Harry Potter Wizards Unite developer Niantic acquires AR studio

first_img Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 1:53 Niantic is expanding its footprint in Harry Potter’s home country. Portkey Games It’s a big week for Niantic, which expanded its UK studio just before Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lands in the US and UK (here’s how you get started playing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite). The Pokemon Go developer acquired London-based Sensible Object, known for games like the AR-tabletop hybrid Beasts of Balance and Amazon Alexa-powered When in Rome, which basically combine physical and digital experiences.It’ll spearhead Niantic London along with Matrix Mill, an AI and machine vision research team Niantic bought in 2018, GamesIndustry noted. The studio’s older games will still be supported, former Sensible Objects studio head Alex Fleetwood (who’s now leading Niantic London) said in a blog post.Versus: Harry Potter: Wizards Unit beats Pokemon Go every way but one Tags 19 Photos Pokemon Go Harry Potter Mobile Gaming The coolest Pokemon collectibles “CEO John Hanke and his team have an incredible, progressive vision for the future of play that resonates deeply with us; building global communities, pioneering new forms of augmented reality, and helping people get outside, get exercise and connect with one another in the real world,” he wrote.The post includes a photo of the team, one of whose members is holding a Vaporeon plush — perhaps suggesting that they’ll be focusing on Pokemon Go initially.Hanke, Niantic’s boss, hinted that the London team’s experience fits nicely with the company’s gaming ambitions.”We’re excited about Sensible Object joining Niantic as it significantly advances our efforts in developing a wide range of gaming experiences that bring the physical and digital world closer together,” Hanke said in a separate post. “The team’s deep roots in large-scale outdoor activations in particular is very complementary to the many Niantic real world events we host around the world to engage with our loyal players.”It’d be pretty exciting to see the former Sensible Object team bringing its hybrid approach to Pokemon Go or Wizards Unite, especially as Niantic faces major competition from Microsoft’s upcoming AR game Minecraft Earth.First published at 3:25 a.m. PT.Updated at 4 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. 0 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay details revealedlast_img read more

Byjus raises 150 mn from investors led by Qatar wealth fund education

first_imgCEO of the Qatar Investment Authority Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani |Reuters IndiaOnline tutoring startup Byju’s said on Wednesday it had raised $150 million from investors led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which a source familiar with the matter said valued it at more than $5.5 billion.Venture capital fund Owl Ventures also participated in the funding round and the proceeds will be used for international expansion, Byju’s said in a statement, without saying what valuation the investment implied for the firm.”This investment underscores QIA’s strong commitment to the education sector and our focus on investing in leading innovators in the TMT (tech, media and telecoms) industry globally,” Mansoor Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, said in the statement.Launched in 2015 in the southern Indian tech hub of Bengaluru, Byju’s has so far raised roughly $970 million from investors, tracker Crunchbase says.This includes investment from China’s Tencent, South Africa’s Naspers and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. Indian school children prepare for their Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)Raveendran/AFP/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Trump terms journalist enemy of the people

first_imgA White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN`s Jim Acosta as he questions US president Donald Trump during a news conference in Washington. Photo: ReutersThe White House on Wednesday suspended the press pass of a CNN reporter who earlier sparred with Donald Trump at a news conference, in which the US president branded the journalist an “enemy of the people.”A visibly angry Trump had called reporter Jim Acosta a “rude, terrible person,” after the CNN White House correspondent refused the president’s orders to sit down and give up the microphone during the conference one day after the US midterm vote.”The White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders hours later, referring to Acosta, who then tweeted that he had been denied White House entry.The heated exchange began after the prominent journalist clung to the microphone and persisted with questions about the president’s views on a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US border.Trump said “that’s enough!” and a White House intern unsuccessfully tried to take the microphone from the CNN journalist.”President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” Sanders said in her statement.”We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.Acosta shot back at the accusation of misconduct, tweeting “this is a lie” — as his network and a number of Washington journalists who had been at the press conference voiced support for him.”Secretary Sanders lied,” CNN said in a statement, saying the press pass suspension was “done in retaliation for challenging questions.”Sanders “provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened,” the US cable network said.”This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”‘ONGOING ATTACKS’An association representing the Washington press corps urged the White House to “immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.””The White House Correspondents’ Association strongly objects to the Trump Administration’s decision to use US Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship,” the group said. “Revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable.”It was the latest in a long history of fiery run-ins between the mercurial Republican leader and Acosta.At the conference Trump, when asked if he had “demonized immigrants” during the midterms campaign, replied: “No, I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally.”Acosta persisted, saying: “They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion.”At that point, the president snapped.”Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher,” Trump said.As the reporter continued, Trump declared: “That’s enough, put down the mic” and walked away from his own podium, as if leaving.The intern attempted to grab the microphone from Acosta, who nevertheless tried to shout out one last question.Waving his finger, Trump berated him.”I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” he said.When NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the mic for the next question, he defended Acosta as a “diligent reporter” — earning Trump’s ire.”I’m not a fan of yours either. To be honest. You aren’t the best,” he said.Looking back at Acosta, who again rose up in his own defense, Trump added: “When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”In response, CNN said “this president’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far,” in a statement.”They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American.”last_img