November 19, 2020

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched earlier this month and is expected to be one of the blockbuster products of the holiday season. This video looks at the evolution of the console throughout the years and how it became a central focus of Sony’s business.

Questions:

  1. How did the PlayStation help Sony transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer into a gaming company?
  2. Why did Sony decide to focus closely on the gamer market for future generations of the PlayStation, and how did they accomplish this task?
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August 11, 2020

For many Americans who have been working from home for six months, each day can seem like the same procession of Zoom meetings and email exchanges. As a result, some professionals have had trouble scheduling meetings with new clients who don’t want to add another video chat to their already packed calendars. For example, a Brooklyn-based ad executive named Lewis Smithingham tried for weeks to set up a meeting with an investment analyst only to receive a string of postponements Continue reading

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July 23, 2020

Since thousands of concert venues around the world remain closed due to coronavirus, many artists have taken to social media to stream live performances. These innovative concerts draw in huge online audiences but are no replacement for the revenue generated by live shows. This video looks at how the music industry is hoping to earn cash from unorthodox venues, such as drive-in concerts and video game tie-ins. 

Questions:

  1. Do you think virtual events in video games like Fortnite could Continue reading
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April 24, 2020

For nearly two months, millions of Americans have been shut inside their homes in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Many people have turned to video games as a way to pass the time, and one of the most popular titles of the last few weeks has been Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Players of the Nintendo Switch title move into their own island where they work and hunt for treasure all in an effort to buy things Continue reading

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November 21, 2019

Analysts estimate that last year consumers spent more than $50 billion on virtual items in video games like Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft. This lengthy but highly informative video explains why the market for virtual items has grown bigger than global box office returns for the movie industry. 

Questions:

  1. How are in-game economies similar to real-world economic systems?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online marketplaces that sell virtual goods?
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August 20, 2019

In 2018 users on the video streaming platform Twitch watched more than 505 billion minutes of live streams, up from 355 billion minutes the previous year. At some point many of those viewers likely tuned into Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a streamer of the video game Fortnite who once boasted more than 14 million followers on Twitch. Along with earning ad revenue and subscription money from streaming, Ninja also made millions from lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Uber Eats and Continue reading

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February 26, 2019

Since launching in late 2017 Fortnite has earned more than $2.4 billion, a staggering amount of revenue for a video game that is free for anyone to play. The battle royale title makes its money from virtual items like special outfits or victory dances that players can purchase from an in-game store. Given the breakout success of this business model, companies throughout the more than $100 billion video game industry have been scrambling to develop a credible Fortnite competitor.

In Continue reading

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December 7, 2018

The video game industry has grown into a global juggernaut. Last year, consumers around the world spent more than $100 billion on games, more than double the amount spent on movies. As this in-depth video shows, however, some video game companies have started to earn all that money by operating like casinos. From examining the business model of “loot boxes” to the ways that video games track customer data, this long but fascinating video provides an excellent assessment of an Continue reading

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December 4, 2018

A couple of years ago, a pair of video game developers received a deeply worrying email from the British Red Cross. “It has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles,” read the email. “Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.” Little did the two developers know, but their placement of a Continue reading

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Since the release of Fortnite Battle Royale last summer, the video game has grown from a modest success into a global phenomenon with more than 40 million active players. At one point in March, 3.4 million people were playing Fortnite at the same time, making it by far the most popular video game currently on the market. The concept behind it is simple enough: 100 players parachute onto an island to fight until there’s only one person or team left Continue reading

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