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Does Google See Stadia Competing With PlayStation and Xbox?

As we learned at the Google Stadia reveal earlier this week, Google’s new gaming platform isn’t a game console but rather a streaming service. But despite that, as one console generation ends and we look ahead to the next PlayStation and Xbox, does Google see its new platform as competing with them?

I spoke to Google’s Phil Harrison about just that, wondering if Google launching Stadia this year, while most speculation has made us expect next-gen consoles next year, meant Google saw Stadia as a direct competitor. More than anything, it seems Google is more concerned with Stadia creating “a bigger opportunity” for the industry at large than trying to supplant other platforms.

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Pinterest drops its IPO filing

Pinterest, the nearly decade-old visual search engine, has unveiled its S-1 as it prepares for an initial public offering expected in April.

The paperwork emerged just hours after another tech unicorn, Zoom, filed to go public, too.

Pinterest, valued at $12.3 billion in 2017, took its first official step toward a 2019 IPO, hiring Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as lead underwriters for its big offering.

The San Francisco-based company posted revenue of $755.9 million in the year ending December 31, 2018, up from $472.8 million in 2017. It has roughly doubled its monthly active user count since early 2016, hitting 265 million this year.

Pinterest has raised around $1.5 billion in venture capital funding, listing both early- and late-stage investors on its cap table. The company’s key stakeholders include Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity and Valiant Capital Partners.

Pinterest counts 250 million monthly active users and brought in some $700 million in ad revenue in 2018, per reports, a 50 percent increase year-over-year. The business employs 1,600 people across 13 cities, including Chicago, London, Paris, São Paulo, Berlin and Tokyo.

Several billion-dollar tech companies have made the choice to go public in 2019, even after a weeks-long government shutdown …read more

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Zoom, a profitable unicorn, files to go public

Zoom, the video conferencing startup valued at $1 billion in early 2017, has filed to go public on the Nasdaq as soon as next month.

The company joins a growing list of tech unicorns making the leap to the public markets in 2019, but it stands out for one very important reason: It’s actually profitable.

Zoom was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, a co-founder of WebEx, which sold to Oracle for $3.2 billion in 2007. Before launching Zoom, he spent four years at Cisco as its vice president of engineering. In a conversation with TechCrunch last month, he said he would never sell another company again, hinting at his dissatisfaction at WebEx’s post-acquisition treatment being his motivation for taking Zoom public as opposed to selling.

Zoom, which raised a total of $145 million to date, posted $330 million in revenue in the year ending January 31, 2019, a remarkable 2x increase year-over-year, with a gross profit of $269.5 million. The company similarly more than doubled revenues from 2017 to 2018, wrapping fiscal year 2017 with $60.8 million in revenue and 2018 with $151.5 million.

The company’s losses are shrinking, from $14 million in 2017, $8.2 …read more

These Are The Tomb Raider Series’ Deadliest Tombs

Lara Croft has tromped, pillaged, and plundered dozens of ancient temples and dusty crypts in her 20-year history. They’re often stunning places: palaces perched atop steep mountains or sunken beneath icy glaciers, inhabited by exotic birds and sneaky monkeys (and sometimes dinosaurs). Standing in one place to gawk at these lovingly crafted worlds can be deadly, though. As developers have pushed graphical performance further and further with each new entry, so too have they iterated on the traps and mechanisms that put Lara in her grave.

Here are some of the Tomb Raider series’ deadliest tombs – the levels that challenged our platforming prowess or had our palms sweating as we walked carefully through blood-tinged spikes and battled quickly dwindling breath meters.

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40 Fathoms – Tomb Raider II

The level starts underwater. The mini-sub Lara hijacked has crashed into the sea floor, her breath meter is draining, and sharks circle around her. The player’s goal is to reach a sunken cruise ship, but thanks to some poor, late-‘90s draw distance, it’s unclear which direction players should swim into the surrounding blackness, save for an obscure trail of ship debris on the seabed dotting a …read more

Amazing Campaign Board Games

For many gamers, the allure of an ongoing story and setting is hard to overstate. By returning to a game again and again, with new elements of both story and gameplay introduced over time, we become invested in the world, enmeshed with its characters and events, and intrigued by the ways things are changing over time. This week, we’re looking at some of the excellent projects of recent years which offer deep campaigns that are best experienced when played from beginning to end, with each session offering new twists.

Unlike a traditional role-playing game, these are tabletop releases that are complete and functional in their own right, without the need for a game master or other guiding hand. Several of these offer cooperative experiences, even as others present a competitive affair with your ongoing story. Regardless, these games are all best experienced by the same group of players returning to the table for one session after the next, building on what they know. If you’ve got a consistent squad of players that meet up on a regular basis, you owe it to the group to try one of these ongoing campaign games at some point, as the sense of …read more

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From Bloodborne & Sekiro to Armored Core: Every IGN FromSoftware Review

FromSoftware has a long legacy of killing you. Killing you softly, killing you quickly… however you want to slice it (or be sliced), this team is just great at killing you. But the secret is that’s why we love the Tokyo-based developer and Hidetaka Miyazaki, the mastermind behind its meteoric rise as one of the world’s premier developers. Though FromSoftware has been making games for decades, notably including a mech-ton of Armored Core games, it’s the brutal but rewarding action-RPG formula pioneered by Demon’s Souls a decade ago that most reliably delivers, time and time again.

With my review of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice now complete, we can look back over nearly four dozen reviews and 22 years to highlight the highs and lows of the studio’s best work. Flip through the slideshow below, then vote for your favorite!

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What to Expect from PlayStation’s State of Play Showcase

Sony has announced its foray into the world of Nintendo Direct’s and Inside Xbox’s with State of Play, a new live broadcast debrief on PlayStation’s upcoming games.

Sony’s initial announcement of State of Play promises new trailers, new games, and new footage on upcoming PS4 and PSVR games. So, with that vague description in mind, it’s of course time to speculate.

So…Will There Be PS5 Talk?

Probably not. Given the specific description of PS4 and PSVR games as the focus, a PS5 tease could take away the thunder from the upcoming library. And, unless Sony is planning a surprise 2019 launch, announcing the console now ahead of even a spring 2020 launch feels like a long lead time in today’s gaming news landscape. (Remember, PS4 was announced in February 2014 and released that November.)

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Nintendo Releases List of Top 10 Best-Selling Indie Games on Switch

Nintendo has revealed a list of the Top 10 best-selling indie games on the Nintendo Switch of all-time.

In a presentation by Nintendo at the Game Developers Conference, which IGN saw, it was confirmed that games such as Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley, and Undertale hold the title of best-selling indie games on the Switch.

The full list is as follows, but keep in mind that Nintendo did not reveal an actual ranking of these games or how many units of each were sold;

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‘Pokemon GO’ Community Day Guide March 2019: How to Catch Shiny Treecko and Evolve a Perfect IV Sceptile

Pokemon GO (Free) Community Days have quickly become one of the highlights of my month – regardless of which Pokemon is featured, it’s a great feeling to spend a couple hours catching hundreds of the same creature, occasionally finding a Shiny Pokemon and hanging out with the like-minded trainers who are able to wake up early enough on a Saturday morning to participate. Even at my most hungover, I’ll always make sure I spend a few hours to acquire that elusive evolution that would normally take me weeks to get on my own, and it’s worth it every time. This weekend’s March Community Day for Pokemon GO is perhaps one of the most exciting so far, as it marks the first, best and coolest third-generation starter Pokemon to be featured it its own event. You guessed it – Treecko is the star of this Community Day, and I’ve put together a comprehensive guide so you can make the most of this Spring celebration of everyone’s favorite wood gecko.

March Community Day Key Details

Each Community Day follows the same core formula, but that doesn’t prevent the monthly scare of potentially missing the narrow window when Treecko will be running riot around …read more

‘Arena of Valor’ News: Moderator Recruitment, Hayate, And The True Damage Debate

It feels like every week we have a bunch of new skins to talk about in the Arena of Valor news roundup. That’s not quite the case this time around. They’re there, but they’re not a pair you can simply pick up with vouchers and hop into a match to try out.

Instead, our usual bombardment of skins comes courtesy of the latest Xeniel’s Codex – Arena of Valor‘s answer to the Battle Pass. The impressive premium outfit at the end of the latest chapter is for the bloody annoying Assassin Zill. The other is for an entirely new character that may inadvertently speed up the hero release schedule a smidge. Cephany when?!

AOV Moderator Recruitment Opens

Whether you hang around the Arena of Valor Reddit, Facebook, or Discord channels or all of the above, you should have recruitment claxon go off one way or another. Tencent is opening the doors to new moderators yet again, but alarm bells have already begun to sound.

We’ve understood social channel moderators to be compensated for their efforts in the past not with cold hard cash, but with Arena of Valor vouchers. Whether these were gifted in-game, provided through redemption codes, or simply thrown at staffers through …read more