Russian internet giant Mail.Ru has fully acquired eSports outfit ESForce in an all-cash deal worth $100 million. ESForce is one of the biggest eSports companies in the world, and is the largest in Russia and Eastern Europe. The company is a diverse outfit, and owns popular eSports teams SK Gaming and Virtus Pro, the 1000 capacity Yota Arena eSports stadium in Moscow, global eSports database CyberBase, a variety of trading and analytics platforms, and international eSports merch retailer, Fragstore. In 2017 the business had 116 million users, and revenues for the year are expected to clock in at around $19 million -- a 150 percent increase on 2016. "We are very pleased that the talented team who have been responsible for building this business will all be remaining with the company," said Mail.Ru Group CEO, Boris Dobrodeev. "We will be looking to leverage our unrivaled position inside of the social networks and gaming in order to drive ESforce to … [Read more...] about Mail.Ru Group acquires Russian eSports leader ESForce for $100M
If you ever read Calvin & Hobbes, you know you can have a lot of fun with cardboard and a bit of imagination. Nintendo seems to agree, given last week's announcement of Nintendo Labo, an assortment of "build-and-play interactive experiences" that ask players to build their own Switch peripherals (or "Toy-Cons") out of pre-cut cardboard and use them to play accompanying games. It's an intriguing idea, one that pays homage to Nintendo's roots as a maker of paper card games. More notably, it may inspire crafty devs to try something similarly novel in their own Switch games; some of the Labo projects seem to make innovative use of the Switch Joy-Con controllers' infrared motion sensor, for example, or their rumble motors. It's also, in fairness, an ask of $70 or more for games that seem heavily reliant on properly-constructed cardboard shells. On one hand, that's great news: it means the Labo peripherals are easily … [Read more...] about Gamasutra Asks: What to make of Nintendo Labo?
It's no secret that indie games are thriving on the Switch, and it looks like Stardew Valley was the pick of the bunch last year. The cute farming sim was the most-downloaded Nintendo Switch title in 2017, despite only launching in October. Stardew's place at the top of the pile was confirmed after Nintendo published two tables showing which titles have pulled in the most downloads since the console launched on March 3, 2017. The first table shows which games rose to the top in Japan, while the other covers the worldwide market. Stardew took the global crown, beating out the likes of Rocket League and Sonic Mania, while Mojang's blocky build-em-up Minecraft secured the top spot in Japan. Unfortunately, Nintendo didn't share any actual sales figures, and it's also worth noting that the worldwide list only feature games that have been released in Japan. Those that haven't been localized, like Golf … [Read more...] about Stardew Valley was the most-downloaded Switch title in 2017
This year at GDC 2018, audio director Richard Ludlow will be presenting a practical session meant to help audio engineers of all backgrounds in game development. It's a session dedicated to asset management, a topic that may not spark a massive amount of excitement, but it's a part of game development that every department has to wrangle with, not just game audio. At Gamasutra, our interest in this session extends beyond asset management however, and into the work of speaker Richard Ludlow, an audio director who's worked with Ubisoft, The Odd Gentlemen, and Tencent. We (shamefully) don't spend a lot of time discussing game audio on this fine website, so today at 6PM EST on the Gamasutra Twitch channel, we'll be chatting with Ludlow about his work and discussing the finer points of game sound. If you've got key audio questions, whether they're career-related or tech-related, you should join us! And while you're at it, be sure to follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more … [Read more...] about Get insights about working in game audio at 6PM EST!
The Gamasutra Job Board is the most diverse, active and established board of its kind for the video game industry!many, many positions being advertised right now. Location: Agoura Hills, California Visual Concepts is one of the world’s top game development studios with a flat, entrepreneurial, and non-corporate work environment. We have a proven track record having shipped over 100 multi-SKU titles to great critical acclaim. Our studios in Agoura Hills, CA and Novato, CA are committed to gaming and technical innovation and offer top candidates the opportunity to learn and grow with some of the smartest and most creative minds in the industry. We are looking for an experienced engineer to push the boundaries of graphics for our games. You will analyze existing algorithms and features, then optimize them and invent creative ways of allowing us to do more with the same hardware constraints. You will architect new graphics features. You’ll build tools that meet … [Read more...] about Get a job: Visual Concepts is hiring a Sr. Graphics Software Engineer
According to the ESA’s annual assessment, the U.S. game industry once again saw a year-over-year increase in revenue, with this year’s numbers coming in at $36 billion in revenue between hardware, peripherals, software, in-game purchases, and subscriptions. By the ESA’s count, that makes for an 18 percent increase over the $30.4 billion reported in 2016. Those numbers were based on the NPD Group’s annual year-end reporting and supplemented with App Store and Google Play data from the mobile analytics firm App Annie. Keep in mind however that the NPD’s reporting on game and downloadable content sales, particularly digital, isn’t an exact measurement. The report notes that its numbers don’t include digital sales for Switch and 3DS games, or PC digital sales from Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Battle.net, Origin, or Uplay. Game developers should be aware that data gaps like that have led to amended reports in the past, but, … [Read more...] about ESA: The U.S. game industry saw $36B in revenue in 2017
Facebook has signed an agreement that secures it exclusive broadcasting rights to both the CS:GO Pro League and ESL One eSports events. The social media site replaces YouTube as the sole stream provider for the upcoming competitions. Be it original content or live streaming video, Facebook has doubled its efforts in recent years to grow its social media site as a major video platform and its growth is something developers may want to pay attention to. The ESL cites this effort as one of the reasons it opted to partner with Facebook this time around and notes that the arrangement has the benefit of making live events accessible to a large number of eSports fans with little friction thanks to the company’s Facebook Watch platform. Those benefits, the ESL says, extend further to recently implemented social video experiences that let viewers form private stream chats with online friends or form virtual viewing parties through Facebook’s built-in messenger chat. … [Read more...] about Facebook signs eSports streaming agreement for CS: GO Pro League and ESL One
Audio in games often isn't given its due, but at Gamasutra (and GDC), we do our best to check in with our microphone-wielding friends to see what's going on in their world. Today, to discuss his upcoming GDC 2018 session, Hexany Audio director Richard Ludlow dropped by the Gamasutra Twitch channel to discuss some of his work on Arena of Valor and other games that may sound familiar. Since Ludlow's work crosses the spectrum from dialogue to music, we were interested to talk about his career in game audio and learn about the latest developments impacting the industry. It was an enlightening conversation, which you can view in full up above. Be sure to watch for insights into how procedural audio generation might impact audio designers work and how Ludlow navigates getting new jobs for his company in a competitive environment. For more developer interviews, editorial roundtables and gameplay commentary, be sure to follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel. … [Read more...] about Gamasutra talks to Arena of Valor audio designer Richard Ludlow
The value of the Chinese mobile game market has grown by 250 percent since 2015, with consumers in the region dropping around $11 billion on mobile titles during 2017. That figure comes from App Annie's 2017 Retrospective report, and means China is now the third most valuable mobile games market by a significant margin (in terms of consumer spend). As the graph below shows, there's a definitive 'top three' comprised of Japan, the United States, and China, and that trend looks set to continue in the future. Both the U.S. and Japan have seen similar growth in recent years, with consumer spending rising by 60 percent in both countries. That upward shift means the Japanese mobile games market is currently worth over $12 billion, with the U.S. market pipping China to the post with a valuation of slightly over $11 billion. What's really interesting is that China practically matched the U.S. despite the fact that consumers in the region can't … [Read more...] about Chinese mobile game market sees consumer spending rise by 250% since 2015
What does it take to design an interesting, compelling character? Explore the challenge at this year's Game Developers Conference, where you'll have a chance to get tips from the creators of Moss -- and its cute mouse protagonist. In a very special Design track talk on "How Quill Defined Polyarc's VR Character Design Process" Polyarc's own Brendan Walker will dig into the nuts and bolts of crafting believable and engaging VR characters and environments in your game. See, when Polyarc set out to make its first VR game they built their world from diorama-sized puzzles you interacted with in 3rd person while respecting real world scale. This naturally lead to the creation of a mouse as a main character that the player would use to traverse the puzzles. According to Walker, Playarc hoped to make that moues protagonist (Quill!) appealing to the player, but did not expect the amount of emotional attachment players expressed during playtesting. This … [Read more...] about At GDC 2018, get tips on creating lovable characters from a Moss dev