Microsoft and Aptos Partner; Gaming Revenue Growth Slows in APAC

In today's ExchangeWire news digest: Microsoft and Aptos Labs join forces to bring AI and blockchain technology together; research finds that gaming revenue was lower in APAC than in the rest of the world; and Google's attempt to stem a lawsuit concerning its Incognito browsing option fails.

Microsoft unites with Aptos, combining AI and Web3

Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Aptos Labs. The union will enable the tech giant to train AI models using blockchain data provided by Aptos, and allow Aptos to use Microsoft’s cloud system, Azure, to run blockchain validator nodes.

The tie up marks an effort to combine AI with Web3 technology, two areas that have drawn significant attention (both good and bad) over the past couple of years. Executives from both firms have expressed optimism that blockchain can help mitigate current issues (such as a lack of transparency and risk of transferred biases) and support the development of responsible AI.

Gaming growth lower in APAC

Gaming revenue growth has been slower in Asia Pacific (APAC) than in the rest of the world. According to a report from Newzoo, APAC saw gaming rise just 1.2% year-over-year, less than half the 2.6% uptick in global revenue experienced by the sector in 2023.

China saw the lowest growth within the region, recording a 0.7% rise in revenue. The figure comes as little surprise given the country’s restrictions on gaming for under-18s and hesitance to issue new licences for online games. However, China remains a key player in the gaming market, being home to high-revenue publishers Tencent and NetEase.

Google may face trial over Incognito tracking

Google may have to go to court after being denied a summary judgement in a lawsuit regarding Incognito mode. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2020, accuses the Alphabet-owned company of illegally tracking and collecting data on users even when they initiate Incognito mode or similar privacy-focused features in the Chrome browser.

California judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected the tech giant’s request, saying that statements made in a number of Google’s privacy notices collectively create “a triable issue [...] as to whether these writings created an enforceable promise that Google would not collect users’ data while they browsed privately.” Judge Gonzalez Rogers also pointed to evidence provided by the plaintiffs that Google stores user data from regular Chrome and Incognito mode collectively as a point of contention.

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Fact of the Day

3.38 billion – the expected number of global gamers by the end of 2023.

Source: Newzoo