Posts tagged with "gamers"

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

Nintendo Switch: Top-Selling Game Console of 2020

As one of the most popular consoles globally, Nintendo Switch witnessed a surge in the number of new players since its release in 2017. With millions of people spending more time playing video games during the coronavirus lockdown, 2020 brought an influx of new Nintendo fans. 

According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, Nintendo Switch is the top-selling gaming console in 2020, with 15.6 million units sold as of September, 65% more than PlayStation 4 and Xbox combined.

Nintendo Switch Sales Grows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox Consoles Drop

One of the key reasons for the Switch’s success is the popularity of Nintendo’s first-party titles. Blockbuster series like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon are exclusive to Nintendo, meaning that fans can only play them on Nintendo consoles. These Nintendo exclusive games dominate the list of top-selling Switch titles worldwide, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe being the most popular game.

Statista and VGChartz data revealed that PlayStation 4 represents the second most popular gaming console this year, with 7.22 million units sold as of September. Xbox One ranked third, with 2.17 million units sold in the nine months of 2020. During the same period, gamers bought 330,000 Nintendo 3DS consoles. 

The annual sales of Nintendo Switch consoles have been increasing continuously in the last three years, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox are being affected by a downsizing trend. 

A year after its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch hit 15.5 million units sold worldwide. The growing popularity of Nintendo’s gaming console continued in 2019, with the lifetime sales reaching 49.8 million units in December, a 55% jump from the year before. Nintendo sold nearly 4 million Switch consoles in the first quarter of 2020, with its lifetime sales growing to 53.7 million. However, between March and August, another 9.6 million units were sold, with the cumulative sales surging to 63.4 million units.

In 2017, Sony sold almost 20 million Playstation 4 consoles all around the world. By the end of 2019, annual sales dropped to 14.2 million, a 30% plunge in two years. Statistics indicate that the sales of the third most popular gaming console, Xbox One, fell by 35% in this period, decreasing from 7.6 million units in 2017 to 4.9 million last year. 

Playstation 4 Leads in Lifetime Unit Sales

Although Nintendo Switch is ranked as the world’s most popular gaming console, Playstation 4 still dominates in terms of lifetime unit sales. 

In the first three years after its launch in 2013, Sony sold 35.9 million PlayStation 4 units. Between January 2016 and December 2017, the lifetime unites sales surged by 105% to 73.6 million. Since then, another 40 million units were sold worldwide, with the cumulative sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming console rising to almost 113 million, as of August. Xbox One hit 48.2 million units in lifetime sales as of August, a 22% increase in two years. 

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.

Rita Azar illustrates a video game article for 360 MAGAZINE

Video Games x Standardized Testing

Standardized testing in schools is one of the most hotly contested subjects in academics. Does it actually measure academic skills and learning progress? Is there a better, more definitive way to measure those skills? Is standardized testing punishing hard workers and high achievers who also happen to be anxiety-ridden or bad test-takers?

In an interview with CMRubinWorld, video gaming industry veteran and founder of Breakaway Games Doug Whatley said the next step for these pesky measuring sticks is in the video game world.

“We already have simulation games that are capable of being used as a standardized test, so I think there is real promise for many types of tests to be replaced by games,” Whatley said, adding that games are often better, more secure and more affordable tests.

Whatley also predicted that free-to-play games and large market games would close the gap between the two.

“Mobile apps will get bigger and AAA games will get smaller using multiple season type distribution,” he said.

Whatley used that premise to make five more predictions. First, he said video games will cover a wider variety of content. Next, he said phones will become more powerful, thus driving more gamers to mobile devices as a gaming platform. Third, he expects to see games use new media platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom. Fourth, he expects to see more distribution in rolled out packages, like the already popular DLC model, and finally, he anticipates student-created content to be judged and used by peers.

The pandemic has forced education to adapt on its feet, and it appears technology and video games will be beneficiaries of its modern adjustments and pivots.

video game, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, gamers

Growing Gamer Population

Data acquired by Finbold.com shows that 35% of the current global population comprises gamers. According to the data, as of April 2020, the gaming population stood at 2.7 billion people. Read below for all of the gamer facts you need.

The Asia Pacific region leads with 1,506 million gamers accounting for 55% of the entire gaming population. Europe, Middle East, and Africa region are second with 758 million people emerging as gamers.

Latin America comes third with 259 million gamers accounting for 9% of the global gaming population. North America comes last with 203 million gamers or 7% of the gaming population.

Finbold.com’s research also overviewed the projected revenue from the gaming sector in 2020. This year, the sector is expected to generate $159.3 billion in revenue with mobile accounting for 48% at $77.2 billion. Under mobile games revenue, gamers on tablets will spend $13.7 billion accounting for 9% of the entire revenue generated. Smartphone games whose revenue is projected to stand at $63.6 billion accounts for 40% of the global revenue.

Elsewhere, game consoles are set to generate the second-highest revenue in 2020 at $45.2 billion or 28% of the global tally. PC games will account for 23% of the global revenue cumulatively at $36.9 billion. Under PC games boxed and downloaded games will attract $33.9 billion or 21% of the total revenue while browser PC gamers will spend approximately $3.08 billion or 9% of the total revenue to be generated in 2020.

The gaming population exploded in the first quarter of 2020 thanks to various factors. According to the Finbold.com report, “The estimated revenue from 2020’s gaming sector is high considering that with the coronavirus pandemic, gaming has offered an escape route for those in lockdown.”

Moving forward, factors like competitions and penetration of smartphones globally will drive the growth of the gaming sector.

Read the full story with statistics here.

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Champion × Pac-Man

Champion® Athleticwear and Bandai Namco Entertainment are launching a limited-edition capsule collection, Champion X Pac-Man.
 
The brands have combined their most recognizable design elements for a unique aesthetic that reflects both Champion and Pac-Man’s signature styles across men’s and women’s crewnecks, hoodies, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts and joggers.  Principal silhouettes such as Reverse Weave® sweats will feature mixed logos and Pac-Man character designs. These new designs will be featured on gray, black, white and yellow product with pops of bold colors including red, royal blue and orange. 
 
Champion will be giving fans the opportunity to be the first to purchase and take home pieces from the collection with an ‘80’s themed event at the Champion Los Angeles store. There will be a large Pac-Man inflatable for selfies, Pac-Man cookies, live DJ spinning 80’s beats and in-store Pac-Man game tournament with winners receiving prizes. Giveaways with purchase will include Pac-Man stickers and USB drives.  And for guests that are looking to power-up like Pac-Man there will be a Japanese style hot dog bar with six sauces and seven toppings plus Moon Tea and Rose Lemonade, which will be served in keepsake glass bottles.
 
With Champion’s 100th anniversary in 2019 and Pac-Man commemorating its 40th anniversary in 2020, it’s the perfect time to come together for a celebratory partnership that brings nostalgic Pac-Man enthusiasts and younger brand fans together. Champion will be selling the collection exclusively at the brand’s six retail stores located in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as on Champion.com.

WHEN:                       February 8th


                                   4pm – 7pm PST
WHERE:                   Champion Retail Store LA

Kaepernick Madden Lyrics

By Reid Urban

While Colin Kaepernick made news on Thursday when he was featured in a Nike commercial on Sunday Night Football, he also made news in the video game industry.

Back in early August, EA Sports had edited out a lyric that featured Kaepernick’s name on the Madden 19 soundtrack. It led to outrage and condemnation towards EA Sports. Eventually, they put his name back into the lyrics.

Here is what the lyrics said, courtesy of Big Sean, “feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and s—, you boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick.” Where that name was supposed to be said, it was edited out as if it were a profanity.

EA Sports came out with a statement that it was “an unfortunate mistake,” by taking Kaepernick’s name out of the song “Big Bank” by YG on that soundtrack.

This isn’t EA Sports’s first debacle featuring his name. The Madden 18 soundtrack had a song by Mike WiLL Made-It which featured his name, but was removed as well.

Both YG and Big Sean, whose song had Kaepernick’s name in the Madden 18 soundtrack, took to Twitter to express their displeasure with removing his name.

EA Sports also said about the name, “Members of the team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have the rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect the soundtrack.”

NIGHTMARCHERS

Nightmarchers – Alpha Preview Invitation

Wyrmbyte Studios invites you to join us in paradise! Well, sort of… Nightmarchers will be hosting interviews and previews in the coming days. We’d love to get you into an early build of the game, connect you to Wyrmbyte for a tour, and see what you think of our Hawaiian epic.

Nightmarchers is an open world RPG shooter which crosses the glory of Hawaiian mysticism with the post-apocalypse of destruction. In this Moana meets Mad Max RPG you will explore the island paradise to rid the land of deadly raiders and unlock the secrets of the gods. Using weapons and abilities to build your character, play through the story and explore our vast world. Resources, weapons, and choices make Nightmarchers exciting for players who want action mixed with an in-depth storyline.

Take a look at what the game has to offer below:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kceKBnbTEJA

NIGHTMARCHERS

OPEN WORLD HAWAIIAN RPG NIGHTMARCHERS COMES TO FIG

Its like Moana meets Mad Max in a sprawling 3rd person shoot

Wyrmbyte today announces that its post-apocalyptic Hawaiian RPG is coming to Fig. A open world hybrid RPG shooter that plays a bit like Far Cry meets Zelda, Nightmarchers is set on the island of Oahu after a cataclysmic event leaves the archipelago cut off from the rest of the world. You play as Kai, a man blessed (or cursed) by the forgotten gods of Hawaii to take back the island from the ravenous Kamapua’a.

Nightmarchers kicks off today on Fig (www.fig.co) offering both equity and rewards opportunities, with an overall goal of $100K. Backers can support by investing in Fig Game Shares that pay a return based on the game’s future sales. Stretch goals add additional features, quest lines, powers, and more.

Nightmarchers has been a passion project of ours for years now, said Wyrmbyte CEO Scott Brown. Hawaii means a lot to all of us at Wyrmbyte, both as a place we love to visit and as a culture. Weߣre thrilled to explore the mythology of Hawaii and reimaging it as part of our world in this sprawling shooter RPG.

As Kai, you’ll wield real world weapons and the powers of gods like Maui and Pele to make Oahu a safe place for its people once more. Take to the skies as an owl and scout ahead or identify new mission opportunities. Take to the sea as a Shark and find hidden items on the ocean floor. Craft and customize dozens of weapons, or use your Uhane powers to strike silently from the bushes with your bow. There are dozens of outposts to reclaim, hundreds of missions to undertake, and six rival factions to work with to retake Oahu from Kamapua’a. His corrupted Nightmarchers and possessed islanders and wildlife will be gunning for you, so you’d better make good use of the factions knowledge and expertise if you hope to survive.

For more information on Nightmarchers, and its campaign visit http://www.fig.co/campaigns/nightmarchers

About Wyrmbyte

Established in 2013, Wyrmbyte LLC was formed by a group of experienced developers all passionate about building amazing game experiences. Wyrmbyte’s first title, Dragons and Titans, brought short session social gaming to the MOBA space with over 1 million players worldwide. Wyrmbyte has also built a VR experience in DragonWingsVR. Wyrmbyte’s extensive MMO experience worked for years helping Star Citizen to improve its backend services and the networking layer. Now the team exclusively focused on bringing Nightmarchers to market in 2018