Welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, we play 12 virtual reality games on the HTC Vive headset, one of the upcoming competitors to Oculus VR’s Rift tech, and we examine the up-and-downs of game industry investments in 2015.

We also offer you plenty of help with The Witness, the crushingly difficult puzzle game from celebrated indie designer Jonathan Blow.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!


Ryan Green comforts his son Joel in That Dragon, Cancer.

Above: Ryan Green comforts his son Joel in That Dragon, Cancer.

Image Credit: Numinous Games

Pieces of flair and opinion

The DeanBeat: That Dragon, Cancer shows the emotional power of video games

The Witness: How to solve every puzzle (guide-in-progress)

What Apple’s latest VR hire means for this growing market

Why Japan no longer matters to PlayStation as Sony heads West

Street Fighter V round 2: Yoshinori Ono, Matt Dahlgren take on monetization

Street Fighter V’s Yoshinori Ono has more energy than a Ryu fireball

Watch the Pokémon Super Bowl commercial right here


News

GamesBeat 2015 helped determine who is winning the game of thrones.

Above: GamesBeat 2015 helped determine who is winning the game of thrones.

Image Credit: GamesBeat/Michael O'Donnell

GamesBeat 2016 is moving to L.A. on Aug. 1-3. And we’re kicking it off with a new VR day

The Witness is getting pirated big time — creator Jonathan Blow warns it’ll impact future projects

Let’s watch the Taipei Game Show

Sony sells 1M PlayStation 4 Star Wars: Battlefront bundles to retailers

EA reveals new Battlefield and Titanfall games are coming in the next year (update)

Electronic Arts’ share price plummets 7% as it offers conservative outlook for 2016

Star Wars: Battlefront surpasses 13M copies sold-in as fans can’t repel hype of that magnitude

Star Wars: Battlefront helps EA beat Wall Street’s quarterly expectations

Xbox Live now has 48M active players

Warframe’s new Nezha class highlights Ring of Fire update on PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Indiepocalpyse slays another: Starward Rogue studio cutting jobs due to low sales

Sorry, Cowherd: Heroes of the Storm returns to ESPN2 with $500K prize pool

GOG is getting into ‘early access’ and doing it differently than Steam

Bungie president Harold Ryan steps down after 15 years at the Destiny studio

How some are getting into The Division beta without preordering

World Golf Tour has a new owner as Topgolf brings its ‘driving ranges on steroids’ online

Roblox launches on Xbox One with 15 player-created games — watch us play them

EA pulls its booth out of E3 and focuses instead on fan event

Xbox Live Games With Gold for February 2016: Gears of War 2 and more

Google’s AI beats a professional Go player, an industry first

Nerf herding: Star Wars: Battlefront gets some necessary tweaks

Games investments took a big dip in 2015, but esports and VR are coming on strong

Gambitious resurfaces with profitable titles and a new way to invest in games

Prison Architect looks great on console — here’s a first look at the $19M Early Access darling in action

FaceIt esports community raises $15 million to go global

League of Legends, Clash of Clans, and CrossFire drive digital games to $61.3B in 2015

Sony combines network entertainment and PlayStation into a single business unit

Starbreeze plans a virtual reality arcade in L.A.

Esports market to grow 43% to $463M in 2016 and reach $1.1B by 2019

Game-software revenues to grow from $90B in 2016 to $115B by 2020

USC’s game-design graduate program now has more women than men


Mobile and social

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Above: Not all mobile games can sell as well as Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

Image Credit: Mojang

Upsight pushes further into mobile game monetization with Fuse Powered acquisition

Finland’s Next Games raises $10M to fuel The Walking Dead mobile title and more

User acquisition costs hit all-time highs in December

Plays.tv launches Chrome extension to make capturing and sharing Twitch clips super easy

Big Viking Games acquires Gallop Labs to mashup casual games with data-driven science

Atari launches Pridefest mobile game in a first for LGBTQ community

Ex-Sony Online chief John Smedley cancels Kickstarter campaign for Hero’s Song role-playing game

Discord raises $20M for voice comm app for multiplayer mobile games

Games still dominated the iOS app store in Q4

Helpshift’s automated customer support tools reach more than 1.3B devices

Minecraft: Pocket Edition gets a beta update — here’s what new and different


Reviews, previews, and interviews

The Witness makes me question why I play hard games

Vive VR headset test: We try a dozen games — and one makes us sick

Exploding Kittens doesn’t have enough bang as a mobile game yet

Google changes Android permissions to make game sign-ups easier

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam’s two flavors jell into a sloppy sandwich

AI. Messaging. Bots. Arm yourself for the next paradigm shift at MobileBeat 2016. July 12-13 at The Village in San Francisco. Reserve your place here.