Industry News [Week of August 17th]

This is the regular weekly post where I share updates about things happening in gaming, machine learning, audio, or frankly anything that catches my eye and seems relevant to share or discuss here. Let’s hop right in!

The feud between Epic and Apple/Google continues, with Apple now threatening to withdraw access to its developer tools from Epic – a move which would cripple Epic’s Unreal Engine business by making it extremely difficult or impossible for developers using Unreal to release games for Apple – even if those individual developers are fully obeying Apple’s ToS. Epic has filed a preliminary injunction to prevent Apple from doing this, but depending on how this boils out, it could significantly increase the pressure Epic feels here.

Of course, on the same Epic thread, a situation like this also means new opportunities for entrepreneurial types – including those who have realized that their iPhones, which have Fortnite already installed, are now a rare and valuable commodity. Some individuals have sold their iPhones to others desperate to play Fortnite for as much as $10,000!

Moving on, Amazon has expressed a clear desire to enter and contribute to the gaming ecosystem – so why do they seem to be struggling so much to make an impact? This article offers the interesting take that the issue is less one of capacity and more one of structured incentives – where Amazon’s usual approach of incremental testing and design has failed to allow for the kind of creative design that makes games and other consumer media truly great. With Twitch and AWS, Amazon is well placed to own the core infrastructure for gaming, but I remain confused at their desire to get into the content game.

Finally, I’m not going to link to this one, because I don’t want to increase traffic to bad content, but an article came out this week (and was unfortunately retweeted by an E3 account) purported to list the “top games enjoyed by female gamers.” Unfortunately, the article measured these games rather broadly, and generally listed hyper-casual games like Candy Crush, Solitaire, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Adventures. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with liking these games – and many, many people of all genders do! (Well, maybe not the Kim Kardashian one…) But when the gaming industry talks about male gamers, it’s clear we’re talking about folks looking for content with a different level of intensity and competitiveness – so it’s problematic, to say the least, that articles like this one serve to imply that there’s no such contingent of competitive female gamers, when this is obviously so far from the truth!

That’s all for this week! As always, any thoughts or feedback are welcome. Stay safe, healthy, and sane, all!

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