The games industry in numbers

See/read from the fascinating UKie site:

UK success stories
The UK has a long history of making world class video games. With the global games audience estimated between 2.2 and 2.6 billion people and the global market expected to grow from $101.1bn in 2016 to an estimated $128.5 billion by the end of 2020, the opportunities for the UK games industry have never been greater.
As of June 2017, there are 2,141 active games companies in the UK (UK Games Map), operating at all sizes and scales, with world-class talent across the full spectrum of games technologies – from mobile, PC and console, to fast-developing sectors such as VR / AR, esports and Artificial Intelligence.
Recent global UK successes include:
Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games, the fastest selling entertainment product of all time, grossing $1bn worldwide in just 3 days. By November 2016, it had sold over 80 million units worldwide and is the top selling game of all time in the UK, generating over £240m from more than 6 million physical copies sold – or roughly 3.5 sales per minute (Ukie / GfK). GTAV still continues to defy expectations, returning to the top of the UK chart in January 2017, 3.5 years after it was first launched.
Batman: Arkham Knight by Rocksteady Studios, the fastest-selling game of 2015 and winner of multiple awards, including the 2015 BATFA for Best British game.
Monument Valley by ustwo, downloaded over 26 million times and winner of 20 international awards, including Apple iPad Game of the Year 2014 and the 2015 BATFAs for both Best Mobile & Handheld and Best British game.
There are plenty more. We support the Creative Industries website which features more great UK games stories.



Lego targets pre-Mindstorms minds with its Boost educational kit — TechCrunch

Boost is an impressive kit. The five on-board building experiences cover a lot of ground, from a robot to a guitar, to quasi Lego “3D printer” that’s more like an assembly line Rube Goldberg-style device that pieces together its own Lego creations. The set is being couched as an educational kit, joining Lego’s line in…

via Lego targets pre-Mindstorms minds with its Boost educational kit — TechCrunch

Amazing gestural markmaking / mapping game

From Liz Stinson’s article “Google’s Mesmerizing Game Turns Scribbles Into Satellite Images” –  22 December 2016.

SATELLITE IMAGES, WITH their zoomed-out view, have a way of reducing the world’s features to a series of shapes and lines. In a new project called Land Lines, artists Zach Lieberman and Matt Felsen partnered with Google’s Data Arts team to create an interactive platform that lets people explore these shapes with the drag of a finger.

Think of Land Lines as reverse Google image search, but for lines. Using computer vision technology, Liberman and co were able to build a tool that matches hand-drawn lines to those found in a database of more than 50,000 Google satellite images. Draw a line on your desktop or phone, and Land Lines will find a landmass, freeway, bridge, river—something—that follows the same contour. In another version of the tool called “drag” you can pull your cursor over the page, and Land Lines will create a continuous line that connects different landscapes with similar geometries.

On the technical page, Lieberman explains that developing Land Lines was a matter of figuring out how to distinguish similar lines from a diverse set of images. “It’s easy to take out a piece of tracing paper, throw it on top of a printout of one of these photos, and draw the lines that your eye sees,” he writes. “But in general computer vision algorithms for finding lines tend to not work well across very diverse images.” Lieberman wanted a tool that would generate matches, on its own, almost instantaneously. So he tracked down edge- and ridge-detecting algorithms, to  help automate the line-finding process.

It’s hard to predict what image a gesture will surface. A semi circle might match to an island off the coast of Australia. Draw a similar curve and it will show you a crop circle in Saudi Arabia. Straight and diagonal lines match mostly to human-made features like roads and rows of crops—but nature still surprises, from time to time, with an uncannily straight shoreline, or outcrop in Australia’s Northern Territory. This unpredictably is the reason Land Lines is so fascinating. It simultaneously shows just how different—and how similar—Earth’s geometries really are.

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