Gamers Redefine Tech Jobs

Xbox's Next Step, Australia's Gaming Boom and PS5 Cloud Gaming

Australia is a nation that loves to play, achieve, connect, and learn through video games - Ron Curry (CEO of IGEA)

Time flies when you're deep in the gaming universe. Today we have a sneak peek into a potentially disc-less Xbox future and the surprising career perks of being a gamer.

Also, there's a new weekly section, The Chronicles, with evergreen insights on how game developers, big and small, launched and grew their popular games.

Round-up of the day

šŸ•¹ļø Microsoft is rumored to be planning a digital-only Xbox Series X and a potential mid-generation refresh. Speculations also suggest that next-generation consoles, anticipated for 2028, might completely eliminate disc drives. (link)

šŸ‘©ā€šŸ’» This is good to know - gamers' soft and technical skills are gaining recognition in the tech job market, challenging traditional recruitment stereotypes. With the tech unemployment rate low, companies are increasingly valuing gaming experience and considering dropping formal education requirements for broader talent access. (link)

Project Q

PlayStation Project Q

ā˜ļø Soon on a console near your - Sony has launched a public beta test of PS5 cloud gaming, allowing games to be streamed at up to 4K resolution. I think this is why they're launching Project Q, the streaming controller. And I'm gonna buy it Day 1! (link)

Biz Reel

Google has relaunched its $2 million Indie Games Fund, aiming to support small game studios in the rapidly growing Latin American mobile gaming market. (link)

A16z Games is investing $75 million in its Speedrun accelerator for early-stage gaming startups. The ten-week program, starting in January, will mentor startups and conclude at the March Game Developers Conference. (link)

Happy nation - 81% of Australians are now playing video games, with 48% of the total players being women and girls. The data also reveals that the majority of players, 93%, play for fun and 70% for mental health benefits, underscoring video games' prominence in Australian culture and its positive impact on users. (link)

The global games market is estimated to generate $187.7 billion in 2023, a 2.6% increase YOY (link)

The Power-Up Chronicles

A casual Zoom drinking party between Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka and Sonic the Hedgehog's co-creator Naoto Ohshima during the COVID-19 lockdown sparked the development of "Sonic Superstars". Their collaborative efforts aimed to create a game that captures the essence of beloved 2D Sonic games for both long-time fans and a new generation, set to release across multiple platforms this fall.

A cover story by Brian Shea on Game Informerā€‹

Justin Scott Bieshaar became a game developer by accident. He is from the Netherlands and he transitioned from gymnastics to game development after an injury sparked his interest in programming. Advocating for increased diversity in tech, he emphasizes that passion and interest are key to excelling as a developer, regardless of one's background.

Read the full interview on PeopleWhoCode.

Ember Lab, originally an animation company, successfully transitioned to gaming with their debut "Kena: Bridge of Spirits", drawing Sony's attention for a PlayStation 5 collaboration. After facing challenges, particularly in team communication, the Grier brothers, co-founders, are inspired by Kena's acclaim and consider diversifying into different media in the future.

A feature by Alan Wen on GamesIndustryā€‹

Did you know?

The character Sonic The Hedgehog was designed by Naoto Ohshima in an internal competition held by SEGA, who needed a mascot character that would be as synonymous with their brand as Mario was with Nintendo.

Ohshima designed a blue hedgehog named Sonic, who was inserted into a prototype game created by programmer Yuji Naka.

Sonic The Hedgehog launched in 1991 and it is widely considered one of the greatest video games and one of the best-selling video games of all time, with approximately 24 million copies sold worldwide.