EA wants to take a leaf from Fortnite's book and open up its "key franchises" to cross-platform play, its vice president of investor relations Chris Evenden has said.On an earnings call yesterday, Evenden was asked whether he'd want to replicate Fortnite's cross-platform success in Battlefield 5, and replied: "We're looking at key franchises in terms of how we can deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base. "The ability to bring PC to mobile or mobile to console can bring family and friends together, and we think that's an important part of our future development profile. Expect more from us on that front in the future." As a PC FIFA player, I'd love to be able to challenge my PS4 friends to matches, so this sounds like a positive step. Sony could well be the roadblock: Todd Howard spoke recently about how the company wasn't keen to support cross-platform play in Fallout 76. To … [Read more...] about EA wants cross-platform play for its big franchises
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Microsoft announced today that it acquired PlayFab, a provider of services for cloud-connected games. The terms of the acquisition are not known, but a statement from Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of gaming at Microsoft, said that the company is now part of the Microsoft family. PlayFab describes itself as “the most complete back end platform built exclusively for live games” and touts its ability to support mobile, PC and console platforms. Choudhry said that the acquisition would extend “the investments and work [Microsoft] has done on Microsoft Azure to provide a world-class cloud platform for the gaming industry.” Azure is a global, cloud-based computing platform that relies on physical data centers to support operations in 42 regions around the world. It’s particularly attractive to gaming companies because of its raw power as well as its scalability. You might remember that it was also used to power technologies related to the … [Read more...] about Microsoft acquires cloud-based gaming platform PlayFab
Four days from today, Nintendo's latest console will go on sale. A little over four years since the launch of Wii U, a little over four months since Nintendo announced Switch, and to many, the system seems like a breath of fresh air — a game console Transformer full of potential with a steady stream of software to back it up. To some, though, the system seems incomplete. From early reports of controllers that don't properly sync to a limited launch lineup, a lack of non-game apps like Netflix, a missing Virtual Console library and lingering questions about the online service, there's a simplicity to Switch's launch that recalls the '90s — Zelda is Mario 64, and if you don't want that or a few other games, you might not need the system right away. In time, Nintendo will address those issues. Yet more than most consoles, Switch remains a bit of a mystery at launch. Are motion controls going to be a big part of it? What type of player will Switch developers cater to? And will … [Read more...] about What the game industry thinks of Nintendo’s Switch
Thanks to a historic deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox, Disney will essentially own three streaming services. Disney is gearing up to launch a stand-alone streaming service for exclusive Disney titles, and that will exist alongside a stand-alone streaming service for ESPN. Now that Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu, that also means Disney basically owns Hulu. With three streaming services and an ever-expanding treasure trove of content, what does that mean for the company? How will Disney decide what goes to Hulu versus what remains on its stand-alone streaming service? The fact is that we don’t know, but we can take a few educated guesses based on what Disney CEO Bob Iger has said today and in the past. During an investors call today, Iger addressed Hulu and noted that he sees it as an extension for more mature Fox series. “There’s a lot of Fox intellectual property that fits extremely well into Disney-branded direct-to-consumer services,” Iger … [Read more...] about What’s going to happen to Hulu now that Disney basically owns it?
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history