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World of Warcraft and Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard is buying King Digital Entertainment, the creator of Candy Crush Saga for $5.9 billion.

Activision Blizzard said the acquisition would make it a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms.

It added the combined company would have more than half a billion monthly active users in 196 countries.

The Call of Duty series is one of the world’s best selling console games, while Candy Crush Saga is among the most popular games on mobile devices.

Video game publishers are switching from the physical sale of games to digital growth as consumers move from consoles to playing on smartphones and tablets.

In a statement, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said: “With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before.”

Bobby Kotick told the Reuters news agency that the company wanted to broaden its reach and appeal to a larger demographic.Activision Blizzard Buys Candy Crush Maker

He said that 60% of King Digital Entertainment’s players were female, and that no games console or hardware, besides a smartphone, was needed to access its games.

King Digital Entertainment has focused on a business model that allows users to play a game for free, but pay extra for additional features.

The international success of Candy Crush Saga has given it exposure to high growth markets in Asia, such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Activision’s games are played on more expensive video game consoles or computers, with games costing between $30-$60.

King Digital Entertainment, which has its main offices in London and Stockholm, will continue to operate as an independent unit led by chief executive Riccardo Zacconi.

Riccardo Zacconi said: “Since 2003, we have built one of the largest player networks on mobile and Facebook, with 474 million monthly active users in the third quarter 2015.

“We believe that the acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution.”

Activision Blizzard is offering $18 in cash for each King share, and the deal is expected to boost Activision’s earnings by about 30%.

King Digital Entertainment floated on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2014 with the original share price being offered at $22.50.

It closed in New York at $15.54.

Candy Crush Saga, which was first launched on Facebook and smartphones in 2012, caught the public imagination and still makes up about a third of the company’s revenue.

Even though the company has produced more than 200 games, including the popular Bubble Witch and Farm Heroes, it has yet to repeat the success it found with Candy Crush Saga.

King Digital Entertainment helped boost its number of daily active users with the launch of Candy Crush Soda Saga in late 2014, but there has been a decline in player spending on their number one game.

The deal is expected to be completed by Q2 of 2016, assuming approval from shareholders and regulators.

The Latest Advancements in Reality Gaming

The Latest Advancements in Reality Gaming

The Latest Advancements in Reality Gaming

If you have had the opportunity to stay up to speed with the world of technology, you have probably come to realize by now that realism and the most immersive experience combined together have been significant keys in determining the future of cloud gaming.

Though the same could be said about nearly any type of video game out there, these two specific factors are considered to be the most important, as both realism and immersion allow for much more quicker response times compared to other stimuli. And if you consider yourself to be a gamer, whether amateur or pro, we all know how recent bandwidth and latency issues can turn our gaming experience into something far less enjoyable than it was designed to be. With that being said, these are just some of the reasons why most of the world is experimenting with virtual reality gaming more than ever.

Also known as immersive multimedia in some technology circles, virtual reality has grown to be much more than a stranger at events like E3, but the latest advancements in this hardware and software still continue to turn heads. While the virtual technology we have available is still quite limited in several aspects, it is only the beginning.

The Oculus Rift headset is tested by attendees at the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court in London.

The Oculus Rift headset is tested by attendees at the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court in London.

Sony, Oculus, and Facebook — Oh My!

It was only two years ago when Facebook purchased Sony and Oculus VR, which is probably the most popular virtual reality gaming start-up to date. But while the social media giant has yet to carve any solid plans into stone as to what they plan to do with this buy of the century, several other companies are stepping up to the plate with their own virtual reality demonstrations. And as for the rest of the developers, such as Virtuix Omni, add-on virtual reality gaming equipment is creating just as much buzz.

During E3 in 2014, Virtuix Omni revealed their 360-degree treadmill, designed to be used in conjunction with the Oculus Rift headset. They even developed special shoes that users would need to wear with the low-friction surface in order to allow players to slide across the platform.

Though Oculus Rift has been receiving most of the attention since virtual gaming was introduced to the public, it’s not the only piece of hardware that’s been turning heads. Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have also hinted that they will be taking the route of virtual gaming as well in the near future.

Project Morpheus Headset

Project Morpheus Headset

“There is No Spoon” — Project Morpheus

Initially revealed at the 2014 GDC (Game Developers Conference), industry-leader Sony has also decided to join in on the virtual gaming phenomenon with Project Morpheus. Intended to be used in conjunction with the variety of games they already have to offer to consumers, Project Morpheus’ newest evolution has a wide range of features that land right up there with the Oculus Rift. And, if we’re lucky, we may even be able to own one ourselves by 2016.

Complete with a field view that stretches to 100 degrees, Project Morpheus offers a comfortable 5.7-inch OLED screen and is able to support an outstanding 120 FPS (frames per second). In addition, one of its newest features also enables 3D audio and “social screen,” allowing users to project what they see inside the Morpheus system onto a larger television screen, which enables other players to join in.

Samsung Unpacked - Gear VR

Samsung Unpacked – Gear VR

Smartphones Get Smarter — Gear VR

Powered by the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s Gear VR is yet another device that has been brought to us by Oculus, the company at the forefront of the virtual reality industry. Known for their brilliant mobile phone models and their display abilities, the Gear VR was designed to give users the most cinematic experience possible in terms of both games and videos.

Using the Note 4, users can easily create an immersive effect by connecting the mobile phone into the VR device in conjunction with the 3D dual lenses. In addition to its simple touch pad and controls, Samsung is planning to give early adopters of this device access to a collection of 360-degree videos and movie trailers from a variety of studios, all pre-loaded.

Gameface Mark IV

Gameface Mark IV

Put Your Game Face On — GameFace

The GameFace prototype by GameFace Labs has certainly come a long way since its first introduction. Now in its fifth iteration, the GameFace virtual reality headset still doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as something like the Oculus and all of its add-ons. Instead, the GameFace offers a more inclusive solution to the casual gamer. Running on a custom Android-based virtual reality operating system, this is truly an all-in-one unit that continues to advance. Now with a 2.5k display, which is the highest in virtual reality, the GameFace headset is one that offers desktop-class graphics and much less latency than its previous models.

The Future of Reality Gaming

Each year we witness more diverse and advanced technology than the year before. And in the case of virtual reality gaming, we can only expect it to continue to grow upwards. From being able to take tours around countries you’ve never visited before to making exercise more interesting, it’s clear to see that this kind of technology has not even begun to reach its full potential. Just imagine all of the current games we play on wired gaming consoles and computers, and how they can improve by moving to a virtual reality system like the Oculus Rift or Morpheus.

Ten years ago, not many people would have ever thought that this kind of technology would ever exist, but then again, no one ever expected mobile phones to do what they are able to do now. Regardless of which genre of games you enjoy playing, whether it’s poker, puzzles, adventure, etc., don’t be too shocked if it becomes enhanced by the inclusion of virtual-reality hardware in the near future. What do you see yourself using this kind of technology for in the future? Games? Social media? With the technology we have available today, there’s no reason to leave any stone unturned.

Internet Archive is putting online a collection of classic video games from the 1970s and 1980s.

The video games can be played within a web browser just for free.

The collection has launched with games from five early home consoles, including the Atari 2600 and Colecovision.

The games do not have sound, but will soon, the Internet Archive said.

“In coming months, the playable software collection will expand greatly,” archivist Jason Scott wrote.

“Making these vintage games available to the world, instantly, allows for commentary, education, enjoyment and memory for the history they are a part of.”

The other machines included are the Atari 7800, the Magnavox Odyssey (known as the Philips Videopac G7000 in Europe) and the Astrocade.

Internet Archive is putting online a collection of classic video games from the 1970s and 1980s

Internet Archive is putting online a collection of classic video games from the 1970s and 1980s

Well-recognized titles such as Pacman, Space Invaders and Frogger are all in the archive – with more consoles and games expected soon.

Unlike today’s titles, which are stored on disks or even simply downloaded directly to a console, many older machines would use bespoke cartridges to store games.

As the consoles fell into disrepair and became ever scarcer, playing these games has become difficult.

For many years, communities of gamers have created ROMs – read-only memory – images of games. These files can be played on a normal PC by using an emulator.

However, in many cases, gaming in this way can be illegal – particularly when the games involved are made by the likes of Nintendo and Sega, which clamp down on such activity, deeming it a form of counterfeiting.

Older games such as the ones found on the Internet Archive fall into something of a legal grey area.

Publishers and developers often turn a blind eye as, with the games no longer available to buy, the ROMs mean the titles are still able to be played by many.

Yet with smartphone gaming on the rise, publishers are now in a position where these old titles can be revived, cashing in on the timeless quality of the games, as well as fans’ nostalgic urges.

Just over a month after the release of Diablo III, Kripparrian, a pro player, has managed to complete the game on its hardest setting.

Toronto-based Kripparrian posted a video on YouTube showing the hard fight against Diablo – the ultimate boss in the game.

To make the task harder, Kripparrian used the game’s “hard core” setting which left little room for error.

The achievement has been confirmed by the game’s developer, Blizzard.

The hugely popular Diablo III game casts players in the role of a hero who has to save the mythical world of Sanctuary from a demonic invasion.

Kripparrian made this job as hard as possible by playing the game’s Inferno mode which makes in-game enemies much tougher.

In addition, he used a “hard core” character. This meant that, if the character died once, the game would be over. He also got in-game help from another player called Krippi.

Just over a month after the release of Diablo III, Kripparrian, a pro player, has managed to complete the game on its hardest setting

Just over a month after the release of Diablo III, Kripparrian, a pro player, has managed to complete the game on its hardest setting

The final fight against Diablo, the ultimate boss in the game, took about 25 minutes and Kripparrian was jubilant once it was done.

The achievement was completed prior to the application of the latest patch for the game which makes monsters easier to kill.

“With this patch, the bosses, the mobs, they become easier,” he said in the video of the kill.

“We didn’t want to beat it that way. We wanted to beat the game when it was hard, at the hardest point possible. So it was a race against time.”

One of Blizzard’s community managers confirmed the achievement soon after and offered congratulations via Twitter.

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