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Google Shutting Down First Party Stadia Game Development, All Future Stadia Games Will Be Third Party

Google shocked everyone when they announced Stadia, a cloud based game streaming service. Initial reviews were awful but Google persevered and currently, Stadia has cut themselves a decent niche in the gaming market for gamers who want to play games without having to buy expensive hardware and endure weekly game updates. Heck, I’ve used Stadia…

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Google Shutting Down First Party Stadia Game Development, All Future Stadia Games Will Be Third Party February 1, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Google shocked everyone when they announced Stadia, a cloud based game streaming service. Initial reviews were awful but Google persevered and currently, Stadia has cut themselves a decent niche in the gaming market for gamers who want to play games without having to buy expensive hardware and endure weekly game updates. Heck, I’ve used Stadia and I thought it delivered on Google’s promises, and it provided a superior experience playing Cyberpunk 2077 than the Xbox One X does.

However, as a long term veteran of the console wars I could tell you a game platform is only as viable as its best exclusive titles. To date, Stadia has exactly ONE exclusive game. Google promised more exclusives would be coming to Stadia from recognizable game studios they had banded together through a company program. Well, that has come to an end.

Earlier today, Google announced they are no longer developing First-Party games for Stadia. No word was given as to why, or what that meant for the studios Google hired to develop exclusive games for them. Stadia itself will continue to operate and all games currently on the system will continue functioning. But that’s not the question I’m wondering about. How can a gaming platform survive without exclusive first party titles? I guess we will all be finding out the answer to that question together.

Earlier today, Google announced they are no longer developing First-Party games for Stadia. No word was given as to why, or what that meant for the studios Google hired to develop exclusive games for them. Stadia itself will continue to operate and all games currently on the system will continue functioning. But that’s not the question I’m wondering about. How can a gaming platform survive without exclusive first party titles? I guess we will all be finding out the answer to that question together.

Source: https://gamexcess.net/2021/02/01/google-shutting-down-first-party-stadia-game-development-all-future-stadia-games-will-be-third-party/

Gaming

Virginia Lottery Board: ‘Temporary gaming as soon as this December is highly unlikely’

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia General Assembly made provisions for legitimate casinos to open temporary operations for at least a year before permanent operations open. Though casino operators would have to be thoroughly vetted and licensed, the Virginia Lottery Board this week made it abundantly clear, the Hard Rock Casino Bristol would not be […]

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Posted: Apr 23, 2021 / 08:37 PM EDT / Updated: Apr 23, 2021 / 11:15 PM EDT

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia General Assembly made provisions for legitimate casinos to open temporary operations for at least a year before permanent operations open. Though casino operators would have to be thoroughly vetted and licensed, the Virginia Lottery Board this week made it abundantly clear, the Hard Rock Casino Bristol would not be able to open by year’s end.

Last year, when the residents of Bristol, Virginia voted to approve a casino in their town, Hard Rock said a temporary casino would be expected to open by the fall of this year.

At a Virginia Lottery Board virtual meeting this week, Executive Director Kevin Hall outlined a timeline ruling out the possibility of such a temporary casino, at least through the end of this year.
The board this week voted to begin working on the final and permanent regulations casinos in Virginia would be expected to adhere to, saying applications for suppliers, vendors, and employees to get licensed by the Board.

“Again, as I just said that’s a very intensive, up to a one year process, suppliers and vendors have to be vetted and licensed. Every employee with access to a gaming area has to be fingerprinted and licensed. Temporary facilities, just like a permanent casino, have to have the same extensive surveillance and financial accounting systems in place before they can open for business, every slot machine, even in a temporary facility has to be linked to a central monitoring system. And that will require us to go through an RFP process,” Hall said during the meeting. “So we’re aware that at least one of the casino operators has expressed some eagerness to perhaps stand up, some temporary gaming. In fact they have publicly suggested temporary gaming could occur as soon as December of this year. Let me state for the record. In light of all of these steps that are required between now and then, that we believe temporary gaming as soon as this December is highly unlikely. Largely improbable next to impossible. I don’t know that I can be any more clear.”

Local businesses told News Channel 11 they are disappointed and added that they were counting on the influx of tourists promised by the temporary casino originally proposed by Hard Rock to open by the end of 2021.

But Southern Churn Owner Karen Hester said she is still optimistic for what the eventual casino opening will mean to Bristol, Virginia and the surrounding areas.

“Certainly it’s a disappointment, you know, we, we’ve been battling COVID and we’ve been restricted on visitors coming and certainly any kind of extra revenue at this time would be helpful to everybody’s bottom line, but I can certainly tell you we’re going to take it when we can get it for sure,” Hester said. “But, you know sooner than later, would that have been better, absolutely I think that would have been better for everybody and everybody’s book, but you know we’ll certainly take it when we can get it you know and it’s going to make a huge impact on Bristol and how exciting how many jobs it’s gonna produce some things like that so we’re looking for great things to come.”

To Southern Churn Owner Karen Hester, Bristol is an exciting place to live, and the news of the temporary casino not opening this year may be a hit to the projected tourism numbers, but she says she’s excited about what’s to come regardless. @WJHL11 @ABCTriCities pic.twitter.com/mYsSSAL5TF

— Bianca Marais WJHL (@BiancaWJHL) April 23, 2021

As for the potential economic impact of the Hard Rock Casino Bristol not opening in any capacity in 2021, Bristol Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Beth Rhinehart said she does not think this will be too much of a setback.

“I know we’re all disappointed, it can’t happen yesterday, we know what’s coming, and we know it will be here, just might take a little bit longer, so my guesstimate would be just that the economic impact will be maybe not even delayed but just a little bit of a lag and what we see on that we know it’s coming, and the sooner the better,” Rhinehart said.

She added that even though Bristol residents had their hopes up for some sort of ribbon-cutting within 2021, that the anticipation is still building.

“We’re all very excited about the project, we know it’s going to have an incredibly positive impact, not just to the Bristol community but all across the region. So, we’re all anxiously awaiting for that,” Rhinehart said. “However, we do know that this process – the regulatory process that the lottery board is charged with creating – is a first for them, really in terms of casinos, so it’s a big step to have to take and they want to make sure and get it right, especially for the first one.”

In a statement to News Channel 11 Hard Rock officials said they “look forward to working with the Virginia Lottery to open our temporary casino as soon as possible.”

The Virginia Lottery Board this week began work on the permanent casino gaming regulations that Hard Rock Casino Bristol will have to adhere to. The Board said they hope to have those final regulations approved and finalized by June of next year, at the earliest.

Follow News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais on Facebook and Twitter for news updates.

“Again, as I just said that’s a very intensive, up to a one year process, suppliers and vendors have to be vetted and licensed. Every employee with access to a gaming area has to be fingerprinted and licensed. Temporary facilities, just like a permanent casino, have to have the same extensive surveillance and financial accounting systems in place before they can open for business, every slot machine, even in a temporary facility has to be linked to a central monitoring system. And that will require us to go through an RFP process,” Hall said during the meeting. “So we’re aware that at least one of the casino operators has expressed some eagerness to perhaps stand up, some temporary gaming. In fact they have publicly suggested temporary gaming could occur as soon as December of this year. Let me state for the record. In light of all of these steps that are required between now and then, that we believe temporary gaming as soon as this December is highly unlikely. Largely improbable next to impossible. I don’t know that I can be any more clear.”

Source: https://www.wjhl.com/news/regional/virginia/virginia-lottery-board-temporary-gaming-as-soon-as-this-december-is-highly-unlikely/

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Georgia governor: Loss of All-Star game will hurt minorities

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia’s Republican governor on Saturday stepped up his attack on Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from the state in response to a sweeping new voting law, saying the move politicized the sport and would hurt minority-owned businesses. “It’s minority-owned businesses that have been hit harder than […]

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by: SUDHIN THANAWALA, Associated Press

Posted: Apr 10, 2021 / 01:32 PM EDT / Updated: Apr 10, 2021 / 04:00 PM EDT

Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Atlanta, about Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over the league’s objection to a new Georgia voting law. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia’s Republican governor on Saturday stepped up his attack on Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from the state in response to a sweeping new voting law, saying the move politicized the sport and would hurt minority-owned businesses.

“It’s minority-owned businesses that have been hit harder than most because of an invisible virus by no fault of their own,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “And these are the same minority businesses that are now being impacted by another decision that is by no fault of their own.”

Kemp spoke along with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, also a Republican, at a seafood and po’boy restaurant miles from the stadium in a suburb north of Atlanta where the game would have been held, though he said he didn’t think the restaurant was minority-owned.

He has previously criticized MLB’s decision. The game will now be played in Denver. Kemp noted at Saturday’s news conference that Denver has a much smaller percentage of African Americans than Atlanta. And he said MLB’s move has injected politics into the “great American pastime.”

“People shouldn’t have to go to the game and worry about if they’re sitting next to a Joe Biden supporter or a Donald Trump supporter,” he said. “They ought to be able to go to the game, cheer for their team just like if you’re in church worshipping.”

Critics say it’s the voting law that’s political and will disproportionately affect communities of color. Kemp’s news conference was trying to deflect from that, as the governor gears up for next year’s election to try to win a second term, said Aklima Khondoker, state director of the voting rights group, All Voting is Local.

“He’s pivoting away from all of the malicious things that we understand that this bill represents to people of color in Georgia,” she said.

About two dozen protesters turned out near Augusta National on Saturday, holding signs that said “Let Us Vote” and “Protect Georgia Voting Rights.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he made the decision to move the All-Star events after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, and that the league opposed restrictions to the ballot box.

A MLB spokesman said the league had no immediate additional comment Saturday.

Several groups already have filed suit over the voting measure, which includes strict identification requirements for voting absentee by mail.

It expands weekend early voting, but limits the use of ballot drop boxes, makes it a crime to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line and gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. That has led to concerns that the Republican-controlled state board could exert more influence over the administration of elections, including the certification of county results.

The rewrite of Georgia’s election rules — signed by Kemp last month — follows former President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims of fraud after his presidential loss to Biden. Democrats have assailed the law as an attempt to suppress Black and Latino votes, with Biden calling it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”

Carr and Kemp blasted that comparison.

“This made up narrative that this bill takes us back to Jim Crow — an era when human beings were being killed and who were truly prevented from casting their vote — is preposterous,” Carr said. “It is irresponsible, and it’s fundamentally wrong.”

Source: https://www.wivb.com/news/u-s-headlines/georgia-governor-loss-of-all-star-game-will-hurt-minorities/

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Virginia Beach game developer creates virtual Easter egg hunt on Minecraft

For those looking for a pandemic-friendly Easter egg hunt for fun, a local game developer has created one that is free and open to the public.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For those looking for a pandemic-friendly Easter egg hunt for fun, a local game developer has created one that is free and open to the public.

Ian Westlake, a college freshman and member of Coastal Community Church, developed the egg hunt on the popular online game Minecraft. The egg hunt is on a server hosted by the church.

The game went live on Friday and took roughly three weeks to produce.

“It took some work, but when we started working and it came together, it was good,” Westlake said.

Westlake is majoring in computer engineering and said he creates online games for fun. For the Minecraft egg hunt, two other people helped him create it.

The game takes you through a Minecraft rendition of Coastal Community Church, where players will find clues to find eggs scattered across the virtual map. There is a total of nine eggs, as well as biblical scriptures players will encounter.

Westlake said 10 people joined the game on its Friday launch and hopes more will join.

“People seem to be enjoying it,” Westlake said. “We’ve got posts online tagging the church and getting excited about it.”

Anyone can join the game with a Minecraft account and can click on this link through Coastal Community Church. Those interested will be taken to the page where instructions are provided on how to log into the server and start playing.

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Westlake is majoring in computer engineering and said he creates online games for fun. For the Minecraft egg hunt, two other people helped him create it.

Source: https://www.wtkr.com/news/easter-egg-hunt-goes-virtual-on-minecraft-created-by-local-game-developer

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