Matt's Monday digital digest - Issue #79

Good morning everyone, let's see what happened last week!
Matt's Monday digital digest - Issue #79
By Matt Taylor • Issue #79 • View online
Good morning everyone, let’s see what happened last week!

Snapchat
Snap Will Overhaul Its App Just Nine Months After Its IPO
China's Tencent Buys 12% Stake in Snap
Toutiao
Social-Media App Musical.ly Is Acquired for as Much as $1 Billion
The Hidden Forces Behind Toutiao: China’s Content King
Uber
Uber CEO: SoftBank deal will happen
UberEats now has a restaurant and food rating system
Gaming and lootboxes
A short personal note on this because it may be a minor crisis of our time: in Take 2’s earnings call this week (Take 2 are the publisher of GTA, Bioshock and other groundbreaking titles) their CEO announced that all their upcoming games should feature microtransactions. 42% of their recurrent bookings from the last quarter were from ongoing microtransactions. Admittedly Take 2 did not have a release last quarter, and as such it is expected this would be a high percentage, but microtransactions and loot crates are becoming as commonplace in full-priced titles as they have been in mobile games for years. In a recent interview with GameInformer, Mike Morhaime, the CEO of Blizzard Entertainment (publishers of World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and other titles) when asked about loot boxes asked if the interviewer was actually asking him about “gambling” before squarely pointing the finger away from his company, saying they do not provide ways to convert your ‘winnings’ back to real-world currency, and thus cannot be in the same league as publishers like STEAM who run a skin-marketplace that allows you to sell skins for games.
The issue is currently under review with the UK government after a petition reached 12,000 signatures, and links back to a report from March this year, which would effectively describe STEAM’s actions in running a marketplace in the UK without age-verification as illegal. Of course, no action has been taken.
Lives and, almost more importantly, games continue to be ruined by this practice.
and...
Twitter is launching a live weekly evening show in the UK
Mattress Company Shutters Web Publication, Pivots to Print
Newspapers: A Black & White Issue
Building Dota Bots That Beat Pros
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Matt Taylor

This is the week that was in digital media and its intersect with technology, with all the interesting stories you might not have found elsewhere, or should definitely read again if you did.

From the sunny silicon of the West Coast to the cultural hubs of East Asia, it's all the news in a digestible format ready for your Monday morning commute.

Carefully curated by Matt Taylor with Revue. If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here. If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.