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Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #5

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.

Kenneth Liu, Blogger

September 28, 2018

4 Min Read

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: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Kliu's Corner: Platform Wars

  • The First “First On Discord” Games

  • Valve's long held grip on PC gaming distribution is finally waning

  • Discord won't be the only challenger though; Amazon/Twitch and Epic could also make a strong play

    • Over the years, the value-add of Steam's once uniquely comprehensive suite of services has become fragmented

    • Beginning with voice chat, Discord quickly expanded to become gamers' preferred destination for most social and community features

    • The rise of streaming and influencers has shifted the power of product discoverability into the hands of platforms like Twitch

    • Epic, now with the biggest game in the West, should parlay its high user traffic, successful Android self-distribution, and of course its powerful Unreal engine into an all-too-sweet packaged deal developers 

  • I disagree with opinions like this one arguing that "Steam's downfall would be a blow to the creative freedom of devs"

    • Yes, there will be more publisher-run platforms, but there will also be other better player-focused platforms too, like Discord

    • After the dust settles, I foresee an overall better ecosystem for both developers and players alike


  • Mark Brown: How Overcooked’s Kitchens Force You to Communicate

  • How Destiny 2's Gambit invented a new game mode

  • How Odyssey is changing the face of Assassin's Creed


  • Extended Fortnite Cross-Play Beta Launches on PS4 [KL: better late than never]

  • Vivendi lays plan to relinquish the last of its Ubisoft stock by 2019

  • Nintendo tries out streaming on Switch in Japan

    • [KL: Lots of great insight here on current state of Japanese market]

    • "For all the misgivings that may exist about cloud streaming as the inevitable future of gaming as a whole, as a solution to this specific problem - the question of how to put a game built for PS4 onto a significantly lower-spec system without compromising the experience too badly - it makes perfect sense. If there's a market for this and the business model can be made to make sense (thus far it seems to make some sense for publishers but is pretty rubbish for consumers, so some tweaking is likely required), then it could be a pretty good answer to some of the questions over the position of Switch in the market overall"

  • "Rainbow Six: Siege proves that those ‘free weekends’ work"

    • “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege climbed the chart from the ninth-ranked position in July to become the third best-selling game of August[.] Performance was driven by the free-play period that ran August 16-to-20 in conjunction with the Six Major Paris 2018 Esports tournament and associated retail and digital promotion"

  • AMC, Smilegate Backed Out of Funding Talks With Telltale a Day Before Closure

    • Related: More than 1,000 jobs lost to studio closures over the past year

  • Valve offers full support on Steam to all new controllers

    • Related: Mouse and Keyboard Support for Xbox One Developers


  • Monster Hunter: Stories comes to Android and iOS

    • [KL: Highly encourage downloading the free demo "MHST The Adventure Begins" to experience the game's amazing production value firsthand on mobile]

  • HQ Trivia looks to expand with HQ Words, a new Wheel of Fortune-style game


  • Two of the most popular games on Steam now are from China: Ring of Elysium, 太吾绘卷 The Scroll of Taiwu

    • [KL: 太吾绘卷 The Scroll of Taiwu is especially impressive given that its Chinese only]

  • China blocks Twitch weeks after spike in popularity


  • Oculus Santa Cruz is Quest, will offer standalone VR in spring for $399

  • Oculus has a mixed reality vision that goes far beyond Microsoft

  • Fraunhofer says microdisplays will end VR motion sickness and headaches

  • MonkeyMedia’s BodyNav tools will reduce motion sickness in VR

  • Sennheiser brings its spatial audio technology to AR


  • Podcast: Interview with Shopify Founder Tobi Lütke

  • The Constant Consumer: Amazon’s mission is to make customer identity more primary than citizenship

  • Leaked two-hour footage from Amazon's MMO New World alpha

  • The biggest games in the world wouldn't exist without modders

  • Washington Post: Seeking fun and glory, prospective pro gamers hone their skills in digital dojos

  • Razer’s Nari Ultimate wireless gaming headset pounds your ears with haptic touch

  • The making of Total Annihilation

  • Footage and concept art from Telltale's canceled Stranger Things project

  • Rumor: Diablo Animated Series Reportedly in Development at Netflix

  • China looks to ban foreign TV shows at prime time and restrict online streaming

  • Tencent’s AI is now beating the most difficult bots in StarCraft II

See more or subscribe at: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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