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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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.