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Source: StackCommerce
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Everything Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios is working on

Microsoft’s growing legion of internal studios is working on a range of games. Here’s the full rundown of what we know (and what we think we know) the studios are working on.

A while ago, Microsoft rebranded its internal studio troupe to Xbox Game Studios, and in part, it reflects the fact the Xbox brand is moving beyond consoles. Xbox streaming via Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming will bring Microsoft’s wide range of games to audiences on mobile devices, and Microsoft has begun supporting PC gaming like never before, alongside its next-gen Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.

To further invest in its own output, Microsoft purchased industry heavyweights like Obsidian Entertainment, inXile, Undead Labs, and many more. In 2020, Microsoft began the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, which includes studios like id Software, Bethesda Softworks, Machine Games, and many more.

Here’s a rundown of every studio and all the games (we think) we know about so far, joining our list of most anticipated upcoming Xbox games for 2021 and beyond, including games from ZeniMax since the deal is expected to close in full in early 2021.

TLDR Quick List

343 industries: Halo Infinite
Compulsion Games: Unannounced project
Double Fine: RAD, Psychonauts 2
inXile: Unannounced RPG
Mojang: Minecraft updates, Minecraft Dungeons updates
Ninja Theory: Project Mara, Hellblade II
Obsidian Entertainment: Grounded, Avowed
Playground Games: Forza Horizon, Fable
The Coalition: Gears of War
Rare: Sea of Thieves updates, Everwild
The Initiative: Perfect Dark
Turn 10: Forza Motorsport
Undead Labs: State of Decay 3
World’s Edge: Age of Empires IV
Bethesda Softworks: Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI, Fallout 76 updates
id Software: DOOM Eternal DLC
Arkane Studios: Dishonored sequel, Deathloop, possible Prey sequel
Tango Gameworks: Ghostwire Toyko
Machine Games: Indiana Jones, Wolfenstein III
Zenimax Online: Elder Scrolls Online, unannounced projects

Menu

343i
Compulsion
Double Fine
InXile
Mojang
Ninja Theory
Obsidian
PlayGround
Coalition
Rare
Initiative
Turn 10
Undead Labs
World’s Edge
Bethesda
id Software
Arkane
Tango
Machine Games
Zenimax Online

343 Industries

343 Industries (343i) is the studio behind the Halo franchise, charged with stewarding Microsoft’s flagship shooter IP following on from the work of Bungie. After the mixed reception to Halo 5’s campaign, all eyes on are on 343i to deliver a bigger, bolder vision for the next entry in the franchise, Halo Infinite, which will launch as a cross-gen title for the current Xbox consoles and the next-gen Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in the Fall of 2021, possibly on Halo’s 20 year anniversary.

The story is will re-focus on Master Chief, following the grave events of Halo 5, which sees the galaxy caught in the grip of gigantic ancient constructs known as the Guardians, controlled by the now-rogue A.I. Cortana. The story has pivoted away from Cortana though, seemingly, and will revolve around the Banished, a rogue Brute faction from Halo Wars 2. Halo Infinite will be on Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One, Series X, and PC, with a free-to-play multiplayer component.

Compulsion Games

Compulsion Games, known recently for We Happy Few, is a bit of an enigma. The Canadian studio completed work on We Happy Few’s DLC season pass, and is undoubtedly moving on to new projects. We’ve heard Compulsion’s next game might be in the puzzle genre, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Double Fine

Having joined the team at E3 2019, Double Fine is known to be working on Psychonauts 2, and a colorful action game called RAD, in addition to other “secret” projects.

InXile

InXile is known recently for Wasteland 2, but the studio has a storied pedigree dating all the way back to the Interplay and Black Isle days. Led by Brian Fargo, the studio specializes in classic “CRPG”-style titles, where turn-based isometric play in Wasteland and classic dungeon-crawler style in The Bard’s Tale.

Having shipped Wasteland 3, inXile is working on a mysterious unknown RPG, which if rumors are to be believed, could be “steampunk” in style. They’re also working on DLC content for Wasteland 3.

Mojang

Microsoft’s Minecraft operation is made up of Mojang as well as various teams based in the US, where Microsoft continues to build out its biggest franchise. With Minecraft Earth shut down, Mojang has put all of its focus on Minecraft itself and a separate title dubbed Minecraft Dungeons, based on classic dungeon crawlers like Diablo.

Ninja Theory

One of Microsoft’s most-promising recent acquisitions, Ninja Theory is known for the award-winning Hellblade, with some industry-leading facial motion capture and truly haunting atmospherics.

While the original game was limited in general scope, Microsoft and Ninja Theory seem keen to grow further, having expanded to a new building and hiring several new staff. Ninja Theory is also working on a title dubbed Project Mara, although little is known about it.

Ninja Theory is currently building upon Bleeding Edge, which is a 4v4 melee-oriented combat game, but also Hellblade II, revealed at The Game Awards in 2019. Bleeding Edge didn’t set the world on fire, and might have been abandoned.

Obsidian

Obsidian is a renowned RPG company famed for the South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the Pillars of Eternity CRPGs. The studio is also crowned with making what is arguably the best Fallout game, in Fallout: New Vegas.

Obsidian shipped the excellent The Outer Worlds, a vibrant sci-fi RPG under a contract from Take-Two. It would appear that Microsoft owns The Outer Worlds IP as a result of acquiring Obsidian, meaning that future entries in the franchise will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms. Obsidian is also working on bringing Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire to consoles, alongside Grounded, a survival multiplayer “passion project,” where you’re shrunk to the size of an ant.

Grounded racked up over a million players already since launching into early access, solidifying Obsidian’s place as one of Microsoft’s top-flight studios. Alongside Grounded, Obsidian recently revealed Avowed, which looks set to be the company’s answer to Elder Scrolls, set in the Pillars of Eternity universe.

Playground Games

One of Microsoft’s largest and most acclaimed studios, Playground Games is known for the incredibly popular Forza Horizon arcade racing series. The team at Playground Games has swelled enough to split into two separate divisions, one retaining work on Forza, while another is now confirmed to be working on a reboot of classic RPG Fable.

Rare

Rare is Microsoft’s most celebrated studio, known for classic Nintendo franchises like Killer Instinct, and more recently Sea of Thieves. Rare continues to work on Sea of Thieves as a live ops game, building it out with new features and systems to keep it feeling fresh, while attempting to attract newcomers.

For a time, Rare was all-in on Sea of Thieves, but recently, it was announced they’re also working on Everwild, which looks to be some form of multiplayer survival game.

The Coalition

Microsoft’s Gears of War all-star, The Coalition, is tasked with expanding the Gears universe beyond its corridor cover shooter roots, and Gears 5 achieved that to some degree.

The Coalition is currently working on expanding Gears 5’s multiplayer content, and presumably future installments in the Gears franchise.

The Initiative

The Initiative is a brand new studio set up by Microsoft, led by Darrel Gallagher of Tomb Raider fame. The studio is now known to be working on a reboot of Rare’s former spy franchise, Perfect Dark, set in the midst of an ecological crisis.

Turn 10

Turn 10 leads the Forza effort for Microsoft, working primarily on the Forza Motorsport series of racing simulators as well as the franchise’s engine. The studio has taken a break from Forza Motorsport’s bi-annualization, skipping a release for 2019 and 2020.

Turn 10 recently confirmed that it is working on a new Forza Motorsport, with a completely new engine built specifically for the Xbox Series X and S.

Undead Labs

Undead Labs is known for the State of Decay franchise and has a sizable fan following who has been helping shape the zombie apocalypse survival sim. State of Decay 2 suffered a bit of a mixed reception due to its rough edges at launch, but after months of polish, it’s now in a really good place.

State of Decay 3 has now been revealed with a cinematic trailer, built specifically for the Xbox Series X. The trailer certainly suggests a bigger focus on visuals, but we’ll have to wait and see for more details.

World’s Edge

World’s Edge is Microsoft’s newest studio, in charge of shepherding the Age of Empires franchise. The team is currently working on maintaining Age of Empires: DE and Age of Empires II: DE, while completing work on Age of Empires II: DE, and possibly even Age of Mythology: DE. Alongside that, World’s Edge is working with Relic Entertainment on Age of Empires IV.

Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda takes center stage as Microsoft’s most prolific internal studio once the deal closes in early 2021, for some of the most popular games of all time in the form of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Thus far, we know Bethesda is working on Elder Scrolls VI, but also a mysterious sci-fi game dubbed Starfield, for which there is little information.

id Software

id Software is known for legendary franchises like DOOM and QUAKE, and the studio is currently hard at work on additional story DLC for DOOM Eternal. It seems likely that id Software is also working on additional titles as well.

Arkane Studios

Arkane Studios, known for Dishonored and Prey, is currently building Deathloop as a PC and PlayStation exclusive, although it seems likely that it will come to Xbox as well at some point, given the acquisition. Beyond that, there have been some vague hints that Arkane could be working on a sequel to their reboot of the Prey franchise, as well as a new entry in the Dishonored franchise.

Tango Gameworks

Tango Gameworks is known for The Evil Within horror franchise and is working on a similarly spooky action-adventure game called GhostWire Tokyo, currently set for PlayStation and PC exclusivity. Just like Deathloop, it seems likely that Ghostwire will hit Xbox in the future as well.

Machine Games

Machine Games is stewarding the Nazi-murdering simulator Wolfenstein, and is hard at work building the sci-fi shooter’s third installment. In addition, Machine Games is building a game based on LucasFilm’s Indiana Jones IP.

Zenimax Online Studios

ZeniMax Online Studios currently work on the Elder Scrolls Online MMO, which remains popular to this day. The studio is also working on additional “unannounced projects,” which could end up being Windows and Xbox exclusive.

A huge backlog

The central criticism of Microsoft’s current-gen Xbox has been the strength of its exclusive games, which have received mixed success. While the Forza Horizon series rocked many accolades and praise, other titles like State of Decay 2 launched in a relatively rough condition. Xbox Game Pass has helped add value to some of the lower-end titles since all Microsoft games are set to appear in the subscription service, although there’s a big appetite for true “AAA”-quality experiences that match Sony’s efforts in the space. Hellblade II certainly looks as though it fits the bill, and the size of studios like Playground certainly lends hope to Fable following suit.

When you factor in the might of ZeniMax and Bethesda, Microsoft is undeniably well-placed for a game-rich future, especially as it attempts to court subscribers to its services such as Xbox Game Pass, and Project xCloud in the future. It remains to be seen if the company can truly match Sony and Nintendo on quality in the minds of the wider audience, but it shouldn’t take long to find out.

Xbox

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Everything Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios is working on

Microsoft Flight Simulator may still come to Xbox One

The Xbox One may still see Microsoft Flight Simulator one day.

What you need to know

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a superb flight sim that is notorious for pushing gaming PCs to the max.
The game has already been confirmed for a release on the Xbox Series X|S later this year, but the rumored Xbox One version is nowhere to be seen.
In a recent interview, Microsoft Flight Simulator head Jorg Neumann suggests that an Xbox One version is not off the tables yet.
After Microsoft Flight Simulator launches on Xbox Series X|S and VR, and Xbox One version could be considered later on.

One of the games most sought-after on Xbox is Microsoft Flight Simulator, a fantastic flight sim from Microsoft’s long-dormant franchise that combines powerful modern gaming hardware, new technologies, and Microsoft’s advanced cloud tech to create an absolutely gorgeous showcase of the entire world. Recently, Microsoft confirmed that Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X|S later this year, but this noticeably omitted the aging Xbox One generation, which was originally rumored to also see Microsoft Flight Simulator at some point.

For many, this meant all hope was lost for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox One consoles, instead requiring the powerful and still hard-to-buy Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, however, the head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Jorg Neumann, breathed new life into the possibility of MFS on Xbox One.

From the interview:

I guess it’s a timing thing. Obviously memory matters. Certainly on Ultra settings, you need a big PC – well, that’s a lot, lot more memory than what you had on an Xbox One. So it’s a journey, like most things, you know – let’s get the Xbox Series X and S versions done, and then we’ll look ahead after that. We never close doors, and there are other options, though it’s a little bit too early to talk about it.

Apparently optimizing Microsoft Flight Simulator for VR on PC has led to considerable enhancements to low-end performance, which could help a lot with bringing this monstrous and demanding visual game to the practically ancient hardware in Xbox One. While nothing has been confirmed or set in stone, at least the possibility hasn’t been completely laid to rest.

Elsewhere in the interview, Neumann discussed how similar the Xbox and PC versions are going to be, as well as bringing community-made content to Xbox Series X|S as well. The team behind Microsoft Flight Simulator wants to make the experiences as close as possible, while catering to the (likely) large number of newcomers that would join because of the Xbox versions with better and more streamlined tutorials.

Finally, they also would like to bring all of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s third-party add-ons to Xbox, if possible, with Neumann commenting “I think that’s going to happen – I’m quite optimistic.” This would be fantastic to see, as third-party add-ons and mod support in console games is still a rarity.

All-in-all, the interview is definitely deserving of a read, but the main takeaway is that players who are on older Xbox consoles like the still-capable Xbox One X may still see Microsoft Flight Simulator in the future.

Prepare for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox with one of the Best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X|S to showcase all of its gorgeous visuals, and take control with one of the Best HOTAS Controllers for Xbox.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Microsoft
$45 at Amazon (3-month subscription)
$15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It’s possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Microsoft Flight Simulator may still come to Xbox One

New privacy, security, and productivity features are coming to Edge today

A new password generator, sync options, and more are now available.

What you need to know

Microsoft Edge 88 is now rolling out in the stable channel.
It introduces new security features such as a password generator.
There are also new productivity and privacy features.

Microsoft is rolling out version 88 of its Edge web browser today, bringing with it several new privacy, security and productivity features designed to make browsing the web easier and more secure. Microsoft is highlighting new password protection features that warn you if your password has been leaked, and can even generate new, more secure ones, as well as more customization features in the New Tab Page.

Up first, Microsoft Edge 88 features a new “sidebar search” feature that works similarly to the old Microsoft Edge’s “ask Cortana” feature. You can right click on text or images, and search the web in a sidebar interface, meaning you can find context for things without leaving the current tab you’re in.

On the New Tab Page, you’ll also now be able to see incoming emails from Outlook if you have the website pinned in your quick links. Version 88 also introduces new icons in address bar and context menus to align with Microsoft’s updated Fluent Design language. Microsoft also has several new themes designed to make Microsoft Edge look and feel unique.

For PCs on battery, Edge has new power efficiency features that will let users put tabs to sleep after a certain amount of time. Putting inactive tabs to sleep frees up resources for other tabs, keeping performance fast even on devices with a low amount of RAM or CPU power.

In the security department, Edge now has a built-in password generator when signing up for websites that will automatically save and sync with your Microsoft Account. In addition, Microsoft Edge also has a password leak checker which will warn you when it detects that a password you use has been found in a password leak dump.

There’s also a new option to delete third party cookies with one button, and those signed in with a Microsoft Account now have the option to sync open tabs and browsing history across devices.

Microsoft Edge 88 is rolling out in the stable channel now. What are your thoughts on these new features? Let us know in the comments.

Download it now

Microsoft Edge

Free at Microsoft
Free at Microsoft (Beta
Free at Microsoft (Dev)
Free at Microsoft (Canary)

A worthy browser.

The new Microsoft Edge runs on Chromium, supports popular extensions, and regularly gets new features from Microsoft.

New privacy, security, and productivity features are coming to Edge today

Here's everything we know (so far) about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Horrors lurk against humanity, but as always, The Emperor Protects.

During the Xbox Games Showcase, an intriguing new co-op game called Warhammer 40,000: Darktide was revealed. It’s coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC at some point in 2021. While we don’t know a lot at this time, the teaser trailer promises a dark co-op fight against the horrors of Chaos.

There’s a few tidbits of information we can parse through based on what the developers have said so far. We’ve gathered up everything we know about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide so far.

Jump to:

What is Warhammer 40K: Darktide?
Check out the teaser trailer
Gameplay and features
Is it coming to PS5?
Is it coming to PC?
When does it release?

What is Warhammer 40K: Darktide?

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is a co-op first-person game being developed and published by Sweden-based studio Fatshark. Fatshark previously developed the Warhammer: Vermintide games and stated in a press release that fans have been asking for a similar type of game set in the Warhammer 40K universe.

The game takes place on the world of Atoma Prime in the Hive City of Tertium. Hive Cities are massively dense, packed foundry worlds of the Imperium. The factories of these sprawling cities produce the many materials used by the Imperium, while many members of the human population eventually end up joining the Astra Militarum, more commonly known as the Imperial Guard.

Players take on the role of a squad of Imperial Guards, investigating a cult called the Admonition.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide trailers

The first trailer that accompanied the game’s announcement was revealed during the 2020 Xbox Games Showcase. You can see the reveal trailer for the game below.

During the Game Awards 2020, a new gameplay trailer was debuted, showing off glimpses of what the frenetic combat looks like in action.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide gameplay and features

Right now, we still don’t know a lot about the gameplay in Warhammer 40,000 Darktide. It’ll be first-person like in the Vermintide games and will similarly support four-player co-op, so it could end up being one of the best Xbox shooters available. While melee combat will be included, ranged combat will also be a viable option.

During the trailer, we see one guardsmen’s Lasgun repeatedly fizzle and malfunction, perhaps indicating that players will face electronic challenges in navigating the dark underbelly of Tertium. Much like in Vermintide, there’ll be various characters to choose from, including an Abhuman Ogryn, large ogre-like beings loyal to humanity.

Fatshark is currently promising that Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will be 4K 60FPS on Xbox Series X as part of being Xbox Series X Optimized.

Is Warhammer 40K: Darktide coming to PS5?

As of right now, no. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is going to be a console launch exclusive on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, meaning it’ll only be available on the next-generation Xbox consoles for a period of time. It will likely come to PS5 sometime after release, though.

Is Warhammer 40K: Darktide coming to PC?

Yes. In addition to launch on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will be available on PC through Steam.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide release date

There’s no exact release date for the game at this time. Fatshark says that players can expect Warhammer 40,000: Darktide at some point in 2021. It’ll be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC when it launches. It’ll also launch day one into Xbox Game Pass.

Best of both worlds

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Here's everything we know (so far) about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Israel’s startup ecosystem powers ahead, amid a year of change

Released in 2011 “Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle” was a book that laid claim to the idea that Israel was an unusual type of country. It had produced and was poised to produce, an enormous number of technology startups, given its relatively small size. The moniker became so ubiquitous, both at home and abroad, that “Israel Startup Nation” is now the name of the country’s professional cycling team.
But it’s been hard to argue against this position in the last ten years, as the country powered ahead, famously producing ground-breaking startups like Waze, which was eventually picked up by Google for over $1 billion in 2013. Waze’s 100 employees received about $1.2 million on average, the largest payout to employees in Israeli high tech at the time, and the exit created a pool of new entrepreneurs and angel investors ever since.
Israel’s heady mix of questioning culture, tradition of national military service, higher education, the widespread use of English, appetite for risk and team spirit makes for a fertile place for fast-moving companies to appear.
And while Israel doesn’t have a Silicon Valley, it named its high-tech cluster “Silicon Wadi” (‘wadi’ means dry desert river bed in Arabic and colloquial Hebrew).

After a record year for Israeli startups, 16 investors tell us what’s next

Much of Israel’s high-tech industry has emerged from former members of the country’s elite military intelligence units such as the Unit 8200 Intelligence division. From age 13 Israel’s students are exposed to advanced computing studies, and the cultural push to go into tech is strong. Traditional professions attract low salaries compared to software professionals.
Israel’s startups industry began emerging in the late 19080s and early 1990s. A significant event came with acquisitor by AOL of the the ICQ messaging system developed by Mirabilis. The Yozma Programme (Hebrew for “initiative”) from the government, in 1993, was seminal: It offered attractive tax incentives to foreign VCs in Israel and promised to double any investment with funds from the government. This came decades ahead of most western governments.
It wasn’t long before venture capital firms started up and major tech companies like Microsoft, Google and Samsung have R&D centers and accelerators located in the country.
So how are they doing?
At the start of 2020, Israeli startups and technology companies were looking back on a good 2019. Over the last decade, startup funding for Israeli entrepreneurs had increased by 400%. In 2019 there was a 30% increase in startup funding and a 102% increase in M&A activity. The country was experiencing a 6-year upward funding trend. And in 2019 Bay Area investors put $1.4 billion into Israeli companies.
By the end of last year, the annual Israeli Tech Review 2020 showed that Israeli tech firms had raised a record $9.93 billion in 2020, up 27% year on year, in 578 transactions – but M&A deals had plunged.
Israeli startups closed out December 2020 by raising $768 million in funding. In December 2018 that figure was $230 million, in 2019 it was just under $200 million.
Late-stage companies drew in $8.33 billion, from $6.51 billion in 2019, and there were 20 deals over $100 million totaling $3.26 billion, compared to 18 totaling $2.62 billion in 2019.
Top IPOs among startups were Lemonade, an AI-based insurance firm, on the New York Stock Exchange; and life sciences firm Nanox which raised $165 million on the Nasdaq.
The winners in 2020 were cybersecurity, fintech and internet of things, with food tech cooing on strong. But while the country has become famous for its cybersecurity startups, AI now accounts for nearly half of all investments into Israeli startups. That said, every sector is experiencing growth. Investors are also now favoring companies that speak to the Covid-era, such as cybersecurity, ecommerce and remote technologies for work and healthcare.
There are currently over 30 tech companies in Israel that are valued over $1 Billion. And four startups passed the $1 billion valuation just last year: mobile game developer Moon Active; Cato Networks, a cloud-based enterprise security platform; Ride-hailing app developer Gett got $100 million ahead of its rumored IPO; and behavioral biometrics startup BioCatch.
And there was a reminder that Israel can produce truly ‘magical’ tech: Tel Aviv battery storage firm StorDot raised money from Samsung Ventures and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for its battery which can fully charge a motor scooter in five minutes.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic put a break on mergers and acquisitions in 2020, as the world economy closed down.
M&A was just $7.8 billion in 93 deals, compared to over $14.2 billion in 143 M&A deals in 2019. RestAR was acquired by American giant Unity; CloudEssence was acquired by a U.S. cyber company; and Kenshoo acquired Signals Analytics.
And in 2020, Israeli companies made 121 funding deals on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and global capital markets, raising a total of $6.55 billion, compared to $1.95 billion raised in capital markets in Israel and abroad in 2019, as IPOs became an attractive exit alternative.
However, early-round investments (Seed + A Rounds) slowed due to pandemic uncertainty, but picked-up again towards the end of the year. As in other countries in ‘Covid 2020’, VC tended to focus on existing portfolio companies.
Covid brought unexpected upsides: Israeli startups, usually facing longs flight to Europe or the US to raise larger rounds of funding, suddenly found that Zoom was bringing investors to them.
Israeli startups adapted extremely well in the Covid era and that doesn’t look like changing. Startup Snapshot found that 55% startups profiled had changed (or considered changing) their product due to Covid-19. Meanwhile, remote-working – which comes naturally to Israeli entrepreneurs – is ‘flattening’ the world, giving a great advantage to normally distant startup ecosystems like Israel’s.
Via Transportation raised $400 million in Q1. Next Insurance raised $250 million in Q3. Seven exit transactions with over the $500 million mark happened in Q1–Q3/2020, compared to 10 for all of 2019. These included Checkmarx for $1.1 billion and Moovit, also for a billion.
There are three main hubs for the Israeli tech scene, in order of size: Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s economy and therefore startup scene suffered after the second Intifada (the Palestinian uprising that began in late September 2000 and ended around 2005). But today the city is far more stable, and is therefore attracting an increasing number of startups. And let’s not forget visual recognition company Mobileye, now worth $9.11 billion (£7 billion), came from Jerusalem.
Israel’s government is very supportive of it’s high-tech economy. When it noticed seed-stage startups were flagging, the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced the launch of a new funding program to help seed-stage and early-stage startups, earmarking NIS 80 million ($25 million) for the project.
This will offer participating companies grants worth 40 percent of an investment round up to $1.1 million and 50 percent of a total investment round for startups in the country or whose founders come from under-represented communities – Arab-Israeli, ultra-Orthodox, and women – in the high-tech industry.
Investments in Israeli seed-stage startups decreased both absolutely and as a percentage of total investments in Israeli startups (to 6% from 11%). However, the decline may also be a function of large tech firms setting up incubation hubs to cut up and absorb talent.
Another notable aspect of Israel’s startups scene is its, sometimes halting, attempt to engage with its Arab Israeli population. Arab Israelis account for 20% of Israel’s population but are hugely underrepresented in the tech sector. The Hybrid Programme is designed to address this disparity.
It, and others like it, this are a reminder that Israel is geographically in the Middle East. Since the recent normalization pact between Israel and the UAE, relations with Arab states have begun to thaw. Indeed, Over 50,000 Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates since the agreement.
In late November, Dubai-based DIFC FinTech Hive—the biggest financial innovation hub in the Middle East—signed a milestone agreement with Israel’s Fintech-Aviv. Both entities will now work together to facilitate the cross-border exchange of knowledge and business between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Perhaps it’s a sign that Israel is becoming more at ease with its place in the region? Certainly, both Israel’s tech scene and the Arab world’s is set to benefit from these more cordial relations.
Our Israel survey is here.

Israel’s startup ecosystem powers ahead, amid a year of change

Players are struggling to get started in Hitman 3 with their progression

Players are trying to log-in to Hitman 3 to no avail.

What you need to know

Hitman 3 is the latest in the long-running assassination and stealth-focused Hitman series.
Hitman 3 is officially out today, but numerous players are running into issues getting into the game.
IO Accounts, which are used to carry over progression from previous games, are failing to sign people in.
IO Interactive is working on the progression and account issue and is trying to get everyone in.

The latest game featuring everyone’s favorite bald assassin is now available, and Hitman 3 is inviting people to join on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and even Switch. While the game has garnered respectable reviews, it is running into some initial launch pains that have been lasting all day. Most notably, players are having a ton of trouble signing-in and accessing their IO Account.

We’re on it.HITMAN 3 has arrived and everyone wants to play at once. We’re tracking and will have everyone in the game, with their progress as soon as possible.? pic.twitter.com/Te7K8pRPyj— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 20, 2021

One of the biggest draws of Hitman 3 is that it’s a continuation of the first two games in the trilogy, and players can use their IO Accounts to carry over progression from previous games. However, players are having trouble signing-in to their accounts, resetting their passwords, and having their requests to carry over their progression be processed. IO Interactive is hard at work resolving all of these issues, but it’s clearly taking some time.

Update on progression carryover: We’re processing thousands of players and getting more of you playing.If you complete the process and see that your request has ‘failed’, it will be placed in a queue on our end and processed. You can do no more.(1/2) pic.twitter.com/cZxauCnzyI— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 20, 2021

The progression issue isn’t stopping players from getting into the game, but without their progression, many players have zero reasons to do so. There are also some reports of players who have gotten into the game running into server issues and random disconnects, detracting from what is otherwise one of the best stealth games around.

In our Hitman 3 review, we said that “Hitman 3 is fun to play and the first few levels of this installment are some of the best in Hitman’s history.” If you’re interested in trying the game out (hopefully after all the initial problems have been resolved), you can purchase the game now. Also, consider one of the Best Headsets for Xbox Series X|S, that way, you can hear your targets before they can hear you.

Just shy of greatness

Hitman 3

$50 at Amazon
$60 at Best Buy
$50 at Walmart

An imperfect kill

Hitman 3 is an excellent entry in the Hitman franchise but requires the previous games in the series to be appreciated as a whole.

Players are struggling to get started in Hitman 3 with their progression

Here's what we know about the upcoming Indiana Jones game

The original tomb-raiding, uncharted-treasures adventurer is coming back.

One of the most surprising reveals so far in 2021 was the announcement that Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames are teaming up with Lucasfilm Games for a new Indiana Jones game.

It’s going to be a while before we learn more about this exciting title but there’s a fair bit of information we’ve already been able to parse through. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Indiana Jones game from Bethesda Softworks.

Jump to:

What is this game?
Is it Xbox exclusive?
When will it release?

What is the Indiana Jones game?

pic.twitter.com/XSaIwjgiOF— Bethesda (@bethesda) January 12, 2021

Right now, there is no YouTube trailer for the game. Bethesda did however share the teaser above on Twitter.

This game is being developed by MachineGames, which are known for the recent Wolfenstein games, including Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus that released in 2014 and 2017 respectively. These are some of the best shooters on Xbox right now. Bethesda Softworks is publishing the game in partnership with Lucasfilm Games, a new part of Disney that works to collaborate with different developers on Lucasfilm properties.

Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly said that Todd Howard of Bethesda approached Disney with a pitch that had “unique vision and a unique passion.”

This game is described as a “standalone adventure” that will tell an original story. Based on glimpses of blueprints and maps seen in the teaser, it seems like part of this game will be set in or around the Vatican in Italy.

“Todd is a lifelong Indy fan, and has been trying for over a decade to make this game,” said Pete Hines, SVP of Global Marketing. “He’s beyond excited to work with the award-winning MachineGames team, a perfect fit for Indy.”

Is the Indiana Jones game Xbox exclusive?

Since ZeniMax Media is being acquired by Microsoft, adding the eight studios in the Bethesda family to the Xbox first-party development slate, it’s currently unclear if MachineGames’ new Indiana Jones project will also be Xbox exclusive. The simple fact is that right now, we don’t know. Disney is not opposed to allowing platform-exclusive games, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man titles developed by Insomniac Games for PlayStation. With that said, this deal might’ve been signed before the acquisition process began. We’ll have to wait for more information.

When is the Indiana Jones game release date?

This game isn’t even remotely close to release. According to Bethesda, it’s going to be a while before we even get another update. MachineGames is actively hiring right now and at a rough guess, this game is probably over two years away. Whenever it does release, it will be available at least on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC.

Best of all worlds

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Month Subscription

$45 at Microsoft
$45 at Amazon

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.

Here's what we know about the upcoming Indiana Jones game

Here's how to transfer your save files and characters in Minecraft Dungeons

The art of (not) transferring your save files and characters.

Minecraft Dungeons continues the Minecraft mantra of “play anywhere with anyone” by being available on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, PC, and even Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud) as one of the Best Games for Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, since launch, it’s been missing two vital features that have been a Minecraft staple for ages: cross-play and cross-save.

Cross-play allows online multiplayer across platform lines. Cross-play was recently added to Minecraft Dungeons in a free update (here’s how to enable cross-play in Minecraft Dungeons). Cross-save lets players carry their progress and saves across platforms and devices, and that’s unfortunately still missing from Minecraft Dungeons. Support for cross-saves should come in the future, but here are all of your options right now.

Here’s how to transfer your save files and characters in Minecraft Dungeons:

Jump to:

How do I transfer save files?

PC
Xbox
PlayStation
Switch

When is cross-save coming?

The next era of Dungeons

Minecraft Dungeons: Season Pass

$20 at Microsoft (Season Pass Xbox)
$20 at Microsoft (Season Pass Windows)

Explore new worlds in Minecraft Dungeons.

It’s been a busy first year for Minecraft Dungeons, and now the ARPG dungeon-crawling Minecraft spin-off is looking ahead towards its future, with four new expansions planned. The first one, Howling Peaks, is available right now, but players can also grab the new Season Pass to gain immediate access to all four expansions as soon as they launch.

How do I transfer my save files and characters in Minecraft Dungeons?

Without proper cross-save support, being able to carry your progress between different devices on the same platform depends entirely on the platform you’re playing on. On top of that, carrying your progress between devices on different platforms just isn’t possible right now. Hopefully, Mojang Studios is hard at work implementing proper cross-save support using Microsoft Accounts, which powers cross-play, but players are left with only a few options until then.

PC

PC is going to be the most complicated platform to transfer saves between, as PC is the only platform Minecraft Dungeons is available on that only uses local files for saves. This means being able to transfer your Minecraft Dungeons save files and characters from one PC to another is anything but guaranteed. There is a way to find your save file and copy it to another PC, but it comes with several major caveats. Just in case this method might work for you if you bought a new PC or are wanting to play Minecraft Dungeons elsewhere, I’ll go over everything you need to know right here.

To begin, Minecraft Dungeons stores save files and character data in the following location on your PC:

C:Users(Username)AppDataLocalPackagesMicrosoft.Lovika_8wekyb3d8bbweLocalCacheLocalDungeons

If you head to this location, you’ll notice one or more folders that appear to be a series of random numbers. These are the save folders for your characters (one for each). In order to transfer your save file, you need to copy the entirety of the contents and then paste it in the exact same location on your destination PC. However, there are two major reasons this may not work:

Your save data is encrypted. In order to prevent external tampering, Minecraft Dungeons encrypts this save data. Whenever you transfer it to another PC, there’s a chance the new save data just won’t work because of this.
You may not see the save data. While you should be able to find the numbered folders notating your various characters, the contents may not be visible or accessible to you (even if “Show hidden items” is enabled).

Personally, this method cannot work for me, as I cannot access the actual save files inside the folder. That being said, I’ll still post the step-by-step here just in case it can work for you. Attempt this at your own risk, and always copy and create duplicates, in case something goes wrong or doesn’t work.

Open File Explorer on the computer that you’re already playing Minecraft Dungeons on.

Before we proceed, we’ll need to edit your “View” settings. Along the top of File Explorer, click on the “View” button.

From here, you’ll need to find the “Hidden items” option under the “Show / Hide” section. Make sure “Hidden items” is selected.

You can also click on the Options button next to the “Show / Hide” section for more in-depth options and controls.

Now that hidden items appear in your File Explorer, open the main drive on your PC, which is normally labeled (C:).

In your main PC drive, navigate to and open the “Users” folder.

In the “Users” folder, you need to locate and open your “user” folder. The name of the folder will be whatever the PC calls you as its user. This will be different from person to person.

In your “user” folder, navigate to and open the “AppData” folder.
In your “AppData” folder, navigate to and open the “Local” folder.
In your “Local” folder, navigate to and open the “Packages” folder.
In your “Packages” folder, navigate to and open the “Microsoft.Lovika_8wekyb3d8bbwe” folder.
In your “Microsoft.Lovika_8wekyb3d8bbwe” folder, navigate to and open the “LocalCache” folder.
In your “LocalCache” folder, navigate to and open the “Local” folder.
In your “Local” folder, navigate to and open the “Dungeons” folder.

Now that we’ve navigated to the correct place, you should see one or more folders. There will be the “Saved” folder, and then at least one folder that is a seemingly random series of numbers.
The folder that looks like a series of random numbers is your save information for your Minecraft Dungeons character.

Disclaimer: Beyond this point, I was personally not able to proceed with this method, so I am unable to verify its success.

Inside your save folder, there will be a “.dat” file and a “Characters” folder with two more “.dat” files.
You need to highlight and right-click on everything in your save folder and select the “Copy” option.

Note: Do not “Cut” or “Move” your character save information, in case something goes wrong. Always “Copy,” that way, the original remains intact.

Your next step is moving your save information to the new PC. The easiest way to do this is with a standard flash or thumb drive.
In your flash drive or storage device, right-click on an empty space and select the “Paste” option to copy your Minecraft Dungeons save file.
On your new PC, follow the above steps and navigate to the exact same folder. You’ll need to have created a character in order for there to be a save folder.
Open the save folder on your new computer and create a new folder to move that character’s save information.

Note: If everything works, you can delete this folder afterward. The folder can be called whatever you want, as long as it’s not “Characters.”

Find your Minecraft Dungeons save file information on your flash drive or storage device and Copy and Paste it into the save folder on your new computer.
If everything looks like it did on your old PC, open Minecraft Dungeons on your new PC and see if your character successfully moved over!
If everything worked, you’re good to go! If not, you’ll still have your save file on your old PC for when cross-save is finally added to minecraft Dungeons.

Xbox

Beyond PC, moving between devices on the same platform is comparatively painless. Xbox is the home of Minecraft and all of Microsoft’s other first-party titles and aims to offer the best experience in a lot of cases. While Minecraft Dungeons lacked key features at launch that really should’ve been there, it’s still incredibly easy to play on multiple consoles, even at the “same” time (you can’t play simultaneously, of course).

Simply sign in to your Microsoft / Xbox Account on each console, install Minecraft Dungeons, and wait for the game to sync your saved cloud data upon its first start. If you are playing on multiple consoles, Minecraft Dungeons may need to do this more regularly whenever it detects a new save from a different console.

Like every other platform, this doesn’t travel anywhere but an Xbox One or Xbox Series console.

PlayStation

Your save files should also sync between PlayStation consoles, as long as you’re signing in with the same PlayStation Account on every console. This will work on the PS4, and PS5 consoles through backward compatibility. Of course, cross-save isn’t present on PlayStation consoles, so if you started with Sony’s gaming platform, your save files are stuck there for the time being.

Switch

In the past, Nintendo’s wonderful little Switch console hasn’t been the best at “accepting” players owning one or more Switches or needing to migrate to a new console, but Minecraft Dungeons should handle the task just fine. Just like with every other platform, you’ll need to sign in to the same Nintendo Account you bought Minecraft Dungeons on. Also, just like with every other platform, cross-save is not present on Switch at this time.

When is cross-save coming to Minecraft Dungeons?

Cross-play connects Minecraft Dungeons players no matter where they play, and it’s fantastic to finally see it be added to the game. However, cross-save is still very much “missing in action” and is as of yet nowhere to be seen. Just to put everything out in the open, we don’t have a date for when cross-save is coming to Minecraft Dungeons. For months Mojang Studios was relatively tight-lipped on it, only really confirming it was planned when cross-play was finally added.

Even then, it was the customary “soon” with little more information to be found. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too much longer for cross-save support to land on Minecraft Dungeons, but it’s going to be at least a few weeks (Mojang Studios will likely give a heads up long before the update actually drops). At the very least, I expect cross-save support to be added to Minecraft Dungeons by the end of this year, 2021.

Cross-save support in Minecraft Dungeons will almost certainly be powered by your Microsoft Account, just like cross-play is. So, if you want to be ready the moment cross-save arrives, be sure to log-in to your Microsoft Account in Minecraft Dungeons on all of your devices.

Not your average Minecraft

Minecraft Dungeons

$30 at Microsoft (Xbox One Hero Edition)
$30 at Microsoft (Windows 10 Hero Edition)

Minecraft explores the dungeons.

Minecraft Dungeons is the next saga in Minecraft’s story, and Mojang Studios have knocked another one out of the park. Awesome co-op combat paired with powerful loot, all at a crazy affordable price? There’s not much more you could ask for in an epic dungeon crawling ARPG.

Minecraft Dungeons

Unlock all Minecraft Dungeons levels
All Minecraft Dungeons Unique Gear
All Minecraft Dungeons Weapons
All Minecraft Dungeons Armor
All Minecraft Dungeons Enemies
Best Minecraft Dungeons Builds

Here's how to transfer your save files and characters in Minecraft Dungeons

Check out the hidden invitation to coders on the White House website

A hidden invitation is within the code of the new White House website.

What you need to know

The new White House website includes a hidden message inviting people to apply to the U.S. Digital Service.
To see the message, you have to open developer tools for the updated website.
The White House website was updated following President Biden’s inauguration.

Following the inauguration of President Biden, the White House website received a major update. The website includes information about the current administration and the history of the White House but hidden in its code is a secret invitation for people to apply for a job in technology.

If you use the developer tools on your browser to inspect the website, you’ll see a hidden message that states, “If you’re reading this, we need your help building back better.” It then has the text for the United States Digital Service (USDS) job application page.

The USDS is a technology unit that works across the U.S. federal government to improve services. People can join the USDS in tours of civic service with a maximum term of four years. The majority of people involved serve for one or two years, according to the USDS.

The USDS deploys groups of designers, engineers, product managers, and bureaucracy specialists to help civil servants.

The message was spotted on Twitter by Isaac Hepworth, a Microsoft employee.

and this! pic.twitter.com/f2jS9ijZbk— Isaac Hepworth (@isaach) January 20, 2021

The USDS page goes over the hiring process and requirements for people to be involved with the organization. The majority of people at the USDS are working remotely at the moment due to the current global pandemic but normally people need to be near Washing, D.C.

The new White House website also has a dark mode, which will likely be appreciated by lovers of high contrast.

Check out the hidden invitation to coders on the White House website