Begun, the streaming wars have. In a year filled with high-profile defections to rival services, Twitch has been forced to put down the cash to keep its top personalities on the platform. In an announcement, Benjamin "DrLupo" Lupo, Saqib "LIRIK" Zahid and Timothy "TimTheTatman" Betar, confirmed they will remain with the Amazon-owned streaming service after signing "multi-year content deals."
We've known for a while that Plex, a company best known for helping people organize their own media collection, is getting into streaming. In September, it announced that it had teamed up with Warner Bros. to deliver ad-supported content by the end of 2019, with the promise of more partnerships to come. That has now come to pass, as from today, thousands of "free movies, TV shows, extreme sports films, music documentaries, Bollywood musicals" have been unlocked inside the Plex app.
Even before it split with eBay, money transfer service PayPal consistently sought new ways to part consumers from their cash. It hasn't strayed far from its core competences, acquiring payment companies like Braintree (and as a result Venmo), Xoom and iZettle, but its latest purchase will see the company dive right back into the online shopping space.
One of the reasons that TikTok has enjoyed explosive growth is because the app makes it super easy to duet, share and save videos. Unlike other companies, ByteDance -- the owner of TikTok -- actively allows users to download popular creations and share them wider on messaging services and social media. In its bid to make it easier to get their content up on the platform in the first place, the company today announced new tools that lets creators upload videos directly from their favorite editing apps.
I've played Fortnite for over 1,400 hours, but never quite like this. While exploring today's release of Chapter 2, I swam through crystal-clear rivers, carried a downed teammate and ate a flopper fish while waiting for a speedboat to pick me up. After over a year as the most popular game on the planet, Epic Games' money machine has the reset needed not only to freshen things up but make the battle royale shooter exciting again. To be clear, this is very much still Fortnite. Your goal is to either eliminate or avoid 99 other players who have parachuted onto a vibrant remote island in order to win a "Victory Royale." However, with today's update, that task has become a lot more challenging thanks to a completely new map, a revamped user interface, streamlined loot drops, new points of interest and game mechanics. All told, it'll probably require another few hundred hours to fully get used to.
The wait is over: Epic Games made its fanbase stare at a black hole long enough, and has decided to end its cryptic blackout and give Fortnite a huge new update, which the company is calling Chapter 2. As expected, the battle royale shooter features a totally new map, a ton of new skins and a welcome makeover for the game's mechanics.
<p>Video streaming is great -- until you lose access to the movie or TV show that you assumed would always be available on Netflix and Amazon Video. With downloads or physical media, this isn't an issue, because once you've bought it, you'll have access to it for life (that's the theory anyway).</p>
With all of the troubles surrounding B.R.U.T.Es and turbo building changes, Fortnite players have often felt like their voices aren't being heard. Epic Games has gone some way to reverse some of the issues by introducing updates that bring more balance to the game, but its latest update (v10.30) could do more to repair relations with the community by giving them more choice over what items come to its store.
<p>Epic Games heard you like games, so it's putting a blockbuster game inside its own blockbuster game. Not just any title, though: Gearbox's <em>Borderlands</em>. That's right, as part of its latest "Rift Zone" transformation, Epic has brought a small slice of Pandora to <em>Fortnite,</em> its popular battle royale shooter.</p>
<p>Every new <em>Fortnite</em> season is met with high anticipation -- players know they'll get fresh skins, crazy emotes, new weapons and a different world to explore. <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/01/fortnite-season-10-adds-giant-two-person-mechs/">When Season X kicked off last week</a>, Epic Games delivered on that promise, bringing back some well-loved locations, as well as introducing a brand new item: the B.R.U.T.E. mech. Normally, the arrival of new vehicles is welcomed, but in the five days they've been in the battle royale shooter, they've left gamers frustrated and angry.</p>
<p>Netflix may have been in front of the curve when it came to video streaming, but the company has found things a little more difficult in recent months. Price hikes <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/17/netflix-q2-2019-earnings-miss/">have derailed its growth</a>, meaning it only amassed half of the five million new subscribers it predicted would sign up over the last quarter. With Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max all on the horizon, Netflix is seeking new ways to lure new customers to its platform, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/21/netflix-mobile-only-plan-test-india/">including smartphone-only plans</a>, which have officially launched today in India.</p> <p></p>
<p><em>Fortnite</em> is no <em>stranger</em> to big-budget entertainment collaborations. It's already welcomed Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hawkeye as part of its <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/25/fortnite-avengers-endgame-ltm-thanos/"><em>Endgame</em></a> mode and let players stealthily assassinate their rivals via its recent <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/16/john-wick-fortnite-ltm-wicks-bounty/"><em>John Wick</em></a> partnership.</p> <p>For a while now, Epic Games has teased the introduction of something a little more paranormal as part of a tie-in with Netflix's <em>Stranger Things</em>. <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/30/stranger-things-3-review/">With Season 3 of the smash TV series</a> only a day away, the <em>Fortnite</em> world has become a touch more threatening, with dark portals appearing in the games' popular Mega Mall area.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2014/08/25/amazon-buying-twitch/">With Amazon's help</a>, Twitch has become the game streaming service of choice for PC and console players all over the world. Viewers have witnessed superstar <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/15/ninja-drake-twitch/"><em>Fortnite</em> player Ninja team up with Drake</a> and <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2019/01/21/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-twitch-stream/">Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez guest-star in a <em>Donkey Kong 64</em> stream</a> that raised over $340k, but the platform also hosts its own esports competitions from time to time. Now, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/18/amazon-twitch-bebo-esports/"><em>TechCrunch</em> reports</a>, the company has acquired Bebo to ensure that side of its business continues to grow.</p>
<p>Never a week goes by without Epic Games adding something new to <em>Fortnite</em>. In the past month alone, we've seen the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/06/fortnite-storm-flip/">Storm Flip</a>, Proximity Grenade Launcher and even an <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/22/fortnite-jordan-nike-creative-game-mode/">Air Jordan 1 collaboration</a>. As you'd expect from a Battle Royale game, <em>most</em> of the new items are destructive, designed to damage your opponent(s) and ensure you're the last person standing. Today's update, however, concentrates on another important aspect of the game: healing.</p> <p></p>
<p>One of the great things about <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/11/fortnite-battle-royale-claims-10-million-players/">battle royale games like <em>Fortnite</em></a> is that no two matches are the same. Random generation ensures that lobbies include different players, varying weapons spawn in known locations and -- perhaps most importantly -- the storm area moves in random patterns. This forces gamers to adapt their strategy each match to ensure they stay in the right areas, and equip the right tools to survive.</p> <p><a href="https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/patch-notes/v9-20">For its latest <em>Fortnite </em>update</a>, Epic Games is giving players a little more control over some of that randomness. Today, it introduced the Storm Flip, a throwable item that creates a zone that can either create a safe area in the storm, or deal storm damage to those who think they're holding a comfortable position.</p>
<p><i>Fortnite </i>has played host to a dazzling number of themed events, featuring collaborations with some of entertainment's biggest franchises including <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/25/fortnite-avengers-endgame-ltm-thanos/"><em>Avengers: Endgame</em></a> and <em><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/16/john-wick-fortnite-ltm-wicks-bounty/">John Wick</a>. </em>However, for its latest crossover, Epic Games is teaming up with one of the world's biggest sportswear brands, Jordan, ahead of the NBA Finals on May 30th.</p>
<p>Legend has it that you must be truly worthy to be able to wield Thor's hammer, but thanks to Epic Games, all you actually need is a free copy of <em>Fortnite Battle Royale</em>. That's right, with <em>Avengers: Endgame</em> finally hitting theaters, the online shooter is <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/05/07/fortnite-battle-royale-avengers-thanos-event/">hosting another Marvel-themed crossover</a>. You'll be asked to either help Thanos and his Chitauri invade the island and find the six Infinity Stones or wield the MCU's most powerful weapons in an attempt to stop him.</p>
<p>While the jury on consumer drones is still out, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are fast becoming an <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/23/faa-wing-drone-delivery-air-carrier-certification/">important tool in global delivery networks</a>. Take Zipline as a prime example: <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/14/drone-blood-deliveries-rwanda/">since 2016</a>, the Californian company has used unmanned aircraft to deliver critical medicines and blood to hospitals over huge distances in Rwanda.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/b24bdec8-65d2-11e9-9adc-98bf1d35a056">According to the </a><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/b24bdec8-65d2-11e9-9adc-98bf1d35a056"><em>Financial Times</em></a>, the Silicon Valley startup is drastically expanding its presence in Africa, mobilzing what will become the world's largest drone delivery network to transport "150 different medicines," vaccines and blood to 2,000 clinics in remote parts of Ghana.</p>
<p>These days, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/29/instagram-finally-tests-a-fast-forward-feature-for-videos/">Instagram</a>, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/09/snapchat-snap-partner-summit-evan-spiegel-privacy-tinder/">Snapchat</a> and <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/01/tiktok-age-checks-blocked-users/">TikTok</a> dominate the short social video space, but that wasn't always the case. Vine, the popular six-second looping video app, helped give rise to many of today's YouTube stars over the course of three years, before Twitter <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/27/twitter-is-killing-vines-mobile-app/">unceremoniously shut it down</a> at the start of 2017. Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/06/vine-co-founder-dom-hofmann-teases-vine-2-0/">teased its return</a> in the form of Byte, promising to bring back everything that made the app unique by spring of 2019. It appears he was true to his word, because <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/22/vine-remake-byte/"><em>TechCrunch</em> reports</a> that the service has sent out the first 100 invites to its closed beta.</p>
<p>If you're a keen <em>Fortnite </em>player or avid battle royale Twitch viewer, you'll probably know that <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/22/fortnite-world-cup-kick-off/">qualifying for the inaugural <em>Fortnite</em> World Cup</a> has officially begun. Top players (<a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/03/ninja-10-million-twitch-followers/">including popular streamers</a>) from across the globe now need to out-eliminate each other to make the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/22/fortnite-world-cup-kick-off/">$30 million Finals held in New York City</a> between July 26th and July 28th. However, that might not be the only way. Epic Games has confirmed there will be another avenue for those burnt out by its battle royale mode to claim some of that World Cup prize pot.</p>
<p>For years, the idea of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers teaming up and shooting enemies together was just a pipe dream. Walled gardens and exclusives meant picking a side and dealing with the consequences. However, thanks to the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/27/fortnite-200-million-players/">popularity of games like </a><em><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/27/fortnite-200-million-players/">Fortnite</a>, </em>those multiplayer lobbies are now a much more accepting place. <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/26/sony-fortnite-ps4-cross-platform-play-open-beta/">The battle royale shooter opened up last year</a>, allowing players to find friends on other platforms and drop together. Now, Epic Games going one step further and automatically forcing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players to fight one another every time they board the Battle Bus.</p>
<p>Not satisfied with the swashbuckling adventures of <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/28/fornite-season-eight-apex-legends-sea-of-thieves-theme/"><em>Fortnite </em>Season 8</a>? Epic Games has you covered. As part of its first update to the game since things kicked off last week, the company will put you on the hunt for secret pirate bounties thanks to a new item: treasure maps.</p>
<p>When <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/22/lighthouse-security-camera-shipping-now/">Lighthouse's intelligent security camera</a> finally went on sale just over a year ago, the company believed that with AI recognition and 3D sensing technology, it offered something truly unique over its rivals. However, the promise of automatic face detection didn't really resonate with consumers, and the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/20/lighthouse-shuts-down/">hardware maker shut down</a> less than 10 months later. While the company slipped quietly into the night, its technology didn't, with none other than Apple ghosting in to acquire its innovations.</p> <p></p> <p></p>
<p>After weeks of teases and many an earthquake, <em>Fortnite</em> Season 8 is officially here. As is typical with any major update to the popular battle royale shooter, there are a lot of new locations, unique weapons and tons of new skins and emotes, which all revolve around pirates, ice and a lot of lava. It appears Epic Games is taking notice of its competition too, because there's a lot of new features coming to <em>Fortnite</em> that you've possibly seen before in other games.</p> <p></p>
<p>For the best part of a year, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/17/fortnite-battle-royale-record-breaker/"><em>Fortnite</em> has been king of the battle royale genre</a>, both in terms of players and revenue. <i><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/23/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-pubg-training-mode/">PUBG</a> </i>and <em><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/06/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-multiplayer-blackout-edition/">Blackout</a></em> have attempted to usurp the free-to-play shooter but Epic Games has successfully managed fend off its competition with the promise of addictive gameplay and regular updates. However, there's a new pretender to the throne. In the space of two weeks, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/04/apex-legends-battle-royale-game-now-available-respawn-titanfall/">Respawn's <em>Apex Legends</em></a><i> </i>has <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/11/apex-legends-25-million-players/">amassed 25 million players</a> and become streamers' battle royale of choice. Epic Games knows it has a fight on its hands and has begun employing the clever tactic of giving away stuff for free in order to keep its player base loyal.</p> <p></p>