Zynga has launched a new mobile game entitled “GIFS Against Friends” for iOS. One player is the judge, sending up to 32 others a prompt from within an iMessage conversation. The other participants choose what they consider to be the most fitting GIF. Then the judge selects their winning GIF for all members of the group to see. (Yahoo! Tech)
With its Unity Buy SDK, Shopify now lets mobile games sell real goods. The Unity Buy SDK from Shopify, announced at its Unite conference, makes it easier to build a store for physical merchandise inside a game, so that players can buy t-shirts, mugs, toys and emblazoned with logos and characters as easily as they would in-app currency. (TechCrunch)
NetEase has released “Crusader of Light,” a new mobile MMO game, for Android and iOS. Crusaders is now available in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the Philippines as part of its soft launch. Other territories, including North America, Europe, Russia, and Brazil, will follow. The game is starting with over 300 hours of gameplay, and it also has dungeon raids for up to 40 players and competitive arena battles. (VentureBeat)
The first-ever “Call of Duty” World League Global Pro League has begun. Over the next 10 weeks, the top 16 pro teams will battle each other in two stages of competition, each offering $700,000 in prizes. Placements in the Global Pro League will dictate seeding in the World League Championship, where another $1.5 million will be on the line, bringing the total to $4 million in prizes for the year. (VentureBeat)
Video gaming will be featured as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games. The Olympic Council of Asia will introduce eSports to the official program in Hangzhou, China. It will also be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The council is collaborating with Alisports, a unit of China’s Alibaba Group, to bring eSports to the games. No details were given on which games will be included. (The New York Times)
Consumers will push worldwide spending on video games to $108.9 billion this year, according to Newzoo, up from $101.1 billion in 2016. Growth will continue to come from mobile and Asia. PC will see a decline as people spend less money on full-game downloads and browser-based experiences. Mobile gaming is projected to generate $46.1 billion this year, 42 percent of all global game revenues. (VentureBeat)
Facebook has updated features for Instant Games, Gameroom, and Gaming Video. According to the company, people have played Instant Games 1.5 billion times in the past 90 days. There are now more than 800 million people playing games on Facebook or playing while logged in to Facebook, up 23 percent from 650 million a year ago. Facebook will also start rolling out a new “games tab” to make it even easier for players to discover games. (VentureBeat)
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