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

    live.staticflickr.com

    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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    Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

    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.

    Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

    When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

    The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

    Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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    Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

    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.

    Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

    LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

    The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

    From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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    The Los Angeles Kings Embraced the Metaverse, and the NHL Is Ready to Follow

    Steve Huff
    Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
    An screenshot from Tetavi's metaverse
    Courtesy of Youtube

    Fans attending the Stanley Cup playoff at Crypto.com Arena in May 2022 might have noticed that the Los Angeles Kings went the extra mile with in-arena videos. Vibrant, 3D images of players plus Kings mascot Bailey the Lion flashed across the massive screens, impressive products of the team’s collaboration with Israeli “deep tech” startup, Tetavi. However, the excitement of the games might have obscured the significance of those videos—they marked the first time an NHL team used volumetric technology to record player footage.

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