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Disney & Apple Join NFT Race

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One of the biggest buzzwords in the last five years has been NFTs. Non-fungible tokens are a revolutionary new take on collectibles, blockchain technology, and entertainment. It combines all three in an accessible way—at least for those who understand blockchain and have a digital wallet with some crypto holdings.

Clearly, NFTs are a hit… or, at least, in theory. The trend piggybacks on the success of collectible groups, which range from fine arts to ancient coins to Magic: The Gathering cards. Though largely niche and granular, these collectibles groups tend to be lucrative and highly active. But NFTs are a lot more than just new digital assets to be collected. And just because the concept has seen huge publicity in the last five years, that doesn’t mean it will stand the test of time.

One industry that has stood the test of time is casino gaming. The casino gaming market is worth around $57 billion, according to Straights Research. While poker sees the most coverage from broadcasting groups and gaming publications, the most popular sector is actually online slots. A player can find a platform that offers online slots from anywhere in the world—straight from a mobile device. Developers like NetEnt and Play’s Go release slots like Gonzo’s Quest and Book of Dead that are played by millions worldwide each week. Interest in slots has continued to grow despite minimal coverage from media on both slots and casino gaming in general.

Clearly, an industry’s success isn’t necessarily tied to its publicity… but NFTs will need plenty more support in terms of investment and attention if they are to survive—especially considering the recent crypto crash.

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Apple & Disney Opting into NFTs

NFTs landed two huge coups after recent announcements from Apple and Disney. Apple recently updated its Apple App Store policy to allow NFTs to be bought, sold, and traded on apps sold in the store. (The Google Play Store has offered this for a while.)

However, the offering comes with a major catch. The company will take a 30% cut from any developers who earn more than $1 million on the app store and 15% from anyone making less than that.

Meanwhile, Apple still isn’t opening its doors to crypto transactions. And neither is Disney.

But recently, Disney made headlines for a posting for an open job. The company is looking to find a lawyer for ‘emerging technologies’. The role includes a huge emphasis on NFT products, which has led many to speculate about Disney’s plans with NFTs, blockchain, and crypto.

Last year, the company also made a huge leap when a patent was filed for a ‘virtual-world simulator’. Most analysts assume that this refers to a potential VR Disney Land and Disney World. Meanwhile, the company’s Disney Accelerator Program featured multiple companies focusing on NFTs and Web3 projects.

NBA’s Top Shot Market Sinking Quickly

When some people think of collectibles, their minds shoot to the days of sports trading cards from the 1980s and 90s. As a highly successful collectible project, the NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver, launched his own modern remake with the Top Shot Marketplace. In it, collectors can purchase some of the league’s most memorable ‘Moments’ (lingo for an NFT).

The project quickly took off. In February 2021, the site reached a fever pitch when some Moments sold for more than $100,000—or up to $208,000, in the case of one LeBron Dunk Moment. Today, the average Moment sells for around $180, marking one of the biggest flops in NFT history after one of its biggest booms.

 

PL Deal Dead on Arrival

With the NBA enjoying much success throughout 2021 with Top Shot, the UK’s Premier League looked to accomplish something similar. The Premier League even shortlisted Dapper Labs, which launched Top Shot on its blockchain platform, as one of its potential partners before siding with ConsenSys in March of this year. However, the project has since been slashed.

Though the project was suspected to rake in over $400 million a year for the league and its teams, blockchain platforms can no longer promise the same return on investment. This is largely due to the crypto crash, which cost holders billions worldwide. However, the Premier League might not totally discard the project and instead could switch gears to offer NFTs based on fantasy football.

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The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia drops into Fortnite with his mate Doom Slayer – Pocket-lint

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(Pocket-lint) – Fortnite has always been the king of the crossover and now it’s at it again with Chapter 4 Season 1 with Geralt and Doom Slayer making an appearance.

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The next big thing in Fortnite is now live with Chapter 4 Season 1 getting an all-new map and a whole lot more. One of those things is a new character called Selene, available from the get-go. But things will get interesting for The Witcher fans come mid-season when Epic Games adds Geralt of Rivia as Battle Pass skin.

As always, the Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks and as you progress through you’ll unlock items and whatnot. Geralt will be unlocked via that Battle Pass, as will Doom Slayer – of DOOM fame, of course. Other unlockable skins include Massai, Dusty, Nezumi, Helsie, and The Ageless. The Geralt unlock won’t be available until later on in the season, Epic says.

The latest season includes plenty of other tweaks and treats and makes use of Unreal Engine 5.1, making this the best-looking version of Fortnite to date on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

All of this will take place on a brand-new island with new points of interest that include The Citadel, Anvil Square, and Brutal Bastion.

The new season of Fortnite is up and running right now and you can get involved yourself. You can play Fortnite on just about anything right now and the download is of course free.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.

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‘Elden Ring’ Reveals Free PvP Colosseum Update, Hopefully Ahead Of DLC Announcement – Forbes

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FromSoftware has just released a new trailer for an upcoming free update to Elden Ring that drops tomorrow, Wednesday December 7.

It’s a PvP-focused update to the game which will herd players into battles into the many colosseums doting the map, hence why it’s called the “Colosseum Update.” They just released a new trailer for it, which you can see below:

According to the official press release about the addition, we have some confirmation on what exactly the modes are that will be added:

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“The Colosseums of Limgrave, Leyndell and Caelid will open their gates, allowing players to engage in battles such as duels, free-for-alls and team fights.”

In the trailer, we see a traditional 1v1 battle at the start, but it progresses to players fighting each other’s summons, and then finally a 3v3 team fight battle which is well beyond anything the game is currently capable of now.

Elden Ring has spent many months balancing all of its magic and weapon skills in an effort to try to create more parity in PvP, which has turned out to be a significant part of the game, and the core of the game’s endgame once you’ve done everything in PvE.

There is a theory that I personally subscribe to, that FromSoft is revealing this PvP update now and launching it tomorrow so it will not get drowned out by a potential announcement this Thursday at The Game Awards. There are rumblings, and fervent prayers, that this would be the stage in which they would finally announce sizable, PvE DLC for Elden Ring. We are well, well behind the pacing of past DLC announcements from FromSoft games, given that Elden Ring came out almost ten months ago now, but it’s obviously a bigger game than past ones. Elden Ring DLC repeatedly is brought up as the “World Premiere” at The Game Awards that everyone is hoping to see, and these days, with the demise of E3, it’s pretty much the biggest place in the industry to debut things, outside of first party PlayStation and Xbox showcases.

That’s the hope anyway, but the concrete facts right now are just that this PvP update will come tomorrow, so get your builds ready and find some teammates in order to take on the toughest PvP challenges in the game yet. Should be a lot of fun.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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After Backlash, Overwatch 2's New Tank Will Be Easier To Unlock For Free – Kotaku

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Blizzard

On Twitter, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller tweeted that Blizzard had reviewed data from Season 1 and decided to move Ramattra from tier 55 to tier 45 in the battle pass. And some challenges will be made “easier” to complete.

“Hey, all! Quick update on some changes coming to Season 2,” said Keller. “After reviewing data for Season 1, we’re moving Ramattra into Tier 45 of the Battle Pass and making a few more weekly challenges easier to complete. Excited for you all to see everything new in Season 2 starting tomorrow!”

This is part of Blizzard’s ongoing efforts to make progression in the shooter “more rewarding.” Of course on Twitter, players were mixed. While many seemed happy about the change, others were still upset that the hero was locked behind such a high tier of the pass, suggesting a lower tier would be better.

Now, it should be noted that unlike in the original Overwatch—which added all characters for free for all players with no restrictions—Ramattra will still be locked behind a paywall unless you grind. But at least now the grind will be less terrible and once you hit 45 you can stop focusing on challenges and the battle pass and just enjoy your new character. Well, unless Blizzard removes him like Mei or Bastion for a few weeks.

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