Reports are coming in that the Sillens Hills teaser is becoming unplayable.
Messaging app firm has given up majority control of its Line Games business and raised outside financing as it seeks to expand its collection of games titles and look at global expansion options. The Line Games business was formed earlier this year when , the Korea-based game publisher that it acquired in 2017. Now the business has taken on capital from Anchor Equity Partners, which has provided 125 billion KRW ($110 million) in financing via its Lungo Entertainment entity, . A Line spokesperson clarified that the deal will see Anchor acquire 144,743 newly-created shares to take a 27.55 percent stake in Line Games. That increase means Line Corp’s own shareholding is diluted from 57.6 percent to a minority 41.73 percent stake. Korea-based Anchor is best known for a number of deals in its homeland including investments in e-commerce giant and fashion retail group E-Land. Line operates its eponymous chat app which is the most popular messaging platform in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, and also significantly used in Indonesia, but gaming is a major source of income. This year to date, , which is primarily virtual goods and in-app purchases from its social games. That division accounts for 19 percent of Line’s total revenue, and it is a figure that is only better by its advertising unit, which has grossed 79.3 billion JPY, or $700 million, in 2018 to date. The games business is currently focused on Japan, Korea, Thailand and Taiwan, but it said that the new capital will go towards finding new IP for future titles and identifying games with global potential. It is also open to more strategic deals to broaden its focus. While Line has always been big on games, Line Games isn’t just building for its own service. The company said earlier this year that it plans to focus on non-mobile platforms, which will include the Switch among others consoles. That comes from the addition of NextFloor, which is best known for titles like Dragon Flight and Destiny Child. Dragon Flight has racked up 14 million users since its 2012 launch, at its peak it saw $1 million in daily revenue. Destiny Child, a newer release in 2016, topped the charts in Korea and has been popular in Japan, North America and beyond. via a dual U.S.-Japan IPO that raised over $1 billion. Note: the original version of this article was updated to clarify that Lungo Entertainment is buying newly-issued shares.
There's something brewing in the world of Toby Fox's Undertale. The game came out way back in 2015 for PC and later for home consoles. The Kickstarted project turned out to be a big indie success, and now there appears to be something new being teased for the title, but the upcoming...
Final details for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are coming this week, with Nintendo announcing a lengthy Direct video presentation scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1.
Source: Nintendo Nintendo sold 3.19 million Switch consoles worldwide , up from 2.92 million units in the same period a year ago, reaching a lifetime total of 22.86 million units for the hybrid home/mobile console, surpassing the 2001-2007 era Nintendo GameCube in cumulative sales. The result, , signals a continued strong reception for the Nintendo Switch, which had already exceeded its immediate predecessor, the Wii U, in lifetime unit sales. For the upcoming holiday season, Nintendo is counting a major lift from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, set for release on Dec. 7; and Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu/ Let’s Go! Eevee, scheduled for release on Nov. 17 on the Switch. The Pokémon games will be released in conjunction with a separately sold, $50 device called the . Nintendo maintained its forecast of 20 million units sold for the Switch for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2019. So far, in the first six months of the fiscal year, the company has sold 5.07 million units of the Switch, . During an interview at the GeekWire Summit in October, Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and COO of Redmon-based Nintendo of America, explained how the company learned from the Wii U in developing the concept for the Switch, which can be picked up and taken on the go. “Certainly without our experiences on the Wii U we would not have the Nintendo Switch in terms of what we learned, and importantly what we heard from our consumers,” he said. “They were telling us, I want to play with this tablet, this Gamepad, for the Wii U, but as soon as I get more than 30 feet away, it disconnects. So the core concept, something that you could take with you anywhere, anytime, was really compelling. So it was an important step for us to be able to deliver on this proposition.” [Watch a GeekWire TLDR video report on Fils-Aimé’s comments above, and .] By comparison, Sony this morning said it in the September quarter. Microsoft no longer discloses Xbox unit sales, but , “Gaming revenue increased $842 million or 44%, driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36%, due to third-party title strength, and Xbox hardware revenue growth of 94%, against a low prior year comparable due to timing of the Xbox One X launch in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.” Operating profit in the July-September quarter , up from 23.8 billion yen a year ago. The outcome fell short of analysts’ estimates but qualified as the company’s . Nintendo said its results were helped strong sales of Switch games including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (1.67 million units; May release) and Mario Tennis Aces (2.16 million units; June release). Total software sales for Nintendo Switch reached 42.13 million units, the company said.
Last year Tango Gameworks and Bethesda released The Evil Within 2 to resounding acclaim from gamers and solid review scores from critics. The game has been hailed as one of the better action-horror titles to come out in recent times, and if you've already given it a playthrough you might...
While Bethesda has been keen on bringing properties both new and old to the Switch, the developer announced recently that they just couldn't make Fallout 76 work on Nintendo's platform.
At launch, the long-awaited (and much hyped) western adventure that is Red Dead Redemption 2 is only available on the PS4 and Xbox One. That might not be the case forever, though. Code hidden within the game’s mobile companion app suggests that a PC version could be in the works. Last week, we wrote about , which lets you rip the in-game map off the TV and put it on a nearby tablet, instead. No more pausing just to figure out if you and your horse are still headed in the right direction. Some tinkerers (as spotted by ) have been poking around that very app, and have unearthed a few interesting parameters left behind. Two unused parameters tucked into the app (“PARAM_companionAutoConnectIpPC” and “CommandIsPcVersion”) mention the PC platform by name, but there are also dozens of different parameters referencing advanced graphic settings that generally don’t exist on consoles. While the original Red Dead Redemption never made it beyond the console, this wouldn’t be first foray into the PC world. Many of their most popular games landed on PC… eventually. GTAV, for example, launched on consoles in September of 2013 and made its way to Windows in April of 2015. L.A. Noire shipped for consoles in May of 2011, and hit PCs near the end of the same year. Adding fuel to the fire: A few months back, a mention of a PC build reportedly With all that said: As with all things relating to video game releases, don’t get your hopes up too high until you hear it straight from the developer’s mouth. While the signs point to a PC build having existed in some form at some point, there’s always the possibility that these parameters are left over from the company’s own internal testing, or that plans will change.
The PlayStation Classic is set to launch in early December, boasting 20 classic games pre-loaded on the miniature console. And thanks to a recent update, we now know exactly which games will be included.
Rand Fishkin, bottom center, takes a selfie of the Dungeons & Dragons gang at his house, including, clockwise from left, Scott Haug, Adam Doppelt, Geraldine DeRuiter and Dan Shapiro. (Photo courtesy of Rand Fishkin) Intriguing and quirky characters flock to the tech industry. But how many of them would happily classify themselves as a barbarian or a sorcerer, a druid or cleric? Turns out, in Seattle, a group of longtime and well-known tech executives and some of their family members are part of an increasingly vocal group that is gathering to play the wonderfully dorky game of And they’re doing it without the embarrassment or fear of being labeled “nerds.” They’re certainly not alone. The 44-year-old tabletop role-playing game is played today by more than 10 million people worldwide, according to its maker, Renton, Wash.-based . RELATED: , co-founder and CEO of 3D laser printer maker , was in a pumpkin patch a year ago when he ran into , CEO of the real estate company . Shapiro’s kids were evangelizing to Kelman’s kids about Magic: The Gathering — another Wizards’ juggernaut — when Kelman’s kids started talking about how much they loved Dungeons & Dragons. The two dads decided they should get everybody together for a game. “So there we are at a table with snacks and the CEO of a publicly traded company describing a raid on the Storm King’s castle to four children ages 6 to 10,” said Shapiro, who called it “magnificent and delightful.” He started playing regularly with his family on weekends, and they’d spend two to four hours talking to each other around the dining room table. “Because at the end of the day that’s all the game is, is sitting and talking to each other and telling stories together,” he said. Sales are soaring In an era where video games rule and parents worry about excessive screen time on a range of devices, D&D is a throwback to a nerdier, analog era, when geeks weren’t celebrated as mainstream heroes. For the uninitiated, the game was created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Players adopt fantastical character personas and they’re guided on adventures by a dungeon master. Treasure hunts, battles with monsters, spell casting and more play out with the rolling of a 20-sided die. Nostalgia for the game and mainstream acceptance is fueling some of the recent success. In a story in The New Yorker last year titled reporter wrote Neima Jahromi wrote that “game engineers have begun to describe D&D as though it were crafted as a pastime for Bronze Age poets.” The Hollywood Reporter even that A-list celebs such as Drew Barrymore, Stephen Colbert and Dwayne Johnson play the game. Simon Irving, a sales specialist at , a popular gaming hangout with a location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, said sales of the game are soaring — a contention backed up by news reports that called 2017 the biggest sales year ever for D&D. Getting the action out of basement rec rooms and onto the internet has certainly helped, with podcasts, live streaming through Twitch and YouTube, multiple Reddit communities and more. “In 2017 alone, we had more than 7,500 unique broadcasters streaming live play D&D for more than 475 million minutes watched over the course of the entire year,” Greg Tito, senior communications manager for D&D, . “It’s been super popular on streaming and I think that is a big contributor to the surge in success of D&D and why it’s so present in the public sphere.” Earlier this summer, Wizards of the Coast hosted what it called its most ambitious live-streaming event ever, where celebrities, streamers, creators and cosplayers gathered for three days of game playing and performances from a Los Angeles soundstage. The Dungeons & Dragons website links to a of live-streamed games on Twitch, and SYFY Wire reported that 9 million people have watched others play the game on the Amazon subsidiary. Irving mentioned two broadcasts in particular that he’s attracted to: by the McElroy brothers, who do the “My Brother, My Brother and Me” podcast; and on YouTube, which has a bunch of quasi-famous L.A. voice actors who have been letting people see for years what it actually looks like to play D&D. is another highly recommended series, and features Chris Perkins, who has been at Wizards since 1997 and today is a senior producer for “Dungeons & Dragons.” Irving is not surprised when he hears that some tech CEOs around Seattle are gathering to play the game. “We can barely keep these in stock,” he said, pointing at the , which spells out the loose rules of the game. A D&D player for nearly 20 years, Irving noted that the game is “very fashionable all of a sudden.” The fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, released in 2014, has struck a chord. Players credit D&D with getting away from the rules-oriented nature of fourth edition and back to the core allure of storytelling. “A lot of those stigmas around what it means to be a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ or ‘gamer’ have really started to erode away,” said Irving. “It’s just become much more culturally normative to have that be a thing you do … and people have realized that it’s really fun.” A secret obsession , the former CEO of the marketing software company , who has since launched Seattle startup , has excitedly watched those stigmas fade away. He was on Twitter last December when he got up the nerve to tweet at , another SEO marketing guru who is CEO of . Lurie is an unabashed D&D original, a dungeon master who has been playing for more than 30 years. Fishkin is the guy who longed to play, feared the mockery as a child and kept his obsession private until only recently. (Twitter via @randfish) “I’m still a little apprehensive to talk about the game, honestly,” Fishkin said. But in a very personal way in a blog post on SparkToro’s website back in May. “D&D was, I’d learned from schoolmates who mocked it, for only the dorkiest, nerdiest, most lonely, pathetic kids. I kept my obsession secret,” Fishkin wrote in the post, which sought to connect his own fear of failing as a startup founder with his fear — at the age of 13 — of being rejected for wanting to play a game. The D&D game hosted by Rand Fishkin and Geraldine DeRuiter starts as a dinner party. (Photo courtesy of Rand Fishkin) “I’ve relied a little bit on the blog post I wrote to let folks talk to me about [D&D] if they’re interested, rather than trying to bring it up,” Fishkin said. GEEKWIRE IN RENTON: Fishkin’s own actions seem to counter his assertion that he has an ongoing discomfort with being associated with the game. He and his wife, author , have been playing host to a weekly dinner gathering and game at their home for months, in which Fishkin directs the action as dungeon master. Shapiro attends, and he called Fishkin “a maestro next to none, who weaves incredible stories.” , a co-founder of the restaurant site Urbanspoon, and Scott Haug, a VP of software engineering at Glowforge, also play. Fishkin and DeRuiter, who have been a couple for 17 years and married for 10, have also played in a game hosted by Lurie. DeRuiter had a passing knowledge of D&D when she was younger but had never played. She was well aware of her husband’s relationship with the game. “When he was shy about it, I was like, ‘What are you doing? This isn’t anything,” DeRuiter recalled. “This isn’t even embarrassing. Get a truly embarrassing passion and then we’ll talk. Just lean into it, because you know your friends are going to be supportive.'” ‘I broke ground for you’ Ian Lurie, second from right, is dungeon master for a D&D gathering that included, from left, Andrew Bohrer, Tony Wright, Rand Fishkin, Geraldine DeRuiter, and Lurie’s wife Dawn Dort. (Photo courtesy of Rand Fishkin) Being a kid — or a kid at heart — can obviously be tough. And being a nerdy kid can be even tougher — especially 30 or 40 years ago, long before nerd culture morphed into semi-popular culture. Fishkin and Shapiro and Lurie didn’t grow up with mainstream hits like “Lord of the Rings” movies or “Stranger Things” on Netflix, or “Big Bang Theory” or internet streaming and podcasts to justify their geeky pursuits. Lurie, who was introduced to the game in the late ’70s, said that at the time people were sure that it was demon worship, that the game was going to corrupt people. “My aunt bought me my first copy of the game and my mom didn’t speak to her for three weeks,” said Lurie, adding a bit of hyperbole to the statement. “…There was tremendous stigma around the game. When I started playing it, it wasn’t that D&D made you weird. It was that if you were weird you were playing D&D. The stigma never stopped me. I’ve been playing the game steadily for 38 years.” One group Lurie has been playing with for 20 years includes a couple players who are in tech, a stay-at-home dad and, yes, … a professional sword fighter. Lurie got his son into the game, who turned the D&D club into the single largest club at his high school. He’s now in college where he plays in a couple games. In 2011, Lurie in which he said that everything he learned about marketing he learned from Dungeons & Dragons. When he wrote the piece, no one else was talking about D&D in the executive world, and he was terrified that he was going to lose all of his clients. That didn’t happen. But Lurie laughed in relaying a message to tech execs today who are writing about D&D and how much they love it. “You have no idea. I broke ground for you. I got smacked around on the playground for you,” he said. Dan Shapiro’s kids like to dress up when they play Dungeons & Dragons, and the game includes dice towers, character miniatures and a sword made on a Glowforge printer. (Photo courtesy of Dan Shapiro) Before running into Kelman, Shapiro said he probably hadn’t considered playing game since he was about 12 years old. He read the books fiendishly and wanted to play when he was a kid, but it was hard for him to find others who wanted to. He abandoned it all after junior high and only really thought about it for nostalgia’s sake. “Now it’s coming back in a really different, more thoughtful, more accessible and more mature way, as a way that people get together and tell stories and play games, and it’s part of the resurgence of board games and part of the excitement about face-to face-interaction versus interaction with a machine,” Shapiro said. Shapiro exudes a confidence about his geekiness that fits well with the notion these days that so-called nerds are to be celebrated, not mocked. So over the course of 30 years or so, one would assume he must have shaken any stigma he once attached to D&D. “No,” he laughed. “I’m terribly embarrassed to be talking to you right now. It’s still there and it’s OK. Right? One of the things as a startup CEO is you get respect for a lot of things and you get laughed at for a lot of things. So I figured, ‘Might as well add one more thing into the laughed-at list.” Lurie agreed that occasional eye rolls come with the territory. But he’s long past worrying about people’s assumptions related to the game — and he gets more negative reactions when he tells people he’s in search engine optimization than when he tells them he plays D&D. “There’s lots of things where people’s perceptions of what I do bother me, but Dungeons & Dragons is not one of them,” Lurie said. “I’ve been doing it for such a part of my life that it’s more likely to bug me if you look at me weird when I eat than look at me weird because I play Dungeons & Dragons.” Love and D&D Geraldine DeRuiter didn’t play D&D as a kid and has plenty of questions when she plays now, but she loves how fun the weekly gatherings are. (Photo courtesy of Rand Fishkin) DeRuiter, who is currently working on an outline for another book, in which she looks at online harassment as it pertains to women and how they survive it, said that the group she plays with is made up of fun people who have a lot of pressures in their lives who just want to enjoy time around a game. “It is just this kind of joyous moment of playing, that you don’t get to do as an adult a lot of the time,” she said. Fishkin gets a kick out of working together with other players to solve a problem that might bring with it high tension or high stakes. As a dungeon master, he thinks he’s becoming a better storyteller, and he’s more comfortable with the rules and processes of the game, although he admits to still having a lot to learn when it comes to engaging new players. His wife laughed about her own frustration and the questions she has as one of those new players. “I haven’t gotten the impression that anyone is frustrated with me, but I worry that they are because my questions half of the time are, ‘Wait, what am I doing? Wait, what are my powers? Wait, do I have the capacity to do that? Hold on. What? What can I do here? Like, what are my options? How do I attack this guy? What happens?'” DeRuiter said. “I just had this litany of questions and it’s great if you’re playing with someone like Ian or Dan or Scott who have played before and they’re like, ‘Yes, you can do that. No, here, roll this die, no do this’ … and not in a bossy way, but just in a this-is-the-mechanics-of-the-game way that I just do not understand.” Fishkin said it’s awesome to share stories about the game with his wife, for a week or two after they play. “She also particularly enjoys flirting with characters I’m controlling, which can get awkward in front of other people,” Fishkin said. “But she gets a kick out of seeing me blush after 17 years together.” And because Dungeons & Dragons is all about storytelling, DeRuiter had her own take on that dynamic, particularly when it comes to a game run by Lurie, where DeRuiter said Fishkin’s character is a halfling rogue. “I play a goliath barbarian,” DeRuiter said. “So I’m huge and I have two weapons and I’m basically kind of a war horse — I think I’m something like 7 or 8 feet tall — and Rand is this tiny little halfling, which is essentially a hobbit that lives in my backpack who pops out and stabs people when he needs to. That’s kind of delightful for me and he’s decided that his character is deeply in love with mine and I was telling him, ‘No, you’re supposed to play something different than you are in the real world.'” “But he was hell bent on that,” she said. “It’s quite cute.” Join GeekWire for a with Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Hyatt Regency at Southport in Renton, Wash. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. for more details and to register.