TikTok set to be blocked from US app stores this weekend - Dexerto
Business

TikTok set to be blocked from US app stores this weekend

Published: 18/Sep/2020 13:05 Updated: 18/Sep/2020 13:28

by Matt Porter

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People in the United States will no longer be able to download popular social media app TikTok from Sunday, September 20, according to new reports that suggest this order will be issued by President Trump and the U.S. Commerce Department. 

The future of TikTok has been up in the air for a number of weeks, as Trump issued an executive order on August 6 that gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine whether Chinese-based apps like TikTok and WeChat could pose a threat to the country’s national security.

Since then, TikTok’s owners ByteDance have been scrambling to find a buyer for its United States-based operations and had reportedly agreed a deal with Oracle Group to sell the portion after turning down a bid from Microsoft. While this is ongoing, if the deal is not concluded by Sunday, users in the U.S. will no longer be able to download the application from places like Apple’s iOS App Store, or Google’s Play Store.

TikTok logo on a cell phone.
ByteDance
TikTok will no longer be offered on app stores from Sunday, according to reports.

According to reports from Reuters, TikTok will be removed from app stores on Sunday, September 20 should the deal fail to be finalized before that date, meaning users who would like to download the app after that date will be unable to. It will also mean that ByteDance will no longer provide updates for the app, leaving U.S. users behind the rest of the world in terms of functionality, and stuck with whatever bugs and issues are currently affecting it.

The app itself will not be blocked entirely, as anyone who has already downloaded it will still be able to access and use it, and this executive order doesn’t affect users in other countries, with the American government not pushing Apple or Google to stop offering TikTok outside of the

U.S.

On September 14, it was confirmed that TikTok had chosen Oracle to be their “trusted technology partner,” and had set the proposal to the U.S. Treasury last weekend. As it stands, the deal has not been fully finalized, but should it be completed before Sunday, TikTok could remain on app stores for the foreseeable future.

Oracle Corporation will soon be announced as TikTok's
Samara Tech
Oracle beat Microsoft to become ByteDance’s “trusted technical partners.”

Donald Trump could also choose to overrule the order seeing as the proposal has been sent to the Treasury or could push back the deadline to allow the deal to be completed, although that seems unlikely considering he previously stated there would be no extension to the 45-day period.

As things stand, TikTok looks set to depart from app stores across the United States on Sunday, unless they can seal a last-minute reprieve or complete the sale to Oracle before the deadline runs out on September 20.

Call of Duty

Warzone boosts Activision microtransactions to over $1 billion in 3 months

Published: 30/Oct/2020 0:54

by Isaac McIntyre

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Activision Blizzard has confirmed Warzone is indeed the mammoth money-maker everyone was always expecting it to be; the ever-growing Modern Warfare battle royale boosted the Call of Duty publisher’s total Q3 2020 earnings to $1.77 billion, including $1.2 billion in microtransactions.

Activision Blizzard, the overseers in charge of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, shattered expectations when they unveiled their Q3 2020 earnings on Oct. 29. The publisher made $1.77 billion over the past three months.

Much of that, Dexerto can confirm the publishers revealed in an investors call on Thursday, was due to the popularity of Warzone. The new Modern Warfare battle royale has gone from strength to strength since its mega-sized release on March 10 earlier this year.

According to Activision in the call, Warzone alone was responsible for bringing in a $773m slice of the total $1.7b sum. Modern Warfare sales also added to the haul.

Activision’s Blizzard arm also raked in a hefty chunk of the Q3 profits. Hearthstone and World of Warcraft ⁠— which is just four weeks from its next expansion ⁠— made $411m. Finally, King’s mobile juggernaut ‘Candy Crush’ dominated with $536m.

Warzone’s dominance in the past eight months comes as no surprise. Recently, the Call of Duty battle royale overtook genre leader Fortnite as the most popular free-to-play title on the market for teen gamers, according to Yahoo Finance.

This has translated directly into Activision’s financial success. 

The publishers reported close to two-thirds of Warzone players either owned the full Modern Warfare title, or purchased the 2019 game’s multiplayer and campaign after playing.

“What we’ve seen with Call of Duty is an amazing transformation,” Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard, said. “The phenomenon we had with Warzone is so many people are buying the premium Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.”

Call of Duty microtransactions were also four times higher thanks to Warzone.

Warzone fired Activision's Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.
Infinity Ward
Warzone fired Activision’s huge Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.

In raw numbers, this has led to a huge 38% increase in revenue year on year, or a $490 million spike between Q3 2019 and the new Q3 2020 earnings.

“Warzone has really become an incredible addition to the franchise. It’s a central place where we can connect the entire Call of Duty community,” Kotick continued.

“I think maintaining that tight connection to the game is really important, especially for players who want to check out everything Call of Duty has to offer. You saw that with Modern Warfare. We plan to continue that into the future.”

Activision is banking on Warzone's momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.
Treyarch
Activision is banking on Warzone’s momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty has always been a juggernaut seller in the gaming community. It is now expected to continue its momentum into Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War early next month.

Black Ops Cold War will launch on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on Nov. 13 with all three connected via crossplay. World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Shadowlands, is also finally set to drop soon after, on Monday, Nov. 23.