Tag Archives: Fortnite

The downward spiral

We all face it at times. It is not as negative as it sounds, for some it is a mere form of awareness. I am facing mine at present. A small defence, I damaged my left shoulder so I am best friends (sort of) with Codeine. Not enough to be dopey the dwarf, enough to not drive a tank through the streets of Sydney, so there is manoeuvring space (for me that is). My downward spiral has nothing to do with the shoulder, but with my IP. You see I am in an iterative mood. I see improvements all around me. Games that could be better, movies that are substandard, music that could be different and lets be clear, I have absolutely no idea on music. As such my mind became the ultimate critic. Now, when it comes to my own IP, especially the 5G one, it makes perfect sense to be in an iterative mode, the innovation was version 0.9 (or 1.0), I am now on version 1.3, 1.4 is a bigger adjustment for real estate, but I am trying to find a way to either include it, or consider a cheaper version just for real estate. I have not made up my mind on that yet. 

I have been on an iterative setting for a few other things too. Now for the most I have an intense hatred for iterative thinking. It never goes anywhere fast and focussing on innovation is more rewarding as well. But the person who thinks that they can come up with innovation is utterly nuts. Just like the business people that consider that true business is profit without costs, one needs the other or it is pointless ambulance chasing. 

All this started when I saw a Chinese add on android regarding a Chinese mobile game, It was not the first one I saw and then the thoughts hit me more profoundly. If I am correct, I (at that moment) figured out what Tencent is planning, if I am correct than it implies that there is a lot more coming in 2023/2024 than anyone ever suspected. I feel certain that it was a fluke, but the cogs started to connect and if it is correct it is Epic Games that opened the door. That Fortnite case is having a much larger impact. If I am correct (which is not a given) that it might set a case where Tencent is setting a new foundation towards gambling and it is all perfectly legal, yet with the Apple and Android setting of buying goods via third party providers, there will be a new case of white washing funds all over the world. I will have to find the advertisement again, but it was a rare case that I suddenly get a Chinese ad (in Chinese) and the image that flashed by gave me a worry, and weirdly enough it took me back to March 15th when I wrote ‘When is a slot machine not one?’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/15/when-is-a-slot-machine-not-one/), and I as the dreamer focussed on the 5G side of things, all whilst I should have looked in the other direction and more importantly, it puts the FBI and their peers pretty much out of business. I wrote at that time “And those not in Las Vegas will have the option to massively deal and handle in crypto currency. An outlet outside of the bank stage. An outlet that circulates currency unmonitored” my mind was with the slot machine, whilst the mention of “The slot machine was a laundromat for crypto currency” which is not something I focussed on, merely the technology, but now consider that these systems traffic between wide area networks and transfer bitcoins all over the planet, and the watching eyes of governments were blind to it. The padlocks are suddenly more than a lock, more than the stage of presentation, they are phones to other nations and they merely deal in digital data. So what does it take NOW to transfer 3,000 bitcoins unseen? Think of it, the internet is monitored, the dark-web is not to be trusted (unless you control it) but a slot machine, from a reputable vendor? There was an underlying story in Casino Royale (yes, the Bond movie) I reckon that there is a whole range of devices coming out and the nice part is that they could connect to a padlock on a slot machine. And that is merely a starting point. What happens when this takes a sharp turn to the right? I can guarantee you now that there is no government with proper protection or rules in place to stop any of this, and with a fully deployed 5G it becomes pretty much impossible to monitor it all. 

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Epic downfall

This happens, I saw it coming and today as the BBC gives me (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59234961) ‘Apple v Epic: Court denies delay on App Store changes’ we have come to a point. A point where Epic Games will lose billions, not millions, billions. You see, the larger issue is not the fee, it is that too many ApplePay options are not completely secure, as such the moment we see the first few issues go sour, when people are dented by credit card fees and scams that started with Epic, that is the moment the class actions come calling and they will come calling in a huge way. There will be no defence for Epic Games. There will not be some ‘I know nothing’ approach. It will be on Epic Games. They wanted to cut costs and they did, but the costs in hind-fall will outrank all revenue they would hope to make.

And all this is beside the issues (source: Eurogamer) “Epic Games is also facing a class-action lawsuit following a data breach which exposed personal information from millions of users’ accounts. The data breach occurred back in January this year, when hackers found a flaw in Fortnite’s login system, allowing them to impersonate players and purchase V-Bucks with the bank information attached to their accounts” and the issue outside of Fortnite will escalate a lot faster than they feared it could. I reckon that first issues will emerge within 3 months of the alternative to ApplePay path and it will not take long until lawyers will suit up for class actions all worth billions. Epic will need a lot more lawyers soon enough and it will cost them. It could constitute the dangers (for Epic) that 2021 started the downfall that could have been avoided, a setting they caused themselves and the greedy hackers saw a clear new target, Epic Games with a bullseye. A bullseye that will be painted on their CEO and CFO, what a wild web we tend to weave.

A setting that they could have and should have avoided. An optional first in the dangers of greed. What a lovely day this could become.

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The racing brain

It happens to some of us, the brain shifts into overdrive and will not stop. For me it happened this morning as I was contemplating a few things I saw on YouTube. There are so many expectations, so many people heckling non released products that I wonder where they are coning from. Is their expectation of games that low? I heckled Ubisoft (for good reason) but I also gave them credit when credit was due (and they did several good things). So as we see the next batch of comic book heroes games, I wonder what happened to the old classics. Now I am not stating that they need to be remastered but they could be revamped into a new coat. So let’s take a gander on some of these

1. Commandos
This game was awesome, especially 1 and 2. But instead of doing the same thing again, we could consider redoing the game based on Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (by Ransom Riggs) and make the game more accessible for the younger players. Maps where you can release the birds that create the time loops and those you can visit to gain more peculiar children. 

2. Suspended
Basing an existing game in a new jacket on a book is not new, it has been done before. Does that make it a bad idea? I do not believe it to be the case, yet how many games are based on a game? When I grasp back to my first week with the CBM-64, I ended up buying three games. The Microsoft Flight Simulator, the very first one with 4 maps and a manual that looked like a novel ($199), the second game was Loderunner (I never stopped loving the original) and the third is todays discussion ‘Suspended’ by Infocom. It was one of the hardest games I ever played in those days and I was unaware that it was one of the hardest games to do, even by Infocom standards. But the setting is actually decently unique, so what happens when you control Iris, Whiz, Waldo, Auda, Poet, and Sensa? What happens when you see what they see? What happens when you take control of a global management system? What happens when the earthquake comes and you have to get things back to some level of normal? Not an easy task is it? 

3. Knights of the Sky
There has been an avid following of Flight Simulators, there is no denying this and those who want to go up against Microsoft, good luck. One does not cross near perfection, yet that does not mean that there aren’t stages where we can become active. In 1990 Microprose did a swell job of introducing WW1 to the gamers and there was a stage where we would welcome the simplicity of a Sopwith Camel. The game also allowed you to choice either the Germans or one of the Allies, a setting that was pretty unheard of and I do get it, there is nothing novel about the resolution of the CBM-Amiga, yet this on a PS5 would be a lot different, that and the fact that the PS5 disc could contain the entire WW1 map from France to Germany as well as have the updates in place for every year of that war. 

We are so overwhelmed by console shooters of mach speed vehicles, we forgot the reality of WW1 where the maximum speed was no more than 180km/hour. It is not specifically the game and stage, it is the realisation that we look at making things fast, we forget that there is still a load of thrill and suspense in a stage where things were not as fast as they could be. In this there is a whole league of Flight Simulators out there that are often forgotten. Yet, we should avoid to redo the same wheel. Knights of the Sky is 30 years old, so it feels that the stage can now be shown more like it was. There are some remakes and some of them are finding their way into the Apple store, we can now get arcade precision and even better graphics on a tablet and it is a great idea, the more people and game developers are exposed to those titles, the larger the chance of an actual new and innovative game will be set upon us all. Even as games like Midwinter are now surpassed by what Ubisoft offers in Far Cry 3+, 

4. Manhunter New York
Even if the location is not important and should consist of a new location, the game spoke to the imagination of gamers, even now in Abandonware the game scores 4.9/5, high praise and the stage of the story has options. One of the games that Sierra on Line would produce in the 80’s and the ten years that followed it. King’s Quest, Space Quest, Manhunter, Police Quest, and Leisure suit Larry, all games that spoke to the imagination of the gamers and what is important here? The story, the story pulled the gamer in and even as we not have more graphic games, more direct control and several other active elements, the stories were often not equalled and that is a shame, the stories were good (for the era), so why do we see a lack of stories in too many games? 

I mentioned before that one of my very first games was Suspended (Infocom), they also made Starcrossed that I saw much later in my gaming days. It would be surpassed by ‘Rendez Vouz with Rama’ and that made sense, the CBM-64 is no match for a decent PC with a CDROM drive. And now? That is beside the point that games like Wishbringer (1985) are seemingly forgotten. This is important, because we all (me included) seem to steer to the games that tickle us, but there is a whole generation behind us that is forgotten, a stage of gaming younglings that  seem to get pushed into the Epic foundations of Fortnite, why is that? There are decades of games out there that could see a new coat, a new interface a graphic world and a stage that parents have no issues with for the gaming not blood driven youthful masses. It matters because it is the one place that is almost completely owned by Nintendo, kids go there because there is no alternative and it seems to me that Sony (Amazon too) need to wake up to that small gemstone of information. 

The stage is filled with options that are ignored, forgotten and discarded, but there were real treasures there and the makers need to consider that these abandoned IP could use a new paint, some additional bells and whistles and it will fuel the imagination of the gamers of tomorrow. Most of them are at present getting trained to become the Navy Seal graduating class of 2029. There is more to life (yes, I will admit to this). 

And this is all based on forgotten and/or discarded IP. And whilst I am typing this, I wonder what happens when we add to the stage with new IP? IP set to younger players, and a stage is given where the player is given their chance towards immortality. To do this the player will have to set traps in tombs (a cross between Infocom: Infidel and Dungeon keeper), the longer the sarcophagus is not transgressed upon, the larger the time reward gets to be. So consider a stage where you get to ‘design’ traps in graves and pyramids and the longer they stay out, the more power you get and the larger the reward ends up being. The stage is not that simple. You see, you design the traps in the time they are build, yet over time technology advances, so you need to go old school there. And every time you redo this, you get the chance to improve on what was and create a new level of protection, just an idea that popped into my head. 

You see that new IP is easily created, but to make it worthy for a game is not stated here, it requires the creative soul to design it. And am I wrong? Consider that Magnetic Scrolls is releasing remastered versions of their games 30 years after initial release. I reckon that they are seeing what I was seeing as well. There is a $135,000,000,000 spending on games on an annual foundation. Why should you not gain some from that granary? It is open season and when you are in lockdown you can stare at the ceiling or find a way to grab some of that cash, it is up to you.

Enjoy Sunday!

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The Lawyer wins, the law loses

Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not  consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot. 

Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of  depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020.  Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence:  why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you?  Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers 

IF(clipper)
  
ELSE

   …
ENDIF

Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection. 

Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money. 

So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies.  America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them. 

And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.

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Mercy on stupid people?

In this age when we have 8,000,000,000 people walking around, should we show mercy on stupid people? I am not talking about people with some mental disorder, I am not talking about people with a speech impediment or people with a physical disorder. No, I am talking about people with a  greed disorder, a mental stage of everything is for free. Should we allow them to be alive? It is a serious question. You see, the BBC gives us ‘How hackers are using gamers to become crypto-rich’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57601631) and the BBC adds to the stupidity to put a picture of a nice girl there, although these transgressions are most likely done by well over 90% males. The list “Versions of Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K19, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 are being given away free in forums” implies that. You see NOTHING is for free, and nowadays, the sun might be (for now) the only thing that comes for free, but air is close to no longer free. In the last decades we wasted air quality to such a degree that more and more need oxygen and that stuff is not free and not cheap. So when I see “hidden inside the code of these games is a piece of crypto-mining malware called Crackonosh, which secretly generates digital money once the game has been downloaded. Criminals have made more than $2m (£1.4m) with the scam, researchers say.” I reckon that this goes far beyond the UK borders and as such the revenue will be a lot higher, in addition, the stupid person thinking that they are getting a free game are using electricity like there is no tomorrow. So any gamer having anything from a 750W Corsair to a 1200W Asus Thor will be donating $0.50 – $0.75 a day per PC to that criminal group. And that is the best news theory, if they leave the computer on and unattended the price could go up by 200%-400% a day, which means that this free game is costing you a lot more, optionally buying that game in the story will cost you $48 at Amazon, implying that you will pay for the game more than once after 15 days, if you are lucky after 20 days. So how free was that game? You might not pay for the electricity yourself but it will reflect in the bill and mom and dad will hold your PC up for ransom if you do not pay the electricity bill. 

So far two places out of a lot more gives us: 

United States: 11,856 victims
United Kingdom: 8,946 victims

As such the $2m is delusionally optimistic, the damage is more than likely a lot higher, especially when we see 

When Crackonosh is installed, it takes actions to protect itself including:

disabling Windows Updates
uninstalling all security software

And that was merely the better news, when you consider elements like

computer slowing down
wearing out components through overuse

You end up with the short end of the stick, and you better believe that it is a lot shorter than you hope it is. So should I feel mercy when a stupid act degrades a persons PC, sets the cost of living a lot higher per week, but that does not matter, does it? You got a free game out of it!

There is one side that bothers me, it is the quote “Tracking the hackers’ digital wallets has revealed the scam has yielded over $2m in the cryptocurrency Monero, Avast says”, it is the part ‘hackers’ digital wallets’, wallets is plural, as such there is every chance not everything has been found and there is even a much larger chance that they will find one group and have several groups walk away, because they were never spotted, and they were optionally a little more clever than the other players. The damage I a lot worse, yet when it comes to stupid people, I do not mind, more game time, more original game time for me. And this is merely the first setting, you see, I took notice because it flushes the one element out into the open. I touched on this with “I believe that it is a first step in the overly effective phishing attacks we face, Facebook might not be part to that, but I reckon the phishing industry got access to data that is not normally collected and I personally believe that Facebook is part of that problem, I also believe that this will turn from bad to worse with all the ‘via browser gaming apps’ we are currently being offered. I believe that these dedicated non console gaming ‘solutions’ will make things worse, it might be about money for players like Epic (Fortnite), but the data collected in this will cater to a much larger and optionally fairly darker player in this, I just haven’t found any direct evidence proving this, in my defence, I had no way of seeing the weakness that SolarWinds introduced. It does not surprise me, because there is always someone smarter and any firm that has a revenue and a cost issue will find a cheaper way, opening the door for all the nefarious characters surfing the life of IoT, there was never any doubt in this.” I wrote it in ‘Not for minors’ in December 2020 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/12/18/not-for-minors/) and anyone (read: Epic) with claims that they will stop this, would be lying to you. Criminals are massively intelligent and their opponents (police and FBI) are not equipped to deal with this, that is beside the manpower shortage they would face. So when you get to slide between stupid kids and greed driven short sighted IT solutions, the people are about to lose a bundle, for the tech criminals it will be Christmas for them 340 days a year (with 25 very well paid holidays).

And that was just the beginning, how long until these easy virtue characters offer games with even more powerful ways to mine? A version of some merge 3 game but now utilising 95% of your processor 100% of the time? It will not interfere with receiving calls, it will not interfere with laptop, tablet and other device, but you become the pawn in a need to mine and it will cost you a lot more than you think. How long until someone combines screensavers and locked screens with the old SETI program and let devices mine the truckloads out of massive data files and we all contribute for every downtime minute every day? That was the danger that greed driven Epic contributed to (as I personally see it), that is the danger that we all face, and it gets worse. You see Yahoo told us ‘Epic is deliberately keeping ‘Fortnite’ off Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Game service’, isn’t that interesting? The cloud is their competitor, so they want to open up all the markets for THEM, but they are not that eager to hand their game to a streamer where they cannot collect as much. As I personally see it, it is about their margins, it always was and as such I personally consider their case to be a bogus one, but they opened a door, a door criminals will be eager to use, so how long until they offer Fortnite cheats, Fortnite chests with weekly prices, hardware and skins? It will be the gateway to more systems and the law is not ready and the makers of games will find out too late that the floodgates had been opened. That is how these events usually go, but in the end it will not cost them anything, because they will cover all third party solutions and it will be up to the gamer (and their parents) to pay that price. 

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Right & wrong, 2 multi-dimensional sides

There was an article at the BBC a few hours ago and I had to sit down and ponder for a moment. I can revisit my view again and again, but the BBC gave a very specific side and it stopped me. As I see it loot boxes are not gambling, but the article ‘Loot boxes linked to problem gambling in new research’ gave an additional side, and it matters.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56614281) gives a lot of the same, including the view of “About 5% of gamers generate half the entire revenue from the boxes”, which is an optional valid view, my emphasis is on ‘optional’. You see, even as we are given “Loot boxes are a video game feature involving a sealed mystery “box” – sometimes earned through playing the game and sometimes paid for with real money – which can be opened for a random collection of in-game items such as weapons or cosmetic costumes”, I noticed ‘sometimes earned through playing the game’ before, I got most of all gear in NHL19 without ever paying a cent! This is important, and there is a stage where we need to recognise the games that offer loot boxes as a reward from within the game. It is “The upcoming Gambling Act review is set to look at the question, with the UK’s House of Lords already having weighed in to say that loot boxes should be firmly regulated as “games of chance”” that made me pause, loot boxes are not gambling, but when it is stated that they are ‘games of chance’ I do not disagree. We can argue in all manner that EA games took loot boxes in FIFA and went overboard, I will not disagree on that. Consider that FIFA21 “In FUT, there are more than 16,000 Day 1 cards, corresponding to as many players”, as such, if there are 1,000 it would be a low estimate, 2,500 would be more likely, but I have no official numbers. This implies that to have them all you would have to buy a minimum of 2,500 packs, if each pack has only one rare, that is just insane. 

It is not gambling! You see, to have that premise, that needs to be a setting that buying one pack gets you one cards stating ‘Thank You’, that is not the case, you always get a set configuration of common, uncommon and 1 rare card. But the House of Lords goes with ‘games of chance’, which is the seemingly the case and even more, it has an exploitative side, I never denied that, and there is a difference, I opted in the past for an alternative. It is what is called ‘A factory set’ a set with every card, the set is not tradable and has no value as you cannot trade them, but you would have all the cards and to offer that set in the last quarter of the game might be an option. 

My issue with the article was “The link between gaming loot boxes and problem gambling has been “robustly verified”, according to a new report”, I have issues with that straight of the bat and I would want to see that full report and its data before giving it any validity. You see, in the last 6-12 months I have noticed that gambling and in game advertising that is pro gambling has been popping up all over iOS and Android, Google’s own YouTube now has an increasing amount of gambling advertisements, so the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

This included advertisements on how to win at gambling, a stage that in my mind has nowhere to go and shouldn’t be allowed in any advertisement setting of Google. I wonder if that factor was considered in that report, was it even investigated? Let’s take a look!

A stage that is on a sliding slope, as we see more and more pagers on the internet all set to the stage where you can win real money playing games, so the game is already rigged and it has nothing to do (as far as I can see it) with loot boxes. And the report by the GambleAware charity is off to the wrong start with “Loot boxes are purchasable video game content with randomised rewards. Due to structural and psychological similarities with gambling, they have come under increasing media, academic and legal scrutiny. The UK government is currently reviewing evidence on loot boxes, which will be considered in the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005”, you see plenty of games allows you to win these boxes by playing, Mass Effect 3, NHL 19 and several others, some give several packs a day, you only have to enter the game to get them. The report (at https://www.begambleaware.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Gaming_and_Gambling_Report_Final.pdf) has more. “relationships between loot box engagement and problem gambling have been robustly verified in around a dozen studies”, I have an issue with that statement, but lets continue for now. When we see “Participants also purchased loot boxes because of a ‘fear of missing out’” I wonder how this was proven, you see, when we see on page 6, ‘A game will offer loot boxes for free. Encouraging later real-money purchases’ it is an assumption, a speculation. I never spend money on NHL19 and I have all the jerseys, all the goalie masks and all the arena’s. In addition, Mass Effect never pushed for spending money, you can get it all by merely playing. That is a setting of two games straight of the bat. Yes, it was possible to spend money, but it was never needed. The research then give us Overwatch which is a free to play and loot boxes are their only revenue, but what is there?

The report gives Fortnite a pass on a few settings, yet the Verge gives us ‘Epic Games will settle Fortnite loot box lawsuits in V-Bucks’ with the additional “The class action settlement also provides an additional $26 million in benefits” (at https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295676/epic-games-fortnite-loot-box-lawsuit-settlement-rocket-league-v-bucks), as such the report already has a few sides I find debatable and optional rejectable. When we are treated to “the game’s cooperative survival mode, “Save the World,” did — at least until 2019 when Epic changed its loot box system to allow players to see the item inside prior to purchase”, so why did that report not contain the part that gives us ‘when Epic changed its loot box system’, and all whilst another source gives us regarding Ubisoft “The Division 2 has both microtransactions and loot boxes and we said that Ubisoft didn’t go overboard with recurring revenue”, this was given to us in 2019, so why is a 2 billion dollar company excluded from this research? Is this EA games bashing?

There is more, and as gambling influences on other fields that the same group finds itself, the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

The report has some conclusions that make sense, they do have some grasp of the issue and as I personally see it, there needs to be a larger stage here, one that is beyond ‘self-regulating’, in this EA Games made several massive blunders on the stage and that Needs to be acknowledged too. I am all for the full disclosure of odds as well as a FULL LIST (including rarity) of all cards that can be obtained. I believe that a factory set, one that cannot be used for trading and optionally not for playing either, it might lower the ‘Pokemon’ impact (gotta catch them all) of those spending cards on it, some do want to have them all, merely for the having. Anyone who ever collected Football, Hockey or Basketball cards will get that part. A stage that will evolve over time and one that could reset the barriers we have now.

So yes, I feel I was right, loot boxes are not gambling, but they are a game of chance, even as every pack has the same dimensions, they tend to have 1 rare card and in case of EA’s FIFA that will not do, not in a game with 16,000 playable characters. There are several solutions, but it is up to EA to steer their ship to one of the solutions that gamers can live with, I for one think that the EA NHL solution is one that should limit damage, yet with 16,000 characters, the packs should be 500% larger, including at least 5 rare cards, but that is merely my initial view.

I have a few issues with the report, but it does give us a view that is not entirely wrong and it also gives us a few sides that matter. As for the BBC article, loot boxes might to some degree correlate to problem gambling, but that stage is a lot bigger than the report gives. And it starts in both the Android and the Apple store with their collection of free games that offer in-app purchases, the fact that these makers set the game up to mandatory show one advertisement EVERY level is a larger stage, and the oversight of that makes it an issue, if gambling is a factor, these influences should be looked at as well, as well as the deceptive conduct that we see in the advertisements with increasing amounts. 

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Not for minors

OK, this is not the most subtle article I have ever written, but at times subtle just doesn’t do the story any justice, it happens. So this is a question to parents “If you have a daughter between 22-32, and she looks like Laura Vandervoort, Olivia Wilde, or Alexina Graham. Can I please fuck the bejesus out of her vagina?” To be honest, I don’t really need to, but it has been a while, so there. 

Are we all awake now? So consider ‘Facebook and Apple are in a fight. Your browsing history is in the middle’ (at https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-apple-are-fight-your-browsing-history-middle-n1251612), apart from all the hackers getting access through Microsoft, we see another stage develop. The headline might not get you on board, so perhaps the by-line will “Facebook on Thursday ran its second full-page newspaper advertisement in as many days, attacking Apple’s plans to tell iPhone and iPad users when apps are tracking them online”, which implies that Facebook does NOT want you to know that apps are tracking your every move, and Apple does. It seems to me that Apple is in a stage to put awareness and security at the centre of your digital life, Facebook not so much. Now, I have no problems with Facebook keeping track of my actions ON FACEBOOK, but dos their ‘free’ service imply that they are allowed to do that anywhere I am? I believe that this is not the case and the money Facebook is getting is starting to feel tight around my digital profile, their actions had already made it important to delete Facebook software from my mobile phone (it was draining my battery), but the stage is larger and that is seen in the NBC News article (and a few others too).

So as the quote “Facebook on Thursday ran its second full-page newspaper advertisement in as many days, attacking Apple’s plans to tell iPhone and iPad users when apps are tracking them online” is given, how many of you are considering the following:

  1. A full page ad in the newspapers is pretty expensive.
  2. Facebook is seemingly untouched that multiple apps are following us.
  3. We are seemingly not allowed to know all the facts!

This is the big one “attacking Apple’s plans to tell iPhone and iPad users when apps are tracking them online”, so why are we not allowed to know what is being done to us, that we are being followed in a digital way and Facebook does not want us to be aware? This is where we see my (not so) subtle hint regarding your daughter and “fuck the bejesus out of her vagina”, how many fathers will be slightly less than enthusiastic? I get it, your little princess (your consenting and adult) little princess needs a knight on a white horse and always bring flowers and chocolates, have honourable intentions and to set your mind at ease keeps your daughter a virgin until the day she marries. It is not realistic, but parents are allowed to be overly protective of their princes and princesses. Yet Facebook seemingly does not want you to be in that park, they want you to be unaware of what is going on, and Apple drive it to the surface. So when we see “Apple is planning to roll out a new feature on its devices that will alert people when an app such as Facebook is trying to “track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites.” People will have options such as “Ask App not to Track” or “Allow.””, they did something really clever, if Microsoft (after they resolve all their hacks) does not follow suit, Microsoft stands to lose a massive slice of the consumer pie and that will not make them happy. I for the most am completely on the Apple side when we see “Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not”, I personally am realistic enough to see that Apple has an additional side to this, not sure what yet, but this is about a lot more than mere advertisements, I am however not too sure about what that is. When we see “Facebook uses data such as browsing history to show people ads they’re more likely to want to see, and to prove to marketers that its ads are working”, we need to realise that I would have no issues with any link opened within Facebook towards whatever we were going to in any advertisement. For example, if Facebook opens up a browser window, within Facebook and tracks the clicker, I would not completely be opposed to it, but Facebook realises that the data it I tracking is a much larger stage and I feel that this is not merely about “prove to marketers that its ads are working”, I believe that these trackers keep tabs on a lot more, keep tabs on what we do, where we do it and how we do it. I believe that it is a first step in the overly effective phishing attacks we face, Facebook might not be part to that, but I reckon the phishing industry got access to data that is not normally collected and I personally believe that Facebook is part of that problem, I also believe that this will turn from bad to worse with all the ‘via browser gaming apps’ we are currently being offered. I believe that these dedicated non console gaming ‘solutions’ will make things worse, it might be about money for players like Epic (Fortnite), but the data collected in this will cater to a much larger and optionally fairly darker player in this, I just haven’t found any direct evidence proving this, in my defence, I had no way of seeing the weakness that SolarWinds introduced. It does not surprise me, because there is always someone smarter and any firm that has a revenue and a cost issue will find a cheaper way, opening the door for all the nefarious characters surfing the life of IoT, there was never any doubt in this.

And in this, it was for them NEVER directly about the money, in this look at the ‘victims’:
The US Treasury Department, The US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), The Department of Health’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The US Department of State, The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) (also disclosed today), The US Department of Energy (DOE) (also disclosed today), Three US states (also disclosed today), City of Austin (also disclosed today) (source: ZDNET). It was about the information, the stage of a more complete fingerprint of people and administrations. It gives the worry, but it also gives the stage where we can see that Apple has a point and we need to protect ourselves, because players like Microsoft will not (no matter what they claim). In this I name Microsoft, but they are not alone, anyone skating around margins of cost are potential data leaks and that list is a hell of a lot larger than any of us (including me) thinks it is.

So whilst we look and admire the models, actors and actresses and we imagine whatever we imagine, consider that they are not a realistic path, a desirable one, but not a realistic one and that is the opening that organised crime needs to claimingly give you ‘access’ to what you desire whilst taking your data. It is the oldest game in the book, all wars Arte based on deception and you need to wake up, the moment your data is captures and categorised you are no longer considered an interesting party, you are sold and they move onto the next target. So whilst you get trivialised, consider that Apple has a plan, but whatever they plan, it seems you are better off on that side, than the one Facebook is planning. When was the last time that you were better off staying in the dark on what happens to your data, on what happens when others keep tabs on you?

And in this consider “Facebook is making a last-ditch effort to persuade Apple to back off or compromise with industry standard-setters.With offline ads in newspapers such as The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, the social networking company is trying to rally to its side the millions of small businesses who buy ads on Facebook and Instagram”, so in that quote where do we see any consideration on the people or us as the consumers? When we see “millions of small businesses who buy ads on Facebook and Instagram” where is the consideration that they should have for the customers who walk into their business? When you get in any shop what do you hear? How can I be of service? Or do you hear: What do you want? I let you consider that whilst you consider the position Facebook needs to have and consider that non digital advertisement never kept track of what other newspapers you were reading. 

We seemingly forgot that there is a price for the presence of IoT, Apple is making us aware of that. I am not silly enough that Apple is holier than though, but at least they created the awareness and the greed driven players are not looking too good today, are they?

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The tech is out there

Even now, as the larger players (Microsoft and Wall-mart) are starting a bidding fight for TikTok, we see the flaw on several levels in the digital age. I illuminated it yesterday, in my previous article.  We are in a stage where everyone is shouting that they have Digital Media Managers , Digital Marketers, Account Managers, Social Media Managers and so on, and so on. Yet, where it counts, we see (at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/bulletins/29bf2b8) the statement on Kenosha and the shooting, but when I looked at the site in ‘Self destruct initiated’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/27/self-destruct-initiated/) there was no mention at all and that was at 02:57 on August 27th, whilst the shooting was on August 23, it took 4 days for the digital media manager to wake up. Yet the police section in the news of the City of Kenosha website is still empty, so why do they have a website and who manages it? It is nice to have politicians and captains of industry hide behind the Internet of Things, digital media and digital needs, but where it counts, are they even aware that they flunked the pooch? 

A second set is given by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53930775), here we see ‘Facebook says Apple ad-blocking settings could halve revenue’ where we get introduced to “Apple’s plan to require all users to actively opt in before they can be tracked “may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it”, Facebook said”, whilst we also get “In the upcoming iOS 14, apps have to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data, meaning ads will no longer be able to just “follow” users to apps outside of Facebook”, all whilst everyone is ignoring “way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps”, lets be clear, FaceBook has every right to advertise on its site, it is the price of getting a free service, yet where does it state that the people have to agree to be followed “into other mobile apps”? In that article, where does it state the need and rights of the consumer? (I am not attacking the BBC or the writer of the article), we overlook technology to the mere shallow assumption related to it. We see the attack on Apple from Epic games (Fortnite) and we see Microsoft supporting Epic games, yet thee fact that the rule that Apple relied on is pretty much the same rule Microsoft has in place, so how did that make sense? It only looks clear when we see the path Microsoft has in play and they mobile XCloud is relying on the millions of iPhone users. I mentioned that in ‘The stage pushed by Microsoft’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/24/the-stage-pushed-by-microsoft/), so again we see a tech setting that is getting a shallow treatment and in this case I do not attack the media (even though I think they fell short), for the media it is all the emotion, as such we see the BBC giving us ‘Apple Fortnite players left behind in new update’, yet the stage where Epic games would be allowed back if they remove the external link in the game, which is against the developers agreement that Epic games agreed to when they got on the Apple store, a rule that Microsoft has in play as well and the media pretty much smoothed over with what I would personally see as ‘applied ignorance in action’.  

We see two versions of limited tech insight. This entire setting also applies to Huawei, the accusations and the lack of evidence is centre to all this. We get ‘Huawei’s networking equipment has not been detected spying’, in a Sky article last July, and it is the driving part in all this, we want evidence and we keep on getting bitching American politicians, one after another all emotions and no evidence. All whilst last week in the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/technology/is-huawei-too-big-to-fail-20200824-p55ont) where we get the repeated “shot down by an announcement from the US government that it would use the global dominance of American technology to cut off all supplies of semiconductors to Huawei”, which is stupidity on a new level. It seems that it is not and that would be fair, the short term solution is met as semiconductors are not available. Yet in this for over a year Huawei was ready to that stage making (read: designing) their own semiconductors. When that happens, the US will have a Chinese competitor in another field and the US will lose even more ground. So whilst the US is in denial that Huawei grew because it had a good product, slightly cheaper but a lot better, in all this they rely on “Driven by the belief that Huawei could enable the ruling Chinese Communist party and its military to spy on other countries and their companies, undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets, the US government used every option open to it”, where ‘could’ is the operative word and the additional ‘undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets’, and guess what, there is no evidence on any level and the situation merely becomes worse when you consider ‘Critical flaw in IOS routers allows ‘complete system compromise’’, a part that ZDNet gave us in June (and before that, at https://www.zdnet.com/article/ciscos-warning-critical-flaw-in-ios-routers-allows-complete-system-compromise/), it is a simple situation, the Chinese government does not need to use Huawei to spy, they can use Cisco equipment (an American company based in San Jose) and download server by server on a global scale. When did the media give you that part? That weakness and a few more have been out in the open, and we hear nothing. This is not on Cisco, as it warned the users and is working on fixes, but the media is blind to the flaw, why is that?

Both the tech and the flawed tech is out there and there is a growing issue for a lot of people that we get limited and one sided revelations, who is served better to that? I am going with the personal view that the setting of the media catering to Shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers remains firmly in place.

The tech is out there, but who is taking a good look at it and who is using it to the maximum that would be required in the digital age? I’ll let you brew on that for a little while.

 

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The stage pushed by Microsoft

It started recently with a setting that is now evolving into ‘Microsoft says Apple’s move against ‘Fortnite’ creator would hurt its games’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-epic-games/microsoft-says-apples-move-against-fortnite-creator-would-hurt-its-games-idUSKBN25J0K2). In the first a person (like me) would state ‘Who cares?’, yet the state we see ourselves in is becoming less transparent. In gaming, there is nothing like branding, branding has been the centrepiece of gaming for 30 years, does that mean that there is no room to manoeuvre? No, it does not, but to understand the setting we need to take you back. Even as Microsoft would love to push the stage via “Microsoft Corp on Sunday said in a court filing that Apple Inc’s threat to cut off the creator of “Fortnite” from Apple’s developer tools would hurt Microsoft’s gaming business, as well as other game developers” to THEIR advantage, as they are in a stage where they lose the gaming business due to their own stupidity. They tried to change the business and they were willing to do this at the expense of the gamer, the consumer, so how exactly is Apple hurting their business when they are doing it to themselves? Yes that is a decent question, but to understand the stage, we need to understand the larger setting.

There are PC gamers and Xbox gamers, both with Microsoft in a larger form of power, yet they are about to lose 50% of that (Xbox), the issues is not where you play games, but the stage where Microsoft wants YOU to play. The stage is further pushed through ‘Microsoft Research has prototyped Xbox controllers for phones and tablets’, the big issues is that Apple gamers and iPad gamers consists of well over a million players and to get them to embrace Microsoft controllers, they need games that are under their control, and as such they need access to Apple hardware, revenue drives them at every turn and Apple users are a massive source of untapped revenue. In light of this, does the title part ‘would hurt Microsoft’s gaming business’ make sense? Fortnite is but one title, it is owned by Epic Games, which is part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. So how does Microsoft fit in? Well it doesn’t but access to Apple is essential for the failed business that is laughingly known as ‘Microsoft’s gaming business’. Now, Microsoft can do in its own realm whatever it wants, and for that reason I dumped the Microsoft console, but there is no way that I would accept their stupidity on Sony Playstation, Apple, or Nintendo systems. They are loudly protesting because Epic Games has about a quarter of a billion gamers, so by stating that they are here for Fortnite is interesting for them, and the fact that Fortnite exists on nearly all systems works out well for them. And as we can see how they (as I personally see it) betrayed their own gamers base, so how can they state “Microsoft’s gaming business” when their setting is ‘revenue’, and whilst we also get to see “Apple has said that it will reverse its moves if Epic resubmits a version of “Fortnite” that complies with its payment rules”, so Epic can undo the damage when it adheres to the Apple rules. To be honest, I am on the fence on those rules, and Epic Games enjoyed the benefit in the beginning, but now they want to avoid the cost, and this is the weird part when we look at Fortnite we are given: “V-Bucks purchased on PlayStation 4 or Switch cannot be spent on other devices. Any Fortnite content you buy with your V-Bucks will be available on every device linked to your Fortnite account, regardless of which device the content was bought on”, and as I see it, why is Apple not mentioned there? In addition we see “V-Bucks are not transferable between Epic accounts”, so in that regard when we look back to 2018 where we see “Starting today on Xbox One, cross-platform play, purchasing and progression are available between Xbox One, PC, Mac and iOS.  Support for Android is coming in the next few months. As always, cross-platform functionality is a completely opt-in experience”, so  in this, there is no cross for Nintendo and Sony, as such why push Apple? All whilst Epic did this to themselves by ignoring the Apple rules (Google rules too). Whilst we see that these rules were circumvented, why do Facebook and Microsoft want a piece of it? We can start Facebook in any apple and any safari browser, yet they are limited to the data they can capture, when these games are directly added and outside of the store we will never know what security issue is circumvented, and personally, it is my opinion that Microsoft has no real credibility left, so why would I allow them there? And why are they so against the ‘rules’ that Apple set up when both Apple and Facebook had no issues forcing their rules down our throats? #JustAsking

And in finality the best cherrie of them all, straight from Microsoft (at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies#108-financial-transactions):

10.8 Financial Transactions

If your product includes in-product purchase, subscriptions, virtual currency, billing functionality or captures financial information, the following requirements apply:

10.8.1

You must use the Microsoft Store in-product purchase API to sell digital items or services that are consumed or used within your product. Your product may enable users to consume previously purchased digital content or services, but must not direct users to a purchase mechanism other than the Microsoft Store in-product purchase API. 

As such what is Microsoft exactly bitching about? 

 

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It is more than a ban

It has not been an easy rise for game makers, now that Microsoft has shown its initial hand, now it is time for some of the game makers to show theirs. It starts with “Apple and Google both removed the hit game from their app stores after Epic Games bypassed their payment systems, to avoid giving them a cut of sales”, I get the sentiment, and the BBC article ‘Fortnite: Epic Games sues Google and Apple over app store bans’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53777379) gives part of it. We got some of the other side in the GamesRadar article that I discussed in ‘the Silent reason’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/13/the-silent-reason/) where I gave “Xbox Game Pass is the next generation of Microsoft gaming, not Xbox Series X”, in this we see the start of the big players to set a new generation of GaaS, Games as a Service is the next thing and it allows Microsoft to set another revenue bar, it is the one realisation on top of the other ones that made me give up on Microsoft and now the larger players are using GaaS to gain revenue. In this, I have nothing against the approach that Epic is making, even as I am not a Fortnite fan, it is a free game and as such it has every right to make this approach, yet Google and  Apple will not be left out of any revenue loop. Gpay and Apple Pay are their own devices and they have a stage and it requires their view or perhaps the stage is their vision on the services offered. I  am not sure how to react, in favour or against the ban laid on Epic, but both the Google store and the Apple store have their own rules and the idea that Epic circumvents the stores might be seen as optionally cheaper to the player, but the downside is that as third parties get their own direct access, their store access becomes available to come under fire and that is not a good thing. 

The article gives us “Fortnite’s latest update offered all players a 20% discount on its in-game currency V-bucks – but only if they paid Epic Games directly rather than using Apple or Google’s payment systems. This broke rules applied by both stores”, The danger of a third party is something neither Google or Apple find appealing and I feel certain that their fees avoided is equally unappealing to them. And lets be clear, as GaaS evolves over the next 2 years, we will see the players exposed to all kinds of ‘direct from the source’ deals, because it allows the gathering of data and data is more revenue for whomever has it. The problem as I see it is not the fact that there is GaaS, the fact is that the stage will be overwhelmingly younger players. Even as 63% of Fortnite is 18-24, there is a stage where there are supposed to be 12-18 year old players and there are supposed to be a large following of them too, yet the toppling charts I saw does not reflect them properly, in light of 350,000,000 players I wonder how large that 12-18 group is and even as it is not their credit card, someone is paying that bill (most likely their mommy), yet that stage also gives Google and Apple a larger concern and I reckon that they are programming the stores to raise all kinds of red flags before they fall in a trap that is not unlike the one Electronic Arts is facing with their loot boxes. In all this there is a lull in the life of the lawmakers, GaaS is new, so new that most laws are riddled with holes and that is not a good thing. A lot needs to happen to bind and limit financial institutions from allowing gamers to be used and exploited. Now let me be clear I do not believe that loot boxes are gambling, in that same stage I believe that Epic Games has done nothing wrong, but consider other games that pushes for additional movements and choices that come at a price, whilst their algorithm is set to always set the bar at your effort +1% (speaking figuratively), so how is that fair? I reckon that Google and Apple are set against that stage (whilst getting their own grains of revenue) and that is perhaps not the worst idea, yet I see the other side too, especially as Fortnite is free to play, to gain the upper hand you can buy V-bucks to buy loot boxes and skins. It is one way to get the income, it is of course a risk, but knowing you have 350 million fans, the stage is set in a decent way and when you consider that they made $1.9 billion in 2019 gives rise to the GaaS platform. It is a platform that does allow for more than one game to be part of it and that is what players like Microsoft are hoping for, I reckon that Apple and Google are on that same train. And it is there that we see the balancing act that both Google and Apple face. It is appealing to lock the door to players like Epic Games, but they are not alone and over time, other options will become available, of that I am absolutely certain

 

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