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This year has seen a 50% rise in the penetration of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets with 11% of respondents now owning the hardware – Deloitte Report

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This year has seen a continued increase in the ownership of games consoles. The rate of ownership has risen from 34% of respondents in 2020 to 41% in 2022. The penetration of VR headsets has also risen to 11% of respondents in 2022, a new Deloitte study shows.

17% of those respondents between 18- and 24-year-olds own a VR headset, and 57% of the same age group know something about the metaverse.  One of the challenges to the penetration of VR technology is the cost of the hardware. One in four of the respondents found the costs to be prohibitive.

The metaverse

One of the largest developments in the virtual reality space, the metaverse – a digital world in which a person can control an avatar and interact with the avatars of others remains an underdeveloped concept for Irish consumers. The term hit mainstream only 12 months ago and 65% of people have heard of it with 35% at least familiar with what the metaverse is.  However, again the 18–24-year-old category are more aware, with 57% of them knowing something about the metaverse.

John Kehoe Deloitte Partner in Audit and Assurance (Technology, Media and Telecom) said: “The concept of a metaverse has been thrust into mainstream media in the past year, with younger people being more familiar with what it is.

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“Interestingly awareness is different between men and women, with 44% of men knowing something about the metaverse compared to 26% of women. There are also significant differences in the age demographics, with 57% of 18-24 year olds knowing something about it, compared to just 19% for 55-64 year olds.”

Consoles make pandemic gains but mobile gaming remains dominant

Following declines in 2019 and 2020 after reaching a peak of 38% in 2018, access to games consoles has peaked again with 41% of respondents confirming access. Two thirds (67%) of adults surveyed play digital games on any device, including their smartphone.

The data on console ownership aligns with recent sales figures for the PlayStation 5 (PS5), which sold 25 million units by the end of September 2022, according to Sony’s official sales numbers. However, a persistent chip shortage has kept the PS5 from matching the sales pace of its predecessor, the PS4, which has gone on to sell over 100 million units and counting.

While Microsoft does not disclose official sales numbers, the tech giant has confirmed that the Xbox Series X|S are the fastest-selling Xbox consoles of all time.

However, mobile gaming still remains the dominant market with one-in-two adults who own a smartphone using it to play video games.

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Mr. Kehoe continued: “There has been some significant gaming related acquisitions in the last 12 months, with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher for $68.6 billion, being the most notable. Activision Blizzard earned over half its Q2 revenue from mobile gaming and related sources. This acquisition is subject to regulatory review by the European Commission, the results of this investigation are due by the middle of March 2023.”

In game currency and purchases

‘Gaming on demand’ subscriptions continue to rise in popularity as nearly half of players now hold a gaming subscription with Playstation Plus/Now (20%) and Xbox Live (15%) the most popular.

One-in-four gamers surveyed have purchased in-game currency with younger age groups particularly interested in this: 47% of respondents in the age group 18-24 purchased in game currency. Season passes (15%) or game extensions (10%) related digital content were the top purchases, with either regular money or in-game currency used.

Daryl Hanberry, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte said: “Even though two-in-three gamers have not spent money on digital content in the last two months, we know that these in-game purchases are driving significant revenue for companies like Activision Blizzard, especially purchases made in mobile games.”

Mr. Hanberry continued: “Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Sony’s plans for a dedicated PlayStation mobile gaming unit show that more traditional gaming companies are beginning to look towards revenue models that are increasingly driven by in-game purchases. It will be interesting to see if the habits of gamers change in response to this.”

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Blockchain

WOO’s first land sale set for Valentine’s Day

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Wrestling Organization Online (WOO) has scheduled its first land sale for February 14. At this time, whitelisted users will be able to buy packs containing in-game cities within the game’s first available territory. If there are still packs remaining on March 16, the sale will be opened to the general public. These cities will have various stats, similar to WOO’s other assets.

In WOO, players create and manage a wrestling organization with a roster of unique wrestlers backed by NFTs and the Hive ecosystem. Managers, promotions, championships and now cities can be staked and wagered in an effort to be the best of the best.

Founder and CEO Ian Withey says this is the latest step in making WOO the premier digital wrestling experience.

“Wrestling Organization Online brings old-school territory wrestling to the #HIVE blockchain,” he said. “With our first territory land sale, we will be one step closer to making that vision a reality.”

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To get on the whitelist, players must be one of the top 200 holders of in-game assets including NFTs, unopened packs from previous sales and $WOO tokens, so there is still time to get on the list before the sale.

Whitelisted users will have until March 14 to buy as much land as they can before the territory moves into a general sale two days later, if supplies last. Due to the limited number of whitelist slots and the abundance of users in the running, the WOO team anticipates fierce competition for the top slots.

Each pack sold in this first Territory of 10,000 cities will cost $20, payable through PayPal, Hive, HBD, BTC, and LTC, meaning assets can be purchased with both fiat and cryptocurrency.

WOO will release 20 territories over time, but this will be the only land sale before the game’s official release later in 2023.

Several big names in wrestling are partnering with WOO to create an experience aimed at wrestling fans and crypto enthusiasts. Perry Saturn, Raven, Sonny Onoo and Terri Runnels have all signed on to do their part.

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Partnered wrestlers receive 10% of the upcoming sale, a move Withey says is meant to pay back those who paved the way to what wrestling has become.

“We’re looking to leave wrestling in a better state than we found it,” he said. “Wrestlers in this country are seen as independent contractors, so they don’t receive the same benefits as many employees. To help with this, we have profit sharing with our partners, but what we’re really trying to do is bring awareness to this issue.”

As the newest professional partner, Runnels says she is excited to see this technology being used to bring light to something that is important to wrestling fans all over the world. The former manager, TV host and wrestler brings her experience with WCW, WWF and WWE to the newest era of fans with WOO.

“It is so great to see how the WOO team regards old-school wrestling and the traditions that so many have worked so hard for over the years,” she said. “They have somehow taken the newest technology and used it to pay respect to something that is near and dear to all of us, and I am looking forward to seeing it grow.”

WOO offers a full rundown of land and its mechanics at https://peakd.com/hive-167922/@wrestorgonline/woo-land-complete-utility-guide

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Richard O’Brien will be First Owner of The Rocky Horror Show 50th Anniversary NFT

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We would like to, if we may, take you on a strange journey… into the metaverse. The immortal characters from The Rocky Horror Show are being transit-beamed onto the blockchain to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary.

The Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien will be the holder of the initial Riff Raff NFT (non-fungible token) minted from the upcoming collection. Now the team behind the project is calling all stage production Frank-N-Furters, Magentas, Janets, Brads, Columbias, Eddies, Rockys, Riff Raffs and Phantoms past and present to claim a free NFT of their character before they go on sale to the general public.

Andy Leighton MD of Druidcrest, the head rights holder, and Interfishnet Ltd – a company owned by The Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien – is putting together a list of all cast members of the show and Online Blockchain plc will airdrop them their character.

In both the virtual and physical world, a Rocky Horror Show NFT is planned to act as a key to unlock access to experiences, opportunities and merch for holders as part of the planned The Rocky Horror Show metaverse. More details can be found here.

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Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff character will be the first one released and other characters will be minted and airdropped to verified Rocky Horror players from its incredible 50-year history. The remaining exclusive collection will be minted and made available on NFT marketplace OpenSea later this year. Richard O’Brien and Interfishnet intend to donate a proportion of any proceeds from the NFT to charity.

“NFTs will be more than just collectibles and fandom, they represent a new form of identity. Don’t Dream It, NFT it; I see you shiver with anticipatio….nft,” said Andy Leighton.

Interfishnet and the team behind Online Blockchain have a relationship spanning almost 40 years, which dates back to the first The Rocky Horror Show video game.

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FashionTV Gaming Group set to take ICE 2023 by storm, introducing industry leaders to its revolutionary ‘brand to business’ model in signature FashionTV style – on its luxury boat, the ‘FashionTV Queen’

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The world’s foremost gaming, casino and sports operators are invited on board of the ‘Floating Booth’, to discover the power of the FashionTV brand, as they launch their own FashionTV-branded casinos, sports websites and more in their home markets.

 Following another year of standout successes, FashionTV Gaming Group, one of the industry fastest growing companies announces its next phase of development, showcasing its innovative and unique ‘brand to business’ model, implemented for iGaming operators, at ICE 2023.

FashionTV is enjoyed by over 2 billion viewers worldwide, with a reputation spanning 25 years as the leading global luxury, lifestyle and fashion broadcasting channel.

FashionTV Gaming Group is the exclusive licensor of the FashionTV brand for online games, with FashionTV-branded games already successfully developed and/or distributed by industry giants, including Playtech, Flutter Entertainment, PokerStars, Paddy Power, Sky Bet, Betfair, Evolution, NetEnt, Red Tiger, Caliente, Betconstruct, EveryMatrix and more.

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Now, the Group will take its ‘brand to business’ model direct to B2C operators, as it seeks to sign license agreements with those premier gaming operators worldwide that have substantial captive markets. Working with market leaders across regions and countries, FashionTV Gaming Group will give its partners access to the power of a global megabrand, harnessing FashionTV’s extraordinary content to transform new, no-name launches, into massive, branded businesses. Delivering new growth engines that leverage a brand loved by billions – at a fraction of the marketing cost.

 

Sailing a wave of success to ICE 2023

FashionTV Gaming Group will be introducing this revolutionary ‘brand to business’ model to industry leaders in signature FashionTV style, on the exclusive ‘FashionTV Queen’ boat, docked right outside the ExCeL.

The fully branded FashionTV Queen will sail under seven bridges on its way to the ExCeL, before docking on the morning of 7 February.

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Industry giants and leading partners are invited aboard this magnificent, luxury vessel – an authentic replica of a historic Mississippi Paddle Boat – for a packed schedule of FashionTV Gaming events, corporate meetings and parties.

The boat’s first luxury level will be dedicated to corporate business meetings, accompanied by delicious food and drink, freshly prepared by the FashionTV gourmet chef.

Meanwhile, the upper deck will host ICE visitors for music and mingling with the FashionTV business development team, who are on hand throughout the day to discuss future business opportunities.

The glamorous FashionTV models will welcome guests at the ‘Wall of Fame’ for stylish photos. And of course, sunset heralds the arrival of the inimitable FashionTV parties, with limited, C-level only VIP tickets for receptions on 7 and 8 February, from 17.30.

Guests can expect superstar cabaret performances courtesy of FashionTV icons, alongside a showcase of FashionTV-branded products already taking the market by storm. Presenting these branded luxury lines of gaming products at their very best, surrounded by the glamour of a FashionTV party, typifies the way in which FashionTV Gaming Group combines virtual and real worlds, for maximum effect.

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Visitors to ICE will find the FashionTV Queen docked outside the ExCeL, next to the Sunborn Hotel. Details are also on the ICE website and the FashionTV Gaming Group team and models will be available inside the conference centre to provide directions and schedule meetings.

Industry leaders coming from the city can be picked up by the FashionTV Queen’s Rolls-Royce, chauffeuring them directly to the first-level corporate deck for their scheduled meetings, where new business partnerships will be discussed.

With the promise of powerful industry partnerships to be forged, revolutionary FashionTV-branded games, websites, luxury lines of products and new growth engines to launch – plus star-studded parties on the FashionTV Queen – this is an ICE experience not to be missed.

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