Coronavirus Updates: Lockdowns Accelerate Activision Earnings; Tom Cruise Teams Up With Elon Musk

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Activision trounces earnings expectations as world turns to video games amid lockdown
  • Tom Cruise, Elon Musk: There's no coronavirus restrictions filming in space

    Activision trounces earnings expectations as world turns to video games amid lockdown

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    Activision Blizzard, the video game juggernaut behind the Call of Duty franchise, reported first-quarter earnings that sailed past expectations. It wasn't totally unexpected, given the effects the coronavirus lockdown has had on everything from video game publishers to streaming services. The Santa Monica-based company posted earnings of 65 cents a share on revenue of $1.8 billion. Shares soared 5% in after-hours trading.


    "Our goal to connect the world through epic entertainment is more important to our players than ever before," said Chief Executive Bobby Kotick in a statement. "We delivered strong financial results for the first quarter, and are raising our full-year outlook. I have been awestruck by the strength of our employees and their families during this difficult time."

    Kotick also raised the company's full-year outlook, pinning the robust earnings prediction on an increase in video game downloads and purchases. The surge in video gaming comes amid a dearth of options for Americans looking for entertainment with theaters shuttered and restaurants/bars still a long way off from re-opening.

    Tom Cruise, Elon Musk: There's no coronavirus restrictions filming in space

    upload.wikimedia.org

    Hollywood is having some issues with how to film blockbusters in the U.S. with the coronavirus shutting down productions. Tom Cruise, who has done most of his own stunts, has an idea. Go to space.

    The actor is partnering with NASA to make his next action movie shot on board the National Space Station, according to Deadline Hollywood. The Hollywood trade reported that Cruise and Elon Musk's SpaceX were in the early stages of teaming up with the U.S. space agency for an action-adventure feature film that would be shot in outer space. No word on the plot yet. "NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station," NASA administrator Jim Bridentsine tweeted on Tuesday. "We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA's ambitious plans a reality."

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    TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales

    Kristin Snyder

    Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

    TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales
    Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

    TikTok parent company ByteDance’s big bet on mobile gaming is paying off.

    The Chinese tech giant’s growing portfolio of mobile games has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, according to a report by data analytics company Sensor Tower, which examined player spending from Apple’s App Store and Google Play dating back to June 2021.

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    Netflix Turns To Asia To Boost Its Stalled Subscriber Growth

    Christian Hetrick

    Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

    Netflix Turns To Asia To Boost Its Stalled Subscriber Growth

    Netflix will invest more in Asia in a bid to revive its sluggish subscriber growth, betting on the lone region where the company added customers during an otherwise disappointing first quarter.

    Bloomberg reported Monday that the streaming giant will grow its investment in Asia despite plans to reign in spending overall across the company. That will include financing the production of local films and series for that market, Tony Zameczkowski, Netflix’s vice president of business development for Asia Pacific, told the news outlet.

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    Kid Cudi Is Betting Artists—And Fans—Want Live Shows on Their Smartphones

    Christian Hetrick

    Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

    Kid Cudi Is Betting Artists—And Fans—Want Live Shows on Their Smartphones
    Photo courtesy of Encore

    Live performance app Encore, co-founded by rapper Kid Cudi, wants to put concerts in people’s pockets.

    The Culver City-based company is among a bunch of virtual concert startups to emerge as the pandemic forced musicians to cancel or postpone in-person shows. But unlike competitors that are producing shows for virtual reality headsets or putting pay-per-view concerts on computers, Encore is betting fans will watch their favorite artists on smartphones. Think of it as a higher quality Instagram Live, with artists performing before augmented reality (AR) backgrounds and video chatting with fans.

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