The DeanBeat: What’s at stake in Apple’s potentially apocalyptic IDFA changes

The Identifier for Advertisers, also known as IDFA, seems like an unlikely candidate for causing an apocalypse in mobile games, advertising, and the iPhone ecosystem. But the obscure tracking technology, which anonymously profiles a user, seems like Death riding in on a pale horse.

Starting in June, Apple caused a stir by saying it was effectively getting rid of the IDFA, making it harder for advertisers to target consumers with ads. Apple’s plan was to enhance privacy, but it caused a great stir among the likes of Facebook, mobile marketers, and their customers such as game developers. Apple did this without widespread consultation with the app and game industry.

By getting rid of the IDFA, Apple could make its platform more attractive to those who value privacy, consistent with the latest privacy-marketing ads for its iPhones and iPad. But the uproar from Apple’s partners forced Apple to delay its move from mid-September, with the release of iOS 14, to sometime in early 2021.

A lot of mobile game companies and marketing firms felt like it was a stay of execution. The stay came just as Brian Bowman, CEO of mobile user acquisition firm Consumer Acquisition, warned that the IDFA change could result in thousands of layoffs at the mobile-app advertising ecosystem, including game companies, mobile ad measurement firms, mobile marketing, user acquisition, and ad networks.

“You ever see the movie The Green Mile?” said Bowman. “We’re walking to death row. The phone rings. We walk back. That’s all this is. In five months, we do the walk again. I think the thing that was most shocking to me was how few people were willing to talk to the press about the topic. It was clear that there’s the fear of retribution in the industry, that your next title may

The DeanBeat — The Walking Dead: Onslaught creator Survios raises $16.7 million for VR games

Survios has raised $16.7 million to continue building gripping virtual reality games such as the just-launched The Walking Dead: Onslaught.

This is the company’s fourth funding round and is particularly important as the VR industry approaches a new hardware cycle. Facebook is launching the Oculus Quest 2 wireless VR headset on October 13. And the Oculus Link cable will enable you to play PC-based games — like those Survios makes — on the Quest 2.

Facebook is still pumping a lot of money into the VR ecosystem, despite sales falling short of the hyped projections of 2016, when the first generation of VR systems launched. During this time, Oculus and HTC launched multiple rounds of hardware, far exceeding the level of innovation in the console or PC games business. But the bulk of the hardcore gaming revenues stayed on the console and PC side. For the sake of VR stalwarts like Survios, it’s good to see investors are still willing to put money in VR game companies as they grow up into something bigger.

“This is really a ‘Survios grows up’ round,” said CEO Seth Gerson in an interview with GamesBeat. “We have new capital, and we’re adding new talent. The exciting thing is to create some really amazing cross-play experiences using everything we have learned so far in VR.”


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The company has added new executives, including Mike Medrano as vice president of marketing (he worked in Blizzard’s marketing department); TQ Jefferson, the new chief product officer who specializes in taking franchise content and turning it into games; and new studio art director Tate Mosesian, who used to work at Naughty Dog.

The round was led by Irongrey, the investment arm of industrial