Apr 4, 2019

Cord-cutting hits video games

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Video games are the next entertainment industry undergoing a major disruption, all the way down to the consoles and controllers.

Details: "In the past, you plunked down $60 at GameStop for a copy of Grand Theft Auto or Madden NFL and played it out — after which you could trade it in or let it gather dust," the AP reports. "Now, you’ll increasingly have the choice of subscribing to games, playing for free or possibly just streaming them over the internet to your phone or TV."

Why it matters: New subscription streaming services represent a massive shift from gaming into the cloud, which will make it easier to access games on any device, including mobile.

  • Google's Stadia platform, for instance, "will store a game-playing session in the cloud and let players jump across phones, laptops and browsers with Google’s software," per the AP.
  • Apple Arcade "subscribers will get to play more than 100 games ... on the Apple-made iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV."
  • Snap Games will allow users to play real-time, multiplayer games with their friends, with new ad experience in games so all that "our (developer) partners can see monetization from day one."
  • And for Fortnite, "a key aspect of the game is being able to play it on anything from your phone to a decked-out gaming PC."

The big picture: Gamers wouldn't necessarily have to buy individual games anymore — they could buy them as part of a larger and potentially cheaper package — and it means that they wouldn't be limited to expensive hardware devices that only work for certain games. 

  • But all these gaming efforts are really contingent on technology partners' ability to broker deals with game developers to distribute their games.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,703,686 — Total deaths: 393,393 — Total recoveries — 2,906,748Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,885,197 — Total deaths: 108,708 — Total recoveries: 485,002 — Total tested: 18,680,529Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. States: Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.