Business • Markets
Roblox goes public and is instantly worth more than $45 billion
Roblox logo
Roblox logo Credit: Roblox

Roblox, a company that describes itself as a "metaverse" where players can make their own avatars and environments, saw its shares surge nearly 55% to $69.50 after the IPO. Roblox valuation is currently more than $45 billion.

The company generates nearly all of its revenue from the sale of its Robux currency, which can be used to purchase in-game virtual objects. Last year the total revenue was nearly $925 million, up 82% from 2019.

Roblox announced earlier this month that it now expects sales to rise about another 60% this year to a range of $1.44 billion to $1.52 billion.

Diversity & Inclusion
Harry Potter game "Hogwarts Legacy" will likely allow creation of transgender characters
Harry Potter game "Hogwarts Legacy" will likely allow creation of transgender characters
Credit: Courtesy of YouTube

Hogwarts Legacy, the first open world adventure in the Harry Potter universe, is scheduled for release next year (Windows, Xbox One/SX/Playstion 4/5). The announcement of the game caused some anticipation among fans.

Despite J.K. Rowling making transphobic statements in the past, gamers will be able to play trans people in the new game. The body, voice, and address (wizard/witch) by other characters are likely to be freely definable and decoupled.

Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Credit: Tony Hawk Instagram

Professional skater Tony Hawk has announced that for the new installation of the Tony Hawk skating game, the "mute air" or "mute grab" called trick has been renamed. According to him around 1981 the trick had been invented by Chris Weddle a back then "prominent amateur on the competition circuit". As Weddle is a deaf skater and the other skaters wanted to give credit to the inventor, it became known as "mute air". Hawk states that "we all went along with it in our naive youth".

Hawk states that he has talked to Weddle last year and decided to change the name of the trick to "The Weddle Grab".

Technology • Games
Roblox has now over 150 million monthly active users
Roblox Avatar Lineup
Roblox Avatar Lineup Credit: Roblox

The gaming platform Roblox, announced over the weekend, that it has over 150 million monthly active users. The number is a considerable increase over the 115 million it announced in February during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the Roblox Developer Conference 2020, the company also shared that its developer community will earn over $250 million in 2020, up from the $110 million earned in 2019.

Technology • Games
Epic Games receives $250 million Investment from Sony
Epic Games Logo
Epic Games Logo Credit: Epic Games (Public Domain)

Sony has invested $250 million for a 1.4% stake in Epic Games. With the new investment, the developer behind Fortnite and the Epic Games Store has raised $1.83 billion to date and it is valued at $17.68 billion.

"The investment cements an already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces the shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services," stated Sony, in a press release.

Technology • Games
Microsoft is reportedly interested in buying WB Interactive
Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 Credit: Microsoft (Reproduction)

Following the news that AT&T is considering parting ways with Warner Bros., Microsoft is considering acquiring the game division.

The Information reported that Microsoft is not the only one interested in the company; EA, Take-Two and Activision Blizzard are also considering buying WB Interactive and its several development studios (Avalanche Software, Monolith Productions, NetherRealm Studios, Rocksteady Studios, TT Games, and many others).

Technology • Games
Users allegedly abusing VPNs cause Horizon Zero Dawn PC prices to skyrocket
Users allegedly abusing VPNs cause Horizon Zero Dawn PC prices to skyrocket
Credit: Guerrilla Games

Horizon Zero Dawn prices on PC have increased in some countries most likely as a result of people using VPNs to buy the game from a different country where the game was cheaper due to regional pricing.

Some example include Argentina, Turkey and Russia where the prices increased by 389%, 351% and 301%, respectively.

Technology • Games
Epic removed all police cars from Fortnite as a response to Black Lives Matter protests
Fortnite Logo
Fortnite Logo Credit: Epic Games (Reproduction)

Epic Games has removed all police cars from Fortnite after the game's latest update, and according to a report on the Wall Street Journal that was a response to Black Lives Matter protests over police violence.

The company was not the first one to acknowledge the movement. Activision delayed the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone‘s fourth season release date as well as adding in a Black Lives Matter loading screen. At the same time, Sony postponed the unveiling event for its highly-anticipated PlayStation 5.

Technology • Games
"Spider-Man: Miles Morales" to be released for PS5 late 2020
"Spider-Man: Miles Morales" to be released for PS5 late 2020
Credit: Screenshot, Youtube, PlayStation

At its PlayStation 5 gameplay even, Sony announced the release of "Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the sequel of 2018's Spider-Man.

The game, expected to be launched alongside the PlayStation 5, will be released in "holiday 2020", so approximately between October and December 2020.

Technology • Games
Video Game 'Kerbal Space Program 2' postponed to autumn 2021
KSP2 Logo
KSP2 Logo Credit: Take-Two Interactive Inc. / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

KSP sequel 'Kerbal Space Program 2' won't be launched until autumn 2021. Private Division, publisher and maker of KSP, announced the delay on Twitter in late May.

"As you all know, we've been working hard to make the best and most authentic KSP sequel possible. This is an ambitious goal. We are making a big, expansive game loaded with new features, but doing so will take longer than we previously anticipated," Private Division wrote in a tweet, explaining that the challenges the company faces amid the COVID-19 outbreak have resulted in "many unique challenges that require more time to safely iterate, create, test and make KSP2."

Technology • Games
Fortnite season 3 has been delayed one more week
Fortnite Credit: Epic Games (Reproduction)

Epic Games announced that Chapter 2, Season 3 was delayed once again. Initially planned to be released on April 30, Epic already had pushed the season to June 4 before this latest announcement.

The company said: “In an effort to get everything ready for Chapter 2 - Season 3, we’re extending Season 2 by one week. The new launch day of Season 3 will be Thursday, June 11.”.

Technology • Games
Pac-Man turns 40
Pac-Man arcade machine
Pac-Man arcade machine Credit: Peter Handke (Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

Developed by Toru Iwatani and released by the Japanese company Namco, the first Pac-Man machine was unveiled in a Tokyo arcade on May 22, 1980.

With more than 400,000 gaming cabinets sold to arcades around the world, Pac-Man is the best-selling arcade game of all time.

Technology • Games
Electronic Arts beats investor expectations with $1.39 billion revenue in Q4
FIFA 20, an Electronic Arts game, screenshot
FIFA 20, an Electronic Arts game, screenshot Credit: Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts delivered financial results today above investor expectations. The game publisher generated $1.39 billion in revenues for Q4 -- against the $1.19 billion predicted by analysts.

The company credits its digital sales and strong franchises for its growth. That includes $4.05 billion in digital net bookings for fiscal 2020. That’s up 9% year-over-year, and EA says it accounts for 78% of its total net bookings.

“We’re humbled to see people around the world connecting through our games during this unprecedented period,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said.

Technology • Games
YouTuber calls gamers to help build the entire Earth in Minecraft on a 1:1 scale

The YouTuber PippenFTS aims to recreate the entire Earth in the online game Minecraft in life-size. With the help of two mods, called "Cubic Chunks" and "Terra 1-to-1" respectively removing the size limits of the Minecraft worlds and converting Google Maps earth data into Minecraft maps, the YouTuber has re-created the earth in a Minecraft world. In his proposed second steps he calls for players to get together and hand-build all human-made structures, which were not added by the mods itself. The players organize in a Discord which already has over 40,000 members and the video with the call for participation broke the 5 million views.