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July 8, 2020
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Kliuless #65: The X

by Kenneth Liu on 01/23/20 10:24:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Kliuless? Gaming Industry Insights #65

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I publish broadly. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

The X

  • The X, a weekly scavenger hunt app launched in 2018, has blown up recently thanks to TikTok
  • Each Saturday, a new game opens with five puzzles to solve, usually related to current events
    • Users coordinate with group messaging and social media to solve clues that ultimately lead to one final step at a nearby location
    • Everyone who makes it through all the challenges splits a cash prize, like HQ Trivia
  • There’s only one game per week and the challenges are different each time, keeping the experience fresh. Users can also regulate the difficulty by either trying to go solo or completing it with others online, providing greater accessibility to a broad user base

Business Strategy

  • Blog: Measuring marginal organic contribution from paid marketing
  • Twitter’s ad network provides the best value for PC/console games marketing



PC / Console

  • Tencent bids $148m to acquire 100% of Funcom
  • Digital Bros to buy Starbreeze assets from Smilegate
  • Major slowdown of new releases on Steam last year
  • Microsoft first-party titles to be cross-compatible between Xbox One, Xbox Series X


  • Stillfront Group acquires Storm8 for up to $400m
  • Scopely acquires Marvel Strike Force dev FoxNext Games from Disney
  • Tencent’s TiMi J3 studio cracked the code on adapting Call of Duty for mobile
  • App Annie's State of Mobile 2020 report: Mobile games now bring in more spending than all other game types combined

XR: AR / MR / VR

  • BBC: What went wrong with virtual reality?
  • AR could be Nintendo Switch's next gimmick
  • Niantic drove $249m in tourism revenue with its walking events in 2019

Esports & Influencers

  • Streamlabs: Year in Review Live Streaming Industry Report
  • How ESL is keeping in stride with esports tournament growth
    • Related: Blizzard signs three-year deal with ESL, Dreamhack
  • Super League Gaming partners with Chinese cinema company Wanda Media
  • PlayVS brings Fortnite to high school and college esports tournaments
  • Brands pursue millennials by engaging with esports and gaming
  • BBC: YouTube signs three top gamers away from rival Twitch


  • Bloomberg: ByteDance Readying Assault on Tencent’s Mobile Gaming Kingdom
  • Tencent intends to further diversify investments outside of games   
  • NetEase launches own digital distribution platform in China
  • China's latest online trend: traditional culture and cosplay
  • NYT: Why ‘Star Wars’ Keeps Bombing in China

Tech / Entertainment

  • Report: 59% of Americans aren’t willing to pay >$20/month for streaming services
  • NYT profile on Clearview AI, a start-up that helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images


  • AppsFlyer secures $210m in latest funding round
  • Russian game market doubled in five years to $2bn
  • Fortnite is holding a TikTok dance contest to find the next great emote
  • Famed Oaktree Capital investor Howard Marks on games and investing
  • Plague Inc. tops Apple’s App Store in China as Wuhan coronavirus spreads
  • LA Times: Women suing Riot Games may deserve $400m, not $10m, state regulator says
  • Podcast interview with NYT best-selling author Neil Pasricha on happy habits

See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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