Leader in Social Gaming Facing Layoffs

The world of social gaming has provided users with a way to virtually experience various innovative gaming platforms with engaging social aspects integrated into the game itself. Game Show Network (GSN) Games have been one of the most highly-recognized developers of these social games in both the online and mobile gaming industries. Unfortunately, things have not been looking very promising for GSN Games in the social gaming world as of late due to a large amount of recent lay-offs their staff have been facing.

On January 25th, the company released a statement in regards to the potential layoffs and how it will impact their company as a whole. They mentioned their need to proceed with letting some staff members go in order to spend resources more wisely and efficiently. The statement implied that it will be an essential piece in ensuring that 2017 is still a productive year for them in regards to future plans. While no company is thrilled in having to let go of beloved team members, it seems as if it was a necessary move for GSN Games in order for them to proceed to be a successful name in the world of social gaming.

The number of GSN professionals said to have been laid off rests anywhere between 15-20. GSN’s CEO David Goldhill made sure to illustrate what talented members these individuals were, and how hard it is to let them go. Goldhill stated that the layoffs will only happen in select GSN offices across the nation, but they haven’t specifically addressed which offices in which they occurred. He did, however, address that the staff members that would be let go are a part of the quality assurance team, as well as the creative department. It is of course unfortunate that GSN has to face these difficult choices in letting go such diversely talented individuals on their team, but it so far unclear on how this will impact their stance in the social gaming industry. If what Goldhill predicts is true, it will end up saving resources, allowing them to become more prominent than ever in the social gaming world.


Social Gaming May Soon Catch Up to Console Gaming

With the planned release of the Nintendo Switch gaming console, tech analysts believe that social gaming could get a major boost in 2017. In fact, some analysts believe that social gaming could soon start taking market share away from console and PC titles.

The Nintendo Switch is an intriguing move by the respected Japanese electronics giant. The hardware specs and the portability of the console do not suggest that Nintendo plans to compete directly against Sony PlayStation 4 or the upcoming Microsoft Project Scorpio, which are heavy on hardware specs and processing power.

The Switch comes across as a special tablet that has been configured to play games, but not necessarily AAA titles such as Halo, Mafia 3 or Watchdogs. The few titles that have been announced for the Nintendo Switch are multiplayer games, but they are nothing like Call of Duty; these are co-op titles that call for players to be social in the sense that they are better off sitting next to each other with controller in hand.

In essence, the Nintendo Switch is a throwback to the era when young players used to gather in each other’s living rooms to enjoy highly competitive games. Interestingly, interviews with Nintendo spokespersons indicate that social gaming features such as networking, leaderboards and badges will become standard. There may even be a new social network for Switch players who wish to link their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Nintendo is betting on the power of social gaming for the success of its new, unique console. Whether the company can pull it off remains to be seen.


Equities First Holdings, Your Best Business Partner!

Equities First Holdings is a global leader in the alternative lending solutions. For the company, they work by issuing fast working capital using stocks as collateral. For this reason, you will get better business development in a manner that is not paralleled in the industry. For you to become a high-end business entity in this arena, you must first have stocks as collateral. Stock-based loans are characterized by the non-purpose feature that lets you walk away from the use of the credit without being obligated to the lender. For this reason, the lender will have all the rights to liquidate the loan and secure his money back.

Equities First Holdings has a specialty in the issuance of stock0based loans during the harsh economic climate. During this time, the market fluctuation is always inevitable. However, the use of stock-based loans always provides a hedge between the loan and the intended use of the loan. For you to become a better business entity, you must first become a working capability. During the harsh economic crisis, banks and credit companies have their loan qualification criteria tightened to have few people qualify for the credit-based loans. Moreover, the loans are also associated with the issuance of fast working capital in a manner that is not paralleled in the industry.

For those who need the quick working capital issued by Equities First Holdings, it is now in their best interest to use stocks as collateral.Al Christy of Equities First Holdings says that the company has been adopted as one of the most trusted in the issuance of fast working capital. Because they always honor their contract, their services have been adopted on a massive scale. For this reason, better business is entitled to prevail in a manner that is not paralleled in the industry. Equities First Holdings is a better company.


New Social Gaming App for Tesla Drivers

Tesla, the American automaker that marries sustainable energy with high technology for the benefit of passionate drivers, has created a veritable ecosystem for enthusiasts who wish to improve their driving experience through modifications and mobile apps. To this effect, two electric vehicle owners have developed what seems to the first social gaming application for Tesla drivers.

According to Teslarati, a website dedicated to news, information and rumors about all things Tesla, Ben Schippers and Will Schenk are software developers and Tesla owners who have envisioned a way to marry Big Data collection with driving patterns and vehicle performance for the purpose of creating a fun social gaming app.

On the surface, the Teslab app simply collects telematics data as Tesla owners drive down the road in their beloved electric vehicles. The data gathering is made possible by the open source nature of Tesla’s API, and it is organized in a manner that is fun to parse and analyze; furthermore, the app adds a bit of gamification by means of leaderboards, awards and badges. For example, a driver who enjoys zipping down open highways in Ludicrous mode will probably get speed awards but nothing in the way of energy efficiency. The app connects to a cloud server that parses driving data, keeps a count of points earned, and publishes a leaderboard.

As can be expected, the most attractive Teslab award is the Most Efficient badge, which can be earned by crafty drivers who can log the longest driving distances on a single charge. Teslab is in beta status as of late January.


Social Gaming Moves Beyond Advertising and Promotional Purposes

There is no question that social gaming emerged from casual games, which in turn have roots in advergaming; however, this does not mean that social gaming only serves to advance viral marketing purposes.

A new community update posted in Gamasutra, a website dedicated to the professional and analytical aspects of video games, explains that social gaming is more than just marketing disguised as entertainment despite its advergaming origins.

Advertising has always been a part of the video gaming experience. In-game advertising dates back to the mid-60s, when pinball machines displayed images of the Ford Mustang, one of the most iconic American muscle cars. By 1982, McDonald’s was already teaming up with Atari to develop cartridge titles to promote its fast food menu.

Advergaming came of age thanks to advanced browsers and Adobe Flash technology in the 21st century. Once Facebook found its rhythm in the mid-2000s, brands realized that their advergames could be more powerful if they included social media features. Zynga games such as Mafia Wars and Farmville proved the power of casual gaming when combined with social media.

The impact of including social media features to casual games gave birth to social gaming, which can be pretty effective in terms of viral marketing but does not have to limit itself to this objective. If anything, social gaming is about building online communities; in fact, King Games is banking on the success of Candy Crush to build a new social network.

In the end, social gaming is evolving past the point of being a marketing strategy and becoming a means to build online communities.


End Citizens United Makes A Wave In Campaign Finance Reform

The landscape of American elections was forever changed with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United v. F.E.C. trial on msnbc.com. It created legality to the idea that corporations can be thought of as people and allowed billionaires to openly spend an untraceable, unlimited amount of money on special interests on alternet.org. Because of this Supreme Court ruling, there is no more transparency and billionaires are allowed to tip the political scales in whichever way suits them.

Thus, End Citizens United was created. In 2015, this political action committee was created solely by grassroots donors from all over the country. End Citizens United is dedicated to reforming the country’s campaign finance system and reversing the horrible side effects of Citizens United. They are determined to show voters, candidates, and elected officials that the grassroots in this country are fighting back against the billionaires who think they can buy control of our political system.

End Citizens United plans to combat big money within the political sector and destroy the rigged aspects of our political system by passing state ballot measures and placing campaign finance reform champions in office. While they don’t discriminate against Republicans, this organization on LinkedIn focuses mainly on Democrats who are more likely to be in favor of reform of the political system. Most of the leaders of the grassroots fight are Democrats, willing to fight the rule that the Republicans currently have in Congress.

Just one month after End Citizens United finally launched, they raised more than $2 million from small donors, estimating that they would earn a total of $30 million for the entire cycle. These donations would act as a catalyst in the group’s main objective of passing a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision made by the Supreme Court in 2010. Within that month after the launch, End Citizens United received over 325,000 signatures on their petition to demand that Congress pass the legislation.

To reach out to potential supporters, End Citizens United joined with “Ready for Hillary” prior to the 2016 election. This partnership allowed them access to an email list of more than 4 million people, strengthening their cause. Soon after their launch, the group announced that it would endorse 11 Democratic candidates like Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennet and Wisconsin’s Senator Russ Feingold.

With many other groups that have focused on campaign finance reform, many thought End Citizens United would go unnoticed. But this group in particular addresses a hole in the conversation that addresses the political side of the issue by getting people elected to fight their fight, setting them apart from the rest. End Citizens United backs candidates who will stand up for reform and those who are under attack by the billionaires who think they will buy their way into political power.


Social Gaming Apps Boost Casino and Film Industry Profits

Chairman Films and the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in California are among the latest companies that have chosen to invest in social gaming platforms to increase their bottom line. These two firms are betting on the power of social gaming to promote their business ventures and increase engagement among their customers and social media followers.

In the case of Chairman Films, the company has entered into an agreement with World Poker Fund Holdings, an established social gaming platform developer, to produce a new television series. The idea is to create a new brand named “Four Kings,” which will also be the name of the series. In producing Four Kings, Chairman Films hopes to showcase the social gaming apps developed by World Poker Fund Holdings while adding an interactive aspect to the series.

As a television show, Four Kings will look into the lives of a group of friends living in Las Vegas. The four friends have chosen to make gambling and hedonism their lives; they may win some and lose some, but their friendship never weakens.

In the case of Pala Casino, the San Diego resort property is adding more social gaming titles to its existing platform. Through MyPalaCasino.com, guests of the resort have been able to play classic casino table games since November. The new additions include horse and dog racing as well as a velodrome simulation.

The social gaming strategy being utilized by Pala Casino intends to give guests the opportunity to earn points that they can redeem for perks when they stay at the resort.


Social VR Gaming Could Soon Become A Real Thing With Subdream Studios

Game developer Subdream Studios has turned its focus toward developing virtual reality multiplayer games designed for use with popular head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Entrepreneur Jikhan Jung and his team has already released three free-to-play multiplayer VR games last year under a previous company. Downloads for those games have already exceeded 100,000 across VR devices.

Now his team has spun off into their own venture and are raising funds with a plan to release their first title in Spring this year. According to Jung, the game has a social lobby for people to hang out and play several multiplayer games together. It almost sounds like Facebook in virtual reality.

Subdream has stated their focus is on multiplayer games that seek to replicate experiences people have in the real world. Think meeting up with your friends for a game of soccer but having a chat in the park first. That seems to be what they’re going for. They’ve already announced that among the games within the game will be shooting, rhythm, and racing games. Jung mentioned that the games will be designed for quick gaming sessions and will be playable in about 10 minutes. They will also feature some kind of leaderboard.

The company has announced plans to develop for both VR arcades and the home user. Jung also wants to be a part of VR eSports, if that ever becomes a thing. Jung believes it definitely could be on the horizon sooner than we think.


Nintendo Switch Seeks to Breathe New Life Into Social Gaming

Information about the Nintendo Switch is finally available, and now we all know how the new dual-function console will perform, for better or worse. Regardless of personal opinion on the console though, it’s pretty clear Nintendo is going for a social gaming revolution.

The portable nature of the console itself shows this. It becomes super easy to pop your console out of its dock, take it to your friend’s house, and fire up some games. Two players can even play on one console, so your friend doesn’t even necessarily have to have a Switch themselves to get in on the action.

This is huge, as before social gaming with friends was a massive pain, requiring the lugging of your console and all peripherals. Now you just bring a little tablet-sized device.

Nintendo also has an advantage just in their intellectual property. Nintendo’s characters are those we all grew up with, and the want to play those kinds of games with friends again is an overpowering positive for the company.

That’s not to say the Switch will be perfect on day one. Launch titles are very few and far between. Accessories are way overpriced. Sure, those are concerned. But if there’s one indisputable fact, it’s that Nintendo is king of handhelds. And this console is essentially a handheld. And a console. It’s the best of both worlds, and hopefully that’ll help provide a well-needed boost to social gaming.


Fantastic Four in the MCU

Fantastic Four is one of the Marvel Comics’ oldest and most beloved properties, and many fans wish that it be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In an interview with Screenrant, Scott Derrickson, director of the MCU’s most recent film, Doctor Strange, agreed.

“I still have hope that Fantastic Four can be properly brought into the MCU because a lot of Doctor Strange—that’s the comment I read the most during that,” Derrickson said. “I love those characters and I think that they still deserve another shot at finding a true home in the MCU. I still have hope for that.”

There is a problem: the movie rights to Marvel’s “First Family” are actually owned by Sony, not Marvel Studios.

It gets even more complicated: Sony will lose the rights unless they make a Fantastic Four movie every few years. They made one in 2005, with a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, in 2007. While most fans find them middling, Sony’s most recent attempt, in 2015, was a complete bomb, leading many to question if they will even try to make another.

Sony also used to own Daredevil, but sold the rights back to Marvel. They still retain the rights to Spider-Man, but Marvel is essentially “renting” it back, allowing an MCU flick with the webspinner this year. So maybe there’s a chance that the Fantastic Four will join them after all.