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YouTube will stream the CoD and Overwatch leagues in 2020

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USA Today Sports / Reuters

Activision Blizzard’s next big esports bet, Call of Duty League, gets underway today. While the company worked with Twitch in the past on Overwatch League, that’s not where you’ll be able to watch its latest foray into top-level competitive gaming. YouTube will be Activision Blizzard’s exclusive worldwide streaming partner (except for China) for both leagues this year, along with Hearthstone events and other esports endeavors.

As part of a multi-year deal, Google Cloud will handle the publisher’s game hosting and streaming infrastructure. In a press release, Google said Activision Blizzard opted for Cloud “because of its highly reliable global footprint, advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and commitment to open source, creating a platform for building future gaming innovations.” It also suggested the company might use Cloud AI tools to provide “curated recommendations for in-game offers.”

Losing Overwatch League and a chance to stream Call of Duty League is the latest in a string of blows for Twitch. It hosted OWL for the last two seasons and paid Blizzard a reported $90 million to be the league’s streaming partner in a two-year deal. By some estimates, Overwatch League was the most-watched channel on Twitch in the third quarter of 2019.

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A number of big names have also jumped ship from Twitch in favor of other streaming platforms over the last few months, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter. It did manage to hang onto some popular streamers, including Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, Saqib “LIRIK” Zahid and Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar, but losing OWL is another setback for Twitch in its quest to remain the livestreaming kingpin.

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OpenAI Looks to Escape Copyright Lawsuit Over Open Source Code

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OpenAI Inc., the viral generative artificial intelligence company that’s drawn major investment from Microsoft Corp., moved to dismiss a wide-ranging lawsuit brought by open-source software developers claiming that the company’s “Copilot” AI program was trained with and reproduced their code without authorization.

OpenAI, which was sued alongside Microsoft and Github Inc.—companies that helped develop Copilot—said in court documents filed on Thursday that the complaint had major procedural problems and relied mostly on unspecific allegations.

OpenAI is the company behind other popular AI programs like the image-generating DALL-E and the chatbot ChatGPT; this month it received a $10 billion investment …

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Electronic Arts Spotlights Accessibility Features In Motive’s All-New ‘Dead Space’ Revival – Forbes

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In a blog post published this week, video game captain of industry Electronic Arts (referred to as EA henceforth) outlined several of the accessibility features included in Motive’s popular horror title Dead Space. The Redwood City-based EA’s announcement coincided with the release of the updated game late this week.

As noted on the game’s website, the story of Dead Space revolves around “the dark secrets behind the events aboard the USG Ishimura through the final logs of the ill-fated crew and your encounters with the few survivors that remain.” The new version of the game, available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, is a remake of the classic version with what the developer calls “jaw-dropping visual fidelity, suspenseful atmospheric audio, and improvements to gameplay.”

Dead Space is a classic that changed how horror games were perceived when it was released,” said lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon in a statement included in the post. “[It] made sense to revive that game and share it with a whole new generation. But the game came out 15 years ago, when accessibility features were less common. Things like subtitles, menu narration, control-remapping, and the like are pretty much expected now [by the disability community], so we wanted to make sure the remake aligns with today’s highest standards.”

EA notes Motive has made Dead Space more accessible and inclusive by building in a number of “customization options with some fine-grained control.” Amongst many others, they include colorblind settings, control customization, and aim assistance. There’s also the ability to have screen reader-like narration of menus, as well as options to reduce motion effects, enable subtitles for dialogue, and display content warnings in anticipation of more gruesome moments.

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There’s a video demoing accessibility in Dead Space on its YouTube channel.

All told, Motive is acutely aware that supporting accessibility is an evergreen endeavor that never finishes. The company is committed to making Dead Space even more inclusive going forward, with Cimon astutely noting the inclusivity ultimately benefits gamers yet also helps the business too. Accessibility features, he said, help the game feel more accessible and approachable by making it appealing to the widest possible swath of potential players. Ergo, more players means more business for the development studio to pour into future innovations.

As the axiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“[Working on accessibility is] about addressing and removing barriers that come between our players and games,” said EA’s program lead for game accessibility Morgan Baker in the post. “Accessibility improves experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds, allowing for better products and ensuring that more players can have an enjoyable experience. And the work done by the Dead Space team shows that increasing accessibility continues to be a priority for us.”

For Baker, it’s heartening to see Motive so committed to accessibility.

“It’s so motivating to see a studio like Motive so invested in providing players more choices around how they consume horror content,” Baker said. “It’s inspiring. And we hope to see more studios consider the same. Because ultimately, when we can all play games, we all win.”

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Samsung Galaxy S23 series German pricing leaks – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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Just a few days ago we got some detailed pricing info for the Galaxy S23 series in Germany and Spain, WinFuture is here with some more finalized sums for the German market.

Based on the latest info, the entry-level Galaxy S23 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will start at €949 while the 256GB S23 model will go for €1,009. These sums are €10 less than the alleged Spanish pricing.

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Galaxy S23+ will start at €1,199 in its 8/256GB trim while the 8/512GB model will go for €1,319. The 8/256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at €1,399 while the 12/512GB model will go for €1,579.

Germany
Galaxy S23 Galaxy S23+ Galaxy S23 Ultra
8/128 GB €949 N/A N/A
8/256 GB €1,009 €1,199 €1,399
8/512 GB N/A €1,319 N/A
12/512 GB N/A N/A €1,579

A closer comparison to the S22 series pricing reveals Samsung will be charging a €100 premium on the entry-level S23 and S23+ models. The base model S23 Ultra gets €50 price increase though the new model should arrive with 256GB storage instead of 128GB on its predecessor. The top-dog 12/512GB Galaxy S23 will be a cool €130 costlier this time around. Pre-orders from Samsung.com are expected to get the storage upgrade promos.

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