Train2Game News PC Gaming Hardware breaches $30 Billion

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the leading research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, today announced that the global PC Gaming Hardware market has breached the $30 billion mark for the first time.
Comprised of pre and DIY built gaming computers, upgrades, and accessories such as displays, input devices and audio systems, the market exceeded $30 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a 6% CAGR through 2019.

Due to an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and lack of significant console traction, the Asia Pacific Region leads the world in both growth and market size with a forecasted 7% CAGR to 2019 from a value of almost $11.3 billion in 2016. India claims the largest growth rate in Entry-Level (sub $1000) and is forecast for an eye watering 28% CAGR; breaking through the billion mark across all segments in the next few years.  North America and Western Europe both individually lead Asia Pacific for High-End gaming systems (over $1800). Germany is forecast to enjoy impressive growth in High-End, reaching $1.6 billion in sales in 2019 and Russian gamers are forecast to consume Mid-Range Hardware at an 8.65% CAGR through 2019.

Ted Pollak, Senior Game Industry Analyst for JPR said, “Consumers continue to embrace the PC for video games due to multiple factors. The desktop ergonomic is popular because of superior detail using most HD and UHD monitors, and unrivaled control with mouse and keyboard interface. This has been validated with eSports overwhelmingly being played on PCs. Additionally, product designers have created thousands of options for complete customization from a functionally and aesthetic perspective. Examples include dedicated driving and flight systems, multi-display setups, and a wide selection of notebooks ranging from desktop substitutes to innovative ‘thin and light’ offerings. Liquid cooling, advanced PSUs, SSDs, genre specific gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, notebook graphics amplifiers and Xbox accessory compatibility offer gamers more choices than they have ever had.”

Jon Peddie, President of JPR, said, “PC gaming is so successful because it allows all levels of customers to participate including those with lower budgets. Nvidia and AMD are not ignoring this opportunity, and offerings like the GTX 1050 bring powerful graphics processing for around $120. We are very excited about the prospects for the AMD Ryzen CPU platform and think it will be adopted at all three hardware tiers. Of course Intel CPUs currently offer amazing performance for gamers of every budget level and their integrated graphics can rival game consoles.”

Nevertheless, a key phenomena JPR observes is that the ranks of PC gamers are growing in the Mid and High-End where ASPs are high. Also the average PC sale is increasingly motivated by the video game use model, which is important to understand in a stagnant or declining overall PC market. As basic computing functions become more entrenched with mobile devices, the PC ultimately becomes a power user’s tool. Whether for gaming, photo and video editing, content creation, etc.

The Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market report series by Jon Peddie Research covers 33 countries, notebooks and desktops, DIY, and accessories. It is released twice a year in three segments: Entry-Level, Mid-Range, and High-End.

Train2Game News Games Report 2017

​Last year was a record breaker for games, with tech M&A advisor Digi-Capital’s new Games Report 2017 (www.digi-capital.com/reports/#global-games-investment-review ) recording $30.3 billion games deals in 2016. 
The $28.4 billion of games mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was 77% higher than 2014’s previous record, and $1.9 billion games investment was the second highest ever. With games revenue set to grow from $117 billion in 2017 to over $170 billion by 2021, games has turned into a two speed market driving massive consolidation around mobile games in particular.
So what’s behind the consolidation around mobile games? Mobile apps (not just games) revenue grew an unexpected 40% last year, with China a major driver. Taking over three-quarters of all mobile apps revenue globally, mobile games had an absolute flyer. Despite this outperformance, mobile games growth could slow to 14.5% annually long-term (CAGR) for over $80 billion revenue by 2021 (gross apps revenue across iOS, Google Play and all the Chinese app stores). That’s more revenue than the entire games market a few years ago.

At the other end of the spectrum is the land of the indies, where there isn’t enough money yet for the big boys. VR hardware, AR games and VR games have a lot of runway and look set to drive over $20 billion revenue combined by 2021. Together with the games tech/services and mobile games, these smaller, faster sectors are where billions of dollars from VCs and corporates were invested into games in the last 12 months. 

Train2Game News Performance Gaming Wear

KontrolFreek® today announced its Performance Gaming WearTM apparel line, the first to be specifically designed for gamers and eSports professionals.
Items in the collection include the Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie and Icon Performance Gaming Shorts and feature DRYV® Technology, a patented system that blends ultralight, high-performance moisture-wicking fabrics with an absorbent outer layer, allowing gamers to easily dry hands and stay cool.  

   -The Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie is designed with an oversized hood to accommodate headphones while still giving players a sense of enclosure, increasing their ability to focus.
    -The Icon Performance Gaming Shorts have extra-deep storage pockets and a low-waist design that falls just above the knee when sitting, maximizing player comfort.

    -Implemented DRYV® moisture-absorbent panels featuring patented technology provide multiple areas for gamers to easily dry their palms and fingers, mitigating thumb slippage to increase control and accuracy.

    -All pieces of Performance Gaming Wear apparel were developed with input from top eSports teams like The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber to ensure they met performance standards of the best professional gamers.

    -KontrolFreek unofficially debuted its line of Performance Gaming Wear apparel during the Major League Gaming (MLG) Vegas tournament in December 2016. Throughout the event, The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber wore KontrolFreek’s Performance Gaming Wear apparel while practicing and competing. The Rise Nation went on to win the event’s Call of Duty World League invitational. 

“Our extensive research indicated there was a need within the eSports community for performance garb tailored to the gaming lifestyle,” said Ashish Mistry, CEO of KontrolFreek. “When developing our Performance Gaming Wear apparel, we coordinated directly with top gaming professionals to ensure our apparel met the specific needs of the competitive gaming community. We strategically placed DRYV® Dry Hand Zones in our garments to provide multiple areas where gamers naturally reach to dry their palms and fingers. With DRYV®, we decrease thumb slippage and, therefore, increase accuracy and control. Grip and accuracy are hallmarks of the KontrolFreek brand.”

The leading developer of Performance Gaming Gear™, KontrolFreek’s mission is to create high-quality products that increase player comfort and performance to enhance the overall gaming experience. Its products range from Performance ThumbsticksTM and KontrolFreek GripsTM for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers to apparel and accessories like the recently announced  KontrolFreek 12FT Gaming CableTM.   

“Just like traditional athletes, eSports players want to maximize their competitive advantage with the gear they use; this includes what they’re wearing in practice or during competition,” said Rodger Saffold III, Co-Founder of The Rise Nation and offensive guard for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. “Success in eSports is driven by precision and speed. A fraction of a second can be the difference between winning a championship or going home empty handed. KontrolFreek knows that the details matter and it really shows with their new Performance Gaming Wear.”

KontrolFreek’s first line of Performance Gaming Wear is now available for sale online at KontrolFreek.com.

Train2Game News Pokémon Duel

​The Pokémon Company International announced today that Pokémon Duel is now available for download at no charge on the App Store and on Google Play.
Pokémon Duel is an exciting mobile strategy game in which fans deploy digital Pokémon figures and battle based on strategic moves to reach a goal in the opponent’s territory. Pokémon Duel gameplay details follow:

    -By strategically assembling their team of six Pokémon, each with its own strengths and a set number of steps it can take, players can take different routes to rush toward the goal or block the opponent’s Pokémon from advancing.

    -When two Pokémon from opposing teams meet, a battle commences, and the players spin each Pokémon’s Data Disk to see which Attack each Pokémon will use.

    -In addition to moving Pokémon and battling, players will also be able to use a plate at the start of their turn. These plates have various effects, including swapping positions of Pokémon in play and giving their Pokémon various battle enhancements for that turn.

    -The player who reaches their goal first wins the duel. Players can duel against real opponents at any time by tapping League Match on the Home screen. They will then be automatically matched, according to skill, with other players around the world.  A variety of items, including Pokémon figures, can be earned through Time Boosters that are unlocked with every League victory. Winning League matches also increases the player’s rating and provides a chance to get different Pokémon figures as they compete in higher-level leagues.

More plates and Boosters can be purchased at the Shop within the app. Materials collected from purchased Boosters can be traded for desired Pokémon. In-game currency known as Gems can be purchased at the Shop or earned in several ways, such as by playing Pokémon Duel daily and clearing missions.

For more information about Pokémon Duel, please visit: www.Pokemon.co.uk/Duel .

Train2Game News 17th GDC Awards

Organizers of the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, will recognize Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and creator of ZZT, Unreal and Unreal Engine, with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Sweeney will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 6:30pm at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2017 Game Developers Conference, and in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival (IGF). The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2017 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/gdc

Sweeney founded seminal shareware game publisher Epic MegaGames in 1991, and the release of its first product, ZZT, led to an explosion of user-created worlds. ZZT has become so beloved as a game/application that it recently led to a full-length book dissection – in the Boss Fight Books series – of the games and culture it created. An expanded Epic MegaGames also released titles such as Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball and Tyrian in the ‘90s as a leader in the PC shareware space.

While serving as the founder and CEO of a renamed Epic, Sweeney was the main architect of the first-generation Unreal Engine. This game engine was originally created for the 1998 PC game Unreal. But it became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, initially in the Unreal franchise and increasingly licensed outside of Epic, including the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, and the Batman: Arkham series.

Sweeney also worked to make the Unreal Engine extensible via UnrealScript, a spiritual successor to his object-oriented scripting language for ZZT. This simple way for non-coders to get complex creations made easily led to extensive and creative player modding of games – one of the earliest blossoming of user-generated content. 

But it also led to easier adaptations of the engine – which has now had four major iterations – to other games. These include Epic’s own titles such as Gears of War, Paragon and Fortnite, as well as notable independently created games such as Rocket League, Abz û, Astroneer and ARK: Survival Evolved. The engine is now being adapted by non-game development teams across the automotive, aviation, architecture, VR/AR, complex data visualization and film sectors.

Sweeney joins the roster of previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients which includes Todd Howard, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, Sid Meier, Ken Kutaragi, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Peter Molyneux, among others.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes notable game industry leaders such as Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Doug Lombardi (Valve), Angie Smets (Guerrilla Games), Amir Rao (Supergiant Games) and Jade Raymond (Electronic Arts).

For more information about the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/ 

Train2Game News Micro Machines returns to home consoles

Codemasters & Koch Media today announced that legendary gaming franchise, Micro Machines, will be racing its way on to PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC on 21st April 2017. 
Micro Machines World Series retains the manic social gameplay of the classic series, updated with stunning HD visuals that will see you return to the garden, kitchen, workshop and many more great locations in an array of amazing miniature vehicles.

In addition to classic game modes such as Race and Elimination, Micro Machines World Series introduces all new Battle Arenas which allow you to wreak mass destruction on a miniature scale against your friends or the AI.  Meanwhile, Team play lets you work together using your vehicles’ unique skills in modes such as “Capture the Flag” and “King of the Hill.”

Designed around fun gameplay at every turn, Micro Machines World Series is the ultimate pick up and play experience for players of all ages and abilities, offering intuitive, easy to learn controls that make the controller impossible to put down.

Codemasters’ VP Publishing, Jonathan Bunney, commented: “The original Micro Machines was a breakthrough multiplayer racing game and remains much loved in the gaming community.  We saw great success earlier this year with our free-to-play mobile game but this brand new console title takes the franchise to its greatest levels of multiplayer mayhem and enables you to play with your friends on the same sofa or across the world.”

Bunney continued: “Whether you’ve been playing Micro Machines since the early days or are new to the craziness of racing and battling vehicles across household environments, this incredibly fun experience is a welcome break from all the serious multiplayer alternatives. With the support of Hasbro and being able to feature some of their biggest brands, such as HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS, G.I. JOE, OUIJA and NERF, this represents the very best of social gaming.”

Releasing on 21st April 2017, Micro Machines World Series will support up to 12 players online and four players on the same screen across a variety of racing and battling environments.  Each of the 12 vehicles has its own unique load-out of weapons and abilities and the game will launch with a massive range of customization options.

Train2Game News New Fire Emblem

Nintendo surprised Fire Emblem fans today via a Nintendo Direct announcement with the news that multiple games from the hit strategy-RPG franchise are in development. 

These include a new game for smart devices, two games for Nintendo Switch and multiple games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. There’s no question that this is by far the most fiery, most emblematic Nintendo Direct ever.

“In recent years, the popularity of the Fire Emblem franchise has grown exponentially,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The devoted fan base and series newcomers alike will soon have an abundance of new games to play on a variety of devices. There’s never been a better time to be a Fire Emblem fan or jump in for the first time.”

Below is a sampling of the news that Nintendo announced today. To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://nintendo.com/nintendo-direct.

    -Fire Emblem Heroes comes to smart devices: Nintendo launches its next adventure when Fire Emblem Heroes arrives soon on mobile. For detailed information about release timings by platform, please check https://fire-emblem-heroes.com. Fire Emblem Heroes is an original strategy RPG about two warring kingdoms in a bitter clash. As a summoner, players build their army by calling upon popular Fire Emblem heroes from worlds that span the breadth of the series. 

Players will wage tactical battles streamlined for on-the-go play and level up a mix of new combatants and legendary heroes. Some familiar hero characters will become allies, while others will become enemy generals. Players can enjoy the full majesty of tactical role playing on bite-sized maps designed to fit nicely on a smartphone screen, even when playing in short bursts. Players lead their armies with easy touch-and-drag controls, including the ability to attack by simply swiping an ally hero over an enemy. If they manage to defeat every enemy on a given map, victory will be theirs. 

The heroes are depicted in new art hand-drawn by a variety of illustrators, and their voices have been newly recorded. Beyond the main story mode, players can engage in other modes to strengthen their army or to compete against others. Free and timely updates will add new characters and content for additional hours of gameplay as well. Fire Emblem Heroes will be available as a free download with optional in-app purchases available. Visit the Fire Emblem Heroes website for details about pre-registration.

        -To prepare for the launch of Fire Emblem Heroes, today Nintendo kicks off the Fire Emblem Heroes: Choose Your Legends event. Fans can visit https://events.fire-emblem-heroes.com/ vote to browse through characters from the Fire Emblem franchise and select the ones they’d like to see make an appearance in Fire Emblem Heroes. The global community’s top-ranked hero and heroine will then be featured in Fire Emblem Heroes as Choose Your Legends event characters. Nintendo Account holders will receive a Platinum point bonus for voting.

    -Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia: In 1992, the second game in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Gaiden, launched exclusively in Japan. Now, for the first time, fans outside of Japan will get a taste of this classic game on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is inspired by the 1992 original, reimagined on a grander scale. Every aspect of the Fire Emblem Gaiden game’s presentation has been updated, along with the game being fully voiced. 

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia recreates classic Fire Emblem gameplay with a modern twist, mixing in exploration of dungeons crawling with enemies. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will launch on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems May 19. Characters from the game, Alm and Celica, will be available as amiibo figures in a two-pack, also on May 19.

    -Fire Emblem meets KOEI TECMO GAMES’ Warriors series: Fire Emblem Warriors is coming to both the Nintendo Switch and New Nintendo 3DS systems, which includes New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. It’s being developed by the team that created Hyrule Warriors, and is scheduled to launch this fall.

    -Fire Emblem is coming to Nintendo Switch: For the first time since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn on the Wii console in 2007, a new mainline game in the series is being developed for a Nintendo home system, with the ability to also be played on the go! The new game is scheduled to launch in 2018. Nintendo Switch goes on sale March 3 at a suggested retail price of $299.99, and lets players take their home games with them wherever they go (games sold separately).

Train2Game News Injustice 2 Story Trailer

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment revealed the Official Injustice™ 2 Story Trailer – “The Lines are Redrawn.” 
Witness the story set in motion in Injustice™: Gods Among Us as new DC characters join the fight and shape the actions that unfold in the upcoming sequel. Injustice™ 2  will release for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One in the UK on the 19th of May 2017.

To watch the official Injustice™ 2 Story Trailer, please visit the WB Games UK YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/9hklKfEEsxc.

Injustice™ 2  is NetherRealm Studios’ super-powered sequel to the hit game Injustice™: Gods Among Us that allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favourite DC characters. 

Featuring a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Injustice™ 2  continues the epic cinematic story introduced in Injustice™: Gods Among Us as Batman and his allies work towards putting the pieces of society back together while struggling against those who want to restore Superman’s™ regime.  In the midst of the chaos, a new threat appears that will put Earth’s existence at risk. 

For more information and to pre-order the game, visit www.injustice.com, and join the Injustice™ 2 conversation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/injusticegame) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/injusticegame).

Train2Game News GameBlast17 

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect have set the countdown clock running for GameBlast17, the UK’s biggest charity gaming weekend.
The event, held over the weekend of 24-26 February, aims to raise £100,000 to support the work of the charity in helping people with disabilities to access and benefit from video games.

Over 100 individuals and teams of gamers from around the world have already signed up to fundraise through their own gaming marathons and gaming events during the three days.

Many major names in the video games industry are backing the event, including GAME, Multiplay, Twitch, FACEIT, Insert Coin and ukie, alongside a host of eSports teams, streamers and studios.

GAME are planning a 24-hour livestream event from their headquarters and will also be running a number of fundraising initiatives via their UK stores. Other planned activities include charity streams from Ripstone Games, Wired Productions and even a 72 hour Zeldathon.

“We can’t wait for GameBlast17” said Tom Donegan, the charity’s Events Coordinator.

“It’s incredible to see how the event has grown over the past four years. The funds raised will enable us to help more like John (http://bit.ly/2gDZxF4), who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his condition stopped him using a standard controller.”

“GameBlast17 is an opportunity to bring people together to do what they love and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time.”

“This is the ideal time to sign-up and start planning your event, and we’re inviting everyone from the global gaming community and industry to join us.”

More details about GameBlast17 can be found at https://www.gameblast17.com or on Twitter @gameblast2017

Train2Game News British eSports Association Board and Website

T​he British Esports Association (British Esports) – the UK’s esports national body – established to support, promote and instil good governance for amateur esports players and teams – confirms its Advisory Board and launches its full website.
Led by British Esports Chair, Andy Payne OBE, the board for 2017 includes:
    Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner, Veteran Esports Host, Caster and Presenter
    Richard Lewis, Esports Journalist of the Year
    Michael “ODEE” O’Dell, President Team Dignitas
    Craig “Wizzo” Fletcher, Founder Multiplay
    Chris Mead, Twitch’s UK Director of Partnerships
    Ryan Hart, World Champion Esports Player
    Ceirnan “ Excoundrel ” Lowe, Colour Caster
   Josh Williams, Founder, National University Esports League  
    Carleigh Morgan, Academic
    Andrew Nixon, Partner at Sheridans

The board, which possess a wealth of experience across all aspects of esports and are some of the leading figures within the industry, will discuss developments and areas of focus for the British Esports Association, and offer their guidance and advice to constantly develop esports in the UK. The first board meeting will take place in January 2017 and each member will sit on the board for a minimum of 12 months.

“I am really proud and honoured to be taking this role on for British Esports at such an exciting time for the industry. We have assembled a really talented group of esports professionals to interact with the community and guide our activities. There is much to do, but given the talent assembled, we will be able to make a significant difference over the coming 12 months, bring it on.” commented Andy Payne.

The brand new website www.britishesports.org will be an information hub, providing expert advice and support from grassroots levels and up, across the esports spectrum. There will be articles educating about jobs in the industry, to wellbeing, guidance for parents, to finding out the latest esports events, who are the event organisers, key figures in the industry and how to get involved in competition both locally and nationally here in the UK plus much more. British Esports wants to help existing gamers and nurture future British talent in becoming global champions.