Tag Archives: Launch

Top gamer 'Ninja' made $1 million to promote EA's 'Apex Legends' launch: source
March 13, 2019 4:53 pm|Comments (0)

BENGALURU (Reuters) – What are a few hours playing videogames and a handful of tweets worth? $ 1 million if you are Tyler Blevins, known to millions as “Ninja,” the world’s most-followed computer gamer.

FILE PHOTO: An Electronic Arts (EA) video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Blevins was one of a few select professionals with huge followings pulled in by videogame giant Electronic Arts Inc to play and promote its latest title, “Apex Legends,” in the first hours of the launch last month, generating a buzz that notched 10 million signups in the first three days.

The 27-year-old, famous for his hair color changes – currently a bright, turquoise hue – tweeted about the free-to-play game early on Feb. 5 and streamed the action to his more than 13 million followers on game-streaming site Twitch. For this he was paid around $ 1 million, a source told Reuters.

The amount underlines the increasingly cut-throat fight for dominance of the free-to-play battle royale genre that, through Epic Games’ global smash hit “Fortnite”, has pushed major publishers like Electronic Arts to change how they do business.

Representatives for EA and Ninja declined to comment on how much he had been paid, but the amount named by the source is more than twice media reports of Ninja’s monthly earnings from streaming his regular appearances on Fortnite and way above what was speculated on a number of internet discussion boards.

EA also paid popular Polish-Canadian streamer “Shroud,” who has nearly six million Twitch followers, to play Apex Legends but declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

“They did a fairly comprehensive job at pulling together all of the relevant game influencers in this genre,” said Kevin Knocke, a vice president at esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal.

“This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports,” he said, suggesting that EA had also roped in streamers better-known for playing other blockbusters like “Call of Duty” or “PUBG”.

The Ninja deal also points to the growing possibilities for teenagers who grow up hooked in their bedrooms on the industry’s big titles, as well as a shift in promotional strategy, with the use of popular gamers replacing expensive TV ad campaigns.

EA’s stock price and market value rose 16 percent, or $ 4 billion, in the three days after Apex Legends launched and a month later the game has 50 million users, a quarter of Fortnite’s 200 million.

“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex if you cared about games and we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day,” Drew McCoy, lead producer at the EA studio that created Apex Legends, said in an interview.

“We had streamers from all over Europe, LatAm, North America, Korea, Japan so that we could get our message out there and people would see the game,” he said.

Joost van Dreunen, co-founder of Nielsen-owned gaming research firm SuperData, estimated that in 2018 Fortnite raked in $ 2.4 billion in revenue, more than any other single title.

If each user registered so far bought the most basic Apex Coin package, with which kids and teenagers can buy character skins and other upgrades, EA would take in $ 500 million. Analysts’ estimates hover around that figure in revenue annually.

Ninja, who reportedly plays Fortnite for 12 hours a day from his basement studio outside Chicago, has been one of many to benefit from its massive success.

He has streamed himself playing alongside major celebrities like rappers Drake and Travis Scott, has sponsorship deals with Red Bull and Uber Eats, and often appears on Instagram and Twitter alongside soccer players Neymar Jr and Harry Kane.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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The Final Season of 'Game of Thrones' Has a Launch Date
January 14, 2019 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Happy Monday, and welcome to another installment of The Monitor, WIRED’s roundup of the latest in the world of culture. In today’s news, HBO has finally coughed up a release date for the final season of Game of Thrones, Netflix is facing a lawsuit, and it looks like the Super Bowl won’t be marooned without a halftime show act.

Finally, a Date to Watch the Thrones

Always one to keep fans waiting in anticipation, HBO waited until three months out before to announce the launch date for Season 8 of Game of Thrones. Sunday night, just before the season premiere of True Detective, the network aired a teaser revealing that the epic fantasy’s final run will begin on April 14. What will the show look like when it does return? Snowy, as the Stark children—Arya, Sansa, Jon Snow—are about to confront some family demons at Winterfell. Or, at least, that’s what it seems like if the show’s new vague-as-hell-trailer is to be believed. Don’t worry, we’re sure plenty of third cousins you don’t remember will show up as well. And maybe Ed Sheeran.

If You Want to Sue Netflix, Turn to Page Petty-Seven

In “Huh, didn’t see that coming!” news—there’s a lot of that these days, admittedly—Chooseco, the publisher behind the Choose Your Own Adventure books, is suing Netflix over its interactive Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch. In the interactive episode, a young videogame programmer designs a game based on a “choose your own adventure” book, and the episode itself lets viewers make choices about what the characters will do in the story. Chooseco’s suit claims it has the trademark to the phrase “choose your own adventure” and that Netflix doesn’t have a license to use it. The company is seeking at least $ 25 million in damages, though it’s also possible that if the judge doesn’t like the way the arguments proceed, she’ll just bang her gavel and restart things from an earlier point.

Hold Up, Is That Adam Levine?!

After Rihanna, Adele, Jay-Z, and others reportedly passed on the gig, the NFL announced Sunday that Maroon 5 will be playing the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl. The band—along with Big Boi and Travis Scott, who are joining them in hopes of stemming a mass Puppy Bowl exodus—will bring their Jagger-like moves to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3. And while he’s not part of the proceedings, we can only hope A$ AP Ferg is nearby, his long quest at an end.


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The Final Season of 'Game of Thrones' Has a Launch Date
January 14, 2019 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Happy Monday, and welcome to another installment of The Monitor, WIRED’s roundup of the latest in the world of culture. In today’s news, HBO has finally coughed up a release date for the final season of Game of Thrones, Netflix is facing a lawsuit, and it looks like the Super Bowl won’t be marooned without a halftime show act.

Finally, a Date to Watch the Thrones

Always one to keep fans waiting in anticipation, HBO waited until three months out before to announce the launch date for Season 8 of Game of Thrones. Sunday night, just before the season premiere of True Detective, the network aired a teaser revealing that the epic fantasy’s final run will begin on April 14. What will the show look like when it does return? Snowy, as the Stark children—Arya, Sansa, Jon Snow—are about to confront some family demons at Winterfell. Or, at least, that’s what it seems like if the show’s new vague-as-hell-trailer is to be believed. Don’t worry, we’re sure plenty of third cousins you don’t remember will show up as well. And maybe Ed Sheeran.

If You Want to Sue Netflix, Turn to Page Petty-Seven

In “Huh, didn’t see that coming!” news—there’s a lot of that these days, admittedly—Chooseco, the publisher behind the Choose Your Own Adventure books, is suing Netflix over its interactive Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch. In the interactive episode, a young videogame programmer designs a game based on a “choose your own adventure” book, and the episode itself lets viewers make choices about what the characters will do in the story. Chooseco’s suit claims it has the trademark to the phrase “choose your own adventure” and that Netflix doesn’t have a license to use it. The company is seeking at least $ 25 million in damages, though it’s also possible that if the judge doesn’t like the way the arguments proceed, she’ll just bang her gavel and restart things from an earlier point.

Hold Up, Is That Adam Levine?!

After Rihanna, Adele, Jay-Z, and others reportedly passed on the gig, the NFL announced Sunday that Maroon 5 will be playing the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl. The band—along with Big Boi and Travis Scott, who are joining them in hopes of stemming a mass Puppy Bowl exodus—will bring their Jagger-like moves to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3. And while he’s not part of the proceedings, we can only hope A$ AP Ferg is nearby, his long quest at an end.


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Watch This Spectacular Launch of the Soyuz Rocket From Space
November 25, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

A new video from the European Space Agency shows the spectacular launch of the Soyuz rocket.

The video was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and shows the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft taking off from the Soyuz rocket on Nov. 16. The spacecraft was carrying food and supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station and fuel to resupply the ISS. The spacecraft was carrying 5,653 lbs of supplies and fuel.

The time-lapsed footage condenses the 15-minute launch into a video of just a minute and a half. It shows the Soyuz-FG rocket booster separation, the core stage separation, the core beginning to burn in the atmosphere and go back to Earth after using up its fuel, and finally the Progress spacecraft separating from the rocket and entering orbit to catch up with the ISS.

The rocket flies at 17,900 miles per hour at 249 miles above Earth before it docked two days later.

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Broadcom sees fourth-quarter boost from data center demand, iPhone launch
September 7, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O) on Thursday forecast current-quarter revenue largely above estimates on higher demand for components that power data centers, while the launch of Apple Inc’s new iPhones is expected to bolster its wireless business.

A sign to the campus offices of chip maker Broadcom Ltd is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Shares of Broadcom rose 4 percent to $ 224.90 in extended trading after the chipmaker also reported third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates.

Revenue from enterprise storage business jumped 70 percent in the reported quarter as the acquisition of Brocade helped drive sales gains at the unit.

Its wireless business, which makes chips for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity, reported flat revenue, while its wired infrastructure unit, which makes components used in telecommunication networks, posted a 4 percent rise from a year earlier.

“More than half our consolidated revenue … is benefiting from strong cloud and enterprise data center spending,” Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan said on a post-earnings call with analysts.

“This, coupled with a seasonal uptick in wireless, will drive our forecast revenue in the fourth quarter.”

The company expects a ramp at its North American customer – which analysts identified as Apple – to drive a 25 percent rise in wireless revenue from the previous quarter, although it may be down in single-digit percentage compared with a year earlier.

Apple (AAPL.O) is set to unveil its new iPhones next week.

Tan, who has transformed Broadcom into a $ 100 billion behemoth through a series of acquisitions, surprised Wall Street in July with his move to acquire software maker CA Technologies for $ 19 billion.

Explaining his rationale behind the CA acquisition, Tan said he planned to target the company’s enterprise customers with Broadcom’s offerings including server and storage connectivity products.

The CA deal comes after U.S. President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom’s $ 117 billion offer to buy Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) on national security grounds.

Broadcom forecast current-quarter revenue of about $ 5.40 billion, plus or minus $ 75 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $ 5.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to common stock rose to $ 1.2 billion, or $ 2.71 per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 5 from $ 481 million, or $ 1.14 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $ 4.98 per share.

Net revenue rose to $ 5.06 billion from $ 4.46 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $ 4.83 per share on revenue of $ 5.07 billion.

Reporting by Sonam Rai and Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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Twitter, Facebook launch tools to track advertising
June 28, 2018 6:22 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) on Thursday made it easier for users to identify political campaign ads and know who paid for them, as social media platforms faced the threat of U.S. regulation over the lack of disclosure on such spending.

FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

The microblogging site launched ‘Ads Transparency Center’ to allow anyone to view ads that have been put on Twitter, with greater transparency about U.S. federal election campaign ads.

The tool follows Twitter’s recently launched political campaign ads policy and a similar move by Facebook Inc (FB.O), which started a searchable archive of U.S. political ads last month.

Facebook said on Thursday it would go even further by enabling users to see listings of all active ad campaigns, whether the advertiser is political in nature or not. Users can also view a log of name changes to a Facebook page.

The features should help people spot misuse of Facebook, it added.

Twitter’s ads center gives users access to details such as demographic targeting data for the ads from U.S. political advertisers, along with billing information, ad spending, and impression data per Tweet.

“We are making it clearer than ever who is advertising U.S. federal political campaign content on Twitter,” Twitter said in a blog post.

The transparency center will include all advertisers on Twitter globally, but at this stage only U.S. federal election campaign ads that fall under its new policy will be shown.

Google has vowed to launch a similar transparency center for political ads on its services this summer. It declined to share additional details this week.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru and Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Bernard Orr and Richard Chang

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Toyota to launch 'talking' vehicles in United States in 2021
April 16, 2018 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) plans to start selling U.S. vehicles that can talk to each other using short-range wireless technology in 2021, the Japanese automaker said on Monday, potentially preventing thousands of accidents annually.

Toyota Motor’s logo is pictured at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The U.S. Transportation Department must decide whether to adopt a pending proposal that would require all future vehicles to have the advanced technology.

Toyota hopes to adopt the dedicated short-range communications systems in the United States across most of its lineup by the mid-2020s. Toyota said it hopes that by announcing its plans, other automakers will follow suit.

The Obama administration in December 2016 proposed requiring the technology and giving automakers at least four years to comply. The proposal requires automakers to ensure all vehicles “speak the same language through a standard technology.”

Automakers were granted a block of spectrum in 1999 in the 5.9 GHz band for “vehicle-to-vehicle” and “vehicle to infrastructure” communications and have studied the technology for more than a decade, but it has gone largely unused. Some in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission think it should be opened to other uses.

In 2017, General Motors Co (GM.N) began offering vehicle-to-vehicle technologies on its Cadillac CTS model, but it is currently the only commercially available vehicle with the system.Talking vehicles, which have been tested in pilot projects and by U.S. carmakers for more than a decade, use dedicated short-range communications to transmit data up to 300 meters, including location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles.

The data is broadcast up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles, which can identify risks and provide warnings to avoid imminent crashes, especially at intersections.

Toyota has deployed the technology in Japan to more than 100,000 vehicles since 2015.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last year the regulation could eventually cost between $ 135 and $ 300 per new vehicle, or up to $ 5 billion annually but could prevent up to 600,000 crashes and reduce costs by $ 71 billion annually when fully deployed.

NHTSA said last year it has “not made any final decision” on requiring the technology, but no decision is expected before December.

Last year, major automakers, state regulators and others urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to finalize standards for the technology and protect the spectrum that has been reserved, saying there is a need to expand deployment and uses of the traffic safety technology.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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Indian ride-hailing firm Ola to launch 10,000 electric vehicles over 12 months
April 16, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian ride-hailing firm Ola, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group will launch 10,000 electric three-wheelers in the country over the next 12 months as part of a broader electrification plan, the company said in a statement on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: An employee speaks over his phone as he sits at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File photo

The move is part of a broader push by Ola to launch 1 million electric vehicles on its platform by 2021, it said in the statement, adding that it will work with various state governments, vehicle manufacturers and battery companies to meet its target.

Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Swati Bhat

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AT&T to launch 5G in U.S. by late 2018
January 4, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – AT&T Inc, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, said it would launch fifth-generation (5G) mobile network service in a dozen cities in the United States by late 2018, after international wireless standards for the network were finalised last month.

The 5G technology is expected to provide higher speed and response times than 4G networks used today.

Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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China Citic, Baidu launch direct bank in fintech push
November 18, 2017 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

BEIJING (Reuters) – China Citic Bank Corp (601998.SS) and search engine giant Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) launched on Saturday a direct banking joint venture, dubbed AiBank, to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing fintech sector.

FILE PHOTO: A man stands in front of CITIC bank’s branch in Beijing, China, March 23, 2016.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

AiBank is one among several tie-ups between an internet firm and a lender in China’s booming online finance market where technology gurus like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) have already set up their own finance arms to offer a range of financial products including payment, wealth management and micro loans.

A direct bank offers services over the internet instead of through physical branches.

AiBank will focus on lending to individuals and small businesses while leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to build new risk control models, Li Rudong, president of the new bank said at a launch event in Beijing.

Li said 60 percent of the new bank’s employees will be technology staff.

“AiBank is the future of intelligent finance…It is an institution that understands customers best and understands finance best,” said Baidu Chief Operating Officer Lu Qi.

Mid-tier lender Citic Bank owns 70 percent of the joint venture, while Baidu controls the remaining 30 percent. The direct bank has a registered capital of 2 billion yuan.

China’s banking regulator approved the establishment of AiBank earlier this year.

Reporting by Shu Zhang and Elias Glenn; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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