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Warner Bros. opens New York office to support games like Injustice 2



Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is setting up shop on the East Coast with WB Games New York to provide additional backend support for their online games.

The new branch is focused on cloud-based backend technology, which will allow Warner Bros.’s teams to implement new online content. There’s a big benefit to this, as it’ll be able to quickly add features such as the Wonder Woman gear that went live in the DC comics-based fighting game Injustice 2 shortly after the Wonder Woman movie debuted in theaters.

“We understand the importance of expanding the connected communities of players, and with WB Games New York, we will have a strong foundation to grow our player connectivity with our digitally powered console and mobile games as well as live service gaming,” said Steven Chiang, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s executive vice president of worldwide production and studios, in a press release.

Other companies have also emphasized the importance of live services. Electronic Art’s CEO Andrew Wilson, for instance, points to the live services aspect of its FIFA soccer game series as one of the reasons why EA had record-breaking revenues last year.

It’s something that’s becoming increasingly important to Warner Bros., particularly since it’s making big moves in esports, an industry that’s slated to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. It announced its Injustice 2 championship earlier this year, and it recently partnered with esports tournament brand Eleague for the championship finals.

Steven Flenory will be the studio director for WB Games New York, and he has plenty of experience in building the kind of community and web-based features that esports needs. He was previously studio head at the Warner Bros. subsidiary Agora Games, which built Hydra, a platform that provides integrations like leaderboards, player matching, and player statistics.

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UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

US officials might be easing up on drone regulations, but their UK counterparts are pushing forward. The British government has instituted rules that require you to not only register any robotic aircraft weighing over 250g (0.55lbs), but to take a "safety awareness" test to prove you understand the drone code. Regulators hope that this will lead to fewer drones flying over airports and otherwise causing havoc in British skies. Not that they're taking any chances -- the UK is also planning wider use of geofencing to prevent drones from flying into dangerous airspace.

The new rules come following a study highlighting the dangers of wayward drones. A smaller drone isn't necessarily safer than its larger alternatives, for example -- many of those more compact models have exposed rotors that can do a lot of damage. A drone weighing around 400 g (0.88lbs) can crack the windscreen of a helicopter, while all but the heaviest drones will have trouble cracking the windscreen of an airliner (and then only at speeds you'd expect beyond the airport). While you might not cause as much chaos as some have feared, you could still create a disaster using a compact drone.

It's nothing new to register drones, of course, and it doesn't appear to have dampened enthusiasm in the US. The test adds a wrinkle, though: how willing are you to buy a drone if you know you'll have to take a quiz? The test likely won't slow sales too much, if at all, but it could give people one more reason to pause before buying a drone on impulse. Manufacturers appear to be in favor of the new rulebook, at any rate -- DJI tells the BBC that the UK is striving for a "reasonable" solution that balances safety with a recognition of the advantages that drones can bring to public life.

Source: Gov.uk (1), (2)

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