Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus are in play on eBay

CNN | January 22, 2020

Whether you're a PlayStation player, an Xbox player or both, a discount is a discount. Right now on eBay you can save on one-year subscriptions to both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. The Xbox Live Gold membership costs a bit less at $54.99, originally $59.99. And the PlayStation Plus membership is marked all the way down to $36.99, originally $59.99. Both memberships provide similar benefits that are a must-have if you're dedicated to gaming. You'll gain access to online multiplayer for any game you have that supports it. Both also offer several free games each month. Xbox boasts up to $700 in free games over the course of the year, and PlayStation gives you 2 free games each month. In the case of Xbox players, this includes backward-compatible Xbox 360 games for your Xbox One. You'll also get access to exclusive discounts for your console of choice.

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Virtual reality encourages us to live out our wildest dreams, like being Batman or having more than 40 square feet of living room space. It’s not all standard superheroism though - VR also lets game makers.


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BUSINESS

Tencent Acquires Turtle Rock Studios

Tencent | December 18, 2021

Tencent Holdings Ltd. (SEHK: 00700) (“Tencent”) has acquired Turtle Rock Studios’ (“Turtle Rock”) parent company, Slamfire, Inc., the companies announced today. Turtle Rock will become part of Tencent, while retaining its independent operations out of Lake Forest, CA, USA, and its existing team will continue to run all studio operations, led by co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton. The acquisition will have no effect on Back 4 Blood, Turtle Rock’s hit multiplayer action game, which is published by Warner Bros. Games. We are all looking forward to joining the Tencent family of studios,Tencent’s outstanding partners, global reach, deep knowledge of gaming and unprecedented support will help us create the kinds of ambitious games we dream of, while allowing us to retain our autonomy and independent spirit.” Steve Goldstein, president and general manager of Turtle Rock Studios. Juno Capital Partners represented Turtle Rock as M&A and strategic advisor, Creative Artists Agency represented Turtle Rock as its talent agency and Straddling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth and Kabealo Law acted as legal counsel for Turtle Rock in the transaction. About Turtle Rock Studios Turtle Rock Studios, Inc. is an award-winning game developer best known as the creators of Back 4 Blood, Evolve and Left 4 Dead. Turtle Rock Studios is currently supporting its acclaimed co-op shooter, Back 4 Blood, in partnership with Warner Bros. Games. About Tencent Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of internet users. Its communication and social services, Weixin and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Its targeted advertising service helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Tencent’s fintech and business services support partners’ business growth and assist their digital upgrade.

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BUSINESS

Mythical Games Announces Partnership with Leading South Korean Gaming Publisher Kakao Games as Part of APAC Expansion

Mythical Games | June 20, 2022

Next-generation blockchain gaming studio Mythical Games has announced a partnership with Kakao Games, South Korea’s leading publisher of online and mobile games. Moving forward, Mythical will integrate and support the BORANETWORK – an affiliate of Kakao Games and its proprietary blockchain and layer 2 ecosystem – as both entities continue their expansion in Asia.Mythical Games’ Web3 ecosystem allows players, creators, and artists to enjoy a frictionless gaming experience through ownership of a digital game collection. Earlier this month, Mythical announced a first-of-its kind partnership with the NFL to release the league’s first blockchain-based game. Its flagship game, Blankos Block Party, recently partnered with fashion brand Burberry and electronic music artist Deadmau5. In addition to the integration, Mythical will be joining BORA’s node validator and governance committee, a major milestone for both parties as they continue to expand to global markets. "We are thrilled to be joining the BORA node validator and governance committee. We see BORA not only as a next-generation blockchain, but also as a leader in bringing entertainment to Web3 in Korea – giving them a unique edge that no other protocol has. With Mythical's expansion into Seoul earlier this year, we are keen to strategically align with leaders in the region.” -Rudy Koch, Co-Founder at Mythical Games BORANETWORK CBO Young-joon Lim said, We're thrilled to be working with Mythical Games and welcome their onboarding on BORA. Mythical Games is a pioneer and visionary in Web3 building 'play and own' game economies," and added, “We will explore cross-promotion opportunities and potential collaborations in order to create synergy between each platform. About Mythical Games Acknowledged by Forbes’ Disruptive Technology Companies To Watch in 2019 and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2021, Mythical is a next-generation games technology company creating a Web3 gaming ecosystem by leveraging blockchain technology and playable NFTs for tools that enable players, creators, artists, brands, and game developers to become stakeholders and owners in new “play and own” game economies. Led by gaming industry veterans, the team specializes in building games around player-owned economies and has helped develop major franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, Marvel Strike Force, and Skylanders. Mythical Platform protects gamers that may be new to blockchain through a custodial wallet for their digital items, while allowing advanced players the freedom to link their own wallets via bridges between the Mythical Chain and public mainnets. With its “gamers-first” focus, the Mythical Platform ensures players don’t need to dive into the intricacies of blockchain to enjoy ownership of their digital collections and have a great game experience. About Kakao Games Kakao Games is a leading publisher of online and mobile games. Founded in 2016, it is responsible for publishing a variety of games, including Krafton's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (available in Korea), Kong Studios' Guardian Tales (available in Korea, North America, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania), XL Games’ Moonlight Sculptor (available in Korea, North America, Europe, and Taiwan), and its newest addition, Lion Heart Studio's ‘Odin: Valhalla Rising’ (available in Korea and Taiwan). Kakao Games is expanding its business to the blockchain market and Web3 gaming ecosystem. About METABORA METABORA is an affiliate of Kakao Games and the parent company of BORANETWORK focused on game development and blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. Its portfolio includes mobile games such as ‘Friends Popcorn,’ ‘Friends Town,’ and ‘Friends Shot’ based on Kakao Friends intellectual property (IP). METABORA is expanding its platform beyond traditional gaming to focus on the development of blockchain technology and the Metaverse.

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APPLICATIONS

HBAR Foundation and Ubisoft Partner To Support Growth of Gaming on Hedera Network

HBAR Foundation | February 09, 2022

The HBAR Foundation and global video game publisher Ubisoft today announced a partnership focused on the rapidly expanding ecosystem at the intersection of distributed ledger technology and gaming, with an initiative that supports the development, growth and launch of next-generation gaming on the Hedera network. As part of this engagement, Ubisoft will become a member of the Hedera Governing Council, with representatives participating in governance and product direction, as well as leading industry-specific insights. As a council member, Ubisoft will also operate a node on the Hedera network. In collaboration with the HBAR Foundation, Ubisoft is setting up a Hedera-dedicated track into the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab. The Entrepreneurs Lab supports startups on a global scale, focusing on the future of entertainment. Together through this track, Ubisoft and THF will identify promising projects and startups and provide economic investment, as well as workshops and developer support, to assist in their success. Through this initiative, Ubisoft and the HBAR Foundation are forming a deep collaborative partnership, which recognizes the value proposition the Hedera network presents for the video games industry, Ubisoft has been a pioneer in its engagement with distributed ledger technology, and the decision to directly engage with THF to enhance the support it provides to entertainment and gaming innovators provides tremendous opportunities for developers, startups and users alike." Alex Russman, of the HBAR Foundation. At Ubisoft, we believe that the distributed ledger technology holds a key to the future of gaming by opening new opportunities for players to become true stakeholders of our games. The Hedera network offers a promising take on this technology, notably through its scalability, energy efficiency and innovative consensus mechanism. We look forward to exploring with the Hedera ecosystem through our participation in the Governing Council." Didier Genevois, Blockchain Technical Director at the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab. Today's news comes alongside the mainnet launch of smart contracts 2.0 on the Hedera network, which with the Hedera Token Service (HTS) integration provides flexibility, low cost fixed fees, scalability and carbon negative transactions, enabling significant benefits for the gaming industry beyond merely NFTs. The HBAR Foundation fuels growth of the Hedera ecosystem by providing grants and resources for technical assistance, marketing and business development to developers, startups and organizations building on the network. Since open access in 2019, the public network has processed over 2 billion transactions generated by real-world applications. About Ubisoft Ubisoft is a creator of worlds, committed to enriching players' lives with original and memorable entertainment experiences. Ubisoft's global teams create and develop a deep and diverse portfolio of games, featuring brands such as Assassin's Creed®, Brawlhalla®, For Honor®, Far Cry®, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®, Just Dance®, Rabbids®, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®, The Crew®, Tom Clancy's The Division®, and Watch Dogs®. Through Ubisoft Connect, players can enjoy an ecosystem of services to enhance their gaming experience, get rewards and connect with friends across platforms. With Ubisoft+, the subscription service, they can access a growing catalog of more than 100 Ubisoft games and DLC. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €2,241 million. About the HBAR Foundation Founded in 2021, the HBAR Foundation fuels the development of the Hedera ecosystem by providing grants and other resources to developers, startups and organizations that seek to launch decentralized applications in DeFi, NFTs, CBDCs, ESGs, gaming and other sectors. In addition to providing funding through a streamlined grant process, the HBAR Foundation acts as an integrated force multiplier through expert support across technical, marketing, business development and other operational functions that are required to scale.

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SOLUTIONS

Voicemod Launches Software Kit for Building Realistic Audio Avatars in Games, Social Apps, and the Metaverse

Voicemod | April 21, 2022

Voicemod (www.voicemod.net), the world leader in augmented voice and interactive audio, is now making its technology from the company’s hugely popular direct-to-consumer apps available to third parties through the Voicemod Developer Kit. The comprehensive Kit is the first and only solution to empower developers, creators, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to integrate Voicemod’s high-performance, real-time voice conversion technology into their games, applications, social apps, and hardware. The ever-increasing suite of effects, including hyper-realistic audio avatars, can easily become a harmonious component of any social audio program. Voicemod creates social audio tools that make it simple for anyone to create and control their own sonic identity in the metaverse and share the voices they feel best reveal their true selves, in the way they want to be heard. Through a mix of voice filters, voice morphing, hyper-realistic voice skins, soundboard effects, musical effects, user-created speech-to-speech real-time voice modifications, and a variety of other real-time audio customizations — Voicemod helps its users tap hidden sources of creativity to express themselves imaginatively as they play, work, create, and entertain. The Voicemod Developer Kit is empowering the first major evolution of in-game and in-app voice chat. By making voice chat even more immersive, entertaining, and inclusive, game studios and developers of social and content creator apps, as well as device manufacturers targeting gamers, streamers, and social communication accessories, will be able to drive new levels of user engagement and retention in the metaverse. Powering the sound of the metaverse Until now, the Voicemod Developer Kit has been available only in limited release to select partners such as Agora and Bragi to enable existing apps and audio devices with their own voice changing and soundboard capabilities. “Our aim is to make it easier for everyone — whether game developers, headphones manufacturers, musical artists, voice actors, players — to experiment with real-time social audio and voice augmentation, By enabling customizable sonic personas and creating richer voice chat capabilities, the Voicemod Developer Kit is contributing to more meaningful, immersive experiences that result in heightened user adoption and retention.” -Voicemod CEO and co-founder Jaime Bosch. The Voicemod Developer Kit makes available a vast library of Voicemod voice skins that can be used live in real time, creating opportunities for dynamic social interactions in social communications-based applications and video games. Programmers and engineers combine Voicemod technology with other solutions as building blocks to curate dynamic, real-time engagement experiences. From audio and video calls, dating apps, and virtual classes, to streaming platforms and online video game integrations, the Voicemod Developer Kit makes it fast and easy to amplify online interactions in the metaverse through personalized audio avatars while protecting pseudonymity if desired. Through the Kit, developers create low-latency, low CPU-usage audio-centric apps for mobile, web, or desktop. The open API also allows apps and devices to act as a remote control for Voicemod’s direct-to-consumer Windows desktop app already used in solutions such as Elgato’s Stream Deck. The Voicemod Developer Kit uniquely provides: Constantly growing collection of Voicemod original voices and curated sounds Branded, DMCA-free IP content available exclusively through Voicemod Interactive soundboards Headless architecture with multi-platform support on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, VST/AU and including Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, Stream Deck, etc. Compatibility with game engines such as Unreal Engine, Unity, and more Voicemod is building momentum around the company’s interactive audio technology and voice avatars — capabilities that will become increasingly essential as the metaverse grows into reality. So far in 2022, Voicemod has already signed multiple agreements to expand its library of high quality sounds and voice filters by licensing popular intellectual property (IP) from diverse entertainment sectors, including games (Angry Birds), emoticons (SmileyWorld), music (ODB), television (Trailer Park Boys), and classic film and TV titles. (See www.voicemod.com/newsroom for details.) To get started with the Voicemod Developer Kit, visit www.voicemod.net/developers for information on platforms that support Voicemod technology as well as how to integrate Voicemod's real-time voice changing engine directly into hardware, games, and applications. About Voicemod Voicemod is the leader in real-time audio augmentation. Developers trust Voicemod’s audio technology to help end-users create virtual voices and define their sonic identities. As companies strive to build a responsible metaverse, Voicemod is the tool that helps gamers, content creators, and professionals of all skill levels find the voice that best expresses themselves as they play, work, create, and entertain. Discover more at www.voicemod.net.

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Spotlight

Virtual reality encourages us to live out our wildest dreams, like being Batman or having more than 40 square feet of living room space. It’s not all standard superheroism though - VR also lets game makers.

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