Between the roulette wheel and conference rooms named after virtual characters, FlowPlay’s new headquarters has game company written all over it.
The eight-year-old Seattle startup recently moved into new downtown digs just a few blocks from its old space, which was already one of the top offices in Pioneer Square.
Today Atari is unveiling Atari Jackpots, a new social casino game with its classic video game brands. The move is part of the reborn company’s strategy to use its powerful properties in modern titles on mobile, social, and online game platforms.
Atari’s current owners brought the venerable video game company out of bankruptcy last fall, and they began commissioning all sorts of games to bring back the glory of classic titles like Pong. Developed by Atari and Flowplay over the last nine months, Atari Jackpots includes brands such as Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, Breakout, Lunar Lander, Gravitar, Crystal Castles, and others.
Last week news broke that enterprise team collaboration vendor Slack was in the midst of a funding round that was valuing the company at around $1 billion. A heady valuation for a young company. The reasons are clear, as innovation and agility become the key focuses for enterprises, many see a collaboration platform as an enabler for that agility. No matter that agility is much more about culture than it is technology – rolling out a collaboration platform is far easier than changing corporate culture is.
Given the massive attention in the space, it’s not surprising that other vendors are strongly chasing the enterprise dollar. Another player, Kato is launching Kato Enterprise, a scalable chat platform for large enterprises. The product is built upon Kato’s team product and, according to the company, they were planning on launching this in Q12015 – roughly 6 months after the launched Kato Teams – but they’ve been inundated with bigger companies looking for a platform that could allow for larger integration.
Atari announced on Tuesday a new online social game called Atari Jackpots, a casino-style platform that includes classic gambling games branded with vintage Atari titles such as Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, and Missile Command.
Using virtual currency--chips that can be earned by playing games or purchased with a credit card--players can access Atari-branded single and multiplayer games like slots, blackjack, video poker, solitaire, and bingo.
Ello garnered headlines — and more than a few eye rolls — last month when people finally took notice of the budding social network and its promise to keep advertising off its site.
Now Ello is making clear that its commitment to an ad-free existence is real.
The invitation-only start-up plans to announce on Thursday that it has reincorporated as a public benefit corporation whose very charter forbids the company from using ads or selling user data to make money.
Ello, the ad-free social network that promises users it will never sell their data, has raised $5.5 million in new venture funding, according to CEO Paul Budnitz.
The round was led by Foundry Group in Boulder, Colo., and comprises a number of additional institutional and individual investors, including another Boulder-based firm, Bullet Time Ventures.
Ello, the fledgling social network that has vowed not to run advertising, doubled down on that sentiment on Thursday by making itself a Public Benefit Corporation and putting the sentiment in its charter.
A PBC's charter can't be changed even if the company is bought and investors can't force the company to do something that goes against its charter. "It says that the co. exists for public benefit," says Paul Budnitz, CEO and co-founder of Ello. "No investor could ever force us to do those things." Other well-known PBCs include Patagonia, Warby Parker and King Arthur Flour.
Atari launched the latest version of what was one of its most beloved desktop games on Android this week with RollercCoaster Tycoon 4. The new game incorporates many of the features from the original desktop game— users build out their theme parks by creating rides and attractions while trying to attract new guests and keep parkgoers happy. The latest version of the game also has new social features that allow you to connect with friends and other users to share ideas. The free app is available on iOS, Android and in the Amazon Appstore.
I’m writing this from my house on a workday. I didn’t get stuck in traffic. I didn’t have to eat a soggy peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch. And I was able to throw in a load of laundry during a team conference call. It was glorious.
The stats about telecommuting are frequently quoted — more than 13 million U.S. workers (9.4 percent) worked at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million, or seven percent of U.S. workers in 1997. And since 2012, there has been a 20 percent increase in telecommuting in the U.S. Why the demand? Why do 79 percent of employees want to work from home at least part-time?
It certainly makes sense for employers. Studies show that remote offices save companies $11,000 in overhead costs per employee per year. The productivity argument holds water, with 53 percent of telecommuters putting in more than 40 hours per week. And it’s certainly better for the environment, as a lack of commuters reduces the carbon footprint. But are these the real reasons that telecommuting continues to grow and shape the way the traditional American office operates? I think not.
According to research being unveiled by RadiumOne today, 91 percent of the self-identified 1,501 NFL fans it surveyed online said they check their smartphone on game days (Sunday, Monday or Thursday). Given the other recent stats on mobile and football legions, that number isn't shocking.
But here's what's more interesting: Mobile NFL fans are more likely to share content on Facebook than Twitter at a 6-1 clip, RadiumOne says.