive releases, a la Apple Music’s deals for Frank Ocean’s Endless and Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book. But on a recent afternoon at the company’s New York office in Chelsea, Carter, 43, declares that ‘exclusives are bad for artists, bad for consumers and bad for the whole industry.'”

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Your phone is becoming your favorite screen, even when you’re at home

Recode reports “Everyone says mobile is the future of digital. But when they talk about mobile, lots of people still talk about it as something you take with you, on the go. And that’s true! But mobile is also something you turn to when you’re at home and have plenty of other screens to turn to.

We’ve been tracking this for years. Way back in 2011, for instance, Vevo said that most of the mobile views for its music videos were actually happening in bedrooms and living rooms. Here’s another data point: Sandvine, a broadband services company, says that 30 percent of internet data usage at home comes from phones and tablets.”

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Games: Digital sales up 10% year-over-year in July

GamesIndustry reports “The games industry has had a better-than-expected summer, at least when it comes to digital distribution. Superdata released its monthly worldwide digital game sales numbers today, with July seeing $5.9 billion spent on digital games, a 10 percent jump year-over-year.

Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunen attributed the industry’s performance to a number of recent titles exceeding expectations, including The Division, Overwatch, and Pokemon Go, which he noted had the most successful mobile launch in history. On a category basis, the biggest gains for the month were posted by mobile games (16%), digital console games (11%), and the free-to-play PC category (11%), while social gaming, PC DLC, and pay-to-play MMOs all saw declining revenues.”

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Samsung and Tencent surge in race to become Asia’s most valuable firm

VentureBeat reports “Tencent Holdings Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd are racing to be crowned Asia’s most valuable company as expectations for robust earnings growth push their share prices to record highs.

Their surge – both have gained by a third this year – has made them the world’s best performing large-cap tech stocks and highlights how these nimble Asian firms are thriving while rivals Apple Inc and Alibaba have struggled.”

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Leap Motion’s new VR physics engine is built for your hands

The Verge reports “If you’ve ever used the Leap Motion hand tracker, you’ll know that it’s a magical experience punctuated by moments so frustrating it makes you want to throw things — except that you can’t pick them up, which is why you’re frustrated in the first place. Leap Motion is well aware of this problem, and the company has just announced a beta of what it calls the Interaction Engine, which is meant to fix it.”

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Sliver.tv is a VR Twitch for your favorite eSports titles

TechCrunch reports “VR’s content problem has been baffling more than a fair share of co-founders in the space looking to create experiences or networks in the space. Sliver.tv wants to create the Twitch of VR and to do that, they’re building tech that turns 2D eSports title livestreams into immersive spherical footage viewable on VR headsets and mobile devices.

Sliver.tv does all of this by relying on what they call a network of “virtual cameras.” The platform takes advantage of the full breadth of views available on these streaming network’s spectator mode and records the entire 360-degree spherical environment.”