How Google Cardboard Could Shape the Face of VR

A variety of virtual reality headsets are set to launch this year, but the main thing holding consumers back may be a hefty price, which can range from several hundred dollars to thousands, if you account for the computers needed to operate them. However, there is a suitable alternative where they can try out VR for a budget price thanks to Google Cardboard.

The company recently discussed the success of the device, made literally from cardboard and a few other low-cost materials so that smartphones can become VR screens. It looks like Cardboard is really catching on, which isn’t bad for a device many saw as a joke when it was first announced in 2014.

In the post, Google proclaimed that it shipped over five million Cardboard units, some of which really took off through various promotions. For instance, Cardboard viewers based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens were given away by both Verizon in stores and Google online, and were quickly snatched up by eager fans. Other tie-ins included a free giveaway promotion with Lays. Last year also saw a partnership with The New York Times to promote its new VR documentary video content, where a free Cardboard viewer was included with the Sunday print edition. Similar partnerships with Visa and other companies made it easy for users to their  hands on a unit.


Immersive app experiences with the Cardboard also picked up, with over 25 million apps installed from the Google Play store. Over the past two months alone, ten million installs were reached.

As for the apps that got the most popularity, Chair In a Room managed to impress with its presentation, while VRSE, Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue and others followed closely behind, creating a virtual reality experience without footing a large bill.They’re among several brands and companies that are taking advantage of Cardboard’s accessibility.


Videos and VR photos also played a part in the headset’s success, with over 350,000 hours of YouTube videos (that made use of the format) viewed, and over 750,000 VR-enabled photos taken with the Cardboard Camera. Students also played a big part in testing out the Cardboard, with over 500,000 users worldwide experiencing the educational Expeditions program, which lets students take virtual field trips to far off locations.

To support the growing popularity of Cardboard, and possibly take on rivals like Facebook’s Oculus, Google recently opened up a new virtual reality focused business unit. One of the creators of the Cardboard device, Clay Bavor, will head up the VR division, creating new experiences for potential owners. Although the company didn’t mention any specifics yet, new Cardboard units based on popular brands could also be introduced, especially considering how well the Star Wars-branded ones performed.

The question remains whether Google will work to develop high-end devices to better compete with companies like Oculus VR, or if it will focusing exclusively on the highly accessible Cardboard. Judging from YouTube officially supported virtual reality videos last November, and its mobile app updated with Cardboard support, it’s safe to say that we’re just starting to see the potential of this decidedly low-tech device.

Virtual Reality Games to Watch for in 2016

The adoption of virtual reality technology will largely rest on the kind of content they have to offer, and there’s no better way to get into an immersive experience than through video games. These are the games that are bound to define the dawn of the virtual reality era, as consumers decide between picking up an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR headset.

EVE: Valkyrie

The gorgeous outer-space action game, based in the same universe as the wildly popular MMO game EVE Online, stands as the prime example of what people imagine when talking about virtual reality gaming. In fact, the game comes free with every Oculus Rift headset order alongside the adventure game Lucky’s Tale.

EVE: Valkyrie demonstrations have been featured at conventions like E3 for quite some time, and has never failed to impress. If the incredible visuals shown in the game trailers, which have distant alien worlds and gigantic capital ships, doesn’t sway you toward adopting VR, then perhaps an endorsement from Katee Sackhoff will. The Battlestar Galactica star, whose voice is featured in the game, was completely blown away by how realistic the experience of playing the game was. That’s the kind of thing that gets fans rushing to pick up an Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR headset to see for themselves.

Rock Band VR

The ever popular Rock Band series lets players feel like superstars using toy instruments, and music games saw a revival in October with the release of Rock Band 4. However, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey decided to dial it up to 11 in December with the surprise announcement of Rock Band VR. Although console games look to simulate the feel of being on stage, nothing can do it better than virtual reality technology. The game is still in development, and little is known about it at this point other than how it will let you shred like a pro and presumably melt some virtual faces.

Edge of Nowhere

While Insomniac Games is hard at work developing a new Ratchet & Clank game (inspired by the upcoming movie also launching this year), it is also making its first leap onto virtual reality with Edge of Nowhere. Little has been revealed about the Oculus Rift exclusive adventure game since its announcement last summer, except that it takes place in the Antarctic mountains and appears to be heavily influenced by Cthulhu mythology, if not directly based in the Lovecraftian world.

Adventure and madness await, and virtual reality gaming fans can’t wait to be a part of it.

Star Citizen

The frenzy of anticipation over Star Citizen first appeared on Kickstarter in 2014. Chris Roberts, famous for creating the Wing Commander series in the 90s, was getting back into the video game industry and would break all the rules with a space sim game developed exclusively for high-end PCs. Enthusiasm soared even higher when Roberts provided an overview of what to expect from the game, including VR support, proclaiming “I don’t want to build a game. I want to build a universe.”

Similar to EVE: Valkyrie, Star Citizen is a space flight simulator where players embark on an adventure and experience intense combat in a rich universe. The game is expected to release in 2016, and expectations are high. Gamers want an incredible experience that pushes the envelope, and Star Citizen promises just that.

Robinson: The Journey

Crytek has a proud reputation for staying on the cutting edge of technology, so it’s no surprise that the company is developing games for virtual reality. Robinson: The Journey, developed exclusively for PlayStation VR, puts players in the role of a boy who crash lands on a mysterious planet that is covered in lush jungle and populated by dinosaurs. Little else has been revealed since its announcement in October, but more is bound to be shown as we draw closer to the PlayStation VR’s release in the spring.

Not content with just one VR project, Crytek is also working The Climb for PC headsets like the Oculus Rift. In it, players can go rock climbing and experience beautiful vistas without risking life or limb. Just hope you’re not afraid of heights.


Minecraft remains an incredible phenomenon that continues to grow in new and exciting ways. Last year’s E3 saw a demonstration of how the game would be adapted the Microsoft’s augmented reality device, HoloLens, but it won’t be limited it. Oculus VR CTO and legendary creator of Doom, John Carmack, stated in October that he was personally working on optimizing Minecraft for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. Fans will have another way to live and breathe the brick building world.


Rez Infinite

With a mesmerizing mix of electronic music and psychedelic lights, Rez developed a cult following around pushing the envelope of experience. Therefore, virtual reality is a natural fit for the mind bending rhythm action game.

Rez Infinite debuted at December’s PlayStation Experience among a host of other games, with game creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi decked out with a PlayStation VR headset and a special reflective suit that looked like it came out of a Daft Punk video. As it turns out, the suit was equipped with 26 actuator motors that rumbled along to Rez’s thumping beats. Talk about fully immersing yourself in the experience. No word yet on whether the suit will be a purchasable accessory.


Chronos, in development for Oculus Rift, looks like it has the style, charm, and the familiarity of existing role-playing games. Although little has been said about the game since it was announced last summer, its trailer left a lasting impression. It’s almost certain to be a game that will please players who want adventure and a chance to fight larger than life creatures in virtual reality.

Job Simulator

They say the best job is one that doesn’t feel like work, which is the exact opposite of whatJob Simulator seeks to do. The comedic game, which is being developed for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, puts players in a future where robots have taken over all the world’s jobs. Therefore, users must enter into a virtual reality simulator to experience what performing a job was once like using unwieldy controls.

All that might seem brain twistingly meta, so it’s best not to think too much about it and just enjoy the experience. Job Simulator has a chance of gaining a phenomenal following like many of the other “simulator” games around, like Surgeon Simulator, which also happens to have a VR experience.


Golem is another PlayStation VR exclusive that debuted during the PlayStation Experience, and it impressed audiences with its beauty. In it, players take the role of a girl who is injured and confined to her bed. However, she discovers she can control stone creatures called golems and see through their eyes, which allows her to explore past her room. The size of these golems eventually grow from little dolls to 15-foot giants that will go out to explore ancient ruins.

Although Golem is the first title developed by Highwire  Games, it could become a defining game that will make the studio a household name.

Bullet Train

Bullet Train gets an honorable mention because it’s not actually a game that’s officially in development. It’s actually more of a prototype that Epic Games put together to demonstrate the potential of virtual reality gaming using Unreal Engine 4. Although the demo is very straightforward, it turned out to be ridiculously fun shooter.

Let’s hope that after the Oculus Rift releases, the Epic Games will look to expand the experience into a complete game.

Facebook: 2015 Holiday a ‘Defining Moment For Mobile Marketing’

Facebook recently reported its fourth quarter earnings for last year, and they’re huge. According to a Facebook community update, it’s managed to rack up 1.59 billion users on a monthly basis, half of which (800 million) utilize its Messenger chat system. In addition, 400 million visit Instagram on a monthly basis, and 900 million utilize the WhatsApp feature.

Facebook Stats

This is adding up to big bucks, with $5.841 billion in reported revenue for the period, at $.79 earnings per share. These are both increases from the 1.55 billion users and $4.5 billion from the previous quarter.

However, one area where Facebook is really taking off is with video. The company reported that an estimated 100 million hours of video are watched by users monthly – which is a huge statistic, even with the competition that comes from YouTube and Vimeo. That comes out to around 500 million people watching Facebook video on a daily basis.

The company has been working on its video front for some time, something co-founder Mark Zuckerberg proudly touted during the business call. “We’re also exploring ways to give people a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos,” he explained.

The more video that is consumed on the site, the more room there is for the company’s video advertising model, although the company didn’t report specifics when it came to how many earnings came from that.

FB Revenue

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was also quick to talk about how budgets were starting to shift more in the direction of video. “In terms of replacing TV, we certainly don’t think we’re going to replace any one medium,” she explained. “We do think that eyeballs are shifting, not just from TV but from a lot of other formats, to mobile. And we are positioned very well to not just participate but to lead that shift.”

Sandberg also described how the 2015 holiday season was a “defining moment for mobile marketing,” that was demonstrated by the power of Facebook’s platform. ComScorereported that total US consumer spending on mobile in November and December was up 59 percent year over year. Additionally, more marketers turned to mobile than ever before to reach a global audience.

“Working with their agencies Empower Media Team from Dentsu Aegis Network, Ayzenberg Group, and twofifteenmccann, they understood that people watch video differently in mobile news feed than on TV, so they created videos to capture audience attention in the first 3 seconds, even without sound. They drove over 380 million impressions and 49 million video views in key markets and increased purchase intent by 10 points in the US.”

Bloomberg broke down the numbers in its own report, indicating that, while Facebook is successful, growth may be hard to consider moving forward. “How many companies with $18 billion in yearly sales can increase revenue by more than 50 percent? None. No other company has done that recently,” the report stated.

Still, there’s more room for advertising and other features to grow, and it appears audiences will be sticking around for it. Bloomberg also discusses the gains in revenue that Facebook earns from each user. There was a point where the numbers peaked back in Q4 2013, before dropping back down, but they’re on the rise as ad sales increase across both Facebook and Instagram, backed largely by the social platform’s video features

Facebook Revenue Bloomberg

Regardless of whether or not it’s about to go over the peak again, Facebook is still doing something right in terms of social reach, a modest advertising plan and its booming video content.

Kia: Generational Change Means Acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles

Kia introduced its “drive wise” intelligent safety technologies vision and roadmap for the fully autonomous vehicle earlier this year.

Drive wise is a $2 billion investment program over the next two years that will enable Kia to introduce intelligent safety technologies to its future model range, help to eliminate potential dangers and, for many, eradicate the boredom of driving.

The car manufacturer plans to introduce partially-autonomous driving technologies by 2020, with the arrival of fully-autonomous vehicles targeted by 2030. Nevada has already granted license to Kia to test the autonomous Kia Soul EV on public roads.

“Kia is undergoing a very promising and gradual process of introducing partially and fully autonomous technologies to its vehicles,” said Tae-Won Lim, Hyundai Motor Group’s senior vice president of central advanced research and engineering institute. “Although the first marketable fully-autonomous car from Kia will not be available in the immediate future, the work our (research and development) teams are currently doing to develop our range of drive wise technologies is already improving on-road safety and driver assistance.”

Henry Bzeih, Kia’s chief technology strategist, joined [a]listdaily to talk about autonomous driving vehicles, how Kia is alleviating concerns behind it and how they reach their consumers.


How are you marketing to consumers who have safety concerns with autonomous driving vehicles?

We would not put a product on the road that we don’t feel confident and comfortable about. That’s No. 1. You could imagine the amount of rigorous testing and development that goes into making a product and putting it on the road, including simulation. From the marketing standpoint, that’s just the machine that helps them send the message. Obviously, having the ability to have customers engaged early is important. There is a demographic element that we need to think about, too. Some demographics like millennialsand digital natives are open-minded to this type of technology than others. It’s going to take a generational change, which is why we’re looking at 2025 and 2030 as realistic dates for these types of vehicles to cement this technology in the minds of people who haven’t accepted it. We’re not going to sit here and say ‘everybody wants it.’ But we certainly anticipate the acceptance.

What are specific strategies you’ll be using to execute that 10-to-15-year plan?

Any large company that wants to be in business has to have some level of plan. It’s not something we just came up with. We do have a very solid plan on how we’re going to get there.

Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle_Traffic Jam Assist

How are you garnering the attention of the millennials and digital natives?

It’s definitely about disruption at its finest. You can’t communicate the classic way, but the new way. So we have a whole team at headquarters using our networks to communicate the strategy with customers.

What are some new ways you’re trying to reach your audience?

We did our first press conference at CES. We also did “ride and drives.” This is definitely our first step into communicating more and making our plans more knowledgeable.

How is Kia using virtual and augmented reality moving forward?

At CES, we had a station purely centered around VR integrating the autonomous technology into the experience with the Oculus gear. I can not comment specifically on what we’re doing, but I can tell you that both VR and AR are two important elements as part of our strategy today, and moving forward. Down the road, though, keep your eyes open for some announcements.

Gaijin Entertainment CEO Details ESports Plans

Gaijin Entertainment is offering something that rival Wargaming cannot to eSports fans – a World War II experience that combines ground and air combat with War Thunder. Thunder League is in full swing with the top eight teams battling on land and in the air, in the same match.

The total cash prize purse is $56,000 and continues to grow thanks to player contributions through in-game micro-transactions. Anton Yudintsev, CEO of Gaijin Entertainment, explains his company’s plans for eSports in this exclusive interview.

Why did you decide to enter the eSports arena with War Thunder?

War Thunder has always possessed strong eSports potential. We began analyzing other eSports leagues and eventually created our own based what we learned. It took us some time to create regulations for Thunder League. Gladiators system for aircraft tournaments were great, but with the addition of ground forces to War Thunder, we had to rework the regulations and make them fit combined battles, meaning battles would take place in the air as well as on the ground. Total warfare. Combined total warfare provides many interesting tactical opportunities for teams. In addition, it creates better visual streams for fans.

What types of modifications did you need to make to the game to accommodate eSports competition? 

We have not made any specific modifications for Thunder League because War Thunder itself provided us with everything we need. War Thunder is a competitive game to begin with. Whether on PS4, PC or in VR, War Thunder players can easily set up a custom battle in the game, managing almost all the conditions: number of players to a team, vehicles they can use, game mode and even weather. As we prepared to launch Thunder League, we added an auto-tournament mode to last year to show the players what eSports could look like, allowing them to form teams and prepare them for upcoming championships.

What’s the structure for the league and how is it broken up across regions? 

Thunder League is not just a one-more tournament, but an ecosystem created around a series of international championships in order to engage more players with eSports and let them become a part of League. The structure of the championship started with a number of test regional tournaments. The best teams from each region entered the first Thunder League championship. We have analyzed the results, chosen the best teams from all over the world and invited them to take part in this championship. The world’s 10 best War Thunder teams, comprised of ground forces and air forces, representing Europe, North America, Russia, and CIS are now competing in Thunder League.

How are you using fan-funded prizing for this league?

Players set the prize fund. They can purchase Thunder League dog tags, which let them join different activities and get exclusive League items and unique vehicles. Twenty-five percent of the revenue from the purchase of dog tags contributes to the overall prize fund. Each time the prize fund reaches a next prize stage ($10,000, $15,000 and upward) players unlock more opportunities to win prizes, rare items, and vehicles.

The championship started with a $5,000 prize fund and now it is over $56,000 now. Players have already unlocked new game modes, received decals, boosters and special three-color aerobatic smoke. The $50,000 stage provided fans with a Panther T-V and Messerschmitt BF 1 09-E7/U2.

What have you been able to learn from Wargaming, Riot, and others in the eSports arena that you have applied to this endeavor?

We wanted to ensure eSports was right for War Thunder and that we created events that were target right for our players. We did not want to emulate others. We analyzed different eSports events in order to understand what works best for War Thunder. We then formulated our League system, taking into account what players enjoy most about War Thunder and how best to operate in the War Thunder ecosystem. We wanted to create something familiar, yet unique to War Thunder.

What impact have you seen the Thunder League have on engagement with your audience? 

Players enjoy the competition of Thunder League. They have participated in all the activities and events. Thunder League has increased engagement. We have seen many first time eSport players participate in Thunder League. In Thunder League’s very beginning, many joined in order to earn unique vehicles, but the competitive and fun nature of Thunder League has increased their engagement. They are starting checking the news and updates, share information with other players, consuming streams, earning more vehicles. ESports is not just a competitive event, but also a new gaming culture.

How popular is eSports in North America for Thunder League?

Thunder League is very popular among our players in North America. We had one team – Cube – from the USA in the international championship and we have seen great support from US players. Cube received a lot of support from North American War Thunder players. Streams of their matches had many viewers, even those that took place in the evening European time, which is early morning in the US. To celebrate the strong response from US players, we created an exclusive Thunder League item for them – Miss America camouflage for Mustangs.

How much learning and experimenting is going on with this first eSports endeavor?

The first season of the League is an experiment for us. We have been testing and analyzing everything, repeatedly to ensure amazing experiences for anyone who wants to participate. The most important thing is the feedback we receive and then implementing against it. Our ongoing analyzing tied in with player feedback will ensure that future seasons will be even better. For example, next season we want to make League activities universal, so more players can take part in it, no matter what level they have and what vehicles they prefer.

What are your longer-term eSports goals?

We want to make Thunder League a regular event, involve more players, and transform it into an essential part of the War Thunder experience, so every new player has the opportunity and ability to become an eSports star.

Ubisoft Adds Up Its Promotions Behind ‘Tom Clancy’s The Division’

Ever since its initial announcement during Ubisoft’s pre-E3 press conference in 2013, Tom Clancy’s The Division has been highly anticipated across the gaming community. With a promising combination of third-person shooting action, role-playing elements, multiplayer team balancing and a huge, devastated world to explore, the game is far from your usual military experience.

Now, as the game inches closer to its March 8th release date, Ubisoft has begun ramping up the promotions for The Division. Here’s a breakdown of everything it’s done so far, although we’re sure to see more (TV advertising, print advertisements) leading into the weeks ahead…

  • Ubisoft has announced the launch of a multiplayer beta, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through January 31st. It’s meant to test out the servers for the game, although it will give players a taste of what to expect. Expected to launch across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, the beta will be open to those who preordered the game.
  • In an effort to show just how effective money is when it comes to the devastation caused in the world of The Division, Ubisoft has launched a “cash contagion” website that shows just what kind of downfall can come from money being used the wrong way. It’s a unique shake-up that will give players more details in terms of what they can expect from the game.
  • On another Division devoted page on Ubisoft’s website, players can drop into the city of Manhattan, using a Google StreetView-like feature to get a good look at the harrowing world, as well as some locations where battles are expected to take place. Only a pair of locations, Madison Field Hospital and Dark Zone Wall, are available at the moment, but more are expected to be revealed over the next few weeks.
  • Ubisoft teamed up with Amazon to produce an original The Division series for its Prime members. Titled Agent Origins, the short film tells the story of agents involved in the fight against rogue soldiers, as a tie-in with events that happen within the game.

  • At PAX South in San Antonio this weekend, Ubisoft’s The Division will be a big part of Twitch’s plans for the event. It will take center stage in Turtle Beach’s Broadcaster Zone, where a number of top streaming personalities will take part in a multiplayer demonstration for the game. The events will be broadcasted on Twitch’s streaming channel as well, so viewers can tune in and learn what to expect from the forthcoming game – if they don’t have access to the beta already, that is.

Over the next few weeks, promotion for The Division is likely to pick up steam with more TV and print advertisements, similar to what occurred with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege last December, where actor Idris Elba took part in the action.

The game arrives on March 8th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Judging by its pre-release buzz (and the popularity of the forthcoming beta), it’s likely to be a huge hit.

How Mobile Gamers Can Carve a ‘Path of War’ Across the US

Envision Entertainment is just over 2 years old, but its roots go back farther than that. The studio was originally Phenomic [founded in 1997], and later became EA Phenomic, creators of browser-based massively multiplayer strategy games like BattleForge and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances [2012]. The latter of which is still in operation.

The company decided to bring its longtime experience to develop a strategy game called Path of War, which released today for mobile devices. In it, players must all make their way across 1:1 scale map of the United States (derived from real world geographic data), from the West Coast to Washington DC to take down a despotic leader. All the while, players build up their forces, make alliances and compete with each other for resources.

Martin Löhlein, Senior Producer at Envision Entertainment speaks to [a]listdaily about developing a game that fits in with Nexon’s vision of publishing games with a 10-year service expectation while tearing a path of destruction across the United States.

Martin LoehleinTell us a little about Path of War

Path of War is a tactical asynchronous real-time battle game, kind of like Clash of Clans (but with a completely different combat system), and it takes place on a synchronous MMO map, like in Game of War. Each world [server] supports 50,000 players on a 1:1 scale map of the United States, meaning that each game square is equal to one square mile of real space.

Once you really get engaged, and alliances battle each other, you could do some real long term planning. You could be plotting for two or three days before the attack of a key city. Some people have described it as chess-like, because you can make use of the strengths and weaknesses of different units in addition to forcing defenders into unfavorable positions using their movement rules.

As players progress and move across the world, they trigger story events that feed back into gameplay changes, like everyone getting powerful tanks for a period of time.

After so long in PC development, what made mobile the ideal platform?

The availability of these devices is just perfect for these types of games; ones where you engage with a lot of players over a long period of time. As your alliance moves across the US and focuses on different locations in real-time, so there’s always something happening in the world. Everything unfolds over a period of weeks or months.

With a PC, you sit down, dedicate a set period of time, and you’re out. If you’re not in front of  your computer while your alliance is having a planning discussion, then you’re left out. With mobile, we have designed the game for players to drop in and out while still being able to keep track of what’s going on using an in-game messenger system that’s similar to Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, or Facebook Messenger — because that’s how people communicate using mobile — with option push notifications from individual channels. That way, you can follow conversations even when not in-game.

Then, if you have time, you can fire up the game within seconds to be part of the action or spectate.

As the game continues to grow, will new players have trouble getting in?

The game is based on a constant progression of players moving forward towards Washington DC Rewards from the area become less valuable the longer you stay in one place, which encourages you to move further east. The challenge is in how fast you can move across the map.

You’ll never be stuck, because whoever is in front of you will either move forward if he’s active, or you’ll become strong enough to defeat him and move past if he’s not. Plus, you can move south or north to find another way to break through.

Assuming you’re going at a swift pace, about how long does it take to reach DC?

From the testing we’ve done, and the way we’ve engineered the game, it should take roughly six months.


Mobile games are generally known for quick gameplay sessions, but Path of Warseems very involved. How do you reconcile that?

That is a common perception, and there is some truth to it, but with a twist. Mobile is indeed a platform where a lot of the sessions are meant to just kill a few minutes of time. But that doesn’t mean they’re exclusively played in that manner.

What we’ve seen in our tests is that players want to have some distraction, and not think too much if they only have a few minutes, but they also want to invest more time and thought into games they like. The most important thing is that whatever you do, whether it’s a quick session or not, it needs to contribute to some sort of overarching, persistent, progress.

There are different ways you can challenge yourself while playing Path of War. If you can do some resource raids if you just have a few minutes to kill, and still make a contribution to your alliance and overall progress. If you have a little more time to get involved, that’s when you dive in to expand your territory and take on more challenging targets. We’ve made sure that the game doesn’t require an extreme time investment to play competitively with others.

In our previous experience, we found that the most valuable players — those that keep alliances together, set goals for others, and make the game more enjoyable in general — are people who are successful in real life. They usually have a family and a job, which means they can’t spend an infinite amount of time in the game. So, you can still be competitive even if you play a few brief sessions a day, and keep up with those who can play for much longer periods.

In what ways does Path of War fit into Nexon’s plan for releasing games with a 10 year service expectation?

I don’t want to describe what happens after you reach Washington DC, but what I’d like to point to our history, especially the browser games. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances is still running, and still has players from its first weeks.

The important thing for us is to listen to the community to see what the game needs and how we can extend the gameplay. A core thing for us is creating systems and mechanics that can be extended for quite a while and to quite some depth. Our units, their upgrade options, and the fact that we’re using real world data instead of designing levels opens up a lot of options.

The interesting thing will be releasing the game worldwide, connecting with players, and seeing where we can take the game in the long run, especially through the social components. We’ve seen that people who engage in this kind of alliance gameplay tend to form strong bonds that endure over a long period of time. Makes It Easy To Save and Credit Twitch Stream Highlights

With eSports growing and Twitch streamers hitting 1.7 million streamers and 100 million viewers on a monthly basis, there’s an explosion of content coming out of the Amazon-owned but independently-operated video platform. is one of the key ways that streamers capture and share their best moments of fiero, glitches or epic fails with the Twitch community. While streamers can gain massive followings, much of their content is shared through curators that compile ‘best of’ videos. Yet these compilations don’t always credit the person behind the controller when these highlight-worthy moments happen.

That’s where the new Chrome Extension for intends to help. Announced today, this new feature for helps ensure that great eSports and other video game content found on the platform is properly credited and tagged before it is shared by the creator or other users. CEO Dennis Fong, one of the first pro gamers ever (Thresh) and founder of many successful platforms (including Raptr), wanted to help these streamers by creating a plugin that ensured credit for their work. [a]listdaily caught up with Dennis to hear more about how he’s resolving this issue with this new feature.

dennisfong49Can you tell us a bit about and its role in Twitch streaming? captures gameplay and video for Twitch streamers so it can be shared. For users, it’s become kind of like an Instagram for gamers and is very popular with people who follow eSports. Users get a stream of content from their favorite players and they can capture those moments for sharing in their own compilations, too.

Why did you want to build this new tool and what does it do?

The streamers that use asked us to do this. We had bookmarking but our community wanted a simple way to capture their best moments and ensure they got credit for what they created when other users share it. So we created this plugin (really, a Chrome Extension) to answer that request.

And it does this capture in a frictionless way – when a streamer does something amazing, they can hit a hotkey to capture the last thirty seconds of gameplay. It’s like an Instant Replay in sports broadcasts – we capture what happened and then provide it so users can easily edit it, add a headline and then get it out to their subscribers.

So this is available for both streamers and also users to edit and share?

Right. For the streamer, information about the game played and other relevant tags are added to the clip. It’s all ready to go for sharing. No combing through hours of their content to find that awesome moment they really want people to see. Most streamers have their own live content running on a PC nearby so they can just capture it right there. Then they can put it into their own highlights reel or other users can add it to their own compilations with proper credits.

We’re kind of creating an NFL Red Zone for eSports by making it easy to compile, view and share the best streaming video game content out there, while also making sure creators get their due. We think this can be huge for live broadcasts of eSports events, too.

inart 12816

What else does have in store for the future?

This is just the first release of the Chrome Extension to help solve a problem for these streamers. We have more planned that will help them monetize, expand to other platforms, and reduce the friction to get their content out there. We certainly aren’t done coming up with ways to support our community of streamers and users. This is just a starting point.

Personalization Picking Up On the Digital Front

Adding a personal touch to advertising is a unique way to reach out to customers, but some marketers feel that technology is helping lead the charge when it comes to embracing personalization. A new report from eMarketer suggests that it may be catching on more than expected.

Attitudes towards personalization, at least amongst certain types of marketers, shows that technology is being better utilized when it comes to personalizing to scale. The chart below shows that 76 percent agree that it’s becoming quite helpful, while only four percent disagree with the statement. Meanwhile, personalization is more preferred than contextualization (51 percent to 41 percent), and personally identifiable information seems to be preferred when it comes to nailing down personalization.

Report 12816

The report also pointed out the leading benefits when it came to getting personalized content figured out on a technological front. 56 percent of marketers believe that the highest factor belongs to higher response and engagement rates, indicating that social media could play a big part in it. Other things to consider include timelier interactions (47 percent), greater customer affinity and word-of mouth (44 percent) and conversion of more customers (43 percent).

Report 2 012816

We’ll be keeping an eye out for companies that are using personalization to great effect in 2016.

How MasterCard Is Powering Payments Through Wearables

Have you ever been in the middle of an intense workout, only to be deprived of water, a protein shake or a much needed post-run snack because you left your bulky wallet behind? Well, you’ll soon be able to consider those conundrums a problem of year’s past. 

MasterCard is helping customers kiss the cash and pesky plastic cards goodbye by turning any gadget, accessory or wearable into a payment device.

The New York-based financial institution is working toward delivering consumers with safe and convenient payment alternatives through it’s “Commerce For Every Device” program. The company formed a partnership with Coin that will power payments through fitness bands, smart watches and other wearable devices, Sherri Haymond, MasterCard’s senior vice president of digital channels in emerging payments, told [a]listdaily.

“People do not wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to make a payment today,’” Haymond says. “What we’re doing is trying to make the process super seamless like it’s supposed to be, and also enable experiences before and after the payment to enrich the customer’s lives.” 

The idea behind MasterCard’s shift is to simplify functionality for both consumers and device manufacturers from a technological and operational standpoint. “You’re going to start seeing these things become very real,” she says. “We’re going to make it super easy. All different kinds of devices will be enabled for payments.”

Haymond says that paying through wearables was problematic in the past because chips were too big, and Bluetooth consumed too much battery. Enter Coin, who’s provided MasterCard a tech solution by shrinking the chip size to a super-thin pinky nail, yet, still enabled it with an NFC chip and Bluetooth that drains little battery. Coin will provide hardware and software technology that is integrated with the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service and can be embedded into devices to enable manufacturers to implement payment functionality into their products.

“Coin’s Payment of Things platform is a turnkey solution to enable payments for the wearable/IoT industry. Leveraging Coin’s technology, device manufacturers will benefit from significantly reduced costs and time to market,” said Kanishk Parashar, CEO and co-founder of Coin. “MasterCard is our essential partner as we team up to enable the wearable domain that is projected to grow to an astounding $53 billion by 2019.”

Wearable companies like Moov, Omate and Atlas Wearables have already jumped on board, and many more partners are currently in the works, Haymond notes. “There aren’t enough hours in the day to respond to the companies interested in participating. We have a huge pipeline.”

Haymond says the success of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay throughout the years have alleviated any security concerns. “Consumers aren’t skeptical of this at all,” Haymond assures. “It’s extremely safe and secure. With all of these devices, consumers will get transaction notifications through their issuer. … It actually fosters a closer connection between the customer and their bank. Our research shows that customers strongly prefer to have financial interactions with their banks rather than a third party.”

The novelty of wearables will wear off over time, but brands like MasterCard are jumping into the picture to inject some life into the sector – not to mention some yet to be imagined categories.

“We’re putting forth these ideas, and enabling an entire ecosysytem, and trying to be a leader in the space to spur a movement,” says Haymond. “We’ll measure success based on the number of transactions in one respect, whether consumers are using it, and if our issuers are happy about it. We expect for it to become a part of the consumer’s daily lives.”

Pretty soon you’ll be able to make payments with a simple wave of the wrist in front of the payment terminal. The cashier will be amazed, and everyone around you will think its magic, and so will you – until you review the next statement.