Your Latest Game Industry News Round-Up #2

Scope out a few of the news stories from the game industry this week, hand-picked from across the world of games.

San Diego Comic-Con 2020 is Canceled

Source: CNN

San Diego Comic-Con logo

San Diego Comic-Con logo (image: San Diego comic-Con)

“San Diego’s Comic-Con has been canceled, the latest major cultural event to fall victim to concerns raised by Covid-19.

The convention — which regularly draws more than 125,000 attendees, turning San Diego into the center of the pop-culture universe for four days each July — posted the announcement on its website.

‘For the first time in its 50-year history,” the organization behind the event said, they were announcing “with deep regret that there will be no Comic-Con in 2020.'”

Oculus Connect 7 to be Online-only Event for 2020

Source: Facebook/Oculus

Oculus Connect logo

Every year, Oculus Connect brings together developers, content creators, marketers, and more to celebrate the VR industry’s momentum and growth. In light of the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19, we’ve decided to shift Oculus Connect 7 to a digital format later this year.

” This was a tough decision to make, but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees, and everyone involved in OC7. Oculus Connect gives us an unprecedented opportunity to connect with our global developer community. OC7 will be no exception, and we look forward to sharing more details about the digital event in the coming months.”

Minecraft Adapted for RTX Ray Tracing

Source: VentureBeat

Ray tracing is now available in the Windows 10 version of Minecraft. This enables you to get the next-gen lighting technology in the block-building game…”

In a briefing with Nvidia, the company referred to these as “playable framerates,” and I agree. Even on an RTX 2070 Max-Q laptop, I rarely dropped below 40 frames per second. And that is high enough to enjoy Minecraft without issue.

You will have to decide if the tradeoff between frames and visuals is worth it. But at least in the beta, you can swap between RTX and traditional lighting at any time by hitting the semicolon button.”

Check out the video above for a look at the new RTX-enabled Minecraft beta.

Riot Games Acquires Hypixel Games

Source: The Verge

Hytale fight screenshot

A glimpse of combat in Hypixel Studios’ Hytale (image: Hypixel Studios)

Keeping to the theme of Minecraft stories, Riot Games (League of Legends and Valorant) has acquired Hypixel Studios, developer of the combat-oriented Minecraft-like game, Hytale. Acquisition terms were not announced.

Hytale — which looks to blend the sandbox elements of Minecraft with roleplaying elements — appears to fit neatly into this plan of moving to new genres and properties. The developers say they’re planning for the game to be “be playable by everyone in 2021,” and that 2.5 million people have already registered to join the beta. “It’ll help the studio take another leap forward in our journey from mod team to professional developers,” Hypixel co-founder Simon Collins-Laflamme says of the deal, “and allows the team to realize our vision for Hytale.”

BMW Shifts Marketing to Esports

Source: Forbes

BMW United in Rivalry logo

BMW’s partnerships with five esports organizations (image: BMW Group)

As real-life sports are riding the pine for a while, some brands feel digital sports and esports have a new appeal, especially for younger audience. Case in point: BMW.

“The luxury German carmaker unveiled a partnership it formed with five gaming organizations—Cloud9 in the United States, Fnatic in the United Kingdom, FunPlus Phoenix in China, G2 Esports in Germany and T1 in South Korea—with the goal of capturing eyeballs glued to video game competitions in titles like League of LegendsDOTA 2, Fortnite and FIFA.

“In the long-term esports will be our biggest footprint,” says Stefan Ponikva, head of BMW Brand Experience Shows & Events, adding that esports will eventually eclipse spending on sports such as motorsports and golf. “The younger generation, being born digital first, doesn’t really care about TV or traditional advertising. Esports is our tool to reach them.”

Source: Vice

Nintendo Switch DIY

The home-built Nintendo Switch (image: Brennen johnston/Vice)

The Nintendo Switch (and the hit game Animal Crossing) seems to be the perfect home companion for folks in the midst of a quarantine. But Nintendo’s popular console is in short supply and high demand, and those that are available are often sold by price-gougers. So, what’s a Switch-less gamer to do? Well…

“Brennen Johnston, for example, decided to build a Switch from its component parts for his friend “to starve out online price gougers.”

Johnston posted the instructions and parts list on Imgur; the process of course is pretty time consuming, requiring one to source all of the parts that make up a Switch.”

Do you have interesting news to share, or something coming up that would also fit into this regular feature? Let us know!