The biggest names in technology have normally been unflinching champions for the rights of same-sex couples. Yet, they were conspicuously silent this week as the Senate rejected the right for American same-sex couples to petition for visas for their foreign-born partners.
“I take the Republican sponsors of this important legislation at their word that they will abandon their own efforts if discrimination is removed from our immigration system,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy after pulling a provision for foreign-born gay partners after Republicans threatened to abandon support for the fragile comprehensive immigration reform bill.
High-skilled immigration reform has been priority No. 1 for leaders in the technology industry who have aggressively lobbied for more immigrant scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. Despite near unanimous support for more high-skilled immigrants, disagreements over border security, undocumented workers, and (now) gay rights have threatened reform for any part of the immigration system.
“I’m a politician. That means I have chosen my life’s work in the constraints of the system to accomplish as much good as I can. I accept the tough choices, the painful but necessary imperfection of compromise, which is a part of our system of government,” admitted Senator Chuck Schumer, who voted for the compromised draft in the influential Judiciary Committee, which is charged with crafting the law.
But, the battle for immigration reform is far from over and the technology community still has time to prove it’s morally strong enough not to sacrifice the rights of one group for another.
In the past, they’ve been big supporters of same-sex rights. Apple, Facebook, and a laundry list of other companies sent an unequivocal affidavit to the Supreme Court on why gay rights are essential to competing in a global economy, where many of our national competitors are more supportive of their gay employees.
Google, almost every year, unleashes a full-fledged social media campaign to stoke grassroots support of state amendments legalizing same-sex marriage (watch one adorable video below).
Indeed, the temptation to compromise on civil rights progress is not new to the United States. In the 19th century, abolitionist and feminist leaders erupted in vicious internal struggles over whether black abolitionists should also support female equality at the risk of their own causes. Eventually, black rights hero Frederick Douglass was persuaded by icononic feminist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, that we should not choose between the rights of groups for political expediency.
“I have never yet been able to find one consideration, one argument, or suggestion in favor of man’s right to participate in civil government which did not equally apply to the right of woman,” Douglass said, after years of debate.
The 21st century civil rights struggles face the same dilemma. If supporters claim to the be on the “right side of history”, then we should recognize that well-intentioned piecemeal civil rights for political expediency has historically been the most biting form of bigotry.
The tech community I know and love is not a culture of moral compromisers. This is your moment. Speak up.
With Hong Kong boasting pretty much the fastest average internet speed on this planet, it's no surprise that the city is also one of the first to launch commercial 150Mbps LTE Cat 4 service -- just right after SingTel's launch in Singapore earlier this month. Announced yesterday by CSL (who operates both one2free and the more premium 1010), its FD-LTE network takes advantage of the recently acquired 5MHz extended spectrum, in order to increase the capacity of 2600MHz from 2 x 15MHz to 2 x 20MHz. This upgrade is what enables Cat 4 download speed of up to 150Mbps on this band as of yesterday.
The company's 1800MHz spectrum will also get an upgrade from 2 x 10MHz to 2 x 15MHz in June, followed by another jump to 2 x 20MHz towards the end of the year. You'll find a live demo video (courtesy of RingHK) showing the performance difference between Cat 3 and Cat 4 after the break, with CTO Christian Daigneault claiming he's seen a speed increase of up to twice as fast in the lab.
Filed under: Wireless
Being behind in a market sucks, and it’s understandable to want to lash out at the top dog, as Microsoft has shown it’s willing to do with Google in search and email, and now with Apple in tablet computers. A brand new Surface ad pits the iPad against Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet, in an attempt to show how much more versatile the Surface is vs. the iOS device.
Microsoft uses Siri’s voice (which isn’t difficult, given that it’s a fairly generic computer-generated female tone) to highlight what the Surface can do that the iPad can’t, including things like live tiles (it took me a couple views to figure out what “I don’t update like that” even meant), Windows Snap multitasking, and… PowerPoint. Then finally we get a price comparison, showing the much cheaper price tag for the Surface RT.
The problem is that not only is the Siri construct weak and her actual lines poorly written, but the abilities Microsoft chooses to highlight show exactly why it doesn’t “get” the tablet market. People aren’t looking for multitasking PowerPoint slide deck-creating machines; they have computers for that.
The closing bit here is maybe the worst part; showing that Apple’s iPad can easily provide a remarkably realistic experience for playing Chopsticks on the screen is not the way to trash your competition, especially if you noticeably can’t offer up an equivalent experience on your own hardware. Apple uses that in its own ads for a reason, and that’s to highlight the magical, delightful experiences users can have on its device. Countering that with a bunch of sober (though admittedly useful) features isn’t the way to turn the tide back in your favor.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
As we've mentioned before, 5G WiFi, aka 802.11ac is a good thing, unless you hate speed and range. After launching its integrated BMC4335 chip on flagship handsets like Samsung's Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, Broadcom has announced new 5G WiFi combo chips for lower-end smartphones, PCs, notebooks and tablets. Budget handheld devices can now be equipped with the BMC4339, which Broadcom says brings the same performance as its top-end mobile chip while integrating power and low-noise amplifiers for easier manufacturer integration. Meanwhile, the BMC43162 is targeted at desktop and notebook PCs with direct support for the Microsoft's Windows OS. Customers are now sampling both chips, and Broadcom expects volume production in the second half of the year -- another possible reason to put off that notebook purchase a bit longer.
Sometimes, when a truly innovative startup is acquired by a larger company, innovation slows to a crawl. And other times, when an acquisition happens, a company gets the backup and investment it needs to keep on innovating. It seems like that latter case is true for Mailbox, which, two months after being acquired by Dropbox, is now ready to release its iPad app to the world.
Mailbox has been working on the app since well before the acquisition, testing out various form factors and iterations in an effort to get it just right. In a video interview last week, Mailbox founder Gentry Underwood showed us the app, explaining how the company reformatted its features specifically for the larger screen of the iPad. For one thing, the app works only in landscape mode, with a list of messages that have yet to be read on the left-hand side, and a preview pane so that users can read emails in full on the right.
“The iPad is an interesting design challenge,” Underwood told me. “It sits halfway between a mobile device and a laptop. Sometimes we use them like luxuriously large phones and other times we use them almost as laptop replacements.” As a result, that changes what people do with their email client.
“Our goal was to create an experience that was as fast and fluid for processing mail as you might do on a phone — so very quickly being able to go through and triage your messages like you can on Mailbox for iPhone,” he said. “But also, leaving enough real estate for those times when you might have a keyboard up… and you’re actually trying to use your iPad as you might use a laptop to actually get through messages in a more intentional way.”
The goal for Mailbox was to try to find a marriage between those situations that satisfied both conditions. To do that, Mailbox took advantage of the greater screen real estate to give users a greater view into the mail that they had to get through. It starts with landscape mode, which brings in both the ability to see which messages you have yet to read through, while also being able to view entire emails at once.
“A large number of people use these [devices] as laptop replacements, particularly people on the road a lot who want to take advantage of the lighter weight, the longer battery life, no need to plug it in during the day,” Underwood said. “For those people, we wanted to create an experience that was as good, or better, than they might find on their own laptops.”
To replicate the experience of those so-called road warriors, Underwood even went without a laptop for a while, living only with his mobile phone and tablet, as a way to “build empathy” for the mobile-only email user. While testing it for himself was helpful, Mailbox also relied on the Dropbox testing community to get feedback for the iPad app before release as well.
What the company learned was that just because it had more screen to work with, that didn’t mean it should add unnecessary clutter. Notably, next to the email list and the preview pane, Mailbox doesn’t also give a window into all of the different folders that you can pre-sort items into. Underwood said that the team had tested that out, but found the experience ultimately too busy. So, like the iPhone app, the iPad app hides the list of folders.
“We spent a fair amount of time trying to create an experience that was consistent with what people are used to today,” he said. Even so, the new app takes advantage of the bigger screen to enable longer-form composition, whether that means using the built-in touch-screen keyboard, or some sort of Bluetooth-enabled iPad accessory designed to make composing on the device even easier.
This is the first major release that Mailbox has had since its acquisition by Dropbox. Being part of the larger company means more infrastructure support, and Mailbox has hired a few new faces in engineering since the acquisition. Some of the other advantages include being able to take advantage of Dropbox’s support team, as well as its recruiting, operations, and administrative infrastructure.
While it’s great that Mailbox now has an app for iPhone and iPad, there are still other platforms for it to conquer. What comes next? Android? Desktop?
“We don’t really speak about the specific order of the future [road map], but I will say that people ask us often for an Android app. We hear often requests for a desktop app as well. We’re going as fast as we can to get Mailbox on as many device and get support for as many email providers as we can,” Underwood told me.
Great non-answer, Gentry! For all you non-iPhone or -iPad users, hold your horses while they work to get the app on more devices. In the meantime, check out the video and demo above to get a look at what you can expect from Mailbox for iPad — that is, if you haven’t downloaded it already.
The U.S. Military's dabbled with full-on robotic suits in the past, but it's now looking at a less convoluted, more energy-efficient approach. A project called Warrior Web from DARPA aims to enhance soldier carrying capacity and minimize injuries by distributing loads better, providing better joint support and "reapply(ing) energy to enhance motion." Such a suit would be equipped with sensors to detect forces, and be able to fit beneath existing uniforms while consuming only 100W of juice. The U.S. Army has nearly completed five months of prototype testing using a multi-camera motion capture system (see the video after the break) to develop critical tech. The next step will be to design and fabricate a suit ready for real-world testing, which should happen in the fall -- assuming the program keeps its footing.
Cloudera Founder's Enterprise Data App Management Startup WibiData Raises $15M From Canaan Partners, Eric Schmidt And Others
WibiData, the enterprise data management startup co-founded by Cloudera founder Christophe Bisciglia and Aaron Kimball, has raised $15 million in a Series B funding led by Canaan Partners with participation from existing investors, including NEA and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Canaan Partners partner Ross Fubini has joined the WibiData board. NEA Partner Jon Sakoda will continue to serve on the board as well. This brings the company’s funding to over $20 million.
Simply put, WibiData builds large-scale data applications for companies. WibiData wants to help companies manage and analyze complex business data about users so you can predict how they are going to interact with the product in the future. Data such as email records, web histories and other interactions cannot be easily analyzed together, but WibiData aims to solve this problem. Specifically, the technology can be used for personalization for a number of web companies, including consumer web, e-commerce and gaming companies.
Bisciglia explains to us that the focus of the startup is connecting the models that data scientists build on backend of large online businesses in realtime to front end applications.
The company’s client base counts Wikipedia, Rich Relevance, Opower, and Atlassian. For example, Wikipedia has used WibiData to better understand their contributor community, such as analyzing revision histories, understanding individual areas of expertise, and identifying trends in contribution patterns. Another retail Big Data Application suite allows organizations to personalize content, improve search relevancy, deliver targeted recommendations and integrate anomaly detection directly into application channels across the web, mobile devices and in store.
On the backend, Cloudera leverages Apache Hadoop to manage and analyze large amounts of data. Bisciglia has in-depth experience with the technology as the founder of Cloudera, a developer and commercial distributor of Hadoop, the open source software that powers the data processing engines of the worldʼs largest and most popular web sites. Prior to Cloudera, Bisciglia was a senior engineer at Google where he founded and led Google’s Academic Cloud Computing Initiative, which provides Google hosted computational resources to facilitate education and research to universities around the world.
WibiData applications, says Bisiglia, are based on the open source Kiji.
Canaan Partners’ Fubini explains the firm’s investment in the company: “Christophe and the team have been at the vanguard of the Hadoop movement, providing unparalleled insight into the resources involved deploying Hadoop across Fortune 500 companies…WibiData’s Big Data Applications will be essential in delivering on the promise that Big Data offers enterprises.”
As for what the new funding will be used for, Bisiglia says that Wibidata, which now counts several large enterprises as customers, will be used towards major expansion. The company will be hiring more staff in sales, marketing, product and engineering and will likely triple in size in the coming year.
It comes of no surprise that investors and doubling down on the enterprise data space. And with Bisiglia as a founder, Vcs are betting that he’ll be able to build another successful data and infrastructure company.
Cross-Platform Messaging App Imo.im Raises $13M, Wants You To Meet New People By Broadcasting Yourself
Social networking and messaging firm Imo.im has an interesting new take on social networking, and it’s raised money to get more people on board! The funding was led by co-founder Georges Harik, who also just happened to be one of Google’s first 10 employees, and therefore is swimming in money.
The funding of Imo.im is designed to help it become a sort of next-generation social network. Today’s social networks are too focused on connecting you with people from work and high school and college. To your annoying neighbors and their pets. But the truth is, why would you just want to talk to people you already know?
This is the 21st century. Get with it. The new social network is all about finding new people you haven’t been introduced to and annoying them with your stupid status updates and teenage-and-pregnant baby pictures.
And so Imo.im, which started out as a platform for communicating with people on various messaging services but has evolved to become a social network in and of itself. Until recently, that was based on a “Meet New People” feature, but now users will be able to try to get to know one another with the addition of a thing called “broadcasts.”
With the Broadcasts feed, users will be given a channel to easily discover new people, information, and topics based on their own interests. Since Imo.im will learn about those interests in the least creepy way possible, it’ll be able to suggest people to you without you even having to make an explicit ask about things you have in common. They’ll be able to take and share photos into that feed, which will be broadcast out to other users.
Shazam for iPad gets auto-tagging, trending charts, local maps, Spotify and Rdio integration (updated)
If you've ever sighed in frustration at not being able to leap straight from discovering a song to playing it ad-nauseum on Spotify or Rdio, here's a heads-up. Shazam's iPad-focused iOS update integrates both streaming services with its discovery software in addition to a new look home screen and an auto-tagging mode that'll passively observe any music in the background. The mapping service has also been tweaked, letting you search and see what songs are being tagged in your neighborhood (or anyone else's, for that matter) and if you'd like to see it in action, head on past the break.
Update: Shazam's been in touch to clarify that Rdio is available for all users, but if you want Spotify integration, you'll have to upgrade to the paid version.
Shazam Revamps Its iPad App For Second Screen Action, Can Now “AutoTag” In Background While You Watch TV
Although the majority of Shazam‘s over 93 million U.S. users still use the app on their smartphones to identify, tag and share the songs they’re “hearing,” a growing chunk of that user base – around 10 million in the U.S. last year – has used Shazam to identify TV programs and ads. Today, the company aims to better serve this audience with the release of a new, universal iOS application which introduces a number of new features, including the ability to have the “shazaming” process run automatically in the background.
This feature, called “Auto-Tagging,” is the standout in today’s release. Before, users had to kick off the tagging option by tapping on the screen, then waiting while Shazam listened and then identified the sounds they were hearing, whether that was music, a TV show or a TV ad. While that’s still how things will work on the smartphone version, the updated iPad app now offers a more passive experience, designed for those using the app as a second screen while watching TV.
Notably, the feature will not be switched on by default.
Instead, after downloading the updated version, users will be walked through a brief tutorial that explains what Auto-Tagging is all about, then allowing users to switch it on, if desired. If they do so, the app will run in the background, listening for anything it can identify, and loading those items into a carousel at the top of its homescreen.
From here, users can interact with the content much as before – sharing it on social media, buying the song, show or movie from iTunes or Amazon, or in the case of TV shows, learning more about the cast and episode, viewing a playlist of songs in the broadcast, or heading off to sites like Wikipedia, IMDb, the official website and/or store, and more.
Some TV shows will work continue to work with the company to offer enhanced experiences, like “American Idol” had done in the past, and “The Voice” is doing now. These experiences are generally offered to TV show producers for free, with the stipulation that they have to promote Shazam on air.
However, the Fiat Brand and Fox Broadcasting Company are sponsoring the new app for the first three months after today’s debut, which is a paid relationship.
“Auto-tagging sets us apart from the industry,” explains Shazam’s EVP of Marketing, David Jones of the app’s big new feature. “The whole idea is that Shazam was already lightning fast and couldn’t be easier – it was press one button and, in a couple of seconds, you got the answers. We just one-upped ourselves. We got rid of that step,” he adds.
The company started working with television content as far back as 2010, and slowly began to build up its database with several dozen TV shows. It enabled “Shazaming” of many major events, including the Grammys, Super Bowl, and MLB games. Then, in September 2012, Shazam announced the app could now tag any show on any channel.
Today, the app supports 160 channels of live or DVR’d TV, including all nationwide programming and most nationwide TV ads as well – even the ones which have not been Shazam-optimized by those paying to run ad campaigns. To date, over 150 brands have run over 250 TV ad campaigns, leading to a “double-digit millions” revenue stream run rate, that is “doubling every quarter,” says Jones. “It’s a ‘green field’ situation. We can grow this as fast as we can move,” he says.
Meanwhile, he notes his company’s second screen competitors are struggling to get a couple of million downloads. (To be clear, he means apps used to ID content on TV. SoundHound is a Shazam competitor with over 100 million users, but its focus is on music.)
Though auto-tagging is the biggest of today’s new features, the updated app will also offer a revamped user experience on iPad which includes a way to view songs and TV shows trending around the U.S., as well as popular songs around the world. The social features which previously let users see what their friends are tagging so they could comment on that, are also now available on iPad, as are the full screen “LyricPlay” lyrics for music.
And Shazam has extended its relationship with Rdio, now allowing subscribers to hear a song in its entirety, instead of just a preview. Users can also sign up for trials, and Shazam will earn affiliate income for those who convert to paying customers. Jones declined to go into the details of the two companies’ specific deal, here, though.
With now over 300 million users worldwide, 93 million in the U.S, plus $300 million in music sales last year, and double-digits millions more in TV ad sales, the company is leading the pack of listening companions and second screen apps today. The updated iOS app will help it progress even further, and an Android tablet app is now in the works, as well.
MediaFire says its cloud storage service now has 30 million users, but it seems that only a minority of those have installed the Android or iOS interfaces -- the former has seen less than 500,000 downloads, for example. One extra feature that might boost the utility of these mobile interfaces is the forthcoming addition of media streaming, to help MediaFire compete with likes of Amazon Cloud Player -- and with the added draw of 50GB free lifetime storage (or a time-limited off of $24.99 annually for 100GB). There's no sign of the app update on either platform just yet, but it'll get there when it gets there.
After the aesthetic elegance of Dots, prepare for another injection of minimalist puzzle game beauty. Blip Blup is the new game from London-based design house and app studio ustwo — maker of Whale Trail, a mobile game that snagged an e-book deal, plus a raft of other interesting apps including most recently Rando (random photo-sharing) and Honk (visual messaging).
Blip Blup has just launched on iOS for iPhone and iPad, either free with ads, or $1.99 ad free. It’s also available free with ads on Android (upgradable to ad-free via in-app purchase). The basic gameplay involves triggering pulses of light so that they fill in all the empty space in each level. Light pulses can be blocked by walls, and won’t travel around corners but will travel diagonally. There are also other elements introduced as your progress, such as arrows that force the direction of the light and explosive tiles to avoid. The fewer light pulses (blips) you use to fill in a level, the higher your score.
The first thing that stands out about Blip Blup is that ustwo has gone for a minimalist, abstract design aesthetic, rather than a skeumorphic look and feel — despite apparently experimenting with the latter. Too much realism just didn’t fit the puzzle gameplay, says ustwo. “Getting to the final treatment was an exercise in finding a balance between our love for beautiful design as a studio and simple graphics that allow the puzzle-solving to be centre-stage,” it explains in a blog.
“Skeuomorphic design in this instance would have stifled the complex puzzle solving nature of Blip Blup,” adds ustwo co-founder Matt Miller. “The puzzle and the solution needed to be at the front and centre stage with nothing getting in the way of that focus. We believe in the core gameplay of Blip Blup and feel that the minimal design supports that without overwhelming it with unnecessary graphics.”
Miller says Blip Blup is designed specifically to appeal to people who are also interested in visual design, and who therefore might not be turned on by traditional gaming aesthetics. “Over the past decade and as a direct result of mobile app-based gaming, gamers have increased in terms of numbers and diversity. This shift has meant that creators, who previously had to appeal to large and ‘safe’ audiences, can instead cater to more specific and targeted audiences. For example appealing to players who are interested in interacting with great visual design, rather than those who prefer cartoon characters and fantasy locations,” he tells TechCrunch.
“Minimalist design in game visuals presents interesting challenges. In a way, you are reducing your available visual toolset, to a few essential tools. But with these tools, you still need to convey success and failure, important objects, objects that are on or off, and so on. The mass audience definitely reacts favourably to matching shiny gems together, or seeing projectiles strike a tower of glass and wood blocks. But there’s an audience out there that love the cleanliness of a grid, or the satisfaction of filling an abstract space completely with colour even more.”
“We see visual design and interaction design as one area in gaming and this means we can ultimately create new experiences and potentially speak to a new audience,” he adds.
Blip Blub’s minimalist design certainly brings to mind betaworks’ Dots (not least because ustwo wanted to call it just Blip, before realising that name had been taken), which also recently caught our eye. Or even Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity. But with so many mobile games still opting for a cartoon aesthetic — a la Angry Birds — taking a different tack by stripping back the visuals feels refreshing — likely making these puzzlers stand out more than they would have on gameplay alone. It also seems to echo the wider digital design trend that’s been flattening graphics and decluttering visuals all over the web and mobile, doing away with realistic bells and whistles and replacing them with plain blocks of colour to allow shapes to shine through.
Blip Blub doesn’t feel entirely flat — the light pulses move via subtle colour gradations — but it’s certainly minimalistic. Its look is complemented by an ambient soundtrack that weaves in gameplay actions, with each light pulse adding a few more notes to the soundscape. (In fact ustwo says the sound is “50% of the Blip Blup experience”.) The overall effect is reflective, meditative and very relaxing. This would be a great game to play to destress after a hard day.
The slow, relaxed paced is matched by the gradual gameplay progression, with basic tutorial puzzles leading you step by step to proper levels and from there turning the screw to up the difficulty by adding new elements to the mix. There are 120+ puzzles in the free game distributed across nine levels, and 140+ across 10 levels in the paid game.
While taking a look around HTC China's online store after the Desire 600 (aka Desire 606w in China) announcement, we also stumbled upon this Desire 608t that was first outed by TENAA in late April. With the exception of the One SV-like design and the TD-SCDMA radio for China Mobile, this model is otherwise identical to its 606w sibling, especially with the Sense 5-enhanced Android 4.1, BoomSound front stereo speakers, dual SIM and even the CN¥2,499 ($410) unsubsidized price tag. Other specs include: 4.5-inch 960 x 540 Super LCD 2, 1.2GHz quad-core chip by Qualcomm, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage (with up to 64GB expansion via microSD), 8-megapixel imager (with f/2.0 aperture and 720p video capture), 1.6-megapixel front camera, 1,860mAh battery and NFC. Interestingly, the 608t is also listed with Zoe camera feature, yet the 606w isn't, so hopefully it's just a mistake for the latter instead of the former.
Gallery: HTC Desire 608t press shots
Source: HTC eShop (Chinese)
Jawfish Games, a Seattle-based startup run by a former professional poker player and the engineering team that built the Fult Tilt Poker site, launched a gaming platform that can host more than 100,000 simultaneous players in real-time tournaments across iOS, Android and the web.
While asynchronous, turn-based games have done well on mobile platforms and Facebook over the last five years, pure, real-time multiplayer games haven’t caught on as quickly partially because data connections haven’t been fast enough and because a game developer would need a critical mass of players to match them synchronously.
But Jawfish, which has raised $3.65 million in funding from firms like Founders Fund’s angel fund, Right Side Capital and other angels, says it has built a platform to do just that. Their platform can support more than 100,000 simultaneous players and host 1 million tournaments for less than $10 in bandwidth.
They initially came out with a few games in partnership with Seattle’s Big Fish Games, but now they’re bringing out more of their own titles.
Because Jawfish’s CEO Phil Gordon is a championship professional poker career who has hosted The World Series of Poker and published five books on the game, the company is doing a poker game (of course). The poker game is designed to have the look and feel of a broadcasted game with Gordon’s running commentary throughout play.
They’ve also launched a basic word search game, called Jawfish Words, that lets players compete on the getting the highest scores, finding the longest words or the most diagonals. There more obscure goals too, like finding the most words with a single vowel. They launched that game last month through a partnership with Amazon. The company has pointed out some promising stats: the average player spends 21 minutes and plays 10.7 tournaments a day. Each tournament is about 60 to 90 seconds long.
They plan to building out a suite of classic games, from casual to casino titles that make use of the platform. “Basically what we’re looking to do is to take games that people know and love and reinvent them for multiplayer real-time tournaments,” Gordon said. “That’s exactly what we’re going to do across a wide spectrum of games.”
While Jawfish hasn’t opened its platform up to third-party developers, there are other gaming networks that add multi-player mode to indie titles that are blowing up. Nextpeer, an Israeli startup, went from having just a few games in its network to well over 1,000 developers in the last several months.
“Barring a top 10-kind of franchise wanting to use our platform for multiplayer mode, it’s incredibly unlikely that we’re going to work with other studios,” Gordon said. “Certainly not for anything but the top tier. We know that our platform is the only one of its kind in the world and we think that it’s in our interest to keep the platform close to the vest and develop our own games.”