Valve to Launch VR Half-Life Title; Skydance Media to Form New Studio

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TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Valve to launch VR Half-Life title; Skydance Media to form new studio; and PC & Mobile gaming revenue to pass USD$8.3bn (£6.4bn) in Greater Southeast Asia.

Valve to launch VR Half-Life title

Valve has announced that it is revealing its new VR title, Half-Life: Alyx, on Thursday 21st November at 10am PT. The move is significant given the popularity of the Half-Life franchise, with the first title in the series named the best-selling PC first-person shooter in 2008; the length of time since the previous iteration in the series, with Half-Life 2 having been released in 2004; and the commitment by Valve to focus on VR game development.

While details about the title are scarce, a launch window of March 2020 has been suggested in a leaked interview between Geoff Keighley (host of The Game Awards) and two Valve employees, as reported by PC Gamer on Monday. It is unclear whether the title will support any third-party VR headsets, having debuted its Valve Index device in June this year. The development of Half-Life: Alyx may also lend credence to the rumoured partnership between Valve and Apple to launch an AR headset in 2022.

Skydance Media to form new studio

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Santa Monica-based production company Skydance Media has announced a new partnership with Unchartered co-creator Amy Hennig, along with executive producer Julian Beak, to launch a new interactive media studio primarily operating out of San Francisco. The division will launch media catering to both gaming and non-gaming audience, with “emerging streaming platforms” touted as the intended channel for the interactive series.

In a statement, Skydance Media CEO David Ellison said, “The interactive media landscape is continually changing, and Amy and Julian are creative and visionary leaders of this evolution. Together, we will create within this new sphere the same type of event-level entertainment experiences that Skydance is known for in features and television.”

PC & mobile gaming revenue to pass USD$8.3bn (£6.4bn) in Greater Southeast Asia

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Annual PC and mobile gaming revenue in the Greater Southeast Asia (GSEA) region is projected to reach USD$5.0bn (£3.9bn) by the close of 2019 and surpass USD$8.3bn (£6.4bn) by 2023, according to companion reports released by Niko Partners. Esports has been identified as the major driver of growth in the region, with 90% of mobile gamers and 95% of PC gamers in GSEA actively competing in tournaments.

The rollout of 5G, which is expected to take place throughout most of the nations covered in the reports through 2020, is expected to increase the proportion of mobile gamers. This in turn is expected to benefit the PC gaming market in the area as they see a greater engagement in watching PC esports live streams on mobile platforms.