Microsoft inks Nvidia game deal to assuage regulators over Activision merger
“We were a little concerned about it at the beginning,” Eisler said of the Microsoft-Activision deal. “But then we reached out to Microsoft, and they were very open about wanting to enable cloud gaming and work with us on a 10-year license agreement. So over time, they made us more and more comfortable with it.”
Nvidia said it now supports the Xbox maker’s bid to purchase Activision, but the deal could still be a hard sell with regulators. European officials issued Microsoft a warning about the deal earlier this month, while the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to block it. The UK competition watchdog has said Microsoft may have to divest “Call of Duty.”
Apart from Sony and Nvidia, other companies including Alphabet Inc’s Google had expressed concerns to the FTC about the deal, according to media reports.
Microsoft has pledged to keep “Call of Duty” on Sony’s PlayStation. The popularity of the first-person shooter franchise is undimmed nearly two decades after launch, with the latest installment achieving $1 billion sales in its first 10 days in October.
The U.S. tech giant has said the deal is about more than “Call of Duty.” It has said buying the company that also makes “Overwatch” and “Candy Crush” would charge its growth in mobile, PC, and cloud gaming, as well as consoles, helping it compete with the likes of Tencent as well as Sony.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco Editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis)
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The biggest announcements from Epic Games’ State of Unreal 2023 keynote
Epic Games has just wrapped its State of Unreal 2023 keynote, where it showed off new enhancements coming to Unreal Engine 5.2, stunning new MetaHuman technology, a big push to unify its disparate assets marketplaces, and Fortnite’s long-awaited Unreal Editor tools. Given the popularity of Unreal Engine and Fortnite, the day’s announcements could have a major impact on the games we play in the future.
Here are the biggest announcements from the show.
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Epic showed off a stunning, foliage-filled Unreal Engine 5.2 demo
One of Unreal Engine 5.2’s biggest additions is new procedural generation tools, which Epic showed off in a gorgeous “Electric Dreams” demo that took place in a dense, foliage-filled forest partially created with those tools. (It also stars a Rivian truck.) You can catch the demo early in Epic’s keynote, and the first preview of Unreal Engine 5.2 will be available today.
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>You’ll soon be able to animate MetaHumans using an iPhone
Epic showed off a jaw-dropping demo of MetaHuman animation captured with just an iPhone. The tool is set to launch this summer.
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Epic finally showed off Fortnite’s Unreal Editor
We finally got a look at Epic’s new Unreal Editor for Fortnite, which will give creators a bunch of new tools to create custom Fortnite maps and experiences. In a demo, the company showed off some bright Fortnite characters in a gritty, distinctly non-Fortnite-y world.
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Epic’s new “Creator Economy 2.0” gives 40 percent of Fortnite’s net revenues back to creators
Epic announced a major change to the way creators can make money from Fortnite, promising that 40 percent of the game’s net revenues will be put back into a pool for creators. Interestingly, that pool includes Epic itself.
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Epic is merging its asset marketplaces under one brand, Fab
Later this year, Unreal Engine Marketplace, Quixel Bridge, ArtStation Marketplace, and Sketchfab will all be merged into one marketplace, Fab. You can actually check out the marketplace a bit sooner than that, though, as an alpha plug-in for the Unreal Editor for Fortnite.
Google’s new Bard chatbot told an AI expert it was trained using Gmail data. The company says that’s inaccurate and Bard ‘will make mistakes.’
- Google Bard started rolling out this week, and it’s off to a bit of a rocky start.
- The AI chatbot told one user that it was trained on data from Gmail, among other sources.
- Google later said this was inaccurate, noting that Bard is an “early experiment” that “will make mistakes.”
Google Bard began rolling out to some users this week, and it’s already hit a few snags.
AI expert Kate Crawford posted an exchange she had with the new AI chatbot in which she asks where Bard’s training dataset comes from.
In her screenshot of the conversation, Bard responds that its dataset “comes from a variety of sources,” one of which is “Google’s internal data,” including data from Gmail.
“Anyone a little concerned that Bard is saying its training dataset includes… Gmail? I’m assuming that’s flat out wrong, otherwise Google is crossing some serious legal boundaries,” Crawford wrote.
A few hours later, Google tried to set the record straight.
“Bard is an early experiment based on Large Language Models and will make mistakes. It is not trained on Gmail data,” the company said in a tweet.
In a separate response that has since been deleted, Google also said, “No private data will be used during Barbs [sic] training process.”
In Bard’s initial response to Crawford, the chatbot said it was also trained using “datasets of text and code from the web, such as Wikipedia, GitHub, and Stack Overflow,” as well as data from companies that “partnered with Google to provide data for Bard’s training.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has instructed employees to anticipate errors as people begin using Bard.
“As more people start to use Bard and test its capabilities, they’ll surprise us. Things will go wrong,” he wrote in an email to staff on Tuesday, published by CNBC.
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