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Crocs Expands Crocs World Within ZEPETO and Roblox Metaverses

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Crocs, a global leader in innovative casual footwear, and global esports organisation Gen.G, are collaborating once again to present the latest edition of Crocs World, marking its second year building into Crocs World on both ZEPETO and Roblox metaverse platforms.

Fans can participate in the new #CrocsxZEPETO Personalize Your Classics Design Contest in ZEPETO launched on September 8, with the winning design being made available to purchase as a virtual item within the Crocs collection on ZEPETO, as well as a phygital version of their personalised Classic Clog. In Roblox, “Crocs World Tycoon” will launch on September 15 to provide fans with an entirely new gameplay experience where players can customise their Crocs in-game with different styles and colours.

As part of Crocs’ Personalise Your Classics campaign which highlights the joy of personalisation through Jibbitz charms, the #CrocsxZEPETO Personalize Your Classics Design Contest seeks to bring the same experience to users virtually, by inviting users to decorate the Classic Clog with Jibbitz charm sticker designs and taking a virtual photograph at the ZEPETO booth. Fans can participate in the contest by sharing their unique design creations on their ZEPETO and social media feeds from September 8 through September 22. The grand prize winner will have their design added to the official Crocs collection on ZEPETO, as well as a phygital version of the Classic Clog with custom Jibbitz charms based on their winning design. In addition, the winner will also receive a Crush Clog, an Echo Clog, 3 Jibbitz charm packs, as well as 100 ZEMs (in-game currency).

In addition to the design contest, the new #CrocsxZEPETO collection will feature 15 new items comprised of both shoes and apparel, including the iconic Classic Clog, as well as newly launched styles such as the Mega Crush Clog, Echo Clog, Siren Clog and more, allowing users to style both their 3D avatars and themselves.

While on Roblox, players can enjoy the “Crocs World: Tycoon” on September 15, and dive into the heart of a beach-theme park that revolves around the iconic Crocs footwear, including the Classic Crush clog and Platform clog, and the power of imagination. From the moment players set foot on the sandy shores of their personal island, they will be swept into a world of possibilities crafting a unique pair of Classic Clog, Crush Clog, Mega Crush Sandal and more with custom colours, shapes, and Jibbitz charms. Likes can be earned in-game, which can be used to unlock new attractions and customisation options. Crocs World: Tycoon also brings forth an array of quirky and engaging activities – Players can explore the theme park in the Crocs Car, take flight with the Crocs Jetpack or engage in friendly duels with the Crocs Launcher. As the gameplay progresses, players can also unlock limited-edition Crocs items for their Roblox avatars.

“Supporting Crocs on delivering unique and gamer authentic experiences in metaverse platforms have been rewarding on so many levels. Gamers at the core are creative and we hope everyone enjoys the experiences we’re rolling out in Zepeto and Roblox,” Martin Kim, Chief Revenue Officer at Gen.G, said.

Crocs’ expansion into ZEPETO and Roblox follows the brand’s successful launch on both platforms last year, featuring a virtual concert and interactive livestream experience featuring a popular Kpop girl group for its 20th Anniversary. This launch further demonstrates the brand’s commitment to exploring immersive brand experiences through virtual reality and gaming platforms to bring forth new ways of engaging with fans around the world.

Gaming

Speechless Announces Hybrid License, Giving Actors Greater Control Over Their AI-Generated Voices

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New platform will enable voice actors to gain commission on their AI-generated counterparts while also streamlining the development process for studios

Today, Speechless, the voice actor database and asset tool for the games industry, has announced its new Hybrid AI License, combining real voice talent and generative artificial intelligence (AI). This new license will enable game developers to utilize all aspects of modern voice-over production while providing more equitable opportunities for the actors themselves. With the current games landscape increasingly experimenting with the potential of AI, Speechless is offering a solution that takes a greater ethical approach to this technology.

The first complete management system for the games industry, Speechless’ Hybrid AI License easily allows developers to use the full range of voice-over options in one place; from text-to-speech, speech-to-speech and conventional voice recording. Unlike other text-to-speech providers, Speechless’ integrated approach allows developers to access the voice actors behind the AI-generated, text-to-speech options. This license not only enables developers to gain greater creative control over voice production but also gives actors control over their AI-generated voice.

Voice actors will benefit from this license by having their AI-generated voice earn a commission when it is licensed by developers. In addition, developers can utilize text-to-speech options to refine their scripts before bringing on the voice actor for the full recording. Developers can then adjust the voice actor’s recording with its AI counterpart at the later stages of development, removing the need for reshoots and allowing voice actors to move on to new projects.

The potential of Speechless’ License also enables a greater depth of content for side characters and NPCs and streamlines localization in new markets while keeping voice talent involved. With the rise of generative AI in game development, Speechless is establishing the best practice for utilizing the advantages of this technology without excluding the creative talent of voice actors.

This new license is available immediately and follows Speechless’ recent collaboration with audio middleware leader Audiokinetic Wwise.

“We can’t ignore the potential AI has for the games industry but we need to approach this technology ethically; that’s what we aim to achieve when it comes to voice-acting,” the Chief Executive Officer for Speechless, Peo Drangert (pictured), said. “By offering a hybrid license, developers can streamline their processes and experiment with different voice actors at a lower cost. At the same time, voice actors are compensated for their work and the work of their AI-generated voice, have greater opportunities to collaborate with studios and can work more flexibly. AI will continue to grow in the games sector, so we must use it responsibly to ensure a fairer industry.”

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Gaming

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.

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Gaming

Flexion and Kabam Team Up to Bring Marvel Contest of Champions to the Alternative App Stores

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Flexion, the games marketing company, and Kabam, one of the world’s leading game developers, announced a new partnership to bring Marvel Contest of Champions to alternative app stores. Flexion will distribute the game on the Amazon Appstore, Aptoide, ONE store, Samsung Galaxy Store, and Digital Turbine Hubs in 2024.

“We are excited to partner with Flexion to bring Marvel Contest of Champions to even more players. Flexion’s expertise, experience and technology make them the ideal partner for us. This collaboration will help us reach new audiences by making Marvel Contest of Champions available on even more app stores. This is especially exciting ahead of the game’s upcoming 10-year anniversary,” SeungWon Lee, CEO of Kabam, said.

“We are delighted to partner with Kabam, one of the world’s leading game developers, to bring their hit game to more players around the globe. This partnership is a win for Kabam and the app stores, which we will connect to drive audience engagement,” Jens Lauritzson, CEO of Flexion, said.

Marvel Contest of Champions is an epic fighting RPG with over 260 iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains in the ultimate cosmic showdown. Players can collect and build a competitive team of Champions, compete against the world’s top Summoners, battle through an epic and deep Marvel story, and team up with powerful Summoners in alliances to become the Ultimate Marvel Champion.

“We’re delighted to add such a well-known and successful game like Marvel Contest of Champions to our portfolio. I am very positive about the growth potential of these alternative stores in 2024. There is no better time to expand to more audiences,” Jens added.

Marvel Contest of Champions will be available on the Amazon Appstore, Samsung Galaxy Store, Aptoide, and ONEstore Korea starting on April 29, 2024, with Samsung Gaming Hub, OneStore Global, and DT Games Hub following in the near future.

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