AOC blasts hospitality REITs for seeking federal aid to pay dividends

first_imgTagsCoronavirusHotelsREITS U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty)UPDATED, July 16, 2020, 5:56 p.m.: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking aim at real estate investment trusts that seek to use federal aid to pay out shareholder dividends.The progressive superstar, who just won a primary challenge in her New York City congressional district, criticized industry trade group Nareit for lobbying congress to allow REITs to use federal aid to pay dividends.“It is unconscionable that during a moment of national, unprecedented economic hardship federal dollars would be used to subsidize firms that continue to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to their wealthy shareholders,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.Using aid from the federal CARES Act for stock buybacks or dividend payments is currently prohibited. The main source of relief for many hotel operators has been the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to help companies keep employees on payroll. (More than 8,100 hotel businesses received aid through the program, according to an analysis by The Real Deal.)The hotel industry has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. But to qualify as securities, REITs are required to pay 90 percent of their taxable income in the form of shareholder dividends — regardless of the company’s performance. REITs that own and manage hotels and resorts have had a negative return so far this year, at -48.5, according to data compiled by Nareit at the end of June.Ocasio-Cortez said that while an estimated 70 percent of hotel workers have been laid off, hotel companies were still paying out millions to shareholders. She pointed to three hospitality REITs in her letter: Park Hotels and Resorts, CorePoint Lodging Trust, and Apple Hospitality, which at the end of March paid shareholders $105 million, $11 million and $67 million, respectively, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.“We were disappointed to see the letter,” a spokesperson for Nareit said. “REITs have long served to democratize real estate investment, now bringing the benefits of real estate as an investment to more than 40 percent of America’s families.”Park Hotels and Apple Hospitality did not respond to requests for comment. Mark Chloupek, general counsel for CorePoint, said the company, “did not receive any money from the federal Cares Act.”Kurt Petersen, the co-founder of Los Angeles-based hotel union UNITE HERE Local 11, said that it was unfair for Park Hotels to pay out its shareholders “while workers at its 60 hotels around the U.S. and Puerto Rico were laid off.”“If REITs like Park want stimulus funds, they must use taxpayer aid to keep workers employed,” said Petersen, who estimated that 95 percent of his union’s 32,000 members were laid off.Park Hotels’ portfolio includes the Hilton Orlando in Bonnet Creek, the Hilton Chicago, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the 1,878-key Hilton Midtown in New York City, which announced its closure in March.U.S. Representatives Jesús García, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Jan Schakowsky and Ilhan Omar co-signed the letter.UPDATE: This story was updated to include a comment from Nareit and CorePoint. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

The rise of soundstage real estate, by the numbers

first_imgSilvercup Studios in Long Island City, NY (Getty)Private equity giant Blackstone announced in June that it would acquire a 49 percent stake in a portfolio of television and film production spaces in Los Angeles County.Blackstone’s bet on Hudson Pacific Properties’ $1.65 billion portfolio signaled that soundstage space, as the industry calls it, had entered the big leagues. During HPP’s last quarterly earnings call, CEO Victor Coleman said Blackstone’s acquisition “provides validation to the stock market” for his firm’s decision to “assemble the largest collection of independent soundstages in the United States.”It’s not just Blackstone. Institutional investors are increasingly entering the soundstage market, encouraged by healthy demand for production space from such investment-grade streaming companies as Hulu and Netflix as well as from lumbering entertainment behemoths such as Disney.Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital, for example, also made a recent soundstage play with a $500 million acquisition of Silvercup Studios in New York.The pandemic has only driven up demand for soundstage space, in part because streaming services need to keep up with pandemic-induced appetites for content, according to a recent CBRE report. That surely figured into Blackstone’s calculus on the HPP portfolio, where Netflix accounts for more than a third of all studio space rent.Video streaming has surged 74 percent over its level in 2019, when the top five streaming companies dropped $25 billion on new productions, according to the report. The growth in streaming has also fueled gains in entertainment-related employment over the last decade.North America has 11 million square feet of soundstage space, mostly concentrated in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City. Los Angeles has about half of it, with 5.5 million square feet. Atlanta and New York follow, with 1.8 million square feet and 1.5 million square feet, respectively, according to the report.Occupancy at spaces across North America has been north of 90 percent for several years, and the biggest markets are much more expensive because demand outstrips availability. Studios have alternatives, such as British Columbia in Canada (1.2 million square feet of soundstage space) and Louisiana (700,000 square feet).Production studios also have sought space in emerging North America markets because of cheaper labor and favorable tax policies. Tax credits are easier to nab in emerging markets. Georgia, British Columbia and Ontario each offer transferable or refundable tax credits to film productions with no cap on the total tax write-off, according to the report. New York has a generous tax credit, at $420 million a year, but it is not unlimited.Heightened demand for soundstage space is also driving many studios to rent “transitional” industrial spaces, according to the report. Over the last decade, conversion of industrial spaces into production facilities has grown more common.Soundstage space is similarly versatile, which is one of the chief reasons for investing in it, according to Square Mile Capital’s Craig Solomon.“We do not buy an asset that we don’t look to the alternative uses of that asset,” Solomon said in an October interview with The Real Deal. “It’s not expensive to reposition.” Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsBlackstone GroupIndustrial Real EstateTRD Insightslast_img read more

Big Viking Games buys Gallop Labs

first_imgBig Viking Games buys Gallop LabsGallop CEO departs as Canadian mobile dev moves to acquire data expertiseMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 27th January 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleBig Viking GamesThe Canadian mobile developer Big Viking Games has acquired data firm Gallop Labs, though not everyone at the company will make the transition.According to a report on Techcrunch, six members of Gallop’s team will join as part of the deal, which Big Viking CEO Albert Lai described as “the majority” of its employees. Big Viking had been one of Gallop’s customers, along with big names like AccuWeather, the Associated Press, and the New York Times, and Lai was an investor from its early stages.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 Speaking to BetaKit, a website focused on Canadian startups, Lai said that he had introduced Gallop’s management team to potential buyers before recognising the potential a deal could have for Big Viking. “I could totally see how they could solve a lot of the problems we were faced with around marketing automation, and user acquisition, and data science,” Lai said.Big Viking was principally interested in Gallop’s technical team, which Lai described as “the natural course” for an acquisition of this kind. However, BetaKit spoke to numerous sources who claimed that a rift between Gallop CEO Karthik Ramakrishnan and another member of its founding team, Alkarim Nasser, was a contributing factor in the decision to sell. Nasser left the company in May 2015, but remained in a position of influence on the board.Big Viking has confirmed that Ramakrishnan will leave the company as part of the deal, and Farzana Nasser, Gallop’s chief strategy officer and another board member, will also depart. Of the company’s founding team, only chief data scientist Naeem Lakhani will make the transition to Big Viking.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 storiesBig Viking puts up $10 million for HTML5 Messenger publishingDevelopers intrigued by Facebook’s Instant Games program take noteBy Matthew Handrahan 4 years agoBig Viking Games lands $21.75 million investmentYoWorld developer plans to raise $60 million more to further HTML5 ambitionsBy Brendan Sinclair 4 years agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Clash Royale: Is Supercell shooting itself in the foot?

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyIlari Kuittinen CEO, Housemarque5 years ago I guess it´s better to cannibalize sales yourself than let anybody else do it. Clash Royale: Is Supercell shooting itself in the foot?Patrick Walker, EEDAR’s VP of Insights, argues that the game’s success may cannibalize Clash of Clans and be bad news for Supercell in the long runPatrick WalkerFriday 6th May 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIn March, after years of stagnation at the top of the mobile grossing ranks, a mobile game with truly innovative gameplay finally broke through to the top of the charts. Clash Royale, Supercell’s clever hybrid of Tower Defense, MOBA, and Card Battle gameplay found near-instant success, becoming the top grossing game in the world in its first month on the market.Successful innovation in mobile is hard, but it is unsurprising that Supercell was able to accomplish the feat. In addition to possessing the resources to support large-scale user acquisition, the Finnish mobile giant has talented teams, a massive amount of user data, and the luxury of ongoing revenue to support its high rate of killing underperforming prototypes.The cleverness of the Clash Royale design has been a hot topic of conversation since the game’s release, but EEDAR views the following factors as the most important to its success:- Accessible but deep gameplay. A simple map layout and intuitive controls make getting started easy. Complexity in unit behavior, unit strengths, and the meta-game of deck collection make the game deep and difficult to master (while also masking pay-to-win elements). In addition, creating a mid-core game designed for portrait orientation leverages the trend in rising phone versus tablet use.- Quick synchronous multiplayer. Synchronous multiplayer games often violate a golden rule in mobile – if you are going to have session lengths longer than a few minutes, you’d better be Blizzard. Clash Royale has a short match length of 3 minutes, and this is engineered to make the final minute especially exciting. In addition, the title has simple, polished assets which reduce match loading time and data usage.- A new take on tried-and-true monetization. Uses wait-timer monetization through the chest system rather than a pure card collection mechanic. This combines the psychologically compelling gacha mechanic with all the benefits of wait-timer monetization, including built-in reasons for players to return regularly and less dependence on developer-produced content.- Social is deeply integrated into the experience. A card trading mechanic between clan members makes social gameplay an integral part of level advancement. Short, exciting battle structure and an integrated viewing channel create a compelling spectator mode.However, despite the initial success of Clash Royale there is a risk that the game could have an overall negative impact on Supercell revenues by cannibalizing Clash of Clans. Clash Royale uses the cartoony Clash of Clans IP, a brand that has reached mainstream penetration on the back of a massive multi-year television campaign. The strength of the Clash of Clans brand has played a major role in Clash Royale’s success, but it also means that many players will likely transition from Clash of Clans to Clash Royale. This gives Clash Royale some pretty big shoes to fill long-term, and there are early signs that Clash Royale may have trouble replicating the long-term dominance of Clash of Clans.First, there are already signals that the long-term revenue outlook for the Clash titles may not match the short-term hype. While Clash Royale jumped to the top of the global charts in March, this came at the expense of Clash of Clans and was followed by both titles sliding in April, especially Clash of Clans. The following graph shows the weekly performance of the two titles versus GoW: Fire Age in March and April in the United States on iOS.The graph shows a tale of three time periods. After years of Clash of Clans dominating the top spot (and more recently flip-flopping with GoW:Fire Age), the release of Clash Royale on March 3rd kicked off a tremendous March for Supercell, with the two Supercell titles occupying the top 2 ranks. However, April was another story, as Clash Royale lost the top spot for several weeks and Clash of Clans slipped down the US charts for the first time in years. While this graph shows US iOS data only, the US market is a significant percentage of revenue for Western-developed titles and often leads revenue trends that follow in other markets.A sign of the dropping revenues across these Supercell titles was their rankings sliding below Spotify, a subscription-based music service, on the top-grossing chart in April. Services like Spotify generally have more stable short-term revenue than IAP-driven F2P games and can be viewed as a benchmark when games shift rank above and below the service.There is a risk that the more core Clash Royale gameplay will provide an exit ramp for Clash of Clans players out of the Supercell ecosystem. The data suggests that Clash of Clans is a major pipeline for introducing players to Clash Royale, whether directly or indirectly. EEDAR research suggests that most North American Clash Royale players have played Clash of Clans (74 percent)… and significantly, almost 40 percent of Clash Royale players (37 percent) are active Clash of Clans players, having played the game in the past month. The high overlap between the two titles makes it unsurprising that Clash of Clans revenues have dropped with the emergence of Clash Royale.A major risk to Supercell is that many players who enjoy the mid-core city building gameplay of Clash of Clans may not enjoy the slightly more core synchronous multiplayer gameplay of Clash Royale. Although the industry often gets frustrated by the use of the words “core” and “casual” they are valuable for understanding market dynamics. EEDAR uses the terms casual, mid-core, and core to define how much investment (time, money, concentration, etc.) a game requires from the player. There is a strong correlation between the level of investment required by a game (i.e. “coreness”) and the market size of potential players.The breakthrough in mid-core game design is driving deep engagement through many, short sessions which do not require as much investment as the longer play sessions of traditional HD games. Even though the Clash Royale battles are short, there is a higher focus needed in a Clash Royale multiplayer match than a raid in Clash of Clans. There is a risk that this type of gameplay will not appeal to many transitioned Clash of Clans players long-term.EEDAR consumer data collected in April suggests there may be merit to the risk of cannibalization. The players that play both Supercell titles are playing significantly more Clash Royale than Clash of Clans and are the most engaged group across the two games. However, despite the high Clash Royale engagement, the majority of players playing both titles prefer Clash of Clans. Will players that prefer Clash of Clans return to that game or exit the Supercell ecosystem? The risk of churn when transitioning gamers to a new game has a long history in the games industry. The release of Everquest 2 created an ideal opportunity for Everquest players to stop playing the game and try World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, many of them liked World of Warcraft better than Everquest 2, and a new dominant MMORPG emerged. Unlike SOE, Blizzard has opted to release a consistent string of updates and expansions for World of Warcraft rather than a sequel.Supercell faces a similar risk with the migration of their Clash of Clans audience to Clash Royale. If a subset of these users don’t enjoy the experience in Clash Royale as much as Clash of Clans, the big question is this: will they go back to Clash of Clans, or is this the beginning of the end of Supercell dominance?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 storiesEpic vs Apple – Week One Review: Epic still faces an “uphill battle”Legal experts share their thoughts on the proceedings so far, and what to expect from the coming weekBy James Batchelor 15 hours agoEpic Games claims Fortnite is at “full penetration” on consoleAsserts that mobile with the biggest growth potential as it fights for restoration to iOS App StoreBy James Batchelor 18 hours agoLatest comments (7)James Cramer Community Marketing Manager, Next Games5 years ago While interesting speculation, this analysis doesn’t consider burst campaigns, in game events or any other marketing activities that may have affected the chart positions of both MZ and Supercell games. 5 years ago If a movie makes a billion Dollars within eight weeks and vanishes forever, it is still considered a blockbuster success (does anybody remember the plot from Transformers?). If a mobile game makes crazy money for eight weeks and gets forgotten, it is a failure?Sure, if you are a drug dealer, you might be angry. All that work to hook somebody up on Heroin, only to have him revert to craft beer eight weeks later. But as a normal person, I fail to see what is supposed to be wrong with making a game, making money and then have the game be forgotten. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (7)Patrick Walker VP, Insights, EEDAR5 years ago This is an analysis of a long-term risk to the Supercell ecosystem – I agree that the Clash titles are doing great at the moment and that Supercell may have made a smart business decision by jumping on synchronous PVP before others. But I still think the launch of Clash Royale may lead to an overall lower market share for Supercell 6 months from now.Regarding Number 1 versus Number 3 + Number 5:All you have to do is look at King’s financials from 2013-2015 when Candy Crush was displaced at the top while other Saga games entered the top 5 to know that the exponential nature of the app market means that a consistent rank 1 is better than rank 3 + rank 5. 3Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyHerve Sohm CEO & Founder, Feather & Sword5 years ago I agree with Ilair here, the timing for the launch of well produced, well adapted, synchronous PvP game with a strong IP (it is one strong IP) was close to perfect. Better be at the forefront of the trend.Besides, ranking is great but it does not really give you the feeling of real money numbers. Although both Supercell games are ranking lower in the chart, how much more money is the company making with 2 games in top5 instead of one ? 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKlaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyPatrick Walker VP, Insights, EEDAR4 years ago Softbank is trying to sell high. I wonder why hehe.http://venturebeat.com/2016/05/14/report-says-softbank-considering-sale-of-supercell-at-5b-plus-valuation/0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyPatrick Walker VP, Insights, EEDAR4 years agohttps://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-ios-games-revenues-downloads/?utm_c0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

SteamSpy: The top 100 games on Steam accounted for 50% of sales revenue last year

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. SteamSpy: The top 100 games on Steam accounted for 50% of sales revenue last yearValves generates record-breaking $4.3bn in 2017Haydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterFriday 23rd March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareSteam saw an increase in game sales revenue of $800 million in 2017 over the year prior, according to Sergey Galyonkin of SteamSpy. Based on Golyonkin’s estimates, revenue generated from sales peaked at $4.3 billion last year, up from $3.5 billion in 2016, making it a record-breaking year for Valve. Speaking at GDC yesterday, Galyonkin revealed that around half of that $4.3 billion was generated by just 100 of the 21,000 games available on Steam. In other words, 0.5% of games accounted for 50% of sales revenue. Topping the list of highest earners was PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds generating $600 million with 28 million owners on Steam. 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 second-place was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with $120 million, and Grand Theft Auto V with $83 million. Of the top 20 games, seven were released before 2017, including Civilisation VI, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Rainbow Six Siege, Dark Souls III, and Rocket League. Along with obvious money spinners such as Call of Duty: World War II – which came in at fourth with $41 million generated in sales from 840,000 copies owned – were more surprising entries such as Cuphead at 20 with 1.3 million owners and a sales revenue of $22 million. It’s worth noting that the data is not completely flawless however as it does not include microtransactions, DLC, or in-app purchases. As a result, free-to-play games and titles with additional in-game monetisation are underrepresented. 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 storiesPlayers get credit for evolution–and stagnation–of gaming narrativeWhat Remains of Edith Finch developer Ian Dallas says the market is pushing the medium forward in some ways, tying its hands in othersBy Brendan Sinclair 2 years agoFTL and Into the Breach: Two-of-an-unkindSubset Games’ first two titles are very difficult, yet very different; Justin Ma talks about the games’ common threads and the studio’s unconventional marketing strategyBy Brendan Sinclair 2 years agoLatest comments (1)Emmanuel Dorée Studying Software Engineering, Open University3 years ago Would have been nice to have the listlast_img read more

PUBG offers compensation for erroneously banned players

first_imgPUBG offers compensation for erroneously banned players20,000 in-game BP will be provided to those affected by a wave of wrongful bans last weekRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterThursday 21st June 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareRelated 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 Last week, numerous players were suddenly banned from PUBG when an anti-cheating measure got a touch too sensitive. Now, with the issue fixed and players unbanned, PUBG Corp is offering an apology to affected players.That apology comes in the form of 20,000 BP (the first crate purchased each week by a player is 700 BP, for reference) applied to the accounts of anyone who was “wrongfully banned due to internal ban detection logic” between June 16, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PDT while playing version 3.8.38.15 of the game. The bans should have already been lifted in the hours following their issuance.PUBG Corp pledged continued improvement on cheat detection methods in the future, stating that eliminating hackers and cheaters is one of its “highest priorities.” The company has proven dedicated to stopping cheating in the popular game, having banned a total of 2.5 million accounts as of February this year, with 1 million of those bans occuring in January alone.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 4 hours 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 7 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Junichi Masuda likely stepping away from director role on future Pokemon games

first_imgJunichi Masuda likely stepping away from director role on future Pokemon gamesAfter Let’s Go!, Masuda to allow “younger generation” to steer the seriesRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterThursday 1st November 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleGame FreakLong-time Pokemon director and composer Junichi Masuda has, after working on the very first main series Pokemon game for a console, said he will likely avoid the director role for future installments.In a conversation published on the official Pokemon website, Masuda discusses the interesting technology he was able to work with on Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee, but notes that he would like to see the series handed off to a new group of leaders.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 “But at the same time, it’s important to have the younger generation at Game Freak take over the development of Pokémon as a series,” he said. “I do believe this will probably be, in terms of the main Pokémon RPGs, the last time that I work as the director.”Masuda’s first role as director on a Pokemon game was for Pokemon Gold and Silver, where he served as assistant director. He followed that as a director on Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and since then has held a director role on numerous Pokemon titles. He did not direct during the last generation, which included Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, though he did serve as producer for both.He has also worked as the composer for almost every main series Pokemon game ever released, all the way back to Pokemon Red and Blue. Masuda seems to have handed off some of his composing duties in Let’s Go! as well to Shota Kageyama, who helped compose tracks for several past Pokemon games including re-working tunes for HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.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 storiesPokemon Sword and Shield sold 1.36m retail copies in three days in JapanSales reportedly mark the best opening week a Nintendo Switch title has had in Japan so farBy Rebekah Valentine A year agoPokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee: Critical ConsensusIn a game entirely about revisiting Pokémon’s most familiar region, Game Freak has somehow still managed to surpriseBy Rebekah Valentine 2 years agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Niantic closes out $190m investment round

first_imgNiantic closes out $190m investment roundFollows on from year which saw Pokémon Go grow 35% and generate nearly $800 million revenueHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterFriday 4th January 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareAfter enjoying substantial growth last year with its flagship title Pokémon Go, augmented reality developer Niantic has closed a funding round worth $190 million. That’s according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange commission, which show the San Francisco-based firm has attracted 26 investors with the latest round. It comes just weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported a rumour that Niantic had been valued at $3.9 billion and was about to close a round worth $200 million. This latest investment round would bring the total money raised to around $415 million to date. With Pokémon Go having recently surpassed $2 billion lifetime revenue, Niantic is hardly strapped for cash, but the developer has been ramping up its investment operations recently. Between November 2017 and December 2018, it acquired four companies and invested in a fifth. Since the meteoric rise of Pokémon Go in 2016, Niantic has remained one of the dominant forces in the IAP-driven mobile game sector. According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, last year showed a 35% growth over 2017 pulling in nearly $800 million global revenue. 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 December alone, Pokémon Go generated $75 million revenue across Google Play and the App Store, a year-on-year increase of 32%. “With the books closed on 2018, Pokémon GO has amassed a total of $2.2 billion spent by players since launching in July 2016,” said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower. “Should Niantic continue to engage its player base to the degree it did in 2018, it’s possible we’ll see the game surpass $3 billion in lifetime revenue by the end of 2019.”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 storiesCEO says Paradox “can do better” as Q1 profits plummet”We are not satisfied with the quarter,” CEO Ebba Ljungerud saidBy Marie Dealessandri 13 hours agoStarbreeze’s Q1 losses shrink 95% to $505,000New CEO Tobias Sjögren says “the road ahead is clear” as Payday 3 is fully funded By James Batchelor 13 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Cloud games tech firm Hadean raises £7m

first_imgCloud games tech firm Hadean raises £7mVenture capital firm Draper Esprit leads round for London start-upAndy RobinsonThursday 7th March 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareHadean has completed a new funding round to the tune of £7 million.The London-based firm has created a cloud-first operating system, HadeanOS, which essentially treats entire data-centres as a single computer.The purpose is to enable developers to scale up their games, allowing them to power larger worlds populated by thousands of players simultaneously.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 funding round, which will be used to further develop this technology, was led by venture capital firm Draper Esprit, along with Aster and London Venture Partners. Luminous Ventures and Entrepreneur First, which have previously invested in Hadean, also contributed.The first product built with Hadean’s technology is the Aether Engine, which runs on the cloud-based OS and can be used for large, complex simulations.Hadean and Eve Online developer CCP have teamed up to demonstrate this tech with the upcoming Aether Wars event, in which they aim to get 10,000 players battling at once. The current world record for most players in an online battle is 6,142 — also held by Eve Online.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 storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 10 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 14 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Microsoft opens first flagship store in Europe

first_imgMicrosoft opens first flagship store in EuropeAnnouncement of location on Oxford Circus comes alongside £1m grant to train young community members in digital skillsRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterThursday 11th July 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleMicrosoft Game StudiosToday, Europe’s first flagship Microsoft Store opened today on Oxford Circus, alongside the announcement of a £1 million digital learning grant to support young people in the local community.The store has three floors, with a section specifically dedicated to Xbox hardware as well as a gaming lounge equipped for esports tournaments. It also has a community theater meant to serve as a “digital learning hub” for classes on coding, summer camps, and other digital skills as well as summer camps and special educational events.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 As a part of that focus on digital learning, Microsoft has announced a £1 million grant in partnership with UK Youth, The Raspberry Pi Foundation, and The London Community Foundation. The grant will help provide digital learning educational opportunities to young people in the community.”We’ve wanted to bring a flagship to London for a very long time,” said Cindy Rose, corporate VP of Microsoft in the UK. “Today’s opening means that we now have a physical space where we can share the very best of Microsoft with everybody.”Our ambition is that this is a place where people can do so much more than just shop. It’s a place where they can learn new skills, where businesses can grow and where we can build long term links with the communities in our neighbourhood. That’s why we’re investing £1 million to help train some of the most disadvantaged young people and help support our local community here in London.”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 storiesXbox Games Showcase bookended by Halo Infinite, FableA total of nine Xbox Games Studios and a number of third-parties showed off 21 gamesBy Rebekah Valentine 9 months agoRed Dead Redemption writer and God of War producer among new hires at The InitiativeStudio head Darrell Gallagher reveals six names joining him at Microsoft’s newest development houseBy Haydn Taylor 2 years agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more