Not to be outdone by its FAANG and other technology rivals, it appears Amazon has been secretly developing a game streaming service. It looks set to compete with Microsoft and Google with instant video games housed on powerful servers.
Cloud-based gaming, which will negate the need for downloads or game cards, could be one of the next major advances for the gaming industry.
Google and Microsoft Already in the Game
Google’s Project Steam cloud gaming service is currently in beta testing with no news of a full, official launch. For Google, it will be as easy as opening a Chrome tab to play your favorite game.
Microsoft unveiled its Project xCloud in October 2018. It will be available for public testing sometime in 2019 and run on console and PC.
Amazon is reportedly already in talks with publishers but won’t be launching its own service until 2020. The news comes from sources simply named as “two briefed on the plans” who revealed the development to The Information.
There has been no formal announcement from Amazon, as yet. Other reports found that Amazon is hiring engineers in Seattle and California to work on “cloud games.” With one job description revealing the opportunity involves shaping the foundation of an “unannounced AAA games business.”
An Industry Worth $20.28 Billion
Amazon already has a powerful cloud server infrastructure in Amazon Web Services. So, an Amazon game streaming service makes a sensible addition to its wide-reaching technology portfolio. It also owns the video streaming platform Twitch, massively popular with gamers.
Of course, Amazon’s Twitch already competes with Google’s YouTube and now the rivalry between the leading technology players could well be hotting up. By 2020 the videogame industry in the U.S. will be worth an estimated $20.28 billion.
With today’s trading closed on the Nasdaq, it’s a wait and see if Amazon’s share price will be affected positively by the news.
After a poor and volatile last quarter 2018 for technology stocks there appears to be some breakouts in the FAANG and Microsoft share price and company value battle. Apple stock plummeted over sales forecast revisions and then it revealed production cuts. However, Apple’s share price has begun to recover. Netflix has had a 2019-long winning streak so far.
We might not hear from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on the development just yet. The Bezos divorce hit the press this week and could result in the world’s largest divorce settlement yet.
The release of season six for the popular Fortnite video game has inspired the development of bitcoin-stealing malware disguised as game cheating tools.
Malwarebytes Labs has discovered malware disguised as cheat tools that can steal data and bitcoin from Fortnite gamers, according to Christopher Boyd, the lead malware intelligence analyst. Malwarebytes Labs found the malware among YouTube videos offering “free” season passes and offers for “free” Android versions of the game, Boyd noted in a blog post.
Multiple Steps To Getting Scammed
Finding the malware required going through numerous steps, including subscribing to a YouTube channel, getting prompted to a different site, then taking a survey before downloading the malware.
One video was titled, “New Season 6 Fortnite Hack Cheat Free Download September 2018 / WH / Aimbot/ Undetectable.” One was titled, “Fortnite Hack Free Download,” while another was titled “Fortnite Cheat.”
One video racked up 120,892 views before being removed for violating YouTube’s spam policy, noted Boyd, who also observed that disguising malware as a cheat tool is not a new technique, but one that can do a lot of damage.
When the initial .exe file runs on the target system, it enumerates details of the infected computer, Boyd noted. It then sends data by means of a POST command to a file in the Russian Federation. A lot of data can be stolen, as the malware examines bitcoin wallets, Steam sessions, cookies, and browser session information. A readme file advertises the ability to purchase additional Fortnite scams for “$80 bitcoin.”
Boyd advised anyone tempted to cheat at Fortnite to steer clear of the numerous offers available.
“Offering up a malicious file under the pretense of a cheat is as old school as it gets, but that’s never stopped cybercriminals before. In this scenario, would-be cheaters suffer a taste of their own medicine via a daisy chain of clickthroughs and (eventually) some malware as a parting gift,” he wrote. “Winning is great, but it’s absolutely not worth risking a huge slice of personal information to get the job done.”
Is Fomo3D an incisive critique, a scam, or a little of both?
On its face, Fomo3D is a straightforward game of chance: Players have 24 hours to buy in to a pot, the lion’s share of which goes to the last buyer to get in under the buzzer. Every time a player buys in, 30 seconds is added to the clock, which caps at 24 hours, and the next buy-in becomes more expensive. Players can buy in as many times as they want, either all at once to bump up the clock or at the last possible moment, thus winning the pot.
The very first round of Fomo3D began July 8 with no money in the pot. As of this writing, there are two hours left on the clock. Buy-in has risen from less than 49 cents to $2.22, and with more than 34 million buy-ins, the pot is worth almost $9 million. How this ends, no one is really sure.
Far from just gambling, Fomo3D is an incisive critique of cryptocurrency and the hype surrounding it. All of the game’s transactions are conducted in and built on top of Ethereum, a decentralized computing system that has its own cryptocurrency and contract functions. The idea is that players can feel confident that Fomo3D will play out honestly because Ethereum is based on open-source, distributed ledgers and contracts through which everyone can see where the money is, when it should be paid out, and to whom. But that isn’t true of every cryptocurrency venture.
“Cryptocurrency as a whole is 99.9 percent get-rich-quick schemes from projects that will never deliver,” says “Justo,” one of the four pseudonymous developers of Fomo3D, who are collectively known as Team JUST. Reached via the online messaging platform Discord, Justo declined to reveal any other personal information (including their gender) or their collaborators, whom they say they have never met in real life.
Fomo3D beckons you to play, then ridicules you fortrying.
“Cryptocurrency itself isn’t a real investment as much as it’s a speculative toy,” Justo continues. “Our game takes that to the next level.”
From form to functionality, Team JUST designed Fomo3D to both entice and caution. The entire game is intentionally framed around the concept of an “exit scam” (the game’s URL is exitscam.me; playing it is described as “exit scamming”; its tagline is “All the Fun of an Exit Scam,” with “Fun” flashing as “Fear”), in which a con artist collects payment for goods and skips town before delivery is due. More recently, the term has been used to describe cryptocurrency companies that raised hundreds of millions of dollars in initial coin offerings, only to disappear.
Fomo3D evokes the mad rush for cryptocurrency by investors who hardly understand the technology or its risks. The game’s language and imagery simultaneously cultivate players’ greed and undercut their hopes. The button to purchase a key (a game ticket, essentially) updates with the handle of the most recent buyer, incorporated into messages like “X is trying to take everything, stop them!”; “Getting out of wage slavery is within your grasp, just beat Y, you can do it”; and “Z would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids and your key purchase.” At the same time, the game’s symbol is an upside-down pyramid, and even its name is a joke, playing on the slang acronym for “fear of missing out.” Fomo3D beckons you to play, then ridicules you for trying, blinding you with dollar signs along the way.
Team JUST is also using Fomo3D to ask a few probing philosophical questions. On a webpage introducing the game, the designers call it “a psychological social experiment in greed” and “some form of evil super-science,” and Justo describes it as “just a trick of human psyche” on Discord.
What they mean is clear upon considering the full implications of Fomo3D’s design. Because more time is added to the clock each time a player buys a key, the only way for the game to end is when players stop trying to win, which is unlikely, considering how much money is at stake. And because each key purchased raises the price of the next one, more and more money is going to be at stake, incentivizing players to invest even more in hopes of winning. Furthermore, as the game runs on Ethereum, which is decentralized, Team JUST claims that it cannot be tampered with by anyone, including the designers—nor can it be stopped, short of all 10,000-plus Ethereum nodes around the world going down simultaneously. That would not only make the nearly $9 million worth of cryptocurrency that is indeed tied up in Fomo3D inaccessible, but it would also jeopardize all of Ethereum, which Justo estimates is valued at $42 billion. In other words, Ethereum is not going down.
While Team JUST is steadfast in their claims that Fomo3D’s mechanics cannot be altered and that the pot cannot be usurped by anyone but the game’s winner, others are not so sure. Developers familiar with blockchain technology have examined the game’s programming and found issues. Péter Szilágyi, an Ethereum developer, published one vulnerability, which allows exploiters to siphon “airdrops,” or minipots that are randomly awarded with the purchase of each key. (Justo attributes this to “the lack of consistent and understandable documentation” for Ethereum’s security requirements; Szilágyi declined to comment.) The members of Team JUST say there’s nothing they can do to patch it. Other unintentional exploits may come up, but critics are also looking at backdoors by which the designers could run away with the pot. For its part, the Ethereum Foundation, which supports the research and development of the platform, declined to discuss Fomo3D. Ethereum external relations lead Joseph Schweitzer says, “We don’t comment on individual applications being built on top of the platform.”
When asked directly if Fomo3D really is a scam, Justo answers, “I mean, if it was an actual exit scam, it would be great too, right?”
And they’ve got a point. Because, at the end of the day, if they ran away with everything, could you really blame them? In so many ways, they were telling you that this was a scam all along.
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Looking to find some free bitcoin? A pair of planets on the No Man’s Sky action survival game are hiding 0.004 BTC, according to Hackernoon. Players can claim the bitcoin by finding the corresponding communications stations in the game.
Jon Creasy, a crypto enthusiast and investment adviser, says more hidden bitcoin will soon be forthcoming. More importantly, he hopes his fellow gaming enthusiasts follow his example and offer crypocurrency rewards. He thinks gamers could bring about mass adoption of cryptocurrency.
Creasy could be on to something, considering gaming has been one of the most proactive industries to adopt cryptocurrency.
Will It Bring Mass Adoption?
More pro-crypto gaming enthusiasts need to get on board, however. When Twitter users were asked what use case will take cryptocurrency to more than 10 million daily users, gaming and collectibles came in third behind remittances and P2P payment and gambling and the prediction market. (There are currently less than 1 million active cryptocurrency users today, discounting speculative holders, noted cryptocurency hedge fund manager Ari Paul.)
There's currently probably less than 1 million daily active users of cryptocurrency (if we exclude pure speculation and passive hodling.) Which use case will first take us over 10 million active daily users?
Creasy, who is quick to point to the adventurous nature of gamers, has established a subreddit for those who want to communicate with other bitcoin bounty hunters. He hopes to encourage gamers and crypto enthusiasts to follow his example. He points out that the gaming industry could become built on cryptocurrency.
Gaming Embraces Cryptocurrency
Meanwhile, gaming companies continue to use cryptocurrency in various ways.
In 2016, Steam, a gaming and digital distribution platform, began accepting bitcoin payments enabled by BitPay. The payment processor noted at the time that bitcoin will help Steam reach gamers worldwide minus the high fees chargeback risks associated with card payments. Unfortunately, Steam disabled cryptocurrency payments last year, citing the very high fees they had hoped this technology would prevent.
GMO Internet, a Japanese Internet services provider that offers cryptocurrency trading, recently announced it has developed “CryptoChips” to allow cryptocurrency distribution as remuneration within games. CryptoChips will allow players to receive cryptocurrency based on players’ rankings within the game, when they acquire items or achieve missions.
Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!