Industry News [Early November]

This is the regular(ish – the last few weeks had other things going on) 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!

Relevant to my interests – psychology research shows that voice communication creates much stronger bonds than merely text communication. (That link is to a pop article, the actual study is unfortunately paywalled here.) I think this meshes with most people’s intuition, but is still an important validation as, both during and post quarantine, we imagine the future of online interaction.

No longer super relevant, but to add to the camp of political campaign / video game crossovers, here’s Joe Biden’s Fortnite map.

Roblox hosted a full-on virtual concert yesterday, within a custom new map involving various different stages for each song performance (cool idea to create additional immersion!) Gaming is continuing to swallow various forms of social ever more rapidly; keep your eye out for more announcements about music in particular, as there’s definitely more ideas coming here!

The PS5 released last week, which is admittedly news on its own but has been covered to death elsewhere. One smaller feature that piques my interest, though, is their Accolades system, which allows users, instead of reporting bad actors, to reward good folks they meet online. There’s a few different rewards you can offer depending on how the other player behaved specifically. This is a valuable system and aligns with other state-of-the-art player reputation systems created by folks like Riot and Activision Blizzard; but I’m particularly interested because Sony gets a cross section of so many different games, so this gives us an opportunity to get some really interesting community feedback about which games, or genres, tend to lead to better or worse behavior.

We knew it was coming: Roblox has filed to go public. I still have a suspicion that $8B is actually pretty handily undervaluing the platform, so I’ll be interested to see the investor response next year when the listing goes live.

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

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