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Netflix and the Netflix of Gaming Opportunity – ReadWrite

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Gaming has been big business for a long time — but Netflix just kicked the whole industry up about ten notches in one swipe during Netflix’s latest earnings call. Now, all of us have the great opportunity to Binge-Game as well as Binge-Watch.

Personally, I wish this essential entertainment step had been taken at the start of COVID — but whether Netflix makes this move early or late — the step is epic for all of us.

Netflix and the Netflix of Gaming Opportunity

At the latest earnings call, Greg Peters, COO and Chief Product Officer, hinted about Netflix’s ambitions of entering the multi-billion-dollar video game business.

“Games” is a really interesting component. There’s no doubt that games are going to be an important form of entertainment and important modality to deepen that fan experience so we’re going to keep going.”  — Greg Peters

That statement once again fueled speculation that Netflix may be getting into gaming in a much bigger way.

In an industry that has long been dominated by a-la-carte and freemium business models, the idea of a subscription gaming service continues to be one of the most sought-after paradigm shifts for game companies.

In fact, Forbes said, “’The Netflix of video games’ is a label thrown around like confetti at a victory parade. It’s held out as the prize that awaits the winner in the burgeoning game streaming arena.”

What are the various subscription gaming platforms?  Image Credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; thank you!

Where are we in this paradigm shift, and what are the various subscription gaming platforms currently out there today?

Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade costs $5 per month and has over 180 of the best collection of mobile games — Arcade Originals, Timeless Classics, and App Store. Apple’s subscription is ad-free, has no in-app purchases, and is shareable with the entire family.

Some of the more popular games in Apple Arcade: NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition, Star Trek: Legends, Badland+, Monument Valley+, Sonic Racing, The Oregon Trail, SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit, Mini Metro, PAC-MAN Party Royale, Fantasian, What the Golf?, and LEGO® Brawls.

Microsoft Game Pass

Microsoft Game Pass costs $10 per month for PC or Console, or $15 per month for both. The service continues to expand its offering and includes EA Play with the PC and PC+Console offers.

Microsoft finalized its acquisition of Zenimax and expanded its library for Game Pass by 20 massive games all at once, including The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, Doom Eternal, Dishonored 2, and Prey.

The service includes other hit titles like Grand Theft Auto V, MLB® The Show™ 21, Outriders, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, NHL® 21, Minecraft, Forza Horizon 4, Destiny 2, Madden NFL 21, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six®, Star Wars™ Battlefront™II, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Age of Empires II, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus costs $5 per month when buying for the full year and $10 per month when subscribing monthly. Very different than the Microsoft Game Pass, Sony’s solution for PlayStation Plus provides 2 games each month that users are able to download and play for as long as they remain a subscriber.

Games include Call of Duty Black Ops III, Crash Banidcoot N Sane Trilogy, Resident Evil Biohazard, Fallout 4, Monster Hunter World, Battlefield 1, Days Gone, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, and Oddworld Soulstorm.

Stadia

Stadia’s Pro subscription gaming solution costs $10 per month for PC streaming of games. Games playable for free as part of the subscription include Enter the Gungeon, Hitman 1, Everspace, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle, Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Republique, and Submerged: Hidden Depths.

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online costs only $20 per year, and the service is billed as primarily giving the ability to play hit Nintendo Switch games online, such as Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Diablo 3, and pretty much everything else that has online connectivity.

The service does come with the bonus of offering over 80 Super NES™ and  NES™ classic games—including Super Mario Kart™, Super Metroid™, The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™, Donkey Kong™ Country™ as part of the service.

TapTop — Alexa Built-In by Blok Party

TapTop — Alexa Built-In is a tabletop gaming console primarily for board games and costs $5 per month. It also includes Amazon’s free Alexa service providing all of Amazon’s Alexa Voice-Based Games.

TapTop’s library and full coming soon include — Yes! All of these — Catan, Ticket to Ride, Codenames, SET, Pandemic, Terraforming Mars, Machi Koro, Space Base, Dead Giveaway, Downforce, Conspiracy, My Little Scythe, Splendor, War Chest, Rival Restaurants, Fake News, Game of 49, Burgle Bros, Mini Metro, Hardback, 12 Orbits, Texcoco, Avalon, Tigris & Euphrates, Carcassonne, Takenoko, Jaipur, Love Letter, Medici, Axio, Ra, Mansions of Madness, Towers of Arkhanos, Mysterium, Pathfinder, Smallworld, Lost Cities, Concept, Blue Moon City, The Quest for El Dorado, Rise of Tribes, Game of Thrones, 7 Wonders, 7 Wonders Duel, Dream Home, Patchwork, Zombicide, Abandon Ship, Modern Art, Castle Panic, Night of the Ninja, Planet Apocalypse, Can’t Stop, Games of Art, and 8 Minute Empire.

In addition to traditional board games, the TapTop interacts with physical RFID-enabled figures placed directly on the screen and will be launching several titles incorporating physical RFID figures and RFID cards in late 2021.

Netflix of Gaming

Until Netflix enters the fold — the question of “Who will be the Netflix of gaming?” will be a question that continues. We are all banking (and hopeful) on Netflix!

Even after Netflix “makes it” — it seems that the “The Netflix of Gaming” title will be a debated and debated — long into the future.

At this point in time, Microsoft’s Game Pass, Apple’s Arcade, and Blok Party’s TapTop – Alexa Built-In seem to be the ones to beat.

Stay tuned to see how it all develops.

Top Image Credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; thank you!

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Politics

Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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