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GamesBeat Summit 2021: Growing the Next Generation is coming on April 28-April 29

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GamesBeat Summit 2021: Growing the Next Generation will feature a full slate of visionary speakers in an online-only event on April 28 and April 29, and we’re pleased to talk about our initial slate of participants.

We’ll bring together industry leaders for our 12th annual executive summit to engage in genuine conversations, networking, and deal-making. Our subthemes include growing the new consoles, industry-wide growth in 2021, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, diversity and inclusion, mental health awareness, and navigating challenges such as privacy versus targeted advertising.

After surviving and even thriving during a catastrophic year, the game industry can apply itself to the daunting task of beating last year’s numbers. The new consoles are gaining momentum, and the PC and mobile are thriving. Gaming has become the biggest form of entertainment, and it has more reach into the mainstream than ever before.

But what’s its next trick?

We’ll explore new parts of the business including blockchain and nonfungible tokens, augmented and virtual reality, esports, the metaverse, and the explosion of opportunities that come from having an unprecedented amount of money coming into the industry through investments, public offerings, and acquisitions.

Above: Bobby Kotick is CEO of Activision Blizzard.

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

Bobby Kotick, the chairman and CEO of Activision Blizzard, will speak at one of our events for the first time in a fireside chat about the acceleration of games into the top tier of all entertainment. Kotick started as CEO of Activision in 1991, and he led the merger of the company with Blizzard in 2008. Now, Activision Blizzard is one of the most valuable entertainment companies in the world, with a value of $74 billion and properties like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Crash Bandicoot, and Tony Hawk.

He’ll talk about the mainstreaming of games and their role in what will hopefully be a post-pandemic world. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on all of us, but at least we had games to distract us from a difficult reality. And that has helped the industry prosper and accelerate a structural shift in how people entertain themselves. But what comes next, and how will we navigate it this year and beyond?

Above: Halley Gross was co-writer and narrative lead on The Last of Us Part II.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

One of the big games that helped us get through the past year was Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II, and we’re also happy to welcome Halley Gross, a co-writer of the game that won 215 awards for Game of the Year. She will also do a fireside chat on writing blockbuster narratives with an inclusive lens. She’ll talk about finding great moments for inclusion, how to do better, writing with good representation, the challenges of diverse casts, the growth of women in gaming, and the role of mental health in games. Gross established her career as a screenwriter on projects like Westworld, Too Old to Die Young, Snowpiercer, and Banshee before joining Naughty Dog as a co-writer and narrative lead on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II

Brenda Romero, a cofounder of Romero Games, will also talk about her experiences across decades of designing games and working on big titles with small teams, as she did with the recent gangster game Empire of Sin. Romero has a reputation for being one of the biggest thinkers and best orators in the industry. her games include Druid: Daemons of the Mind, Jagged Alliance 2, Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes, Playboy: The Mansion, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Commander, Dodger Down, and her son’s game, Gunman Taco Truck.

Above: Chris DeWolfe is CEO of Jam City.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe will also join us in a fireside chat about the future of mobile games. DeWolfe made the leap from founder of MySpace (which he sold to News Corp for $580 million) to Mindjolt, a mobile game company that later became Jam City. The company has become a nexus of gaming and Hollywood, with big hits that include Cookie Jam, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and Frozen Adventures. Jam City has raised more than $300 million to date, and it is one of the contenders for the throne of mobile games, the biggest part of the game business.

Above: Jens Hilgers is founder of Bitkraft Ventures and chairman of G2 Esports.

Image Credit: Bitkraft Ventures

Jens Hilgers, founder of Bitkraft Ventures and chairman of G2 Esports, and Andrew Sheppard, a partner at Transcend Fund, will join our panel on investing in games. That panel’s moderator is Eric Goldberg, cofounder of Playable Worlds, and will focus on game investors who are former operators of game companies. Hilgers started Bitkraft in 2015 and the firm has invested in more than 50 companies around the world. He is also the chairman of esports team G2 Esports, one of the world’s most valuable esports organizations. He founded the tournament company ESL and was CEO for a decade before MTG acquired a majority stake in it in 2015.

Above: Andrew Sheppard is managing director at Transcend Fund.

Image Credit: Transcend Fund

Our other speakers so far include Keisha Howard of Sugar Gamers, Daniel Melville (who has a bionic arm based on Konami’s Metal Gear series), chief gaming architect Frank Azor of Advanced Micro Devices, Iron Galaxy leaders Adam Boyes and Chelsea Blasko, and Liontree’s Nick Tuosto.

Above: GamesBeat Summit speakers.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

We want to continue our reputation as the most intimate gaming event where business meets passion. Our event will include fireside chats, panels, and small-group roundtables. We’ll provide Q&A sessions for VIP attendees, and a way for attendees to network with each other and make new connections. We have a wide range of partners including the International Game Developers Association and Women in Gaming International. And our sponsors include Jam City, Adjust, Singtel, and others being announced soon.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/03/05/gamesbeat-summit-2021-growing-the-next-generation-is-coming-on-april-28-april-29/

AR/VR

MLB The Show heads to Game Pass, and Mario has passed away | GB Decides 190

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On this week’s episode of the GamesBeat Decides podcast, reviews editor Mike Minotti shares some deeply troubling information about the nature of the game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Also, Mike and fellow editor Jeff Grubb talk about MLB The Show launching on Xbox Game Pass, Mario’s death, and Balan Wonderworld. Join us, won’t you?

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/04/02/mlb-the-show-heads-to-game-pass-and-mario-has-passed-away-gb-decides-190/

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Solaris: Offworld Combat Gets PSVR Physical Launch In June, Planned Digital Release In May

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Solaris: Offworld Combat is coming to PSVR this June with a physical release from Perp Games. According to a First Contact Entertainment representative, the digital version is planned to release a month earlier in May.

Perp Games on Twitter: “We’re not finished just yet. Solaris Offworld Combat is the next game to be getting a physical box release. Coming in June to global markets! Will you be buying it? https://t.co/5sphrqsh10” / Twitter

Solaris: Offworld Combat on PSVR

Originally, Solaris was coming to PSVR late last year around the same time as the Quest and PC VR version of the game but got delayed. Now, it’s slated for release in just a couple of months.

The latest VR shooter from First Contact Entertainment (creators of Firewall Zero Hour) is a sci-fi competitive VR shooter that feels a bit like Quake in VR due to its speed and intense arena levels. It’s a very breezy, fast-paced game that’s accessible and easy to quickly jump in and out of. The closest comparison is probably Hyper Dash.

Soalris is a notable release because other than Firewall Zero Hour, there really haven’t been many options for shooter fans on PSVR. Alvo is coming soon too, but the headset is on its last legs at this point.

The PS Aim Controller continues to be one of the best things about the PSVR platform, so I’m all for seeing more games support it, but it’s a shame games like this didn’t hit PSVR earlier in its life cycle. Hopefully PSVR 2 on PS5 is backwards compatible and it can give late-life cycle games like this one new life when it releases.

Solaris is coming to PSVR very soon with a planned digital release in May and physical release from Perp Games in June. For more on this game make sure and read our Solaris: Offworld Combat review and stay tuned for all the latest in VR.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/solaris-offworld-combat-gets-psvr-physical-launch-in-june-planned-digital-release-in-may-6067883a7b61f2d57cc2aa70?s=rss

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Black Box VR Developers Share Thoughts on the History and Future of VR Fitness

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The VR fitness genre is still relatively new, all things considered. Even though the space is still somewhat niche, it’s absolutely growing at a fast pace as seen by the number of games and players that continue to spring up. How did we get to this point though, you might ask?

Continue reading on VR Fitness Insider.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/black-box-vr-developers-share-thoughts-on-the-history-and-future-of-vr-fitness-60677f1588a4542c7b3f4922?s=rss

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US Army Signs Contract For Wide-FoV HoloLens Headsets From Microsoft

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Microsoft won a large US Army contract to supply advanced AR headsets for frontline soldiers, based on the HoloLens platform.

The US Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program aims to equip infantry with AR helmets for situational awareness and convenient display of sensor outputs.

The contract is worth up to $21.88 billion over 5-10 years. While the order has been widely reported as 120,000 units, a US Army statement to Breaking Defence suggests that is the maximum, not a fixed quantity.

Early evaluation units based on HoloLens 2

In 2018 Microsoft won the $480 million evaluation contract for just over 2500 units, based on HoloLens 2 with some modifications and an extra sensor.

The current, ruggedized, upgraded IVAS

The evaluation found the hardware not rugged enough for military use, and identified problems with the sensors at night. Since then the hardware has been significantly upgraded. It’s more ruggedized and houses many more sensors.

The field of view has been significantly increased from roughly 40°x30° to 80°x40°. That’s significantly wider than any other see-through AR headset on the market.

Reported use cases for the headset include:

  • overlaying icons on friendly units, objectives, threats, and points of interest
  • built-in night vision & thermal view modes
  • live picture-in-picture feeds from drones, including the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) personal drone
  • simulated weapons & enemies for training exercises
  • scanning nearby people for high temperature (COVID-19)
  • facial recognition for hostage rescue situations

The Army is also testing integrations with vehicles, such as soldiers being able to see-through the walls of the armored vehicle carrying them. That means on dismounting they’ll be situationally aware.

Some Microsoft employees have protested providing technology for the military, but that’s unlikely to have any effect given the enormous potential value of the contract.

IVAS is still in the late testing & evaluation stage, and the scale of deployment will depend on future budgets. But if things go to plan, frontline soldiers could be equipped with these game-changing AR capabilities by the end of the decade.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/us-army-signs-contract-for-wide-fov-hololens-headsets-from-microsoft-60674ff1b6ff13366d9363db?s=rss

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