Posts tagged with "gamers"

Gaming illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Lexus Puts Gamers in the Driver’s Seat 

Luxury automaker reveals Gamers’ IS: the first vehicle designed by and for the Twitch community as the ultimate gaming space 

Gamers, start your engines. Lexus is unveiling the Gamers’ IS: the first vehicle designed by and for the Twitch community as the ultimate gaming space. In a livestream hosted by popular streamer Fuslie last month, more than 554,000 unique viewers watched and weighed in on their favorite features. They voted on modifications ranging from the gaming-themed exterior wrap, to the custom controller to their “game fuel” beverage of choice. Lexus then worked with the fabrication experts at SCPS to bring the custom, crowdsourced car to life as a totally immersive gaming vehicle.

“The Twitch community dives headfirst into their passion of gaming, just as we did in designing the new 2021 Lexus IS as a pure expression of a sports sedan,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of marketing at Lexus. “We asked for their help designing their dream gaming space, and they answered in spades. Together, we created the ultimate fusion of design and performance in automotive and gaming.”

The exterior of the Gamers’ IS, a modified Lexus IS 350 F Sport, is adorned with the “Infiltrate” design custom vinyl wrap, as chosen by 48 percent of voters in the Twitch poll. This look exudes a technical, interface-driven, HUD-centric design territory reminiscent of first-person gaming, black ops and reconnaissance.

For the interior, more than half (55 percent) of Twitch voters selected the “Neon Tokyo” style featuring an electrified, neuron-exploding Japanese pop art aesthetic. The ceiling of the cab is decked out with a clear layer of acrylic embedded with resin “raindrops” all backlit with programmable RGB LED lights, giving off the effect of driving under the lights of downtown Tokyo at night in a light rain. Behind the rear seats, LED panels project programmable content onto the rear window, creating an animated backdrop. SCPS included many custom upholstery elements into the design of the Gamers’ IS interior. Smart Tint on the windows dims the cabin for gameplay.

A custom-built gaming PC with an MSI Gaming GeForce GPU + AMD CPU is installed in the vehicle’s trunk. It has sleek custom housing, all highlighted by programmable RGB LED’s. A fog machine and automated RGB lasers were installed for maximum reveal effect.

In the passenger’s side is a fully integrated gaming system complete with haptic feedback in the seat and a high-def, fully positional curved monitor. The curved monitor was chosen over a flat one by nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Twitch voters. The system features a retractable keyboard and mouse platform, and a one-of-a-kind 3D printed game controller. Nearly half (42 percent) of voters chose the “Cyber” design for the controller, featuring a metallic space gray and dark teal with neon accents.

Filling the six-drink center console cooler is the community’s “game fuel” of choice–coffee drinks–as selected by nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of voters. The entire vehicle is custom wired, including all the electronics and programmable lighting.

Walker Jacobs, Chief Revenue Officer at Twitch, said “Lexus has effectively leaned into the community and connectivity that define Twitch. Our viewers crave being a part of the action, and through this collaboration we were able to create a truly immersive experience that celebrates their passion for gaming. The result is a first-of-its-kind gaming vehicle. Bravo Lexus!”

The transformation of the Lexus IS into the ultimate gaming vehicle required “all hands on deck” at fabrication expert SCPS. The project involved 20 different members of their team, including concept artists, designers, 3D modelers, electrical and structural engineers, metal fabricators, craftsmen, artists, custom upholsterers and computer technicians—most of whom are serious gamers themselves. From designing the initial concepts to the reveal, the entire build took five months.

Fuslie is a variety streamer who first made her mark within the PUBG community. She has played in multiple tournaments, including Twitch Rivals. She is also known for her singing voice and her urban exploration streams around Los Angeles.

This partnership is part of a new “All In” campaign for the 2021 Lexus IS. The campaign celebrates those who fully embrace their passions, while showcasing Lexus’ own obsession: an unapologetically pure sports sedan.

For more information on the new IS, visit Lexus’ website.

About Lexus 

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its guests. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 243 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

About Twitch 

Launched in 2011, Twitch is a global community that comes together each day to create multiplayer entertainment: unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the interactions of millions. It brings the joy of co-op to everything, from casual gaming and world-class esports to anime marathons, music, and art streams. Twitch also hosts TwitchCon, the biggest community event of the year, where tens of thousands of people come together to celebrate and connect with others who share their interests and passions. We’re always live at Twitch. Stay up to date on all things Twitch on Twitter and on our Blog.

Lexus Gamers’ IS by LexusNewsroom for 360 Magazine

Lexus Gamers’ IS by LexusNewsroom for 360 Magazine

Lexus Gamers’ IS by LexusNewsroom for 360 Magazine

Gaming illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

WoW Classic: The Big Finale

Measuring Success

With all of the original content being added to World of Warcraft (WoW), and the next possible Classic expansion pack being announced in a manner of weeks, it’s a good place to look back at all of the experiences we’ve had with the game. It’s not a question of if the game is worth it or not because, of course, it is worth it. It’s more of a question of: Did this version of the Vanilla game patch live up to your expectations? The experience of playing this game was a rollercoaster, and not everything went well with the first try. That being said, you have to admit, it was pretty epic. The game stood the test of time these past 12 months, though many had doubted that the hype would last, even the game’s own developers.

The legendary server queues lasted for a while. Respected forum experts had predicted that it would only take a month until the masses will stop flooding into the game, when their first month of subscription ends. However, the experts and prophets were wrong–huge queues lasted until November 2019, when they finally began to thin out. By that time, the developers opened up a few new servers, which, weirdly enough, nobody really visited. They also increased the server’s capacity to accept more players. Still, the hype hasn’t faded away for some time, it was revived for a second wave when the quarantine kicked in. All responsible workers who moved to work from home often mistook the WoW shortcut with other work-related shortcuts on the desktop, which also increased its popularity. Based on all of those factors, the experiment with reviving Vanilla Wow was successful.

The Spirit of Vanilla

What a lot of players liked about experiencing this older version of the game is the feeling of playing a true RPG. All of the older mechanics in the game that made it more difficult and not very player-friendly at the same time encourages players to really get in the shoes of their chosen characters. It’s hard to get the same feeling in Retail (another WoW expansion) with all of the systems and mechanics that make the game’s interaction with the fantasy world as seamless as possible. The Classic game mode feels nostalgic, while also giving gamers lots of new memories like taking part in the server’s opening, or realizing what it means to farm yourself to sleep. Many gamers witnessed the opening of the Ahn’qiraj Gates opening for the first time, which in itself was one of the most essential events in the history of this game. The paradox of the spirit of Vanilla is an interesting one. 

On the one hand, you have the turtle-like speed of leveling in Vanilla, an almost meditative gameplay that creates a unique experience. On the other hand, in 2021, not a lot of us are ready to spend time in something as calm and tranquil. If 15 years ago, this game had too much content, today, it doesn’t have quite enough. We constantly desire to be entertained every second. That being said, there are a lot of ways to speed up the boring routine. One of the best methods to do so is using a WoW Classic boosting that speeds up the progress only when gameplay starts to feel like a drag, making World of Warcraft truly special.

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.

champion, unisex, armon hayes, 360 MAGAZINE, pac-man

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