Your Latest Game Industry News Round-up #30

Scope out a few of the game industry news stories from the last week below, hand-picked from across the world of games. This week, check out news about an AI conference hosted within an MMO game space, news about Cyberpunk 2077, game investments in 2020, a new esports-related film — and more. Take a look through the index to find the news you want to know!

Index:

AI Conference Hosted Within MMO Game
Source: Capital Watch

Distributed AI forum In “NetEase’s “Justice” (Image: NetEase Games)

Nordic Game (Image: Nordic Game Resources AB)

Event organizers have found some interesting ways to host events through the year, but what Capital Watch describes in their article is a memorable way to pair a high-tech conference with an online game platform that’s designed to host vast numbers of players:

“This week, a NetEase-sponsored AI conference took place in an unusual setting – inside Justice, its top game. For the first time, attendees of a conference were able to choose characters, their clothing and facial expressions and immerse as one would in a game in the workshops and presentations at DAI 2020.

While users (and investors alike) came to praise Zoom Video Communications (Nasdaq: ZM) over the Covid-19 outbreak, NetEase Fuxi Lab decided to offer more than just a video chat. It sought to make the setting “more interesting and interactive,” as a NetEase representative told CapitalWatch earlier this week.

It was the second Distributed AI (DAI) forum since it launched in 2019. This year, the four-day event, taking place from Saturday to Tuesday, attracted more than 300 AI researchers and practitioners. In addition to the game setting, attendees could join via Zoom or see live streams via Bilibili (Nasdaq: BILI).”

 


Cyberpunk 2077 Delayed to December
Source: Ars Technica

One of the messier stories from the games business this last week, which Ars Technica outlines, was when CF Projekt Red announced news that confused and upset (and over-the-top upset some) fans of the much-hyped dystopian sci-fi game:

“CD Projekt Red’s next massive adventure game, Cyberpunk 2077, has been delayed for what appears to be the 4,000th time since being announced roughly eight years ago.

After assuring fans that the game’s last delay—to November 19—was pretty much ironclad, due in part to the game “going gold,” CD Projekt Red confirmed a new release date via a Twitter post on TuesdayCyberpunk 2077 will now arrive on December 10 simultaneously on a bunch of platforms. (Deep breath: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PS4, Windows 10 PC, and Stadia.)”

 


Game Investments on Record-setting Pace in 2020
Source: Forbes

Two people playing PS4 game

Two gamers playing a PS4 soccer game (Image: JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash)

We’ve posted about some of the big moves companies have been making in games this year, like Unity‘s and Roblox‘s moves in the stock markets. When added up by the numbers, though, it’s an impressive series of zeroes. Check out this Forbes piece to see just how red-hot video games are in 2020:

“Despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the already hot video game business has seen a “record-setting’ rush of investment in its third quarter, pushing total investments for the year to $9.9 billion, according to the just-released DDM Games Investment Review.

The not-quite-finished third quarter has been particularly huge, some $5.2 billion in investment capital flowing into more than 110 deals, according to the report’s author, Digital Development Management of Northhampton, Mass. The huge quarter of investments pushed the year’s totals far beyond the previous high-water mark tracked by DDM, 2017’s $8 billion.”

 


Should Nintendo Switch Owners Feel Next-Gen FOMO?
Source: Nintendo Enthusiast

Nintendo Switch and Joy-Con controllers

Nintendo Switch with Joy-Con controllers (Image: Nintendo)

Nintendo Enthusiast makes a case for why, heading to 2021, Nintendo Switch owners shouldn’t feel left out of the next-gen console launch hype:

“We’ve all seen them. The console unboxings, the media hands-on demos, the first impressions. There’s nothing quite like a new console launch, where everyone’s champing at the bit for any juicy details. This week, it’s been PlayStation 5’s turn, as select media outlets and influencers have gone hands-on with Sony’s latest machine. While embargoes are limiting what we get to see, the hype levels are still incredibly high between it and Xbox Series X. However, I think it’s a pretty underwhelming next-gen launch period, and here’s why Nintendo Switch players have just as much to be excited about.”

 


Facebook: Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset Sold Pre-orders at 5x Original Quest
Source: Gamesindustry.biz

Quest 2 VR headset with Touch controllers

Oculus Quest 2 VR headset with Touch controllers (Image: Facebook)

 

In spite of some thorny issues around Facebook login requirements, Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has apparently been greeted with wider consumer interest than the first Quest VR headset  GamesIndustry,biz covers the details:

“Pre-orders for the Oculus Quest 2 were five times higher than Oculus Quest, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a call with investors following Facebook’s financial results, Zuckerberg said that pre-orders for the new standalone VR device far outstripped Oculus Quest — and ” surpassed our expectations.”

 


Biden/Harris Campaign Sets Up Shop in Fortnite
Source: Mashable

"No Malarkey" station in Biden/Harris campaign Fortnite map

“No Malarkey Station” in Epic Games’ Fortnite (Image: Biden campaign)

in last week’s news round-up, we touched on a couple political appearances in spaces familiar to gamers. The Biden/Harris campaign for the U.S. presidency continues its full-court press, appealing to younger audiences where they are often spend time (aka in games), as this story from Mashable discusses:

“Ahead of Election Day 2020 (have you made your voting plan yet?), the Biden/Harris ticket is headed to FortniteIn a new custom map, called “Build Back Better with Biden” and located in “Reboot City,” players can complete a solo adventure roughly 20-30 minutes long, designed to promote awareness of the candidates’ economic recovery plan.

“With voting underway and days until Election Day, we are continuing to meet people everywhere they are online and offline with innovative and thoughtful activations,” explained Christian Tom, director of digital partnerships for the Biden/Harris campaign, in a statement provided to Mashable.

“We designed the custom ‘Build Back Better with Biden’ Fortnite map to do just that — engaging players in a substantive, approachable, and fun way to reach and mobilize voters.”

 


New Esports-focused Comedy Film in Development
Source: Variety

Movies about video games or gamers have been, to say the least, a mixed bag. But with gaming a red-hot way to spend time in 2020, it’s an even more attractive proposition to create more biig- and small-screen content in and around the world of games. Variety unveils one of the next such projects in the works:

Ellen Page and Paris Berelc have boarded gaming comedy “1UP,” with Kyle Newman directing in what could be the first feature film for BuzzFeed Studios.

Berelc will portray a gamer who quits her college esports team due to sexism from her male counterparts. To keep her scholarship, she’s forced to assemble an all-female team and enlists the help of a coach — portrayed by Page — who has a gaming scandal in her past.”

 


EVE Online Community Sets Two World Records
Source: EVE Online Blog

Combat scene from Eve Online's "Fury at FWST-8"'s" scenario

Eve Online “Fury at FWST-8” (Image: CCP Games)

We relayed the recent news from CCP Games about the recent Guinness world records-setting battle in the space-faring MMO game, EVE Online. But, if you’re an online battle tactician and love the details how an MMO war plays out, then there’s a lot more info and insight on the game’s official blog post from last week.

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