Esports documentary will debut with live StarCraft competition

All Work All Play

Playing games for a living is hard work. And that’s why By Experience is building a StarCraft event around a documentary about esports, dubbed All Work All Play: The Pursuit of eSports Glory.

By Experience specializes in organizing events at movie theaters, and it is teaming up with the filmmakers, StarCraft maker Blizzard Entertainment, and esports league ESL to create a livestreamed event for the debut of the documentary.

At the live event, a number of esports stars will compete in a tournament for Blizzard’s new expansion game, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. The Legacy of the Void is the first major StarCraft release since 2013.

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Fans will be able to attend the event at ESL Studios in Burbank, Calif., or watch it any of the participating movie theaters (up to 2,000 of them) throughout North America. The star players include Chris “Huk“ Loranger, Kevin “qxc“ Riley, Brandon “puCK“ Loranger, and Geoff “iNcontroL“ Robinson. The event will be broadcast on July 21, and it will be hosted by Joshua “Clutch” Gray.

The event will feature a live Q&A between the global audience and Patrick Creadon, the director of the film; Michal Blicharz, the director of pro gaming at ESL; and pro eSports gamers.

Julie Borchard-Young, co-president of By Experience said the event will give fans a unique opportunity to participate in an esports experience at a local cinema.

The film is a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the ascent of esports. It showcases some of the best pro gamers in the world as they fought for the Intel Extreme Masters championship earlier this year. The film will screen during the live special event and again on July 28 in Europe.

Top professional StarCraft II players and gamers will battle it out in a 2v2 “Archon Mode” match in StarCraft II, Legacy of the Void. In that mode, two players share control of a single base and units. The game is currently in beta testoing.

The commentators for the event include Nathanias Fabrikant and Andre “Gretorp” Henchua. By Experience handles digital events at movie theaters and other locations. It has sold 23 million tickets to date since it did a live broadcast of David Bowie’s Reality album in 2003.

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Voxel8 raises M to help bring 3D-printed electronics to the masses

Voxel8, creators of a 3D electronics printer, has raised million to grow its team and develop the core technology that enables companies to 3D-print products with built-in electronics.

While the company previously raised an undisclosed round of financing, today represents the first significant VC funding the company has taken on. Braemar Energy Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Autodesk — through its Spark Investment Fund — and In-Q-Tel.


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Shinra Technologies launches dev tools to build massive cloud-based game worlds

Shinra Technologies showed its demo in Austin at SXSW.

Shinra Technologies announced that it has released tools that will enable indie game developers to build massive game simulations with its cloud-based game-streaming service.

New York-based Shinra has released both English and Japanese language versions of its Community Cloud Development Kit (CCDK). The tools give indies a way to harness the power of remote rendering on the Shinra cloud for testing and presentation purposes. While Shinra itself is not making games, it is creating the underlying technology to make massive simulations with thousands of game characters and huge virtual worlds.

Shinra has made the CCDK available today on GitHub, where it can be downloaded for free by anyone.

Shinra Technologies’ vision for the CCDK is for every indie developer, in any part of the world, to have a simple and effective means to create a cloud game. The development kit supports all three of Shinra Technologies’ cloud-based architectures: 1-to-1 (single-player games), N:N (virtual MMO), and 1:N (supercomputer multiplayer).

Shinra Technologies’ Indie Business Manager Simon Ferrari said in a statement that the CCDK is an “all-in-one introduction” to Shinra’s distribution process.

Hearthstone, Call of Duty lead Activision to $611M in digital revenues last quarter

Call of Duty knows how to sell those microtransactions.

In recent years, game spending has shifted from traditional retail to digital purchases and stores, and Activision is one of the companies capitalizing on this.

During the company’s second quarter, which ended June 30, the company generated 9 million in revenues. Of that total, 1 million came from digital channels. That means that the publisher made more than 80 percent of its total sales from these online means. This shows the power that digital and connected games have, and Activision is definitely one of the game makers that knows how to deliver content for that audience.

In its quarterly report, Activision pointed out games like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Destiny that have attracted players and spending. Combined, they have more than 70 million registered players and have generated over .25 billion in total spending. While some of that comes from the physical Destiny disc, a lot also comes from the 100 percent digital in-game purchases for Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm as well as Destiny’s expansions.

But it’s not just those newer Activision and Blizzard properties that are performing well in digital. The publisher also notes that Call of Duty’s year-over-year Q2 earnings saw a significant increase.

“Season pass, downloadable content, and microtransaction offerings have helped drive increased engagement and monetization [for Call of Duty],” reads the Activision quarterly report. ”

Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg specifically noted Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Supply Drops, which players can buy and use to get perks and killstreak rewards during matches. These items have helped Activision give a boost to its average revenue per player.

And looking forward, the publisher should have no trouble continuing its digital success. In September, Activision and Bungie will release The Taken King expansion for Destiny. This “mega expansion,” as the company is styling it, will go on sale for and most people will buy it digitally. Activision will likely also continue offering up more microtransactions in Call of Duty: Black Ops III when it debuts in November.

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