A History of Silicon Valley

Table of Contents | Timeline of Silicon Valley | A photographic tour
History pages | Editor | Correspondence
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These are excerpts from Piero Scaruffi's book
"A History of Silicon Valley"

(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi)

The Selfies (2011-16)

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The world of gaming was shaken in 2012 when Ouya, founded in San Francisco by Julie Uhrman, announced an Android-powered open-source gaming console. Unlike other platforms, that charged game developers, Ouya promised no licensing fees, no retail fees and no publishing fees. While less powerful than the best-selling consoles of the time (like Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3), Ouya was promising a whole new world of games, not confined to the big developers. In July 2013 Ouya raised more than $2.5 million in just 8 hours on Kickstarter.

In 2012-13 the big videogame console producers introduced a new generation: Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation 4, Nintendo's Wii U. None of these was based in Silicon Valley. However, two of them (Xbox and PlayStation) were powered by general-purpose processors made in Silicon Valley (by AMD) instead of the custom chips of previous generations. Furthermore, one reason why nobody in Silicon Valley was trying to compete with the giants of consoles was that mobile devices were rapidly becoming a major platform for gaming.

Gaming engines such as Denmark-based Unity (David Helgason and Nicholas Francis) and Palo Alto-based Corona (Walter Luh, 2008) were making life easier for designers.

Silicon Valley was not innovating in mobile game design but it was acquiring. In 2015 Activision Blizzard paid a fortune for one of the most successful mobile games yet, "Candy Crush Saga", launched in 2012 and already downloaded by more than 500 million people (mostly women) on smartphones and Facebook. King had been founded in 2003 in Sweden by Riccardo Zacconi and others, a spin-off of Melvyn Morris' online dating website uDate.com (after it was acquired by Texas-based Match.com).

click here for the other sections of the chapter "The Selfies (2011-16)"
(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi)

Table of Contents | Timeline of Silicon Valley | A photographic tour | History pages | Editor | Correspondence