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On the ground with TechCrunch at GDC 2019

The Game Developers Conference was held last week in San Francisco and we wanted to get together to discuss what we saw at the show for Extra Crunch members. VR, gaming engines, Unity, Unreal and Epic were just some of the topics we touched upon. But perhaps the biggest of all was Google’s new game-streaming service Stadia. Lucas had the opportunity to play with Stadia in a room at the Four Seasons and was a little underwhelmed at first. I was playing it on a hotel TV hooked up to a laptop and I...
Tags: Google, TC, San Francisco, Tech, United States, Virtual Reality, San Jose, Lucas, Unreal, Eric, Unity, GDC 2019, Google Stadia


Unity adds preview support for Nvidia’s ray tracing tech to push gaming realism

Ray tracing has been a major topic of conversation at both GDC and GTC so it seems fitting that that the overlapping conventions would both kick off with an announcement that touches both industries. Today at GTC, Nvidia announced that it has built-out a number of major partnerships with 3D software makers including some apparent names like Adobe and Autodesk to integrate access with Nvidia’s RTX ray-tracing platform in their future software releases. The partnerships with Unity is perhaps the m...
Tags: Gaming, Tech, Nvidia, Autodesk, GDC, Ray, Unity, GTC, GTC Nvidia


Scaleworks Adds $80M for Second “Venture Equity” Investment Fund

San Antonio—[Updated 12:32 p.m. See below.] Scaleworks has raised $80 million to acquire more startups, three years after Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne founded the business as a “venture equity” investment shop.Scaleworks branded its investment style as a mix of private equity and venture capital because it buys its targets outright like a private equity shop and will invest additional capital if needed to help a business grow, like a VC firm. The San Antonio company has been buying software-as-a-se...
Tags: Apple, Deals, Google Drive, Cloud, Facebook, Texas, Microsoft, Developer, Cloud Computing, Disney, Sale, Trends, Investing, Development, It, Vc


Daily Crunch: Facebook (possibly) considered buying Unity

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Facebook mulled multi-billion-dollar acquisition of gaming giant Unity, book claims Less than a year after making a $3 billion investment into the future of virtual reality with the purchase of Oculus VR, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was considering another multi-billion-dollar bet by buying Unity, the...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Gaming, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, UK, China, Germany, Tech, Tesla, Alibaba, Nintendo, Oculus, Qualcomm, Unity-technologies


Mark Zuckerberg sent a 2,500-word email in 2015 laying out his big plan for Facebook to dominate virtual-reality

A new book about Facebook's acquisition of virtual-reality firm Oculus has revealed an almost 2,500-word email from Mark Zuckerberg from 2015 detailing his grand vision for AR/VR. Zuckerberg's email was about Facebook's potential acquisition of gaming startup Unity — a deal which never came off. In the email, he says that Facebook's biggest weakness is "innovation." A new book contains a nearly 2,500-word email from Mark Zuckerberg in which he lays out his grand plans to dominate virtual-real...
Tags: Apple, Google, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Trends, Netflix, Oculus, Brendan Iribe, Lucas Matney, Zuckerberg, Blake Harris, HARRIS, Unity, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, VR Zuckerberg


Facebook mulled multi-billion-dollar acquisition of gaming giant Unity, book claims

Less than a year after making a $3 billion investment into the future of virtual reality with the purchase of Oculus VR, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was considering another multi-billion-dollar bet to ensure that his company dominated the VR platform, buying Unity, the popular game engine that’s used to build half of all gaming titles. This claim is made in a new book coming out next week, “The History of the Future,” by Blake Harris, which digs deep into the founding story of Oculus and the...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Tech, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Unity-technologies, Palmer Luckey, Zuckerberg, Blake Harris, HARRIS, Unity, John Riccitiello, VR Facebook


Top 5 VR Designing Software

As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.   1. Unity 3D   Researching many different tools, Unity still stays our number one for all purposes - gaming, real-time film, architecture. If you are already familiar with C# or JavaScript, scripting with Unity will be easy to adapt to and prototype y...
Tags: Google, Art, Design, Unity, PRIMARY-CHANNELS, CHANNEL-DIGITAL-ART, OTHER-DIGITAL-ART, Nina Petrov, OTHER-CHANNELS, Autodesk Forge


Unity Technologies, the gaming startup worth more than $3 billion, is reportedly planning to go public in 2020

Unity Technologies is reportedly planning to go public with an IPO in the first half of 2020. Unity is a video game engine used to develop titles for mobile, VR, AR, and traditional consoles. Popular Unity games include "Pokémon Go," "Cuphead," and "Hollow Knight." CEO John Riccitiello says Unity Technologies is currently valued at more than $3 billion and earning about $300 million per year in annual revenue. Unity Technologies, the startup responsible for one of the most popular video game ...
Tags: Google, Adobe, Ipo, Trends, MacBook Air, Kingdom Hearts, Yoshi, Unity, Cheddar, John Riccitiello, Unity Technologies, Riccitiello, Popular Unity, Cheddar that Unity Technologies


Unity acquires Vivox, which powers voice chat in Fortnite and League of Legends

Game engine maker Unity believes voice communications are going to grow to become a critical part of gaming across platforms and it’s buying one of the top companies in the space to bolster what its customers can build on the its platform. Unity has acquired Vivox, a company that powers voice and text chat for the world’s most massive gaming titles from Fortnite to PUBG to League of Legends. The company’s positional voice chat enable gamers to hear other players chatting around them directionall...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gaming, UK, Tech, Switzerland, Exit, Unity, Bay State, Canaan Partners, John Riccitiello, Riccitiello, Fortnite, Seaver, Vivox, Vivox Unity


10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday. Apple is planning three new iPhone models in 2019, including a successor to the iPhone XR. One of the new models will include a triple camera, while the others will include a double rear camera, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wang Weijing, an executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, has been fired following charges of espionage in Poland. It's the second arrest of a Huawei executive in two months after Meng Wanzhou, the co...
Tags: Apple, Verizon, Facebook, Instagram, China, US, Trends, Siri, Iran, Tencent, Poland, Huawei, Wall Street Journal, Alexa, Epic Games, Unity


Improbable, Epic Games Establish $25 Million Fund To Help Devs Move To 'More Open Engines' After Unity Debacle

Lucas Matney writes via TechCrunch: Improbable is taking a daring step after announcing earlier today that Unity had revoked its license to operate on the popular game development engine. The U.K.-based cloud gaming startup has inked a late-night press release with Unity rival Epic Games, which operates the Unreal Engine and is the creator of Fortnite, establishing a $25 million fund designed to help game developers move to "more open engines." This is pretty bold on Improbable's part and seems ...
Tags: Tech, Lucas Matney, Unity, Tim Sweeney


Improbable urges Unity to unsuspend their license, rectify ‘farcical’ situation for developers

Improbable may be pissed at Unity, but they still want them back. In a blog post titled “A final statement on SpatialOS and Unity,” the team at the cloud gaming startup aimed to tell their side of the story and implored Unity to “clarify their terms or unsuspend our licenses.” Unity is a game engine that developers use to create, among other things, games. Improbable offers a cloud solution to developers that basically enables large multiplayer online gameplay by rendering the game worlds acr...
Tags: Gaming, Tech, Epic Games, Improbable, Unity, Crytek Epic


Improbable urges Unity to unsuspend their license, to rectify ‘farcical’ situation for developers

Improbable may be pissed at Unity, but they still want them back. In a blog post titled “A final statement on SpatialOS and Unity,” the team at the cloud gaming startup aimed to tell their side of the story and implored Unity to “clarify their terms or unsuspend our licenses.” Unity is a game engine that developers use to create, among other things, games. Improbable offers a cloud solution to developers that basically enables large multiplayer online gameplay by rendering the game worlds acr...
Tags: Gaming, Tech, Epic Games, Improbable, Unity, Crytek Epic


Daily Crunch: Bing has a child porn problem

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it A TechCrunch-commissioned report has found damning evidence on Microsoft’s search engine. Our findings show a massive failure on Microsoft’s part to adequately police its Bing search engine and to prevent its suggested searches and images fr...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Cloud, Apps, Asia, Hardware, Microsoft, Developer, Entertainment, Government, Halo, Samsung, Tech, Nasa


10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Alphabet's board of directors is being sued for allegations that it covered up claims of sexual harassment by top executives. The lawsuit, on behalf of an Alphabet shareholder, cites Android creator Andy Rubin's alleged $90 million exit package following an internal investigation. Rubin denies wrongdoing.  Amazon is reportedly building a Netflix-like service for video games. Amazon's competition at Microsoft and Google are alrea...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Europe, Microsoft, US, Samsung, Trends, Ukraine, Netflix, Sony, Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services, Alexa, Unity, Rubin, Amazon Alexa


Improbable and Epic Games establish $25M fund to help devs move to ‘more open engines’ after Unity debacle

Improbable is taking a daring step after announcing earlier today that Unity had revoked its license to operate on the popular game development engine. The UK-based cloud gaming startup has inked a late-night press release with Unity rival Epic Games, which operates the Unreal Engine and is the creator of Fortnite, establishing a $25 million fund designed to help game developers move to “more open engines.” An incoming blog post penned by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and Improbable CEO He...
Tags: Gaming, UK, US, Tech, Epic Games, Improbable, Unreal Engine, Unity, Tim Sweeney, Herman Narula, Devs, Unreal Unity


Unity pulls nuclear option on cloud gaming startup Improbable, terminating game engine license

A pair of highly-funded gaming unicorns are publicly skirmishing and the deal could have major repercussions for game developers. Today, UK-based cloud gaming startup Improbable, announced that Unity, a hugely popular game development engine, had terminated their license, effectively shutting them out from one of their top customer sources. If permanent, the license termination would be a significant blow to Improbable, which enables studios to host large online multiplayer games across multiple...
Tags: TC, Gaming, UK, Tech, Improbable, Terms Of Service, Unreal Engine, Unity, Tim Sweeney, Devs, Softbank Andreessen Horowitz, Unity Software, Unity Runtime, Unity on Twitter, Unreal Unity


Artie aims to bring you closer to your digital idols with autonomous AR avatars

If you spend enough time scrolling through manicured photos of manicured lives on social media, you might come to the realization that maybe the fakeness of the online world has started to look too real. This might be why so many investors are starting to stare headlong into the world of avatars and digital influencers that aren’t real people but can learn from their audiences in real time. Earlier this week, I chatted with a pair of interesting founders from the startup Artie. The team is basic...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Japan, Youtube, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Korea, Augmented Reality, Unity, Horrigan, Chad Hurley, Artie, Ryan Horrigan, Armando Kirwin, Silicon Valley Artie


One billion 3D views and counting

Alice Lloyd George Contributor Alice Lloyd George is an investor at RRE Ventures and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributor Thomas Reardon and CTRL-Labs are building an API for the brain Solving the mystery of sleep Last week Sketchfab, the 3D content hub, shared an exciting milestone — the company has just crossed 1 billion cumulative pageview...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Firefox, Google, Amazon, Energy, Food, Facebook, Column, Europe, Shutterstock, New York, Microsoft, Youtube, France, San Francisco


Canonical plans to raise its first outside funding as it looks to a future IPO

It’s been 14 years since Mark Shuttleworth first founded and funded Canonical and the Ubuntu project. At the time, it was mostly a Linux distribution. Today, it’s a major enterprise player that offers a variety of products and services. Throughout the years, Shuttleworth self-funded the project and never showed much interest in taking outside money. Now, however, that’s changing. As Shuttleworth told me, he’s now looking for investors as he looks to get the company on track to an IPO. It’s no...
Tags: TC, Open Source, Enterprise, Ipo, Funding, Tech, Ibm, Linux, Ubuntu, Canonical, Unity, Mark Shuttleworth, Shuttleworth


Scaleworks Sells Source Code Manager Assembla to Houston’s Idera

San Antonio—Scaleworks business Assembla has sold for an undisclosed price to Houston-based Idera, a company that owns various business-to-business, developer-focused software companies.San Antonio-based Assembla sells a service that helps developers access the code they use to build software, which is often stored in repository managers, such as Git, Perforce, and NextGen SVN. Assembla was founded in 2005 and has more than 500 customers in 157 countries, including Deutsche Telekom, Bayer, Kell...
Tags: Apple, Deals, Cloud, Texas, Microsoft, Developer, Cloud Computing, Disney, Sale, Trends, Development, It, Vc, Software, Deutsche Telekom, Venture Capital


Teenage Engineering OP-Z has DMX track for lighting, Unity 3D integration

The OP-Z may be the hot digital synth of the moment, but it’s also the first consumer music instrument to have dedicated features for live visuals. And that starts with lighting (DMX) and 3D visuals (Unity 3D). One of various surprises about the OP-Z launch is this: there’s a dedicated track for controlling DMX. That’s the MIDI-like protocol that’s an industry standard for stage lighting, supported by lighting instruments and light boards. Not a whole lot revealed here, but you get the sense t...
Tags: Ios, Mobile, Apps, Music, Hardware, Tech, AV, Gear, Stories, Visuals, Motion, Lighting, Midi, Awesomeness, Vj, Synths


Improbable brings its massive multiplayer platform to Unity game engine

As battle royale games like Fortnite pit more players against each other, studios are starting to realize the potential of bringing a massive online audience together at one time. This ambition has always existed, but Improbable, a well-funded startup aiming to enable these vast online worlds, is looking to bring these experiences to more game developers. Improbable has announced that it is bringing a game development kit for its SpatialOS multiplayer platform to Unity, a popular game developmen...
Tags: TC, Gaming, London, Tech, Virtual Reality, Unity


A group of Magic Leap alumni are making experiences for 50 pairs of smartglasses at once — and they're working with a world-famous performance artist

Technologists think that augmented reality is the next big thing that could replace smartphones, TVs, and all the screens in your life. Alumni from Magic Leap, a hyped augmented reality startup, are now using the technology to create music and art pieces. Their first work stars Marina Abramović and will premiere simultaneously to 50 people in London in February.  Marina Abramović, the renowned performance artist, is going to be the star of a piece premiering February 18 at the Serpentine Gall...
Tags: Apple, New York, London, France, Trends, Silicon Valley, Eckert, Magic Leap, Marina Abramovic, Abramović, Unity, Serpentine Gallery, Magic Leap One, Todd Eckert


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey falls far short of its own wondrous sandbox

It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of the state of AAA gaming today than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a game where the whole of the wine-dark Classical Aegean is available for you to ply with your oars — but which operates according to a risible, cartoonish video game logic that seems, if possible even more anachronistic. Should you play it? Absolutely. (Very minor spoilers ahead.) In case you haven’t been following the Assassin’s Creed… well, odyssey, the last few years, the game took som...
Tags: TC, Gaming, London, Greece, Opinion, Tech, Egypt, Paris, Athens, Parthenon, Ubisoft, AAA, Ac, Herodotus, Acropolis, Plato


The CEO of one of the most important startups in video gaming explains why the next big thing hasn't yet replaced the smartphone (MSFT, FB, GOOGL)

There's been lots of hype around virtual- and augmented-reality headsets in recent years — with some going so far as to say that they could replace the smartphone. To date, though, neither set of gadgets has caught on with mainstream consumers. It's easy to understand why, said Unity Technologies CEO John Riccitiello in a recent interview with Business Insider. Not only are such gadgets generally expensive and clunky, they lack compelling games and other experiences, Riccitiello said. What's m...
Tags: Google, Microsoft, Trends, Sony, Nintendo, British Airways, Business Insider, Unity, John Riccitiello, Unity Technologies, GOOGL, Riccitiello, Google Sony Facebook


Fast-growing game engine startup Unity loses its CFO

Unity Technologies, the highly valued startup behind one of the most popular game development tools, lost its CFO Mike Foley earlier this summer, Business Insider (paywalled) first reported. A company spokesperson confirmed the CFO’s departure, saying it was a “friendly and mutual decision between both parties,” while also noting that the company was searching for a replacement and had some candidates and hoped to announce more details soon. Unity has raised north of $600 million at a valuation ...
Tags: Gaming, Tech, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Foley, Unity, Mike Foley, John Riccitiello, Personnel, Unity Technologies, Riccitiello, DFJ Growth Sequoia Capital


Unity CEO says half of all games are built on Unity

Unity CEO John Riccitiello came to TechCrunch Disrupt SF to give everyone an update on the world’s most popular game engine. You might not be aware that most of the games you’re playing, especially mobile games, are built using Unity. For those not familiar with game engines, Riccitiello started by describing game engines very clearly. Back in the days, “[game developers] would write out a game program that had lots of art assets, lots of animation, lots of sounds. But they also had to write ...
Tags: Startups, Gaming, Tech, Epic, Sony, Nintendo, AAA, Lucas Matney, Unity, John Riccitiello, Riccitiello, Oculus Rift etc Unity, Valve Amazon


Watch Virgin Galactic’s space plane soar 32 miles above the Earth

Virgin Galactic’s passenger space plane, the VSS Unity, yesterday completed its third rocket-powered flight. Craft and crew returned safely after reaching a stunning new height of more than 32 miles above the surface. “Oh that is a million dollar view out the window Dave” says co-pilot Mike “Sooch” Masucci. That must not be counting the cost of the craft, which is nearly half a billion. This latest test flight is the Unity’s 14th, ahead of what Virgin Group founder Richard Branson hopes will be ...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Tech, Earth, Dave, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Group, Richard Branson, Insider, Mike, Unity, VSS Unity


Developers Note Sudden Drop in Downloads on Google Play Store

Developers went to the Unity forums to express their concern over dropping install rates on games in the Google Play Store. The original post to the thread states that one developer’s average install rate dropped from 12,000 per day to 5,000 per day, even though the game has not decreased in the search rankings of […]
Tags: Google, Google Play, Google Play Store, News, Unity, Game Developers



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