Last week, we decided to start running weekly news round-ups on Saturdays that are more video-centered, giving us some more time to continue working on heavier article content for the week. This also helps us continue creating high-quality video content, something we've done a lot of lately.
Valve has just launched “item stores” on Steam that will allow developers to sell digital items for their games through the Steam platform. Rust is the first game to do so, launching its store with a plethora of cosmetic items ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 a pop.
Interestingly, this change means that developers can now set values for items and possibly compete with users selling items. Developers will also be able to sell user-made items in their stores with portions of the sale going toward the creator of the item, effectively a revenue share model as is possible through other marketplaces, like the Unreal Engine marketplace.
Ubisoft's sales revenue for the first half of 2015 has dropped 60% as compared to the first half of last year. Actual profits have not yet been reported. In its official report, Ubisoft does hasten to add that they still exceeded their sales target, and that the company intends to make the majority of its sales during 2H15 with the release of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Rainbow Six Siege, Just Dance 2016, and Rayman Adventures.
Old-school styled cRPG Pillars of Eternity has now sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.
Pillars of Eternity was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the company that brought us Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and, if your memory’s really good, Alpha Protocol. Obsidian was joined by publishers Paradox Interactive for this project, announcing their collaboration at last year’s GDC event.
Western Digital (WD) yesterday announced that they will acquire SanDisk, the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory in the world. WD is a major hard drive manufacturer with a lesser-known presence in SSDs. The company previously acquired Hitachi GST (HGST) and absorbed its hard drive division. WD is next significantly expanding its SSD presence by acquiring SanDisk for approximately $19 billion.
WD’s goal in this is to widen their market potential by getting into not only consumer SSDs, but other flash-based products. This acquisition will grant WD access to lower-cost SSD technology. WD said the deal will “double its addressable market and expand its participation in higher-growth segments.”
Microprocessor manufacturer AMD posted its third-quarter financials yesterday, reporting a ~40% revenue fall to $1.06 billion from $1.43 billion in 3Q14. AMD posted a $158 million operating loss for the quarter.
The company continues its endless restructure, the Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) now largely independent, with new shifts including a separation of the ATMP group.
NVidia recently filed a complaint against Qualcomm and Samsung with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). NVidia has also filed a suit against Samsung and Qualcomm. The GPU giant claims that Samsung and Qualcomm are infringing upon nVidia’s patents, specifically ones pertaining to GPU architecture and technologies. Despite the fact that nVidia is often better known for their desktop and high-performance GPUs, they have a significant presence in the supercomputing and mobile sectors. This makes the lawsuit very relevant as all three are significant players in the mobile sector.
This complaint and suit are due to alleged patent infringements in Samsung and Qualcomm’s graphics processors: the Exynos (Samsung) and Snapdragon (Qualcomm).
Liquid cooler manufacturer Asetek, the company that supplies many of the industry's best-known coolers by Corsair, EVGA, and NZXT, saw victory in a patent infringement case against Cooler Master (CMI) in 2014. In that trial, the jury awarded Asetek a 14.5% royalty on all Cooler Master liquid coolers sold in the US.
The SSD market has grown exponentially over the past few years, the product of reduced NAND cost and increased capacity at affordable prices. TLC and VNAND saw rapid gains in drive capacity at the cost of some endurance, though controller advancements have offset this downside considerably; TLC and VNAND also both offer the endurance required for the majority of consumer use case scenarios. As SSD cost has plummeted to below $0.50 per gigabyte, we've seen inclusion of SSDs in most system builds within the mid-range or better categories.
Kickstarter and crowdfunding offer a sense of great freedom, but we've all seen crowd-funded campaigns fall short or fail in the past few years. There's been little legal recourse as backers effectively giving money on good will; there is no partial ownership of the product or company.
Altius Entertainment successfully concluded its Kickstarter campaign a full three years ago (4Q12). In the years following, the card game never saw completion and Kickstarter backers were left wondering when their promised, tiered pledges would show up. The Washington Attorney General's office began investigation in 2014.
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