Sony invests $250 million in Fortnite developers Epic Games - Dexerto
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Sony invests $250 million in Fortnite developers Epic Games

Published: 10/Jul/2020 2:01 Updated: 15/Jul/2020 9:40

by Alan Bernal

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Sony announced it was investing in Epic Games on July 9 by buying a $250 million minority stake in the Fortnite developer.

According to VentureBeat, this elevates the bar of money raised for the North Carolina-based studio to a total $1.83 billion to date. This is another step forward between both entities as they’ve collaborated with their individual platforms before.

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Sony called the move a “strategic investment” and made it through one of their wholly-owned subsidiaries. In a joint-statement the companies said that they’re working toward advancing “the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially connected online services.”

The investment was made so that the PlayStation-maker and Epic could “broaden their collaboration across Sony’s leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology.”

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Sony
Sony and Epic Games have had a close partnership before.

“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations,” Sony Corporation CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said.

This comes on the heels of Epic Games’ reveal of Unreal Engine 5 in May. The tech demo was an impressive feat of engineering and one of the first looks at how next generation technologies will be able change games.

But video games aren’t the only avenue that Sony is looking to bolster with the renewed partnership. Yoshida brought up Fortnite’s advances in entertainment as a whole.

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He wants to bring “value to consumers” in verticals that go beyond video games, and Epic Games CEO Epic Tim Sweeney is also looking forward to that prospect.

“Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music,” Sweeney said.

“Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”

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Not only did Epic’s Fortnite eventually become one of the first fully-realized PlayStation 4 crossplay titles in 2018, the battle royale also played host to massive digital concerts starring the likes of Travis Scott, Marshmallow, and more.

With this deal, expect Sony and Epic to collaborate a lot more on potential projects that could expand further than Fortnite and the PlayStation 5.

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Twitch staff accused of tricking streamer into promoting brands

Published: 7/Oct/2020 21:28 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 21:34

by Alan Bernal

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Twitch streamers are speaking out against the broadcasting platform for attempting to promote brands within individual chats. Content creators are slamming the practice, especially since they have no control of removing the adverts from their channel.

One longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer who goes by ‘The Black Hokage’ noticed a staffer had dropped a message in his Chat. The purpose of the text, sent by ‘newcryka,’ was to have the streamer acknowledge the listed brand with 400 Bits attached to the post.

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He immediately took issue with the move: “Yo, are you promoting something?… You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting sh*t in my Chat?”

After posting the interaction on Twitter, more streamers slammed the apparent unsolicited advertisement from the streaming platform.

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“Creators beware! Twitch staff is now going around donating spare change in an attempt to trick you into shouting out brands without proper compensation. Don’t fall for it,” The Black Hokage said.

Twitch partner and viral streamer ‘negaoryx’ responded: “Which is great, because we can’t moderate anything said by Twitch staff in chat, so we can’t even purge it… great…”

There is a function that lets people ‘/Clear’ their channels messaging log, which lets “broadcasters and chat moderators to completely wipe the previous chat history.” This feature doesn’t apply to messages from Twitch staff accounts.

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However the means, content creators and the wider Twitch community got an indication that the streaming platform could experience more intrusive marketing campaigns.

Some believe that The Black Hokage’s clip could have been a Twitch advertisement staff member testing out a new form of social engagement tactics meant for branding – and the thought isn’t unfounded.

In early August, an outside company released how its latest marketing scheme made use of Twitch’s donation alerts to get a branded sound bite played on a streamer’s channel. Their video showed multiple instances of a Twitch account surprising streamers by donating $5 to get a brand’s name and current offerings played on their page.

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The idea was immediately chastised for its way of engaging in promotion and sponsorship for a company without consulting or locking a paid deal with the individual streamer. However, despite inevitable backlash, advertisers are still trying out new methods of outreach.

The Amazon-owned streaming site has been incorporating more ways to engage audiences with branding promotions and advertisements.

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Twitch
Amazon solutions for ads have directly integrated Twitch channels and streamers in the past.

“Twitch video and display media, as well as new Twitch audiences, are now available for inclusion in Amazon Advertising campaigns, and Amazon audiences are available for inclusion in Twitch campaigns,” Amazon wrote. “We’re delighted to share that we are combining Twitch’s hard-to-reach and highly engaged audiences with Amazon Advertising’s integrated full-funnel advertising offering.

Days after Amazon announced it had added Twitch to its Amazon Advertising portfolio, the streaming site announced it was testing out mid-roll ads for channels. This too was vehemently criticized by everyone from Twitch streamers to viewers, and the idea was later abandoned.

Twitch
Twitch has been experimenting with new ad campaigns that have drawn ire from viewers and streamers.

A feature that hasn’t gone back to the drawing board has been the picture-in-picture mode for ads that minimizes and mutes the main stream while playing a fullscreened promotion. This too was received with angst from viewers.

Twitch’s latest attempt at finding a more engaging way to introduce ads to its reported 17.5 million daily users has, again, created ire from its partnered content creators.

As Amazon and Twitch continue to create advertising solutions for its highly-valuable and impressionable audiences, the platform’s streamers will be on the lookout for more marketing tactics that look to benefit off of their communities.