Skillz Blog

Week in Review: “Stranger Things” comes to mobile gaming, “Tekken” World Finals to be held in San Francisco, 600+ eSports sponsorships secured since start of 2016

Skillz weekly gaming news recap

Image Credit: BonusXP via CNET

Digital/Mobile News

  • A launch date has been set for “Game of Thrones: Conquest.” The multiplayer mobile strategy game based on HBO’s hit series is slated to be released October 19th for iOS and Android. Developed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Turbine studio, the game enables players to forge alliances and raise armies to take the Iron Throne. The game will be free to download, but will offer in-app purchases such as weapons, gold, and speed-ups. (Variety)
  • “Stranger Things” has created a new, nostalgia-fueled mobile game, based on the first season of the series. The free-to-play game, which is available on Android and iOS, is a top-down action-adventure, with pixel art reminiscent of games like “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” The game includes both combat and puzzle gameplay. (The Verge)

Gaming News

  • The “Tekken” World Finals is coming to San Francisco. It marks the first time that the game’s championship tournament will be held outside of Japan. On November 12th, 16 of the fiercest “Tekken” competitors will battle for the $50,000 prize pool. The venue shift apparently comes as a sign of Bandai Namco’s devotion to the North American community, especially after the game’s success at this year’s Evo. (Kotaku)
  • “Body Count Fighting” is bringing UFC-style fight cards and grudges to eSports. Unlike the standard tournament structure, each event in “Body Count Fighting” includes a fight card like UFC, and players compete for control of a belt that goes to the current, reigning champion. Developer Machinima’s goal is to shift away from the big arenas and million-dollar cups to old-fashioned fighting competitions. (VentureBeat)
  • Sony is releasing an updated PlayStation VR headset this month. The current headset has sold over 1 million units since launching last October. The new PSVR headset will be packed with new features like a slimmer, streamlined connection cable and a tweaked design that enables stereo headphone cables to be integrated directly with the device. It will launch in Japan this month before heading to North America at a later date. (Gamasutra)
  • Dom’s car from “Fast & Furious” is coming to “Rocket League.” Psyonix and Universal Pictures are releasing two new Battle-Cars based on the “Fast and Furious” franchise, including Dominic Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T and the 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R featured in “2 Fast 2 Furious.” These two new cars will join the Dodge Ice Charger, which came to “Rocket League” earlier this year alongside the release of “The Fate of the Furious.” Each car will cost $1.99. (Polygon)

Business News

  • More than 600 eSports sponsorships have been secured since the start of 2016, with the majority of them coming from the IT and computer space, according to Nielsen Market Intelligence. Other spaces include retail, online services, non-alcoholic drinks, and online media. The industry has come a long way since 2014, when big brands like Red Bull and McDonald’s were first testing the water with eSports competitions. (Forbes)
  • Sony has appointed John Kodera as the new head of PlayStation. Kodera, who has primarily worked on online service PlayStation Network, will take over as CEO at subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment. Kodera’s efforts to add non-gaming content to the PlayStation Network show that Sony’s chief Kazuo Hirai sees the addition of TV shows, movies, and music as one way to ease the earnings volatility between console lifecycles. (Bloomberg)
  • Japanese games firm Akatsuki has launched a U.S. film production venture, with Annmarie Sairrino Bailey as its head. Akatsuki Entertainment USA will acquire, develop and produce commercial intellectual properties. Initially, the company will seek strategic partnerships between Hollywood and Japanese films. In the longer term, it aims to cover multiple in-house disciplines, including international sales. (Variety)
  • PlayStation has announced a new credit card, designed specifically to reward PlayStation gamers in the U.S. PlayStation Credit Card owners will get a number of rewards based on their purchasing habits, such as $50 in the PlayStation store after their first transaction. In partnership with Capital One, the card allows users to rack up Sony Reward Points which are redeemable for games, electronics, and more. (GamesIndustry.biz)
  • eSports leagues are set to level up with permanent franchises. Riot Games and Activision Blizzard are two studios which have added such franchises, to create a much more predictable ecosystem for game publishers, owners, players, sponsors and other industry participants. All signs point to permanent franchises scoring big points with fans, and helping with consistency in the eSports landscape. (Forbes)

Visit the Skillz blog each week for a comprehensive review of the latest gaming news!