Olympics Bans Video Games involving “Killing”

People are trying to bring esports and professional gaming to a worldwide audience as it’s becoming more popular. People and or teams are competing all around the world and are representing their sponsors similar to physical sports teams. Some teams represent their countries similar to the Olympics such as the Asian Games. Earlier this year, gaming companies such as Riot, Blizzard, Epic, and the ESL, met with the Olympic Forums to discuss potentially having esports as an Olympic competition. The hopes would be the “government to help recognize esports as its own discipline” according to the CEO of Riot Games, Nicolo Laurent. Unfortunately, the Olympics will not allow any video games to be an Olympic event that has “killing” according to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

Why did the Olympics deny video games from the Olympics?

While Esports may be in the Olympics in the future, Bach strongly stated “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination…They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.” While people rebutted by stating some Olympic games involved dangerous weapons such as fencing, Bach said: “sport is the civilized expression about this.” Any games involved with “killing” for points/score will likely be denied by the Olympics in the near future. This would prevent popular esports titles from being an Olympic game such as Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, and PUBG. 

What are the pros for having esports in the Olympics?

If esports was legitimized by the Olympics, it would benefit the players. Players would able to receive their Visas more easily to travel internationally for tournaments. Many players and team owners must pay for the visas. This can lead to potential delays that may prevent the players from competing. It would also give teams and players more sponsors for financial support. It can also lead to more television broadcasting opportunities for video games. Below are the hours viewed on Twitch and YouTube. If channels begin streaming video games, it could lead to people actually watch tv.

How do you feel about video games not allowed in the Olympics?

Sources:

Eurogamer

Gameindustry.Biz

AP News

Newzoo

 

PUBG drops Copyright Lawsuit against Fortnite

It’s a common trend for big tech companies to sue others for copyright infringement. For examples, Apple vs Samsung for smartphone designs or Gamevice suing Nintendo for the Switch’s design. Every company wants to own the technology and make a lot of money. Recently, for the gaming industry, the biggest copyright battle was PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) versus Fortnite which ended today with a draw.

PUBG Corp. sued Epic for copying their Battle Royal- style gameplay. While the concept of Battle Royal isn’t new in media, PUBG and Fortnite have greatly popularized the game mode. The lawsuit started in January in Korea.

Why did PUBG Corp drop the Lawsuit?

While PUBG Corp. hasn’t stated why they dropped the lawsuit, there are speculations it was dropped due to Tencent. Both are part-owned by social media and gaming giant. It would a conflict of interest for Tencent to have the games they invested in sue each other. Epic created the Unreal Engine which is used to make PUBG so that may have also caused complications in the lawsuit.

Regardless, it’s ridiculous for PUBG Corp to sue Epic for mimicking the battle royal gameplay style. The game plays differently but just has similar genres. If PUBG had won the lawsuit, imagine the rest of the gaming companies to sue one another that used similar gameplay.

Bloomberg – PUBG Corp drops lawsuit

History of Apple vs Samsung

CNBC – Nintendo sued over Switch Design

Overwatch Hacker sent to Jail

Throughout the world, people are arguing about whether playing video games are an addiction. In South Korea, they tackle real gaming problems like hackers online. A man is being sent to jail for 12 months for creating an Overwatch hack. The main reason for going to jail is because he made a profit of $180,000 from hacking. That violates South Korea’s Game Industry Promotion Law and the Information and Communication Technology Protection Law.

Image result for south korea pro gamer telecom

Overwatch hack creators face a probation period and a fine but earning a profit will earn you jail time. They will also receive a two-year probation. In 2016, Korea criminalized creation and distribution of aimbots, wall hacks, and more cheating services. Over 13 cheaters were arrested in 2017. Korea takes gaming and competitive gaming incredibly serious as professional gamers are treated as celebrities. Even Chinese players face huge fines and jail time for hacking. 15 people were fined $5.1 million for creating and selling hacks for PUBG.

As gaming becomes more popular throughout the world, expect laws to be enabled similar to Asia. In most regions, hackers and spam creators are banned but rarely face any harsh punishments or fines. However, it requires the government to take a serious look at gaming and not treat it as a toy.

Sources:

PC Gamer

Criminalizing Hacking

Hacking fines

Will the Next Generation Console be the Last?

As the video games industry evolves, so does distribution of video games. Recently, digital downloads have become the main form of distribution for all games. It ranges from indie titles to AAA games. Ubisoft‘s CEO, Yves Guillemot, predicts the next generation of consoles will be its last. Guillemot’s belief is that cloud-based streaming services will dominate the gaming industry and games will be available on any screen rather than console exclusive. Although streaming games aren’t common, Guillemot believes as technology advances, it’ll become the mainstream.

Microsoft spoke to Variety that gaming is about having the ability to access your game from any system. Smartphones and tablets bring in the highest profit for gaming companies and it can be argued that the growth is due to the ease of accessibility. Being able to play your games on a handheld from anywhere is consumer friendly than buying a video game console for dedicated players. Guillemot stated that streaming “is going to help the AAA game industry grow much faster…we have to work on the accessibility of those games to make sure they can be played on any device.”

Whose on board?

While Microsoft and Ubisoft see this as the future of gaming, Nvidia is already taking steps to start streaming video games to any computer. Nvidia announced their beta streaming service, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, this year at CES. It’s designed to offer digital games to even basic computers. It will even port your Steam games to GeForce Now so that you won’t have to repurchase your games. The games run properly as its stream from Nvidia datacenters throughout the United States. Image result for video game streaming

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of gaming for Microsoft, is looking towards different ways Microsoft can do for gaming. They have a unique form of distribution as they sell computers and video game consoles. Spencer stated, “I care less that people can play Minecraft on an Xbox One, but that people can play Minecraft no matter what console or device they have in front of them.” Since 2016, Microsoft stopped announcing the sales numbers for the Xbox One. While clearly doing worse than the PS4, Xbox has tried alternative distribution of games such as cross distribution with the Windows Stores and Xbox Live and their stellar backwards compatibility. “I look at investing into three key areas: content, cloud, and community – that is, making great games, making the experience of accessing and playing them better and improving things for the players overall. It helps lead gaming for everyone – not just Microsoft – into a better place for everyone.”

What about PlayStation and Nintendo?

One example of streaming being utilized is for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for the Nintendo Switch. Although there are physical versions, the Japanese exclusive port will be a stream version only. This may be a taste for things to come. However, Nintendo launched the Switch last year to rave reviews and has sold more than 1 million units in a year. The Switch is a unique console that can be a handheld and console. PlayStation didn’t comment on the trend towards streaming. However, John Kodera, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), stated that the PlayStation 4 is in its final phase for the life cycle. He also mentioned an interest in handheld gaming rather than streaming service. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job for their next handheld after the PS Vita which recently stopped manufacturing physical games.

Streaming Pros and Cons:

It cost less for companies as they don’t have to pay for packaging and discs. Anatomy of a $60 Video GameVideo game development has become more expensive. A prime example is God of War (2018) which cost $44 million. This also saves money for companies. Retailers currently take a cut of the profits of $15 for new video game sales. The cost of making, packaging and shipping game discs to stores cost $4 each. Finally, not all games sell, so the expense of returning unsold inventory eats up another $7. A Con would be for consumers with Wi-fi issues. If you have a poor internet connection, your gameplay will be choppy or have a low framerate.

Do you believe the next step in delivering games is streaming?

Sources:

Variety

The Verge-Nvidia GeForce

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Eurogamer – God of War COM

Cost to make Games

The Verge – RE 7 for Switch

PlayStation – John Kodera talks about PlayStation 4 life cycle