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NetEase Invests in PlayPulse

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NetEase has invested in Norwegian fitness gaming startup PlayPulse which will be used to help PlayPulse launch its first product, the PlayPulse One exercise bike, early in 2023, according to an official company announcement.

PlayPulse’s fitness bikes start at around $1,600 for those who pre-order and pay upfront, and will include a built-in touchscreen monitor and game controls in the handlebars so users can play customized games with mechanics synced with the bike pedals. The merging of gaming and fitness will likely see some traction in fitness streams on popular platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and more.

“We are extremely excited to have NetEase Games as an investor and partner in the years to come,” said PlayPulse CEO Erling Magnus Solheim.

“They bring vast experience from the gaming industry and have built an active network of the most experienced creators in the market, and together we can bring PlayPulse to a larger audience.”

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Epic Games Store Hits $820 Million in Player Spending During 2022

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Epic Games has officially released financial data related to it’s growing marketplace on PC, showing that $820 million was spent on the Epic Games Store during the 2022 year, and promised support for third-party subscription services and new ‘content hubs’ to help companies promote their titles.

According to the data:

The numbers

  • Total users of Epic Games Store PC: 230 million (up 19% year-on-year)
  • Epic cross-platform accounts: 732 million
  • Daily active users peak: 34.3 million
  • Monthly active users: 68 million (up 10%)
  • Total spending, incl. Epic’s games: $820 million (down 2%)
  • Spending on third-party games: $355 million (up 18%)
  • Free games claimed: 700 million
  • Number of new PC releases: 626
  • Total library of PC games: 1,548 (up 68%)

Epic Games stated on it’s blog that more PC games launched during the 2022 year than in any year prior.

Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto 5, Rocket League, Genshin Impact, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were among the most popular titles related to player engagement and player spending, and Epic Games looks to deepen their focus in 2023 as they aim to improve the store launcher’s performance.

Epic Games also aims to add support for subscription services from third-party publishers and live service products by the end of the 2023 year, adding that they are also working on ‘content hubs’ which will be separate from product pages and will enable publishers to “share information with users in a robust editorial format.”

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California Judge Dismisses Gamers Lawsuit Filed Against Microsoft

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A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that the group of 10 plaintiffs “[lacked] allegations” in their lawsuit filed last year that claimed Microsoft’s ownerships of Activision Blizzard would harm consumers and competition in the video games market, according to a filing shared by Reuters.

While US District Judge Jacqueline Corley dismissed the case, she also gave the plaintiffs 20 days to refine their lawsuit and resubmit it, and the group’s lawyer, Joseph Saveri, said that there are plans to officially submit an amended lawsuit with “additional factual detail” that will address the judge’s concerns.

It marks a victory for Microsoft, but their battles are far from over as they still face a hearing over the Federal Trade Commission’s legal complaint, which is currently slated to take place in August of this year.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard originally expected the transaction to be complete by June 30, 2023.

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Super Evil Megacorp Expanding Team for Netflix Project

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Catalyst Black developer Super Evil Megacorp has expanded their team following the announcement of their new partnership with content streaming platform Netflix, which include new additions from big name brands like Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Rockstar Games, according to MobileGamer.biz.

These are some of the appointments:

  • Tim Hume – lead gameplay tech engineer
  • JC Simbulan – lead animator
  • Steven Goodwin – senior technical engineer
  • Jurie Horneman – lead narrative engineer
  • Cassandre Beaumier – production director
  • Milo Casali – senior level designer

Netflix’s vice president and head of external games Leanne Loombe commented on the new title in the works for Netflix.

“It’s a big bet for us and we’re very much focused on creating an ecosystem around the streaming content and the game,” Loombe said. “It’s really a transmedia play for us in this brand new IP.”

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