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Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #1

Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition marks the inaugural public version that I will publish broadly every week going forward too. Opinions are mine.

Hi, my name is Kenny, 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 marks the inaugural public version that I will publish broadly every week going forward as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

Kliu's Corner: Fortnite the Platform

  • 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
    • Toys” (e.g., golf balls, basketballs, volleyballs) were also added to the game even though they serve no functional purpose in Battle Royale
  • As this Medium post suggests, Fortnite is "much more than just a game":
    • "For my sons and a lot of kids their age, Fortnite is not a game they play, it’s a place they go—and, importantly, it’s a place they go with friends and not with Mom and Dad. It’s fulfilling the same development role as those illicit teen spaces from the 1970s and ’80s—those dodgy youth clubs, arcades, and video stores that we discovered unchaperoned.
    • Teenagers are caught in a crappy sociocultural Catch-22: Adults are worried their kids are spending too much time on smartphones and consoles, but at the same time they’re constantly policing and restricting access to physical environments"
  • Each incremental piece of content Epic adds into Fortnite widens their competitive moat in the battle royale genre
    • Every improvement continually raises players' baseline expectations by which all other competitors would be judged
    • Sound familiar? It should, because this is one of the ways League established MOBA market dominance with each new champion pool addition

Business Strategy

Revenue Strategy

  • "Why Fortnite Makes Billions"
  • NPD: U.S. game spending up 40% in first half of 2018
  • What is an ad attribution conversion window and how does it work?
  • European ratings board PEGI adding in-game purchase label to boxed game
  • Blizzard removes paid loot boxes and loot chests for players in Belgium


  • Epic's first Fortnite Installer allowed hackers to download and install anything on your Android phone silently [KL: TL;DR Tweet thread here]
    • Related: Man-in-the-Disk: A New Attack Surface for Android Apps
  • Square Enix to create AAA original IP with Tencent
  • Xbox Game Pass heads say player feedback shows they prefer a service with a smaller number of quality titles to one with thousands of games
  • Arena of Valor Nintendo Switch to Have Upgraded Graphics, Different Stats from Mobile Version [KL: no cross-platform either]
  • EEDAR: Analyzing player preferences from the US games market
  • Newzoo: Hardware & Esports at the Core of the Mobile Gaming Opportunity


  • Oculus Co-Founder Developing Universal VR Sickness Solution
  • TimefireVR launches Hypatia, a virtual city and social playground in VR


  • China's government issued a notice that they will control the number of new online games to be approved, and explore implementing an appropriate age-restriction system for games to help limit and prevent myopia in minors
  • Tencent's Investment Strategies Revealed   
  • >80% of netizens in lower tier Chinese cities described the mobile phone as their favourite pastime and said they were happy to spend almost all their leisure on it
  • How big data helped ‘China’s Netflix’ iQiyi decide to back The Story of Yanxi Palace, a summer blockbuster about back-stabbing concubines
    • "After all, his algorithms have concluded that the show, set in the court of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), would likely be a winner, based on big data analysis of past viewership patterns of similarly themed shows.
    • Both man and machine proved right as Yanxi Palace concluded its run on China’s biggest online video streaming platform, garnering more than 13 billion views so far and smashing the one-day viewership record earlier this month. Big data analysis was again employed to determine the optimal time and pace of releasing new episodes to build up viewer anticipation."


  • Netflix tests a bypass of iTunes billing in 33 markets
  • "Amazon Has YouTube Envy: It wants to turn its Twitch online hangout for avid gamers into a broader video service."


  • How World of Warcraft Was Made: The Definitive Inside Story of Nearly 20 Years of Development
  • An Oral History of ‘GoldenEye 007’ on the N64
  • "Researchers gave AI curiosity and it played video games all day"
  • blockchain games band together on Ready Player One-style gaming multiverse
  • The game changers: meet the creatives shaking up the gaming world
  • Podcast: Deconstructing Sexism in Games Industry
  • Newzoo’s Esports Business Predictions for 2021: Esports Will Propel Gaming into a Bigger Industry than Traditional Professional Sports
  • How big is 802 million? China's massive internet population in seven graphics
  • Twitch downloads skyrocket in China thanks to esports at the Asian Games
  • How China rules using data, AI, and internet surveillance
  • Google just gave control over data center cooling to an AI
  • The Impossible Job: Inside Facebook’s Struggle to Moderate Two Billion People

See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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