Facebook Announces Cryptocurrency Libra; Fallout Shelter Revenue Reaches USD$100m (£79.3m)

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TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: Facebook announces cryptocurrency Libra; Fallout Shelter revenue reaches USD$100m (£79.3m); and Spy RPG Alpha Protocol is pulled from Steam.

Facebook announces cryptocurrency Libra

Facebook has announced its own cryptocurrency termed as Libra, with an accompanying walled named Calibra. Both are expected to be launched in 2020, and will be available through the Messenger and WhatsApp subsidiaries, as well as via a standalone app. The cryptocurrency is expected to be used within the hyper-casual gaming market, simplifying the payment process for titles available on the Facebook ecosystem and elsewhere.

David Marcus, Head of Calibra at Facebook, has been quoted as saying: “Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem. We look forward to participating in the Libra network as a Founding Member, as well as through providing our community with access to Libra through Calibra.”

Fallout Shelter revenue reaches USD$100m (£79.3m)

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Bethesda’s free-to-play mobile Fallout Shelter title, launched in 2015, has passed USD$100m (£79.3m) in revenue according to figures from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence. More than 63 million players throughout the globe are estimated to have downloaded the app.

Approximately 41% of the total revenue is estimated to come from outside of the US, with this expected to grow over the coming months following the release of a multiplayer follow-up version, which will be exclusive to China.

The success of the title suggests that traditional IP on console and PC platforms can also prove lucrative on mobile, an area where many AAA developers are hesitant on investing in.

Spy RPG Alpha Protocol is pulled from Steam

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Spy RPG Alpha Protocol, developed by Obsidian and published by Sega, has been pulled from the Steam store. An original statement from Sega published on 19th June 2019 stated the game was withdrawn “following the expiry of Sega’s publishing rights”, however this has now been corrected, with the game actually having been pulled due to the expiry of music rights.

Regardless, the situation highlights the overall fragility of game ownership and rights agreements. Moreover, where the gaming market is becoming more mainstream, incorporation of other popular creative media such as chart music is expected to be more common, with the potential for further disputes over rights to use this IP.