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Kliuless #28: GDC 2019 Recap

Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share broadly within Riot. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #28

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 broadly within Riot. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

Platform Wars

  • Epic CEO Tim Sweeney on 250 million Fortnite players, digital humans, and $100 million dev fund
    • Related: Remedy, Quantic Dream, and other devs sign on for Epic Games Store exclusives
    • Related: Tim Sweeney announces $100 million Epic MegaGrants fund for game developers
    • Related: Epic Games Store roadmap outlines cloud saves, achievements, user reviews
  • Unity CEO John Riccitiello interview — Is Epic buying Unity’s developers?
    • Related: Unity partners with Tencent for China, cloud gaming services
  • Microsoft: "Our goal is to reach everyone on the planet"
    • Related: Xbox One S All-Digital launch planned for May 7
  • Google Unveils Stadia, a Video Game Streaming Service That Could Threaten Xbox and PlayStation
    • Opinion: Google Stadia has promise, but GDC failed to address its biggest obstacles
    • Related: Google Stadia hands-on: streaming analysis and controller impressions
    • Related: Why Phil Harrison joined Google to launch the Stadia cloud gaming platform
    • Related: Interview with Phil Harrison and Majd Bakar on Google Stadia
    • Related: Jade Raymond will head Google’s own game studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment
  • Valve spruces up the Steam store with better social features, networking, and reach
    • Related: Steam removes "off-topic review bombs" from overall game review scores
  • Walmart is Talking to Developers and Publishers About a Potential Streaming Service


  • How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games
  • Reddit: Deconstruction of Apex Legends' Season 1 Battle Pass
  • Overwatch saw 40% less disruptive behavior with endorsement system
  • How Arkane built a roguelike atop an immersive sim with Prey's Mooncrash DLC
  • Do you have a self-actualised personality? Maslow revisited
    • "'Taken together, this total pattern of data supports Maslow’s contention that self-actualised individuals are more motivated by growth and exploration than by fulfilling deficiencies in basic needs,' Kaufman writes. He adds that the new empirical support for Maslow’s ideas is ‘quite remarkable’ given that Maslow put them together with ‘a paucity of actual evidence’"


  • Battlefield V’s Firestorm battle royale mode launches March 25
  • Nintendo is open to more indies getting the Cadence of Hyrule oppurtunity
    • Related: Nindies Showcase reveals Cuphead, Blaster Master sequel and Zelda spinoff


  • Dota Auto Chess heads to mobile without Dota
  • Activision partners with Tencent for Call of Duty Mobile set for release in Western markets
    • Related: NetEase takes on Call of Duty Mobile with new shooter Disorder


  • Opinion: Overview of current VR headset market
  • Nate Mitchell & Jason Rubin discuss how two-pronged approach with Quest & Rift S will finally bring down barriers to VR
    • Related: Oculus Rift S will debut soon as $400 sequel to the PC-based Rift VR headset
    • Related: Nate Mitchell interview — Why Facebook built the Oculus Rift S headset for the PC
  • Google Maps platform adds new styles and gameplay options for mobile games
  • Google’s Gradient Ventures joins $58 million investment in AR startup Mojo Vision
  • Angry Birds’ first AR outing is hitting Apple devices later this Spring



  • Facebook adds dedicated gaming tab to its mobile app
  • Rumor: Snapchat to Launch Gaming Platform Next Month
  • After rolling out mini games, ByteDance has reportedly purchased a gaming company
  • Blog: What is Amazon?
  • Thirty original pitch decks for successful startups
  • Bloomberg: Apple's Reinvention as a Services Company Begins
  • Bloomberg: Amazon’s Alexa has 80,000 Apps—and No Runaway Hit
  • Instagram adds in-app checkout as part of its big push into shopping
  • Why companies want to mine the secrets in your voice: voices are highly personal, hard to fake, and contain surprising information about our mental health and behaviors
    • Related: Google has implemented its complete machine learning speech-to-text system on its Pixel Android phones


  • Review of world's first VR gym opening in San Francisco
  • Danny Bilson to lead USC Games into the interactive future
  • EA creates high-end competitive gaming broadcast studio
  • Rumor: Call of Duty franchise spots to sell at $25 million per team
  • Nintendo at 130: 'It’s on us to create that wow moment for players'
  • Slay the Spire has sold >1.5mm copies, with >40% coming from China
  • Epic Games shows off amazing digital human technology with Troll demo
  • New Yorker: The Division 2 and the Severing of Politics from Video Games
  • A dev trained robots to generate “garbage” slot machine games—and made $50K
  • Rumor: Top gamer 'Ninja' made $1 million to promote EA's 'Apex Legends' launch
  • China’s new social media craze: Paying random people to shower you with over-the-top compliments
  • Behind the scenes on Valve and Riot vets Chet Faliszek and Kimberly Voll's new co-op centric studio Stray Bombay

See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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