TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Keywords raises £100m acquisition fund; Ubisoft sues Apple and Google; and Tencent to establish North American AAA studio.
Keywords raises £100m acquisition fund
Keywords Studios has raised approximately £100m through the issuance of 6.9 million new ordinary shares at a placing price of £14.50, with the financing to be used to support the acquisition of video game service companies struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Any purchases by the Dublin-based firm will purportedly be in line with its current acquisition strategy of targeting multiple geographies, service sectors, and company scale. The raise follows Keywords amassing a similar £100m war-chest last year, which led to the acquisitions of Ichi, Kantan, Syllabes, Sunny Side Up, Get Social, Wizcorp, Descriptive Video Works, and TV+SYNCHRON Berlin GmbH.
The announcement proposing the raise reads, “Despite the background of the gaming industry’s general resilience to COVID-19 and structural growth drivers, the Group is expecting to see some stress in predominantly smaller service providers, which are typically single location and service with fewer clients and less able to weather the disruption. A third party survey of 300 professionals from Game Developers, Game Publishers and Service Providers conducted in late March 2020 revealed that 29% of Service Provides fear a risk of insolvency if the COVID-19 crisis were to continue for six months. This is likely to result in an increased number of acquisition opportunities for Keywords Studios, with some targets now more inclined to re-engage previously stale exploratory conversations.”
At the time of writing, Keywords Studios PLC (LON: KWS) share price is up 6.15% at £15.87.
Ubisoft sues Apple and Google
Developer-publisher Ubisoft has filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google in the US Federal Court in Los Angeles, alleging that the two companies have failed to remove an unauthorised copy of its Rainbow Six Siege (R6S) title from their respective Google Play and Apple App online stores. As initially reported by Bloomberg, the lawsuit alleges that Arena F2 (AF2), a mobile FPS title developed by Alibaba-owned Ejoy.com which was released last month, is a “near carbon copy” of R6S, copying various assets including its user interface. Ubisoft has reportedly notified Google and Apple of the alleged copyright infringement, with both refusing to remove AF2 from their storefronts at the time of writing.
The lawsuit reads, “R6S is among the most popular competitive multiplayer games in the world, and is among Ubisoft’s most valuable intellectual properties. Virtually every aspect of AF2 is copied from R6S, from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between. Ubisoft’s competitors are constantly looking for ways to piggyback on R6S’s popularity and to capture the attention, and money, of R6S players.”
Tencent to establish North American AAA studio
Tencent Holdings Limited will be establishing a new AAA-focused studio in the North American region, marking the latest in a series of moves to consolidate its market position in Western markets. The studio will be led by former Halo 4 Design Director Scott Warner, who will be leaving his position as Game Director at Ubisoft. While Tencent announced last week that its online game revenue had climbed by 31% during the first quarter of 2020 alone, the majority of its international growth has been powered by acquisitions and strategic investments, rather than through the establishment of its own development houses. While the exact location of the studio has yet to be confirmed, Warner has suggested on Twitter that Seattle and Los Angeles are leading contenders.
In further news from Tencent, Kojima Productions co-founder Ken-Ichiro Imaizumi, who left the Japanese studio in November last year, has reportedly joined the the former’s European division. Though his exact responsibilities are as-yet unclear, Tencent Europe primarily focuses on identifying new investment opportunities across the EMEA region, along with promoting the expansion of its WeChat social messaging, e-commerce, and gaming, platform.
Poll: Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Is Out Today On Switch, Are You Getting It? – Nintendo Life
Today sees the latest Nintendo-published title, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (or 51 Worldwide Games as it’s known in Europe) launching on Switch, so we thought it’d be nice to see just how many of you lovely lot are thinking of picking it up.
As you may be aware, the game is actually a successor to Clubhouse Games (known as 42 All-Time Classics in Europe) on Nintendo DS. This new entry includes 51 games, obviously, as well as a piano for some reason, all of which are listed below.
In our review, we highlighted the fact that the new game contains such a wide enough variety of board, card and action games that you’re sure to find a number that will appeal to you. The presentation is perhaps the icing on the cake, too, going well above and beyond what you’d usually see in what is essentially a minigame compilation-style release.
So, over to you. Are you planning on buying Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics?
If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, you can grab a physical version of the game below. Feel free to expand upon your answer in the comments!
Please note that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
iPhone 13 design kills the notch and adds USB-C — but don't get too excited – Tom's Guide
A iPhone 13 prototype has supposedly been leaked. But while this 5.5-inch device looks interesting, one prominent leaker has already slapped down the report’s accuracy.
The original source is MacOtakara, which published a story about some alleged iPhone 13 3D printed mockups, which allegedly shows what a 2021 iPhone could look like. It’s this story that leaker Jon Prosser responded to on Twitter with the fantastically blunt answer: “lol no.”
MacOtakara claims that the designs for these 3D prints came from a source at online retailer Alibaba. This particular model has a 5.5-inch display, and is supposedly the successor to this year’s smallest iPhone 12 model, which measures 5.4 inches according to leaks.
lol no https://t.co/qXXG2ROhRpJune 5, 2020
The clearest change here is that there is no longer a front camera notch, which has been present from the iPhone X to the iPhone 11, and is likely coming to the iPhone 12, too. MacOtakara suggests that there will be an under-display selfie camera instead, as well as potentially a camera at the bottom of the screen.
We know under-display cameras are on their way, with Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi all looking into the technology for their 2021 phones. But we’d be surprised if Apple immediately adopted this new tech as well.
If Apple was to move its cameras beneath the display, it would have to factor in how it would affect Face ID. The infrared sensor could be located in the bottom camera previously mentioned, or Apple could decide to go for an under-display fingerprint scanner like many of its rivals. But we definitely don’t see Apple abandoning Face ID.
A shot of the mockup phone’s bottom shows that the Lightning connector has been swapped for a more standard USB-C one. This is in contradiction to other rumors that have claimed that one iPhone 13 will be Apple’s first portless phone, with the company looking to avoid using USB-C on iPhones.
The back of the phone shows a very odd camera bump with five tiny holes. MacOtakara explained that this is likely a modular system to help designers test multiple camera designs more easily. Rumors for the iPhone 13’s camera array seem to be split between whether it will have four cameras – like the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to have – or if Apple will try and add more sensors outside of the main square patch.
MacOtakara did say that this is only a prototype model and therefore could be very different from the real iPhone 13, if it does indeed exist. However, the fact this prototype differs so widely from other leaks we’ve heard makes it hard to believe.
It’s still over a year until we’ll likely see the iPhone 13 debut in fall 2021. However the iPhone 12 is expected to be revealed around September or October this year.
We know a lot more about the iPhone 12 than next year’s model, including its four different models, 5G connectivity, OLED displays (with 120Hz refresh rates on the Pro models), new A14 chipsets and camera arrangements – two rear cameras on the iPhone 12 and 12 Max, and four on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, including a LiDAR sensor like the one seen on the iPad Pro 2020.
Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business – Digitimes
Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business
Friday 5 June 2020
China-based NAND flash maker YMTC reportedly is looking to cross into brand SSD business in the third quarter and will focus on supplying the devices to PC makers. Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPhones using OLED panels for 2021 may adopt LTPO backplane in order to reduce their power consumption. With Huawei under the US’ new sanctions, Taiwan’s IC substrate makers have begun turning to strife for more orders from other clients particularly those in the US.
YMTC may unveil own-brand SSDs in 3Q20: China-based Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) reportedly will in third-quarter 2020 launch its own-brand SSDs adopting in-house-developed 64-layer 3D NAND flash, with target outlets including PC OEMs, according to industry sources.
OLED screens of iPhones may adopt LTPO backplanes in 2021, say sources: Apple has yet to introduce its 5G iPhones for 2020, but its supply chain is already developing OLED screens using LTPO (low temperature polycrystalline oxide) backplane technology for next year’s premium iPhone models, according industry sources.
IC substrate makers shifting focus to US clients from Huawei: Taiwan-based IC substrate makers including Unimicron Technology and Na Ya PCB are gearing up to strengthen business ties with US clients seeking to offset expected losses of orders from China’s Huawei/Hisilicon subject to tougher US trade sanctions starting September, according to industry sources.
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