Consolidation is coming to gaming, and Jam City raises $145 million to capitalize on it

A slew of banks are coming together to back a new roll-up strategy for the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio, Jam City and giving the company $145 million in new funding to carry that out. There’s no word on whether the new money is in equity or debt, but what is certain is that JPMorgan Chase […]

Amazon hires Disney SVP Kyle Laughlin as director of Alexa Gadgets

Amazon has hired Disney SVP Kyle Laughlin to head its Alexa Gadgets division, TechCrunch has learned. Laughlin spent eight years at Disney, most recently as the SVP and general manager of Games, Apps and Connected Experience at the entertainment giant’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media division. According to his LinkedIn profile, the role found Laughlin […]

Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent

Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization. The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who […]

Burgerbot startup Creator hires inventor of Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog

Disney Imagineering animatronics wizard Dr. Martin Buehler is a legend in the robotics world. His work leading development of the galloping Big Dog quadruped at Boston Dynamics both inspired and terrified a new generation of makers. But after playing in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction that consumers can’t buy, Buehler has been poached […]

The ultimate guide to gifting STEM toys: tons of ideas for little builders

The holiday season is here again, touting all sorts of kids’ toys that pledge to pack ‘STEM smarts’ in the box, not just the usual battery-based fun. Educational playthings are nothing new, of course. But, in recent years, long time toymakers and a flurry of new market entrants have piggybacked on the popularity of smartphones […]

Should cash-strapped Snapchat sell out? To Netflix?

Snapchat needs a sugar daddy. Its cash reserves are dwindling from giant quarterly losses. Morale is poor from a battered share price and cost-cutting measures sap momentum. And intense competition from Facebook is preventing rapid growth. With just $1.4 billion in assets remaining at the end of a brutal Q3 2018 and analyst MoffetNathanson estimating it […]

Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, raises $1.25 billion

It pays to have the most popular game in the world. Epic Games, the creators of the runaway gaming smash hit Fortnite, have raised $1.25 billion in a new round of financing. via GIPHY It’s been 20 years since Epic Games first released its Unreal game development engine in concert with its first person shooter, […]

Four reasons why you should attend TC Sessions AR/VR 2018

On October 18 — just one week away — some of the most brilliant and innovative minds in reality creation will gather at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles to attend TC Sessions AR/VR 2018. Whether you’re an early startup founder, an investor, a developer or a student, if you’re focused on AR/VR, you don’t […]

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman announce the name of their stealthy mobile video startup

Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman unveiled the name of their highly anticipated mobile video company known until now as NewTV. The name is Quibi, short for “quick bites,” per a note on its new website: “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — […]

Startups are giving writers and filmmakers more ways to make it in Hollywood

On May 11, Netflix released the teen dramedy “The Kissing Booth” just as the school year was wrapping up for teens across the country. By June, the company had a smash hit among the tweenage set, and Wattpad, the company that owned the rights to the The Kissing Booth, had its first true breakout vehicle. The […]