Nexon invests $400m into Russo Brothers’ production company AGBO

AGBO said that the investment will allow it to “aggressively pursue” game development around its IP.

That’s a pretty interesting move in building a cross-media joint. Nexon could only license other people’s IP, but by getting into a movie production company, this becomes easier, cheaper and potentially an exclusive affair even. Plus, suddenly being associated with the Russo brothers of Avengers fame can’t hurt in the slightest can it?

Sony shows off an electric SUV and says company may start selling cars

Yet again, Sony has made extensive use of its sensor know-how to endow the Vision-S 02 with a mix of lidar and high-resolution, wide-dynamic-range CMOS optical sensors that give the car a 360-degree view of the world around it. The Vision-S uses that fused sensor data to inform drivers about their driving environment, alerting them to the presence of emergency vehicles and so on.

Some of that feedback will be provided by the car’s seat speakers, which Sony says create “a three-dimensional sound field.” It also notes that the Vision-S’s sound system is compatible with streaming “360 Reality Auto”—lest we forget, Sony also owns a music business.

There’s also a digital video streaming service called “Bravia Core for Vision-S,” which can stream content to any of the infotainment displays in the car. Elsewhere in the cabin, time-of-flight sensors monitor the driver and passengers and allow for gesture control.

I feel that nobody’s taking Sony seriously enough in its efforts to produce and EV car, despite company leadership not being at all shy about this, the presentation of two prototypes etc. I don’t exactly blame them. This doesn’t sound like the most logical fit.

It’s still fascinating though. The thing about Sony is that they’re making bank nowadays selling all kinds of sensors to third parties, sensors that other EV car manufacturers are growing to rely upon. Sony already has many pieces of that puzzle staring it in the face then so it’s not a stretch for the company to starting putting them together and enter a new market.

My only possible worry here, as far as Sony is concerned, is its own record in software. Other than in entertainment software (aka PlayStation) the company doesn’t have a lot of heft, wins or reputation at the forefront of any and all things software. And software will be a pretty crucial part here.

At the very least, the company hasn’t forgotten about pushing another random video streaming service (Bravia Core), mistaking it for good synergy, nor does it shy away from rebranding it specifically for the car (Bravia Core for Vision-S) even if it’s the exact same, zero-traction video streaming service.

Konami unveils Castlevania 35th anniversary NFT collection

“As the company’s first project in this area and with NFTs and blockchain technology in its infancy, Konami will continue to explore new developments and listen to player feedback following this initial collection.”

This is the “let’s treat this as another way to do crowdfunding and see how it goes” approach.

SEGA promises to avoid NFTs if gamers think it’s a money-making scheme

And this is the “we know you don’t like it but let’s just see where it leads, please don’t hate us forever” approach.

A New Year’s Letter from the President

And this is the “Square Enix level bonkers” approach.

Another term that gained quick currency in 2021 was “NFT” or “non-fungible token.” The advent of NFTs using blockchain technology significantly increased the liquidity of digital goods, enabling the trading of a variety of such goods at high prices and sparking conversations the world over. I see 2021 not only as “Metaverse: Year One,” but also as “NFTs: Year One” given that it was a year in which NFTs were met with a great deal of enthusiasm by a rapidly expanding user base. However, we do observe examples here and there of overheated trading in NFT-based digital goods with somewhat speculative overtones, regardless of the observed value of the content provided This, obviously, is not an ideal situation, but I expect to see an eventual right-sizing in digital goods deals as they become more commonplace among the general public, with the value of each available content corrected to their true estimated worth, and I look for them to become as familiar as dealings in physical goods.

“Examples here and there” of trading with “somewhat speculative overtones” is grade A reality distortion at this time. Saying it doesn’t make it true, Matsuda-san.

I realize that some people who “play to have fun” and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends, and understandably so. However, I believe that there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to “play to contribute,” by which I mean to help make the game more exciting. Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit. This fact is not unrelated to the limitations of existing UGC (user-generated content). UGC has been brought into being solely because of individuals’ desire for self-expression and not because any explicit incentive existed to reward them for their creative efforts. I see this as one reason that there haven’t been as many major game-changing content that were user generated as one would expect.

What Matsuda is describing as those that “play to contribute” is modders. Not accomodating modders is an industry-wide failure, if we’re to agree that it should have been done in the first case. NFTs provide a system for publishers and developers to reliably take a cut of every UGC sale and use said UGC as marketing material, if at any point the mythical metaverse materialises. As a side note, I get so many press releases that pretend the metaverse is here and that every single company has just secured its place in it for eternity, one has to wonder what’s being served at the average company cafeteria these days. Good marketing practices ain’t it though.

Scientists train goldfish to drive a fish-operated vehicle on land

Just to end this on a good note. I believe the title speaks for itself.