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Kliuless #15: Winner Winner, Epic Dinner

Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #15

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and I work in Revenue Strategy at Riot Games. Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

Winner Winner, Epic Dinner

  • CS:GO adds battle royale mode, goes free-to-play
  • Activision introduces zombie-less Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at discounted price exclusive on PC through
  • Fortnite's Season 7 revealed: new sandbox Creative Mode, "The Block" showcase for UGC, weapon & vehicle skins, airplanes & dogfights, and more
    • [KL: Wow. In my first public newsletter, titled Fortnite the Platform, I had written:
      • "Though Fortnite has not yet completely transitioned to becoming a platform, Epic has taken a couple steps towards that direction already. For example, they added a sandbox-like Playground Mode, and have incrementally added improvements to it over time... Each incremental piece of content Epic adds into Fortnite widens their competitive moat in the battle royale genre"
    • Last month I wrote:
      • "'Fortnitemares' is Epic's method of flexing its developer prowess to show that it can match Activision's zombie-infested battle royale in gameplay as well. One of the most powerful traits of the battle royale genre is that so much meaningful gameplay variation can be added by simply changing the rules or items of the virtual sandbox. To date, Epic has capitalized on this strength the most with their impressively rapid iterations and updates. Fortnite's generally more playful aesthetic and gameplay also enable the game to easily experiment with more creative freedom. I wouldn't be surprised to see pirate- or ninja-themed events one day in Fortnite, but it's harder for me to imagine the same for Blackout or PUBG"
    • To date Epic had taken steps towards evolving their game to a platform, but this week's news with the decision to crowdsource content from their entire player base represents a giant leap forward
    • No longer will Fortnite's updates be constrained by its own development team's limitations; it now has the whole world working to create fresh content
    • This is undoubtedly a game changer (pun intended), and we can already see signs of how Fortnite will squeeze out its remaining competitors from the battle royale genre's ever-shrinking winner's circle]
    • Related: Fortnite Players Are Recreating Classic Call of Duty Levels


  • Epic’s opening up Fortnite’s cross-platform services for all developers
    • Related: The Guy Behind Steam Spy Has Been Working On Epic's Store For Years
    • Related: Some Epic Store games are pushing back or scrapping Steam releases
    • Related: List of Epic Games Store's current and future game offerings
  • Phil Spencer: Xbox Game Pass Will Eventually Be On "Every Device"
    • Related: Xbox boss Phil Spencer made gaming matter to Microsoft
  • Dauntless Coming to PS4, Xbox One, And Switch With Cross-Play


  • China forms new Online Games Ethics Committee, which has already rejected 9 of an initial batch of 20 reviewed video games
  • South Korean law to punish boosters passes in the National Assembly


  • Consumer startups at a16z
  • Intel shows off its next big chip plans for ‘architecture era’
    • Related: Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8cx, an ‘extreme’ processor for Windows laptops
  • Apple's latest business move hints at a Netflix-like approach with Apple Music


  • The Making of Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • 84% of UK teen girls play video games in their spare time
  • Bose Frames will bring ‘audio augmented reality’ to $199 sunglasses
  • Game Tech Deep Dive: The fast and furious window shaders of Forza Horizon 4
  • The 13 biggest announcements from The Game Awards 2018
  • Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games
    • Related: AI is esports’ newest weapon
  • Razer’s Gamma-powered SoftMiner will use PC idle time for blockchain mining
  • Comcast rejected by small town—residents vote for municipal fiber instead
    • [KL: Hope this gains more widespread adoption because it solves problems with last-mile fiber economics that currently limit 5G's potential in lower population density regions] 
  • China loves Aquaman more than Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman

See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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