In: Venture Capital

The F-bombs fly in our Gordon Ramsay interview
March 13, 2016

If Kim Kardashian can make $80 million from her mobile game in partnership with Glu Mobile, then, hell, Gordon Ramsay should be able to make a whole lot f****** more. After all, the reality TV chef star swears a lot more than Kardashian, who, together with Glu, pioneered the lucrative market for celebrity mobile games.
We were part of a small group of journalists who interviewed Ramsay last week at Glu’s headquarters in San Francisco, alongside game maker Becky Ann Hughes and Glu CEO Niccolo De Masi. Ramsay said he has been working on the chef’s game for almost two years as part of an effort to grab a bigger slice of the $34 billion mobile game market.
The Michelin-starred Ramsay said the seeds for the collaboration started in May 2014, when Glu acquired PlayFirst, a studio that created the Diner Dash and Cooking Dash games. De Masi approached Ramsay about making a game based on his celebrity personality, combined with the moment-to-moment, frenetic gameplay of the Dash games. Ramsay..

Read More
Bitcoin transactions jump following consensus on how to scale the currency
March 13, 2016

GUEST:
On the February 23, 2016, bitcoin saw the highest number of bitcoin transactions so far in a single day. According to a tracking graph on Blockchain.info, there were about 260,578 transactions in the day.
The highest peak before this was in October, 2015, when about 241,346 transactions were carried out in a single day.
This February surge came just a few days after representatives of the bitcoin mining community, core developers, and entrepreneurs met in Hong Kong and arrived at a consensus on how to move forward with scaling the bitcoin block size.
It is easy to interpret the rise in transactions as a result of the confidence that the consensus has injected into the bitcoin market.
For some time now, it has been a general belief that the seemingly never-ending wrangling within the bitcoin community on how to scale the bitcoin network is affecting the image of bitcoin negatively.
The network always responds appropriately The metric that has always been used to point this ..

Read More
India’s Micromax is struggling
March 13, 2016

MUMBAI (By Himank Sharma, Reuters) – A year ago, Micromax vaulted past Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become India’s leading smartphone brand. Today, its market share has nearly halved, several top executives have resigned, and the company is looking for growth outside India.
In Micromax’s slide to second place is a tale of the promise and peril of India’s booming but hyper-competitive smartphone industry.
India is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. Shipments of smartphones jumped 29 percent to 103 million units last year.
Rapid growth has helped nurture a crop of local brands, led by Micromax, that outsourced production to Chinese manufacturers. Now, as Samsung rolls out more affordable phones, the same Chinese factories are entering the Indian market with their own brands, depressing prices and forcing Indian mobile makers to rethink their strategies.
“What the Indian brands did to the global brands two years ago, Chinese phone makers are doing the same to Indian brand..

Read More
2000’s Diablo II gets a new patch
March 12, 2016

Blizzard is still supporting one of its classic games.
The developer announced today that it has released a new patch for Diablo II, an action role-playing game that the company released back in 2000. The update focuses on making the title playable on modern PC operating systems.
“There is still a large Diablo II community around the world, and we thank you for continuing to play and slay with us,” Blizzard noted on its site. “This journey starts by making Diablo II run on modern platforms, but it does not end there.”
Blizzard noted that it wants to improve cheat-detection and hack-prevention in future updates.
Diablo III, Diablo II’s successor, came out in 2012, and it’s still popular with fans. However, some prefer Diablo II for its more old-school sensibilities (many were upset to see Diablo III get rid of skill trees, a sort of player progression that has you picking new skills along branching paths). It’s nice to see Blizzard support those fans by continuing to work on such an..

Read More
General Motors acquires self-driving car startup Cruise Automation, reportedly for $1B+
March 12, 2016

General Motors (GM) continues its self-driving car push today with the news that it has acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based self-driving car company that develops an autopilot system for existing cars.
The news comes two months after GM first revealed its autonomous vehicle aspirations with a $500 million investment in Lyft, followed by acquisition of Sidecar’s technology and assets.
“Fully autonomous vehicles can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their daily mobility needs,” said GM president Dan Ammann, in a press release.
As the century-old car company behind big automotive brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and Vauxhall, General Motors is one of the world’s major carmakers — but it’s also in danger of being usurped by tech companies that are building autonomous car technology, including Uber, Google, and Apple.
Founded in 2013, Cruise Automation has raised just shy of $20 million since..

Read More
GamesBeat Summit to feature Owen Mahoney, leader of Asian free-to-play giant Nexon
March 12, 2016

We’re happy to announce that Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Asian gaming giant Nexon, is one of our speakers for the second annual GamesBeat Summit 2016, an event that’s set for May 3 and May 4 at the scenic Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, California.
Mahoney’s Tokyo-based company is the pioneer of free-to-play online games, and it has been moving into mobile lately. Most recently, the company acquired DomiNations developer Big Huge Games, a Western studio founded by game pioneers Brian Reynolds and Tim Train. Mahoney has been signing up a lot of famous game developers, mostly by pitching gaming as an art form. He spoke at last fall’s GamesBeat 2015 event, and we’re happy to have him back.
Our theme this year is about underdogs and giants: how big thinkers are transforming gaming — from VR and AR to mobile and esports.
This event is about the global business of gaming, which is growing in so many ways and becoming a bigger part of the entertainment and technology industries. We’ve desig..

Read More
The DeanBeat: At 30, GDC is stronger than ever
March 12, 2016

The 30th annual Game Developers Conference takes place next week, Monday through Friday, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For people in the game industry, the show is a kind of religious pilgrimage to get inspired about the craft of making video games. And the event is expected to break last year’s record of 26,000 attendees, according to GamesBeat’s interview with Meggan Scavio, the general manager of GDC events at show organizer UBM TechWeb.
Above: Meggan Scavio of the GDC
Image Credit: GDC The anticipated big crowd shows that gaming is still as hot as ever, even as the big U.S. trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), is having a harder time hanging on to its show floor exhibitors. The GDC is a smaller event than E3, targeted at the global community of game developers. Despite some ups and downs among individual companies, that community is huge. The Entertainment Software Association (the lobbying group that puts on E3) lists more than 1,641 companies in the $22 ..

Read More
Hitman maker launches ‘Kill this ad’ video campaign
March 12, 2016

Agent 47 sure gets around.
The main character of Hitman, the assassination game for the PC and consoles that debuts today, appears in a new ad campaign today that the creators hope will go viral. Dubbed “Kill this ad,” it’s is a clever way to publicize this release from developer IO Interactive and publisher Square Enix in the $99.3 billion gaming industry. Square Enix partnered with creative agency Omelet to create the marketing campaign.
The ad features a corrupt rich guy — the usual target for assassination in Hitman games — who goes by the name Wolfshark. The video ad starts playing, and you see various scenes with Wolfshark in it. The phrase “Kill this ad” appears on the right hand side.
Depending on when you click on the ad, you’ll see Agent 47 appear in a still photo scene with Wolfshark assassinated in a gruesome way. So each time you view the ad, you’ll see a different death scene. It’s macabre, but so very Hitman.
Get more stories like this:

Read More
Microsoft launches OneNote importer tool for Evernote users
March 12, 2016

Microsoft today launched a OneNote importer tool that lets Evernote users bring their content to Microsoft’s note-taking tool. You can download the OneNote Importer for Windows now from OneNote.com (a Mac version will follow “in the coming months”). Once your notes have been imported, you can access them in OneNote on your computer, phone, and the Web.
Microsoft released OneNote for Mac for free in March 2014 and then made the Windows version completely free in February 2015. The number of OneNote users has been growing steadily as a direct result of these moves as well as regular updates to all the OneNote apps. Now, the company has decided to increase the heat on the biggest player in the note-taking space.
The importer tool’s webpage even has a comparison chart:

The tool requires a PC with Windows 7 or later and Evernote installed. Here it is in action:

Here is the step-by-step process (support page):
Download the installer, accept the End User License Agreement, and run it. ..

Read More
GamesBeat weekly roundup: PlayStation 4’s dominance continues, and Gordon Ramsay swears
March 12, 2016

Welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, Microsoft cancels Fable Legends, we learn about the challenges of porting Final Fantasy IX to mobile, and Epic’s Tim Sweeney explains how to keep Windows an open platform.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Pieces of flair and opinion
The DeanBeat: At 30, GDC is stronger than ever GamesBeat Summit to feature Owen Mahoney, leader of Asian free-to-play giant Nexon All 17 Super Mario Bros. games, ranked Epic’s Tim Sweeney: Here’s how to keep Windows an open platform How GamesBeat will be a part of GDC next week Wii U’s 2016 eShop music is fire 3DNES emulator turns your old 8-bit Nintendo games into 3D nightmares Beloved Super Nintendo hit Super Mario RPG turns 20 years old today E3’s organizer says that its show isn’t dead yet The Witness: What it means Above: Fable Legends is no more.
Image Credit: Microsoft News
2000’s Diablo II gets a new patch Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 nearly outsold Street Fighter V on PlayStatio..

Read More