TECHNOLOGIES

Netflix to Acquire Finnish Mobile Game Developer Next Games

Netflix, Inc | March 02, 2022

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced that it has entered into a combination agreement to acquire Next Games (NXTGMS). Under the terms of the agreement, Netflix will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Next Games. Pursuant to the offer, Next Games shareholders will receive €2.1 in cash per share of Next Games, for a total equity value of approximately €65 million. The Board of Directors of Next Games has unanimously decided to recommend that the shareholders accept the tender offer.

Next Games has a seasoned management team, strong track record with mobile games based on entertainment franchises, and solid operational capabilities, We are excited for Next Games to join Netflix as a core studio in a strategic region and key talent market, expanding our internal game studio capabilities. While we're just getting started in games, I am confident that together with Next Games we will be able to build a portfolio of world class games that will delight our members around the world."

Michael Verdu, Vice President of Games, Netflix.

Founded in 2013 and led by Teemu Huuhtanen, Next Games creates and operates engaging mobile games with global appeal and an authentic and social fan experience at its core. The company's strategy is to develop games based on popular entertainment IP, such as Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, a story-driven puzzle role playing game (RPG) inspired by one of Netflix's most watched series. The company had approximately 120 employees at the end of 2021 and reported sales of approximately €27.2 million in 2020, with 95% of revenues generated from in-game purchases.

We have had an unwavering focus to execute on our vision: to become the partner of choice for global entertainment businesses and craft authentic and long-lasting interactive entertainment based on the world's most beloved franchises, Joining forces with the world's largest streaming service, Netflix, presents an opportunity for a logical and exciting continuation of our strategy to craft interactive experiences for the world to enjoy. Our close collaboration with Netflix on Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales has already proven that together we create a strong partnership. This is a unique opportunity to level-up the studio on all fronts and continue on our mission together."

Teemu Huuhtanen, Chief Executive Officer, Next Games.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Spotlight

With big names and big money pouring in, VR is definitely here to stay. Today the relevance of VR goes beyond entertainment/infotainment. This further establishes the need for testing various VR applications and devices. This infographic presents various interesting facts about the VR industry and deliberates on the need for robust testing strategy and collaborating with an experienced testing partner.


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TECHNOLOGIES, SOLUTIONS

Epoxy.ai Launches First of Kind Fan Analytics Solution

Epoxy.ai | October 12, 2022

Epoxy.ai -- the new innovative leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven sports technology --announced the commercial launch of the gaming market’s first sports media and betting specific insights platform, Audience Cloud™.Epoxy’s Audience Cloud™ is a sports gaming and media analysis solution utilizing purpose-built AI to provide an ongoing view of sports fan behavior. Audience Cloud™ provides gaming operators and sports media entities with critical data to help them understand how their users are engaging with their products over time – as consumers change with seasonality and their fandom evolves. “The whole idea is to provide our customers with the ability to look holistically at sports fan behavior and use that understanding to better and more efficiently support acquisition, retention and retargeting,” -Chris Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer of Epoxy.ai. To do this, you need to look at a broad base of users across a wide variety of variables and that is exactly what our Audience Cloud™ does. By merging key traits across related behaviors of fans such as sports viewing patterns and history, betting behavior and level of fandom, we can then better predict future behavior and also use this data to find “look alike” fans who would have a high propensity to react to specific forms of fan engagement. Audience cloud continuously ingests various sources of user telemetry, such as betting, viewership history and many other contextual cues. This flow of user actions and context generates a dynamic set of discrete clusters that changes along with the evolving patterns as subject to seasonality and client presentation. Through use of MAIDs, IP addresses and other IDs, Epoxy.ai uses its integrations with data marketplaces and repositories to find those users and glean a wide variety of common attributes shared by each profile. Recently, Epoxy.ai began the beta commercial launch of its technology within the betPARX sports betting experience (https://epoxy.ai/news/). About Epoxy.ai Founded in 2021, Epoxy.ai is a sports technology innovation company. Rooted from OneTwoSee – the team that helped create the second screen and sports fan engagement industries with its interactive sports platform – Epoxy.ai is taking fan engagement to the next level. Epoxy.ai’s platform enables the development of new forms of Acquisition, Engagement and Retention across the global sports media and gaming ecosystem. Its mission is to provide B2B solutions that simplify the user experience to increase fan and consumer engagement, providing unique opportunities for differentiation and are adaptable to meet the specific needs of its customers’ businesses.

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PRODUCTS,TECHNOLOGIES

Charge Into the Virtual World With Turtle Beach’s Fuel Compact VR Charging Station for Meta Quest 2 – Now Available

Turtle Beach Corporation | November 24, 2022

Best-selling gaming headset and accessories maker Turtle Beach Corporation (Nasdaq: HEAR) today announced its Turtle Beach® Fuel Compact VR Charging Station for Meta Quest 2 is now available globally. The Fuel Compact VR Charging Station provides both power and convenient, compact storage for the Meta Quest 2 headset and its controllers ensuring that VR gamers’ devices are fully charged and ready for hours of play. With two 20-hour battery packs for the controllers, VR gamers never miss a beat, while the magnetic charging system keeps the headset and controllers in-place, charged up, and ready for deep and immersive VR gaming. The Fuel Compact VR Charging Station for Meta Quest 2 is available now from www.turtlebeach.com and participating retailers for $79.99 (£69.99/€79.99) MSRP. 2022 has further cemented Turtle Beach as a full portfolio gaming accessories brand. Our brand of best-selling headsets and top-rated controllers and simulation products now reaches into new categories with launch of the Fuel VR charging station, “This year we’ve delivered big achievements supporting our vision for expanding Turtle Beach beyond being the best-selling gaming headset brand. We’ve expanded our award-winning game controller and flight simulation products, and now our new Fuel Compact VR Charging Station for Meta Quest 2 will keep VR gamers’ gear powered-up and ready to use while also being a perfect, organized, space-saving storage solution.” -Juergen Stark, Chairman and CEO, Turtle Beach Corporation The complete list of features for Turtle Beach’s Fuel Compact VR Charging Station for Meta Quest 2 includes: Rechargeable Controller Battery Packs: Dual battery packs deliver 20-hours of battery life per pack and eliminate the need for environmentally harmful disposable batteries. Simple Magnetic Charging: Slotted battery door covers on the controllers and a USB-C to magnetic pin dongle for the headset make for easy magnetic charging in just 2.5 hours. Complete, Compact Design: Charge your entire Meta Quest 2 VR setup all at once while taking up minimal space on your desktop or gaming setup thanks to a compact design. Convenient LED Dashboard: Always know when your Meta Quest 2 is ready to use with clear battery indicators on the charging station, with an amber color indicating charge in progress and green indicating 100% charge. For more information on the latest Turtle Beach products and accessories, visit www.turtlebeach.com and be sure to follow Turtle Beach on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. About Turtle Beach Corporation Turtle Beach Corporation (the “Company”) (www.turtlebeachcorp.com) is one of the world’s leading gaming accessory providers. The Company’s namesake Turtle Beach brand (www.turtlebeach.com) is known for designing best-selling gaming headsets, top-rated game controllers, and groundbreaking gaming simulation accessories. Innovation, first-to-market features, a broad range of products for all types of gamers, and top-rated customer support have made Turtle Beach a fan-favorite brand and the market leader in console gaming audio for over a decade. Turtle Beach’s ROCCAT brand (www.roccat.com) combines detail-loving German innovation with a genuine passion for designing the best PC gaming products, including award-winning keyboards, mice, headsets, mousepads, and other PC accessories. Turtle Beach’s Neat Microphones brand (www.neatmic.com) creates high-quality USB and analog microphones for gamers, streamers, professionals, and students that embrace cutting-edge technology and design. Turtle Beach’s shares are traded on the Nasdaq Exchange under the symbol: HEAR.

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TECHNOLOGIES, SOLUTIONS

Ripple Signs Second Wave of Creators, Bringing Entertainment and Media NFT Projects to the XRP Ledger

Ripple | October 19, 2022

Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, unveiled the second wave of creators to receive funding for their Web3, non-fungible token (NFT) projects through Ripple’s Creator Fund. With Web3 transforming the entertainment and media industry specifically in music, the selected Creator Fund projects will bring to life use cases for tokenization in these sectors by leveraging the power of XRP Ledger's low-cost, instant settlement, and built in royalty structures - maximizing value for creators and their communities to consume content.The independent creators focused on building functional use cases in entertainment and media on the XRP Ledger include: 9LEVEL9: A metaverse experience that provides a unique “front row seat” to live and virtual concerts, productions, conferences, and award shows through NFT tickets. Anifie: An NFT marketplace that helps content creators and artists in Japan capitalize on their fan base and community to launch NFTs that enables fan engagement and provides a digital experience to NFT holders. Capital Block: A leading Web3 platform for sports clubs around the world, partnering with football clubs in Europe to launch an NFT membership for their fans to access exclusive content, in real life game experiences, and Web3 benefits and rewards. Cross-Metaverse Avatars: An avatar tool that allows creators to design and mint one-of-a-kind NFT avatars with multiple traits and colors. Holders can then use their unique avatars in video games and metaverse projects. NFT Master: An NFT XRP marketplace that will add a video streaming platform for creators to upload videos and get paid instantly using XRP Ledger’s payment channels or their issued NFTs as a streaming pass. The NFT will offer holders accessibility to watch exclusive videos and vote on upcoming content ideas without ads or paying for a subscription. SYFR Projects: An intellectual property production company that provides production, publishing, and management services to artists. The company will digitize 100+ innovative music and video agreements as NFT agreements. ThinkingCrypto: An NFT project that will allow holders to access exclusive interviews with top crypto leaders in the space. Along with exclusive access, NFT holders will be invited to private digital meetings with the host of ThinkingCrypto, Tony Edward, where he will share candid thoughts and opinions on the future of crypto. “Web3 technology continues to transform the creator economy by giving power back to the creators. We’ve seen real utility in NFTs with the art community, and it is no surprise we are seeing tremendous growth from the entertainment and media industry as a way to cultivate relationships directly with their audiences, and offer new content distribution channels, With the support of our strategic partners and the Creator Fund, we look forward to helping fuel innovations built on the XRP Ledger.” -Markus Infanger, RippleX VP of Growth at Ripple. Launched a year ago, Ripple’s Creator Fund is a $250 million commitment to help creators with the financial, creative, and technical support needed to explore and craft NFTs and other tokenization projects on the XRP Ledger. Notable quotes from this year’s Wave 2 Creator Fund recipients: “With Ripple’s Creator Fund, we want to bring expanded commemorative NFT tickets and membership utilities to our www.nikotheatre.com patrons in 2023, said Chris J Snook, Founder of 9LEVEL9. “We will feature diverse pop cultural concert experiences for a global audience of hybrid in-person and virtual “front row seats” with expanded metaverse parallel immersions and community on the XRP Ledger. "We are pleased to partner with Japan's top broadcast station and some of the nation’s top musical talent and leverage the capabilities of the XRP Ledger to launch Meta-TV, which enables musicians to trade NFTs and build NFT communities on our XRPL metaverse,” said Yohei Iwasaki, Co-Founder and CEO of Anifie. “The XRP Ledger is transformative because it gives artists the ability to be in charge of their own communities with low gas fees and royalty functionalities. The XRP Ledger is also environmentally friendly, so musicians and fans can be proud of themselves for their socially responsible behavior. “As a leading Web3 agency for sports clubs around the world, we are pleased to be part of Ripple’s Creator Fund and look forward to building on the XRP ledger to increase fan engagement through our NFT membership,” said Tim Mangnall, CEO of Capital Block. “We see this as a long-term partnership and a big step in driving mass adoption of Web3 projects across sports fans globally. “For the first time, gamers are able to design, purchase, trade, and own one-of-a-kind NFT avatars and wearables, which they can take across the metaverse and games," said Kelvin Troy, CEO of Cross-Metaverse Avatars. “The XRP Ledger's eco-friendliness and low gas fees enables our customers and gamers to buy, sell, and trade their beloved digital assets on our marketplace efficiently without friction. "The Ripple Creator Fund has allowed our team to stop and think about how we can use NFTs to solve problems, break down traditional forms of monetization, and reinvent how value is transferred,” said Andrew Kaskaniotis, Founder of videomaster and nftmaster. “This opportunity has enabled our team to bring some of the very best video content on the internet to the XRP Ledger where the creators can set the rules and the viewers are in full control. “The Ripple Creator Fund and XRP Ledger are leveling the playing field for artists. It is up to teams like SYFR Projects who are in the thick of the music industry to innovate by leveraging the capabilities of the XRPL,” said Sean O'Leary, Founder of SYFR Projects. “With the support of the Creator Fund we will mint our artist WONDR’s music and scale our capabilities to produce and manage a growing library of artist owned intellectual property. Independent creators can apply for Wave 3 in the coming months. For more information on Ripple’s Creator Fund, please visit: https://ripple.com/creatorfund/. About Ripple: Ripple is a crypto solutions company that transforms how the world moves, manages and tokenizes value. Ripple’s business solutions are faster, more transparent, and more cost effective - solving inefficiencies that have long defined the status quo. And together with partners and the larger developer community, we identify use cases where crypto technology will inspire new business models and create opportunity for more people. With every solution, we’re realizing a more sustainable global economy and planet - increasing access to inclusive and scalable financial systems while leveraging carbon neutral blockchain technology and a green digital asset, XRP. This is how we deliver on our mission to build crypto solutions for a world without economic borders. About XRP Ledger: The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is an open source, public and decentralized Layer 1 blockchain led by a global developer community. It is fast, energy-efficient, and reliable. For more than ten years, it has been the blockchain best suited to enable settlement and liquidity of tokenized assets at scale. With ease of development, low transaction costs, and a knowledgeable community, it provides developers with a strong open-source foundation for executing on the most demanding projects – without impacting the XRPL’s lean and efficient feature set. XRPL enables a wide variety of services and use cases including payments, decentralized finance, and tokenization. Learn more at XRPL.org.

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TECHNOLOGIES

CJ 4DPLEX and Cinemark Announce Launch of ScreenX Auditoriums in Select U.S. Theatres

CJ 4DPLEX | September 21, 2022

CJ 4DPLEX, the world's leading producer of premium film formats and cinema technologies, and Cinemark, one of the world's largest and most influential movie theatre companies, announced they have signed an agreement to bring the expanded immersive ScreenX technology to select Cinemark locations in the U.S. Together, they will convert auditoriums in six Cinemark theatres in Texas and California by the end of the year, with plans for a potential expansion.ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270-degree field of view. ScreenX expands specially selected sequences of a film onto the left and right-side walls of the auditorium, surrounding audiences with extended imagery that naturally fills their peripheral vision and immerses them into the narrative of the film. ScreenX works closely with filmmakers and studios to ensure the highest quality presentation of the film in select key scenes with exclusive story-enhancing imagery produced by CJ 4DPLEX's VFX studio in Korea. The deal comes at an exciting time for the immersive format, as it is rapidly growing its footprint in the U.S. and abroad. Recent ScreenX films include Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder, Warner Bros.' Elvis, Sony's Bullet Train and Paramount's summer blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick. "Cinemark is a world-class exhibitor with high performing locations all across the U.S. and Latin America We are thrilled to partner with the Cinemark team to bring their moviegoers our Super Premium ScreenX experience, which is uniquely differentiated from what they can stream at home or on a mobile device. " -Don Savant, CEO, CJ 4DPLEX Americas Adding ScreenX auditoriums to select theatres builds on Cinemark's commitment to offering our moviegoers a truly immersive, cinematic experience that cannot be replicated at home, said Damian Wardle, Cinemark EVP of Theatre & Technology Operations. "We look forward to expanding our big screens and offering our guests a unique way to see Hollywood's newest content. It's an exciting time for the company as we continue to supply blockbuster tentpole films and work with filmmakers who are recognizing the format's unique ability to tell their story using ScreenX as their canvas, said Jong Ryul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. ScreenX theatres have grown dramatically since being introduced in 2012. In total, ScreenX is available worldwide in over 380 locations, across 38 countries. ABOUT CJ 4DPLEX CJ 4DPLEX is a leading, next-generation cinema technology company, headquartered in Seoul with international offices in Los Angeles and Beijing. The company has created innovative film technologies for theaters worldwide that include 'ScreenX', '4DX', and '4DX Screen' for consumers to experience films in ways that were never before possible. CJ 4DPLEX is a part of the CJ Group conglomerate that also includes entertainment powerhouses CJ CGV, the fifth largest theater chain in the world, and CJ ENM (CJ Entertainment & Media), who produced the Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and SAG Awards winning film, "Parasite". CJ 4DPLEX was named Most Innovative Company of 2017 and 2019 in Live Events by Fast Company, and the technology has been recognized with Silver at the Edison Awards in the Media and Visual Communications-Entertainment category in 2015 and 2018. ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270 degree field of view. By expanding the image beyond the frame and onto the walls of the theatre, ScreenX draws you into the story on the main screen and immerses you in a virtual reality like setting with cinema quality resolution. To date, there are over 381 ScreenX auditoriums around the world in 38 countries. 4DX provides moviegoers with a multi-sensory cinema-going experience, allowing audiences to connect with movies through motion, vibration, water, wind, snow, lightning, scents, and other special effects that enhance the visuals on-screen. Each 4DX auditorium incorporates motion-based seating synchronized with more than 21 different effects and optimized by a team of skilled editors. To date, there are over 784 4DX auditoriums around the world, spanning over 69 countries. 4DXScreen is a powerful combination of our super premium immersive theatre technologies of ScreenX and 4DX in one auditorium, creating a never-before-seen experience for cinemagoers. To date, there are 42 4DXScreens installed around the globe. About Cinemark Holdings, Inc. Headquartered in Plano, TX, Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) is one of the largest and most influential movie theatre companies in the world. Cinemark's circuit, comprised of various brands that also include Century, Tinseltown and Rave, operates 521 theatres in 42 states domestically and 15 countries throughout South and Central America. Cinemark consistently provides an extraordinary guest experience from the initial ticket purchase to the closing credits, including Movie Club, the industry-leading exhibitor-launched subscription program and the first to reach the one-million-member milestone; the highest Luxury Lounger recliner seat penetration among the major players; XD - the No. 1 exhibitor-brand premium large format; and expansive food and beverage options to further enhance the moviegoing experience. For more information go to https://investors.cinemark.com/

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Spotlight

With big names and big money pouring in, VR is definitely here to stay. Today the relevance of VR goes beyond entertainment/infotainment. This further establishes the need for testing various VR applications and devices. This infographic presents various interesting facts about the VR industry and deliberates on the need for robust testing strategy and collaborating with an experienced testing partner.

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