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September 29, 2020
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Updates » Social/Online
Ubisoft beats Q4 forecasts, thanks in no small part to player recurring investment  
by Alissa McAloon [05.14.20]
Player recurring investment, or the sort of player spend that comes from in-game purchases, DLC sales, season passes, and subscriptions, helped Ubisoft beat its expectations for the 3 month period ending March 31, 2020.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Square Enix won't hold one big, E3-like announcement stream this summer  
by Alissa McAloon [05.13.20]
For some, the plan is to launch their own online events to host an E3's worth of news and announcements, but for others that option simply isn't feasible.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Scavengers Studio ends active development on Darwin Project  
by Alissa McAloon [05.13.20]
It's an unfortunate end to any online game, and one the team at Scavengers says they tried to stave off with new platforms, content, and features to no avail.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Video: Understanding different specialties & approaches in game production  
by Staf [05.13.20]
In this 2017 GDC talk veteran prodcer Caryl Shaw reviews different producer-adjacent roles that exist today, deconstructs different approaches to game production, and offers practical production tips.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Production, Video, Vault

Devs using Unreal Engine won't owe Epic royalties on a game's first $1 million 4
by Alissa McAloon [05.13.20]
Epic Games started the day with a slew of good news for game developers, including a change to its royalties scheme.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Epic reveals next-gen Unreal Engine 5 tech running on PlayStation 5 2
by Alex Wawro [05.13.20]
Epic's Tim Sweeney and others chat about today's reveal of UE5 running on PS5, a new free Online Services SDK, and a new exemption from Unreal Engine royalties until a game passes $1M gross revenue.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Production, Business/Marketing, Video

The Culling is coming back, this time swapping free-to-play for one-free-play-per-day  
by Alissa McAloon [05.12.20]
Developer Xaviant is taking another stab at reviving its battle royale game The Culling: Origins, this time dropping the game’s free-to-play structure in favor of a one-free-play-per-day model.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Gaining fans for your game? A marathon, not a sprint 2
by Simon Carless [05.12.20]
There is no silver bullet in having people find your game. If you’re relying on one thing to change your fortunes radically - you’re using the wrong strategy to develop & market your game.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Ubisoft marks July 12 for its digital, not-quite-E3 upcoming game showcase  
by Alissa McAloon [05.11.20]
Ubisoft has sent out the save the date for its big summer event: a digital showcase called Ubisoft Forward that looks to offer the caliber of news and reveals usually lined up for E3.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Sponsored Content
Sponsored: Learn to build fast, secure, and reliable game servers in this free webinar  
by Cloudflare [05.11.20]
Now more than ever, ensuring the security, performance, and reliability of game servers is important to the success of online gaming companies.
Social/Online, Programming, Business/Marketing, Sponsored Article

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Donkey Kong Snowrunning Team  
by Gamasutra Staff [05.09.20]
The latest roundup of interesting games, articles & videos from the last week includes new titles like Snowrunner & old beefs like the Donkey Kong high score lawsuit.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Tokyo Game Show 2020 cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic  
by Kris Graft [05.08.20]
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, September's Tokyo Game Show 2020 has been cancelled, organizers announced Thursday.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing

Riot wants to curb toxicity in Valorant without putting the burden on targeted players  
by Alissa McAloon [05.07.20]
Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon offers a refreshing take on how toxicity needs to be dealt with in online games, and explores why a perfect solution is so difficult to create.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Fortnite surpasses 350 million registered players  
by Alissa McAloon [05.07.20]
The milestone comes as Epic doubles down on the social elements of Fortnite with additions like the combat-free Party Royale mode and last month's in-game Travis Scott concert.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Video: How NetEase applied reinforcement learning to build game AI  
by Staff [05.06.20]
In this GDC 2020 virtual talk NetEase's Renjie Li discusses the application of reinforcement learning in NetEase games, including problems encountered and how the solutions impacted the final product.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Programming, Production, Video, Vault

Don't Miss: Games, psychology, and UX with Celia Hodent - GDC Podcast ep. 8  
by Kris Graft [05.06.20]
For Celia Hodent, a psychology PhD, author, and freelance user experience consultant whose credits include Fortnite, Assassin's Creed games, and more, UX is everywhere.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Podcast, GDC

Activision Blizzard raises full year outlooks as Q1 revenue beats expectations  
by Alissa McAloon [05.05.20]
Activision Blizzard had a solid Q1, so much so that the company has raised its forecasts for the full year as a result.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

EA reaped $5.5 billion in revenue last year, most of which came from digital dealings  
by Alissa McAloon [05.05.20]
EA credits its live game portfolio for an overall strong year, with COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen saying this latest report "[proves] the value of the live services path we’ve been on."
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Video: How Supercell designed the Clash of Clans Battle Pass  
by Staff [05.05.20]
In this GDC 2020 virtual talk Supercell's Eino Joas discusses the two-year process that led to the development of a Battle Pass for Clash of Clans.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing, Video, Vault

EA opts for digital EA Play Live show instead of its usual E3-ish event  
by Alissa McAloon [05.04.20]
EA is taking its usual E3-adjacent festivities online through EA Play Live, set to be held during the gap in mid-June left by E3’s COVID-19-driven cancellation.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing