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Move and earn leader STEPN drops new app and gaming token

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FSL, the global gaming and development studio behind web3 lifestyle app STEPN, NFT marketplace MOOAR, and social-strategy game Gas Hero, has officially announced the launch of STEPN GO. The new product is a social lifestyle app that rewards your daily movement and social interactions. Today marks an exciting milestone with the release of the STEPN GO Whitepaper and Tokenomic model. The game introduces a new token, GO GAME TOKEN (GGT), which users can earn by walking, jogging, and running with digital NFT Sneakers. There will also be a PvP game feature that allows users to earn GMT, the FSL Ecosystem token.

The original STEPN app was launched in 2021 and remains the world’s leading ‘Move and Earn’ application, pioneering the genre of gamified web3 fitness applications. With over 5.6 million registered users and over 1 million Sneaker NFTs owned by players, STEPN achieved monumental success, acquiring a global community. STEPN has partnered with prolific brands over the years including ASICS, Steve Aoki, and most recently adidas. STEPN was also the first blockchain gaming app to integrate Apple Pay, creating a seamless onboarding experience for web2 native users.

Yawn Rong, Co-Founder of FSL commented, “The STEPN community has been requesting social features within the app since the early days of STEPN. Therefore, we’re so excited to reveal these new features, which will propel STEPN GO into mainstream adoption. In addition to the Haus Mechanism and Interactive Map, we will also implement PvP elements within the app. Community is at the heart of everything we do at FSL, and we are ecstatic to announce this monumental milestone today, reinforcing our commitment to empowering and engaging our users.”

Building on the success of STEPN, FSL has designed unique social features within STEPN GO. The first key social element is the ‘Haus System’, which is a lending system that allows users to share their Sneaker NFTs with friends and family members who are new to the app, and split their earnings. This system will enable easy onboarding for new users to enjoy the app and kickstart their fitness journey. Another unique feature will be the ‘Interactive Map’, which will allow users to see other players’ avatars and even add them as friends within the platform. This Interactive Map will also allow users to drop messages that can be found by other players out doing STEPN GO runs.

Jerry Huang, Co-Founder of FSL added, “With STEPN GO, anyone can onboard their friends and family to web3 without needing to create a wallet or even buy NFTs. Exercise will be more fun and rewarding. We will combine fitness with many enjoyable experiences, including having your own customizable avatars with unique outfits!”

The Alpha Version of STEPN GO is set to launch by Q3 2024 with a Sneaker NFT Alpha Prize Draw lasting one month. A total of 3,000 Sneaker NFTs will be distributed within the app. To enter, users will be required to lock GMT. Access to the Alpha Prize Draw will be limited to FSL ID users, ensuring the most loyal FSL community members are rewarded. An additional 2,000 Sneakers will also be given away via the STEPN X account and STEPN GO Discord. Make sure to follow STEPN on X for your chance to win a Sneaker and gain early access.

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NVIDIA and GIGABYTE bring NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack across 20 gaming cafes, rewarding INR 2,00,000 through esports tournament

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NVIDIA, the world leader in accelerated computing, has tied up with GIGABYTE, a global leader in computer hardware, to bring the NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack. The esports tournament took place across 20 gaming cafes in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Shillong, and Bangalore, with teams registering to compete in Counter-Strike 2 for a share of the INR 2,00,000 prize pool.

Commenting on the successful association and the completion of the NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack, Sunil Grewal, Director, GIGABYTE India, said, “We are thrilled to wrap up the first-ever NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack, bringing Counter-Strike 2 esports action to cafes in every nook and corner of the country. As leaders in the manufacturing of graphic cards loved by gamers worldwide, we are glad to have organized a grassroots-level esports tournament bringing together esports enthusiasts in an epic showdown, enabling us to connect directly with the Indian PC gaming community.”

The NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack esports tournament, in collaboration with GIGABYTE, highlighted the importance of top-tier hardware like the GIGABYTE GEFORCE RTX 4070 SUPER GAMING OC 12GB GDDR6 in competitive gaming. With advanced features such as ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics, this GPU ensures smooth performance and low-latency responsiveness crucial for esports titles like Counter-Strike 2. Its robust cooling system and overclocking capabilities maintain peak performance during intense gaming sessions, empowering players to excel. By integrating cutting-edge hardware, GIGABYTE enhances the esports experience, fostering competitiveness and immersion in the digital arena.

The NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack 2024 was a resounding success, with more than 70 teams registering to compete in the open-for-all tournament.

These 70 teams competed in their local cafes, where the best 32 advanced to the National Playoffs. The NVIDIA Reflex iCafe Attack 2024 National Playoffs happened every Saturday and Sunday, across April 2024, where the 32 teams locked horns in intense Counter-Strike 2 esports action for the lion’s share of the INR 2,00,000 prize pool.

Ultimately, Mumbai’s Global Gaming Cafe dominated Bangalore’s Colosseum Cafe 3-0 in a one-sided grand final to be crowned the champions. The team will walk away with INR 1,00,000 of the total prize pool.

● Global Gaming Cafe (Mumbai): INR 1,00,000

● Colosseum Cafe (Bangalore): INR, 60,000

● Immortal Cafe (Delhi): INR 40,000

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The best European gamers will meet in Vilnius: global tournaments and the latest technology presentations

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As Lithuania increasingly finds itself in the spotlight of the global gaming community, country’s gamers can once again rejoice at significant news. Lithuania will host “Trackmania World Tour” stage. With this news, it is planned that 24th to 26th of May, in Vilnius the “Baltics Gaming Expo” will bring together the best gamers from across Europe and the world.

International tournaments and showcase battles

“We love to play, and we’re really good at it at the highest level. This is the second year that the “Baltics Gaming Expo” will gather video game enthusiasts and professionals from all around Europe. If last year, 29,000 participants and visitors came to participate or watch tournaments, explore the latest technologies, and try out newly released games, this year, we expect even bigger growth. After all, we have some special news – the “Trackmania” game tournament at the event is included in the global rankings. In other words, all the best players are coming to Vilnius”, says Šarūnas Tamulis, one of the organizers of the “Baltics Gaming Expo”.

Players from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, and other countries will participate in the global ranking tournament. Among the participants will be representatives from Lithuania.

The largest gaming and technology event in the Baltic States will also feature “Counter Strike”, “Valorant”, “Rocket League”, “League of Legends”, and other international tournaments.

“There will also be special showcase battles. The best players and streamers in the country will meet on the main stage and compete playing “Counter Strike” and “Valorant”, the organizer says.

From famous streamers’ to retro games

In the gaming community, it’s popular to watch other players remotely broadcast their matches via social networks (game-streaming). Streamers are like opinion leaders, whose popularity and influence grow every day.

“To the delight of our community, the very popular streamer AnnieFuchsia will also attend the event. She has gathered half a million followers on her Twitch channel alone. For those interested, we will create an opportunity to participate in a discussion with the gamer, get answers to significant questions, or even get a photo together”, says Š. Tamulis.

Attendees of the event will also be able to enjoy a space dedicated to exceptional retro games. It will feature dozens of classic arcade games from the 80s and 90s.

“The technology giant “Samsung”, has prepared special activations for the visitors. At the largest “Galaxy AI” stand, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the latest artificial intelligence news and try them out on smart devices. There will also be a special “Brawlstars” tournament at the stand, where well-known content creators and enthusiasts of this game from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will meet. The winner will receive the latest “Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra” phone”, the organizer presents.

A weekend for popular culture

The “Baltic Gaming Expo” will take place during “Comic Con Baltics 2024 powered by Samsung,” the largest popular culture event in the Baltic States. From May 24th to 26th, “LITEXPO” will turn into a universe of popular culture.

Fans will have the chance to meet stars from iconic Hollywood projects. Among them are actors from the “Harry Potter” films Natalia Tena and Devon Murray, “Marvel” film actor Sean Gunn, “Highlander” actor Adrian Paul, actress Natasha Halevi, internet comic stars Rob DenBleyker of “Cyanide&Happiness,” “Natural Habitat Shorts,” “Nobody Sausage,” and Nathan W. Pyle, creator of “Strange Planet” comics.

The event will also feature the largest cosplay competition in the Baltic States, premieres of the latest films, presentations, and discussions, an interactive family space, the “Artists’ Alley,” which annually unites around a hundred popular culture artists, a space for vendors offering many curiosities, impressive decorations from the most famous films and series worldwide, and many other attractions.

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Midjiwan Supports Reforestation Efforts With New Elyrion Tribe Skin In The Battle Of Polytopia

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Midjiwan, the award-winning independent studio behind The Battle of Polytopia, is celebrating Elyrion (∑∫ỹriȱŋ) Tribe Week with a brand-new Midnight (₼idŋighţ) skin and donations to support reforestation.

Tapping into the Elyrion Tribe’s nature magic abilities, every purchase of an Elyrion item in the game will plant one real-world tree from April 22-28 2024. Midjiwan has teamed up with The Canopy Project, an organisation that works with global partners to reforest areas in urgent need of rehabilitation, combining The Battle Of Polytopia’s themes with a desire to make real change in the world. Previous years of Elyrion Tribe Week have resulted in the planting of over 12,000 trees.

The Elyrion Tribe is a mysterious group of elves, dedicated to defending their woodland home with their unique magic and connection with nature. Players using the Elyrion tribe have the ability to enchant animals into Polytaurs and summon powerful Fire Dragons.

Christian Lövstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, commented:

“This is a hugely exciting partnership, allowing players to support the planet and contribute to reforestation whilst also accessing brilliant new content to use in The Battle Of Polytopia.”

Alongside donating to The Canopy Project, The Battle Of Polytopia also boasts a brand-new skin for the Elyrion Tribe! The Midnight skin allows players to create graves, build crypts, and summon demons in dark forests, all in service of the mysterious Shard of D’Naeh.

The Midnight skin re-skins the entire Elyrion Tribe as the Midnight Cult. Everything the Elyrion Tribe is all about – nature, enchantment, and sanctuary – is turned on its head, corrupted into a dark, twisted dystopia of itself.

Midjiwan has already invested €250,000 in solar power projects in rural areas around Africa, and other charitable projects. The studio continues to seek opportunities to combine its in-game creativity with real-world benefits. The Battle of Polytopia is available on Nintendo Switch, the App Store, Google Play, PC, and Tesla cars.

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G2 Gozen crowned inaugural Red Bull Instalock Champions with Grand Finals sweep

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G2 Gozen crowned inaugural Red Bull Instalock Champions with Grand Finals sweep

  • G2 Gozen were crowned inaugural champions of Red Bull Instalock in 3-1 win against VCT Game Changers 2023 champions Shopify Rebellion
  • The invitational tournament ran from 20-21 April at the UK’s premier esports and gaming venue, the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London
  • Red Bull Instalock brought together some of the best women’s VALORANT GC teams from around the world including G2 Gozen, GIANTX, Shopify Rebellion and Karmine Corp
  • The tournament was hosted by Yinsu Collins, with insights from Kieran “Kairo” Tulloch, Billie “BillieIDK” Purdie, Matt “Twiggy” Twigg, and Harry “Hazza” Chapman and an appearance from Megan “Megsoundslikeegg” Garner
  • AGON by AOC was the official Monitor Partner for Red Bull Instalock, providing cutting-edge AGON PRO AG254FG monitors, featuring a 360 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time, for the best in-game experience.

G2 Gozen have been crowned the inaugural Red Bull Instalock champions, claiming the victory across a weekend packed with exhilarating VALORANT matches and tactical plays. Streamed live from London’s premier esports and gaming venue, the Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Red Bull Instalock marked the UK’s first professional women’s VALORANT tournament of 2024.

Red Bull Instalock brought together four of the world’s best professional women’s VALORANT teams for a spectacle tournament, G2 Gozen, GIANTX, Karmine Crop, and 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour: Game Changers Championship winners Shopify Rebellion. Putting a unique twist on the traditional team composition, the competing teams were required to implement three of the game’s offensive class, duelists.

Red Bull Instalock quickly established itself as a high-stakes competition, with teams racing to dominate maps across a best-of-three format across the Upper Semi-Finals. The first game of the tournament saw powerhouse G2 Gozen battle it out against underdogs GIANTX, with GIANTX securing their position in the Upper Finals with a tiebreaker victory against G2 Gozen (2-1).

The second match featured North America’s Shopify Rebellion, who swiftly relegated the French force of Karmine Corp to the Lower Bracket (2-0). Facing off once again, G2 Gozen vanquished GIANTX in a Lower Bracket match underdog victory, securing themselves a position in the Grand Final to compete against Shopify Rebellion (2-0).

This Lower Bracket victory marked a turning point for G2 Gozen, who delivered a flawless masterclass in VALORANT against the North American titans Shopify Rebellion. The Grand Final was an intense showdown, pivoting to a best-of-five format in a battle for the crown. Shopify Rebellion started off strong, with a one-map lead, a reward following their success in the Semi-Finals, but G2 Gozen quickly closed in on that lead as they took the first and second maps. In a gripping third and final map, G2 Gozen swiftly closed out the tournament, claiming the win over the tournament frontrunners and Game Changers 2023 champions Shopify Rebellion (3-1).

The tournament also featured a show match featuring some of the UK’s most beloved VALORANT creators going head-to-head, including Talia Mar, Shan “ThePizzaWaffle” Hadden, Ella “Tenshi” Merry and Alexandra “LexieMariex” Butterfill. Hosted by British FNATIC content creator and partnered streamer Megan “Megsoundslikeegg” Garner, the nail biting creator show match saw Team Jupi take the win after a surprise comeback from Team Tenshi forced the match into overtime.

Kieran “Kairo” Tulloch, Billie “BillieIDK” Purdie, Matt “Twiggy” Twigg, and Harry “Hazza” Chapman were also part of the broadcast, providing live commentary and analysis.

Following the gripping grand finals, recently crowned Red Bull Instalock champion, G2 Gozen Pro and Red Bull Player Michaela “Mimi” Lintrup said: “We learned so much playing in this new format at Red Bull Instalock, how undisciplined people can be when playing something so chaotic. In the chaos, the thing that helped us to secure the win was to chill.”

Red Bull Instalock host Yinsu Collins also commented: “I loved my experience at the first ever Red Bull Instalock! The invited teams were incredibly competitive and tackled the format in a really unique way. Throughout the tournament, as the player’s normal game plan was out the window, we saw a lot of creativity, pros thinking on their feet, adaptation and some new approaches to how the game can be played.”

AGON by AOC, a global leader in gaming monitors, returned to join the Red Bull Gaming universe once again as the official Monitor Partner for Red Bull Instalock. Bringing the event to life and providing cutting-edge hardware for the esports tournament, AGON by AOC equipped the event with the AGON PRO AG254FG monitors, featuring a 360 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time for the best in-game experience.

Check out redbull.com/gaming for more information.

More Gaming from Red Bull UK

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Sortium Revolutionizing Video Game Development with Groundbreaking AI Tools Launch and $4 Million+ Funding Round

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In a significant leap forward for the gaming and entertainment sectors, Sortium, a leader in the wave of generative AI within gaming, has launched innovative AI tools for artists and game developers, marking a new era of creativity and efficiency. These tools, leveraging the Polkadot infrastructure, are set to transform the gaming industry by enhancing the creative process, streamlining production workflows, and producing high-quality user-generated content.

This transformative step is supported by a successful funding round Sortium just closed, surpassing $4 million. The round was led by industry stalwarts such as Signum Growth, with significant contributions from a diverse array of investors, including Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management LLC, IDG Blockchain, IVC Fund, Polygon, and 1881 S Group AG. This wide-ranging support underscores the industry’s confidence in Sortium’s potential to revolutionize 3D video game design and entertainment production.

Sortium’s AI tools integrate seamlessly into existing game production ecosystems, automating challenging content creation tasks. This innovation enables studios to significantly speed up production times and reduce costs, allowing them to focus more on innovation and design while empowering users across any system to design their own characters, thereby opening new creative freedoms and revenue streams for developers and individual creators alike. Sortium’s team, with deep expertise in game development, AI, and IP rights management, ensures the smooth adoption of this technology.

According to Angela Dalton, CEO & Founder of Signum Growth, “The Sortium team’s technical capabilities are impressive. Perhaps even more importantly, they possess deep expertise, relationships and understanding across the traditional gaming industry. Generative AI is in its broader market experimentation phase, leading many to ignore IP rights in the spirit of progress and innovation. Sortium’s believes that IP rights will ultimately matter – baking them into the technology at the outset, and respecting artists’ work, are core tenets of the company that we fully support.”

Building on this foundation of technical excellence and ethical commitment, Sortium’s innovations also translate into tangible benefits for the gaming community.

“Sortium is leading the frontier of AI in gaming and creative applications. Sortium gives creatives unparalleled freedom in leading gaming environments like Unreal,” said Lex Avellino, Founder & CCO at Passage, one of Sortium’s partners. “The team is breaking technical barriers, and it adds a huge value for our consumer audiences who want to take advantage of the latest virtual tech but need to act with speed and simplicity.”

Sortium is actively forming partnerships with major intellectual properties and leading gaming platforms. A recent major collaboration with Bit Brawl, a game utilizing Sortium technology to deliver live content to over 5,000 users, showcases the versatile application of Sortium’s tools across various gaming environments. Its technology’s wide compatibility with leading development platforms ensures extensive adoption potential and effortless integration into professional industry practices. Sortium’s enterprise solutions, such as the LiveOps API, aim to enhance gaming experiences and enable continuous creativity through endless, tailored content generation.

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Honor of Kings shares details of groundbreaking new Open Series, registration to begin 15 April

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Today sees a major update for the world’s most played mobile MOBA with new features and content aimed at making Honor of Kings even more enjoyable for both current players and newcomers alike. This is coupled with the announcement of a major esports initiative – The Open Series – aimed specifically at identifying and nurturing the stars of the future.
Level Infinite, publisher of Honor of Kings, has revealed that registration for the new Honor of Kings Open Series Split 1 will begin on April 15, 2024. This groundbreaking series offers amateur players a platform to showcase their skills globally, competing individually and in teams, with the chance to qualify for the prestigious Honor of Kings Invitational Season 2 tournament. With no rank requirements, teams from Türkiye, CIS, MENA, and Wildcard will clash in open qualifiers starting May 1, 2024. The series, featuring two stages, will culminate in the Finals in May, offering special in-game rewards for participants.

James Yang, Senior Director of Level Infinite Global Esports, expressed excitement for the series, emphasizing its role in fostering undiscovered talent and enriching the Honor of Kings esports ecosystem with a path-to-pro opportunity. Interested teams can register from April 15-26, 2024 (UTC+0), and follow official social media channels for updates.

“The Honor of Kings Open Series is an exciting step forward in our mission to grow Honor of Kings esports on the international stage,” said James Yang, Senior Director of Level Infinite Global Esports, Tencent Games. “ Part of Honor of Kings’ commitment in esports is to ensure we provide a path-to-pro for exciting undiscovered talent to put their skill on full display for the world and show fans that anyone is capable of being the best with hard work and dedication. We can’t wait to see what teams emerge from the Open Series to challenge the world’s best at the Honor of Kings Invitational Season 2 tournament.”

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Phoenix Games Expands Partnership with Warhammer Owner Games Workshop

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Phoenix Games and Games Workshop are continuing their cooperation on Warhammer Combat Cards and expanding their collaboration to work on more of Warhammer’s Universes.

Phoenix Games, a globally operating games company specialised in acquiring and enhancing game studios, is expanding its collaboration with the Warhammer brand. The partnership between both companies is built on the success of the mobile game Warhammer Combat Cards, which was developed by Phoenix Games’ studio Well Played Games for iOS and Android, delighting millions of players worldwide.

Thanks to the partnership, Phoenix Games is expanding its access to the rich universes of Warhammer, including Age of Sigmar, The Horus Heresy and The Old World, providing a foundation for the development of innovative game concepts to include in Warhammer Combat Cards. The objective of the collaboration is to transform the iconic miniatures of characters and factions into unique gaming experiences within Warhammer Combat Cards that will excite not only fans of Warhammer but also new players.

“Continuing and even expanding our partnership with Games Workshop is a logical step, as it unlocks numerous opportunities to create versatile gaming experiences based on globally beloved universes. We are very excited about the opportunity to enhance the Warhammer Combat Cards game with additional IPs and provide fans of the game with new content in the long term,” says Klaas Kersting, CEO of Phoenix Games.

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Sandsoft makes two full-time hires following Press Start internship program success

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Sandsoft, the mobile-first game developer, publisher, and investor powered by world-leading games industry talent, has today announced the full-time appointments of Norah AlQuaydhib and Reham Yeshar, who join following their success in Sandsoft’s Press Start internship program.

Aligned with Vision 2030, and delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia, Press Start provides the opportunity for a diverse mix of entry-level game developers to design a mobile game from the ground up while receiving support from Sandsoft’s team of games industry experts.

Norah and Reham’s excellence in the program led to the offer of two full-time game development roles within the Riyadh Studio to create innovative, accessible core social games for players across the world.

Yahsir Qureshi, VP Head of Studio, Sandsoft, commented:

“The entire Sandsoft team was incredibly impressed with the fresh perspectives provided by Norah and Reham. As the games industry in the Middle East continues to expand, it’s hugely important to give up-and-coming talent from a range of backgrounds the opportunity to grow professionally. At Sandsoft, we’re committed to building a diverse team with 29% of our workforce being female, above the industry average. Whilst there’s still more to do in this area, we’re proud to nurture local and diverse talent, and I look forward to seeing Norah and Reham’s continued growth.”

Norah AlQuaydhib, Junior Game programmer, Sandsoft, added:

“I’ve loved working at Sandsoft for the past six months. Sharing an office with experienced gaming leaders has provided a great learning experience, and I can’t wait to discover even more.”

Reham Yeshar, Junior Game Artist, Sandsoft, commented:

“The Press Start program provided a great opportunity to work with like-minded developers eager to grow in their careers. It’s an incredibly exciting time for Sandsoft, and I’m excited to be involved. ”

In March 2024, Sandsoft announced a Joint Venture with NetEase Games to publish games within the MENA region.

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kr3m Unveils New Online Gaming Platform for Le Monde

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Bridging German tech with French media: kr3m’s Playground enhances France’s premier daily newspaper’s website with more global partnerships on the horizon

kr3m, a trailblazer in digital entertainment based in Karlsruhe, Germany, is broadening its global outreach with the launch of a new and exciting project. The company’s online gaming platform, Playground, has been integrated into the digital services offered by Le Monde, the premier daily newspaper in France. This partnership represents kr3m’s inaugural foray into markets beyond German-speaking countries, signaling the beginning of an ambitious plan to forge global partnerships in 2024.

Playground, an innovative ‘white-label’ solution for the integration of HTML5 games at publishing houses, is used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by most major publishers and media houses such as Der Spiegel, Focus, Bild, NZZ, Blick and Kronen Zeitung. Since early February, French audiences can enjoy this platform, localized in French and tailored to meet Le Monde’s specifications, at Arcade.LeMonde. fr.

The Managing Director for kr3m, Jan Reichert, expressed excitement over the collaboration, stating: “Collaborating with Le Monde to feature our HTML5 games is a privilege. This partnership is a key milestone in our strategy to expand internationally and sets a positive tone for 2024.”

Playground games are available to Le Monde’s readers without the need for registration, offering instant access to beloved classics like solitaire, sudoku, mahjong and snake, all at no cost and playable directly in web browsers.

The Benefits of HTML5 Games:

HTML5 games offer an immediate, hassle-free gaming experience across both mobile and desktop platforms, eliminating the need for downloads or wait times. Casual games not only help to increase traffic but also prolong the time users spend on the websites, increase the return rate and thus user loyalty to the portal. On average, users engage with the games for over 15 minutes.

The games are funded through advertising, yet players have the choice to opt for a gaming subscription as well; a tactic that’s becoming more and more popular with leading online newspapers but one that is not currently integrated on Arcade.LeMonde. fr. Classics like crossword puzzles, sudoku, solitaire, mahjong and bubble shooters form the cornerstone of Playground, chosen for their widespread global appeal.

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