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Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion, will support Xbox and Kinect

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 13:18 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Microsoft’s announced that its bought VOIP chat service Skype for $8.5 billion.

The press release just released by MS says that the program will support Xbox and Kinect, as well as “connect” Skype users on Xbox Live.

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.”

Microsoft says that it’ll continue to “invest in and support” Skype, which will fall in at the company under a new division known as the Microsoft Skype Division, on “non-Microsoft platforms.” The service was introduced for PSP back in 2008.

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95 Comments

  1. Sorvin

    Didn’t Valve just buy the VoIP technology from Skype for Steam?
    Wonder if that’s gonna have any effect.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Suikoden Fan

    Guess Skpe will be removed from the psp then

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Toastrules

    Holy crap.

    Welp… There goes all hope of Skype going to the Ps3, and the NGP as well…

    #3 4 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    I didn’t see this coming.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. KAP

    This is massive.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Razor

    “on “non-Microsoft platforms.””

    Maybe the PSP/NGP is safe…

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    Jesus.

    Thats HUGE.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Johnny Cullen

    Microsoft says it’ll continue to invest Skype on “non-Microsoft platforms” so I guess that means Skype’s staying on PSP for now anyway.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Blerk

    I can’t imagine they’d remove it from the PSP. The license money’s just going somewhere else now, surely – Microsoft wouldn’t want to lose cash and Sony wouldn’t want to lose features. Same goes for Steam, you don’t buy something and then decide to pick and choose your customers.

    I’ve never actually used Skype. So there you go. :-D

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Johnny Cullen

    @6 I think they mean for past devices like PSP. For the future, like NGP, it’s not going to happen now anyway

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DaMan

    Oh wow. Icq is truly no more now I suppose. Just don’t ruin my skype, MS.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Erthazus

    That is actually super huge.
    I bet Sony now: Holy mother and what we are going to do with NGP?

    Nintendo i think is in the same boat, but they don’t have internet services at all.

    Thats just GIGANTIC for Xbox future platforms. I always use skype when i play with my friends and it’s THE BEST service available out there. Hands down. Hands fucking down.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. StolenGlory

    Of course you know what this means right?

    We’re gonna have Felicia Day at the MS conference telling us how ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ it is that she can use Skype to talk to her Guild buddies whilst she is playing Dragon Age 2.

    :/

    #13 4 years ago
  14. earlyrock

    @10 Good point. With any luck though NGP will have some kind of app store thing at somepoint, opening it up to many similar apps to Skype.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    Sony – Fixing outage and losing money

    Microsoft – buying the best Services out there that makes it’s Xbox Live even better.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. daytripper

    @12 could you say what the benefits are of this service? i keep hearing about it for podcasts, calls and such. how would it work whilst playing games?

    #16 4 years ago
  17. ManuOtaku

    Guys i know skype is a free software to make calls over the internet ( i did google it), but what i dont know how is this great for gaming purposes?, i mean we already have chat on games, why is this any better?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Christopher Jack

    @12, It wouldn’t be too difficult to create their own video chat service.
    Not entirely impossible for the NGP to receive Skype services either, Sony’s VAIO computers use Microsoft’s OS & MS don’t have a competitor in the handheld market-unless they finally get their fingers out of their arses & make use of Windows Phone. As of right now, Windows Phone seems half arsed with a path leading to nowhere. My point is, competitors can cooperate with each other assuming both parties benefit from it.
    Doesn’t matter either way what officially happens with the NGP, it’ll quickly receive a hack to use Android & we can do everything through there.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Noodlemanny

    Isn’t this a little unnecessary? Sure buy all the skype stuff for what ever but why put it on the 360? We already have a online multi-chat feature, why add another. I guess now people can talk across platforms.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. DaMan

    I never really used Skype to talk in games myself.

    Windows Mobile is no more, WP7 has replaced it.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. freedoms_stain

    @all the “why?” people. Skype tech is almost certainly better than whatever MS came up with or are currently licensing. More efficient codecs = better quality for the same bandwidth, or potentially more people in party chat for the same bandwidth and quality.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    Maybe MS is thinking two things:

    Sony/nintendo can’t use/have it in the future.

    And

    Skype will work great with a streaming cloud based service like OnLive/Gakai on its Next Xbox system.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    @16, The best sound quality EVER on this freakin planet. (The best video streaming also)
    Even if your microphone works not correctly, that sucker can show whats wrong with it and if you need to change your microphone or not.
    It’s simple, intuitive and smart in every aspect.

    There are no services that is even close to Skype. It’s fantastic. Even STEAM started to use Skype, just for the sake of better quality.

    8.5 billion of dollars spent in the right direction.

    That service is perfect.

    @18, “It wouldn’t be too difficult to create their own video chat service.”

    Yeah right. Even Microsoft tried it and failed. No one even close to that service.

    Even Steam started to use it for the sake of better quality. Sony will never make such a quality service, they can’t even Update APACHE and protect their customers.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. RedBirdiii

    Wow!! That’s really some news.
    I was dreaming that PS3 has Skype in it, and this happened..
    I really hope they continue supporting other platforms specially Linux, but I really doubt it..

    Now what’s next to buy?

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Zurtech

    Blimey!

    #25 4 years ago
  26. viralshag

    Maybe I am being totally stupid but $8.5 billion sounds like a crazy amount of money for a free service.

    Skype doesn’t even advertise anything other than their own services so what would give it that kind of price tag? I don’t think it will be a bad thing, I love Skype and I love MS and I love Live.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Blerk

    @24, Sony! :-D

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Christopher Jack

    In the near future, I’d like to see a merger between Sony & Google. Sony’s got the right hardware & Google has excellent software, how great would it be to see Android on future Bravias?

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Noodlemanny

    @ freedoms_stain
    Yeah I guess your right. Skype is souly there for chat so obviously its going to be better. I’m not saying its bad thing just a bit surprised, came pretty much out of the blue for no apparent reason. Although if MS though it could make money out of something that would be their reason.
    @all the “why” people? there’s only one that I can see and that’s me.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Erthazus

    @27, that would be ultra shocking, but i guess they need x8 times more then 8.5 billion :D

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Christopher Jack

    @23, Prove that Sony didn’t update Apache. As far as I’m aware, that’s just a rumour with no true source.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Stardog

    Hey MS, cans I borrow a dolla?

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Erthazus

    @31, http://www.joystiq.com/2011/05/05/psn-servers-were-unpatched-and-had-no-firewall-installed-secu/ Case closed.

    also, their services from a get go sucks. They always failed with a software and always will.
    Apple kicked their ass with the app store, now microsoft kicked it in the face.

    Sony? Trying to catch up.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. daytripper

    thanks for the rundown erth

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Johnny Cullen

    I need a dolla, dolla, dolla is what I need, hey hey.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Dralen

    Holy Smokes that’s alot of dough!

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Christopher Jack

    @33, Read your own link.
    “It’s important to note that his account of the situation and information is second-hand”

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Erthazus

    Of course it’s from a second hand. You though Sony will say it so everybody could just SELL their PS3′s? :D

    It’s confidential information. But we all know Sony… Yeah…

    Well then, for the first time i’m jealous of you Xbox owners (going to buy one soon this year)

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Christopher Jack

    You said case closed, & you were also acting as if all of what you said was fact without any proof, I really don’t understand your idea of logic.
    Maybe you’re just being a smartarse for the hell of it.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. OrbitMonkey

    Now careful Christopher, your getting defensive. Not letting guys knock Sony with their rumour & gossip could get you banned!!

    *Lol, don’t hurt me Pat!!*

    Erz are you forgetting the rule about not derailing a thread by needlessly trolling another platform? Tut tut ;)

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Mattigan

    Assuming that will enable in game chat, with ‘non XBL Skype’ users then that’s pretty cool also.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Kerplunk

    @33 (@39,@40) That particular piece of FUD has already since been proven to be a total fabrication and conjecture. Caches of the servers showed that they were fully up to date.

    Check the facts, not the FUD.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. mojo

    21:
    skype has the most efficient codec?
    wut?
    skype is by far the most bandwith consuming voice chat service out there.
    dont get me wrong, it has good quality, but needs alot of bandwith.

    33:
    the problem with sony and its service is that it gets done in japan.
    They should FINALY face it and outsource Firmware, PSN and services to western teritories..

    #43 4 years ago
  44. OrbitMonkey

    Don’t worry Kerplunk i’m well aware of the fud ;)

    Now about that Skype…. Basically Live is gonna have a free phone service right? I’d be able to turn on my 360 & chat to my dad on his pc for free? Or am i mistaken?

    #44 4 years ago
  45. ManuOtaku

    #42 would you please send the link to this?

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Kerplunk

    @45 Sure

    #46 4 years ago
  47. Gekidami

    ^
    http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/219294/sonys-servers-were-up-to-date/

    #47 4 years ago
  48. Erthazus

    @42, if it’s true you should gve us a link. Because i it was protected to date no of tis bullshit would not happen.
    It’s not just PSN, but their servers and Sony’s sites. You think it’s just a coincidence?

    Anyway, Sony didn’t protected their own customers which is a shame. If you can’t then don’t try creating an audience.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. Kerplunk

    @48: “@42, if it’s true you should gve us a link. Because i it was protected to date no of tis bullshit would not happen.
    It’s not just PSN, but their servers and Sony’s sites. You think it’s just a coincidence?

    Anyway, Sony didn’t protected their own customers which is a shame. If you can’t then don’t try creating an audience.

    Hush.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. OlderGamer

    Would be nice if we could keep from derailing this thing into another mega thread about Sony and its downed PSN.

    #50 4 years ago
  51. Kerplunk

    @50 “Would be nice if we could keep from derailing this thing into another mega thread about Sony and its downed PSN.

    Shame you didn’t say that after @12. Odd how you perpetuate the derailing chat in @22. Odder still that you only seek to stem it after anti-Sony misinformation gets corrected.

    Your hypocrisy is growing very tiresome.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. OlderGamer

    Both 12 and 22 were dealing with the topic at hand: MS buying Skype.

    #52 4 years ago
  53. OrbitMonkey

    @52 Quite right, the detailing post was at #23, open trolling at #33… Erz you bad boy!! :o

    Anyhoo, baaack on topic. Does this mean Live will be getting a free phone service in effect? Between consoles & pc’s?

    #53 4 years ago
  54. Moxifool

    @kerplunk

    Or maybe you arrogant, vile little turd, you could just stop trolling the fuck out of OG on every. single. fucking. topic that he posts on and comment on these threads like a normal human being. Jesus, you talk about OG being tiresome regarding his so called hypocrisy, but do you really think that people want to see you in your sly and nasty fashion tearing it out of the same guy each and every time? Dont kid yourself you’re not on any kind of crusade to ‘expose’ him or anything like that; let US make our own minds up about people without you spewing your cock stroking venom in every thread that he posts in.

    #54 4 years ago
  55. cloud_ix

    wow for second i thought i was on eurogamer…

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Blerk

    Hark! I think I may hear the swish of the ban hammer! :-D

    /awaits “sickening thud”

    #56 4 years ago
  57. Ge0force

    Awesome, another free service included in the Gold-subscription

    #57 4 years ago
  58. OlderGamer

    Thnx Moxi.

    #58 4 years ago
  59. StolenGlory

    @56 I think I can smell ol’ Mjolnir warming up :)

    #59 4 years ago
  60. OrbitMonkey

    @54 Hmmm having trouble with the “no personal insults” decree, eh? Let me help you out.

    *cough*

    Kerplunk dear boy, go easy on OG please. Your upsetting the children :)

    #60 4 years ago
  61. Kerplunk

    @54 When your red mist clears you’ll notice that my contribution to this topic was to address incorrect information. The topic had already been derailed into platform wars starting with the mention of competing platforms in @12 and continued without objection in @22.

    It is hypocritical to perpetuate the behaviour you’re telling others to stop (@50).

    The only people that seem to lash out, swearing and pointing fingers are the ones that seem most offended by having misinformation corrected.

    Here’s a wild and crazy thought: if less lies hypocrisy and FUD were posted there would be fewer comments in response to them.

    Woah. Using rationality and logic there. Might be a bit of a radical concept to some people!

    @58 And we see that OG doesn’t actually care at all about rule-breaking behaviour such as insulting, off topic, troll posts. Not when it suits his particular view. He is happy to endorse rule-breaking it when it suits him. On the other hand, if you merely correct information that conflicts with his view he wastes no time in attempting to silence it (textbook hypocrisy and double-standards).

    #61 4 years ago
  62. StolenGlory

    @60

    Does that mean Moxi gets a tiny Fisher-Price hammer? :)

    #62 4 years ago
  63. DaMan

    We need a new rule for Orbit Monkey: abusing the sarcasm button :o

    #63 4 years ago
  64. StolenGlory

    @55 Why do you say that? Oh yeah, I suppose this does look like a comments reply thread to a Rob Fahey article after all ;)

    #64 4 years ago
  65. OrbitMonkey

    @57. Surely a *free* service such a Skype, should be available on silver which is *free*.

    #65 4 years ago
  66. Gekidami

    ^ It should. But as it says, MS have brought it, they own it. Logic in terms of price and availability go out the window.

    #66 4 years ago
  67. OlderGamer

    Thats it I am throwing away my bottle of ACME Musk: Untamed Wild. I don’t care the advert says “Troll for love with a sweet scent” and all that. I am tired of Kerplunk chasing after me.

    Besides it doesn’t smell sweet, more like urine really.

    Thats the last order I place with them.

    #67 4 years ago
  68. Blerk

    Yeah, it should be free, but there’s bugger all chance of that actually happening.

    #68 4 years ago
  69. Kerplunk

    Do you think this acquisition will see some sort of integration with Windows mobile phones too?

    @67 Stop trying to make this look personal when it’s not. (Not the first time you’ve tried to put words in my mouth to that effect in the last 24 hours). My comment in 42 was correcting misinformation. I followed it up by providing a link when I was asked. You immediately followed my post with a remark attempting to govern what should or shouldn’t be said.

    So, no, nobody is hounding you (unless you genuinely believe 50 comes before 49). You’re not a victim. You’re just continuing to twist things. Stop perpetuating this, stop spreading fud and stop being such a hypocrite.

    #69 4 years ago
  70. Blerk

    Kotaku’s story says it’s already confirmed for Windows Phone.

    #70 4 years ago
  71. Gekidami

    Probably, though i assume “non-Microsoft platforms” means i’ll be able to keep my Android version.

    #71 4 years ago
  72. StolenGlory

    @69

    It would make sense I think; I can’t see a good reason why not.

    #72 4 years ago
  73. DaMan

    why do you still call them ‘Windows mobile’? it’s Windows Phone 7 now.

    #73 4 years ago
  74. Kerplunk

    @73 I couldn’t recall the official/formal name of the brand. :)

    #74 4 years ago
  75. TheWulf

    As an interesting point and not at all related to any trolling above (since I’d like to get away from that), I wonder how this will effect Steam? Valve recently pretty much bought rights to the entire voice chat protocol, the best part of Skype (the rest of it is just UI) – SILK. And they’re now using that in Steam. You could tell the difference immediately after the update, too.

    The interesting thing is that the Steam version doesn’t suck bandwidth to hell like the Skype client itself does, and I’m not sure why that is, but it might be something to do with the cluttered, bloatware nature of Skype.

    What I’m getting at here is that this bodes well. The SILK part of Skype is actually really good, and that’s probably what Microsoft will be looking to work into Live and Messenger, just the protocol and nothing else. That’ll be great because it really is an amazing quality leap and you 360 owners will notice it.

    #75 4 years ago
  76. OlderGamer

    I wonder how many Billions it would take for MS to buy Valve? Steam on Xbox Next would be … beyond words.

    I know not gonna happen, but would be amazing if it did.

    #76 4 years ago
  77. TheWulf

    @76

    It’s not about money, it’s about Newell wanting to ensure that Valve remains privately owned. He’s passionate not just about making money, but doing awesome things with his company. They started off as a small developer after all and grew from there.

    The only way they’d be able to buy out Valve is to assassinate Newell first. :P And good grief man, could you imagine what would happen to the UI? It would become like Games for Windows Live. The end times would be signalled, and ragnarok would certainly soon follow.

    Soooo… let’s not speculate about such a terrifying concept. >_>

    #77 4 years ago
  78. DrDamn

    @76
    Not really used Steam much – what would it add which Live doesn’t already cover?

    #78 4 years ago
  79. ManuOtaku

    #77 O.G to tell you the truth i rather prefer that not to happen, please not clouds, not cumulos humilis, not cumulus congestus or skies for that matter on my consoles, please only discs format games, a true and tested formula.

    #79 4 years ago
  80. OlderGamer

    lol @ Wulf

    @Doc, long story short Steam is about the best online service and Digital Distribution place going. High quality all the way around. And my fav part is the sales they always do. Weekend deal. Midweek madness. Heck they just did EA week. Games like ME where up to 75% off, I think it was. DeadSpace as well. Sales all of the time.

    I can run the same games on Mulitple laptops. I can redownload them as much as I need. Thier DRM is fair. I can play my games offline if I can’t grab an internet connection.

    They have cloud saves for settings/perferences and game saves.

    Great match making, profile, and comunity services.

    To me Steam IS like Live, but better and of course just PC.

    My far out there guess would be that someday when there is no more hardware platforms to worry about, there will still be Steam. Prolly streaming games via Netflix style, and it will prolly run on your Cell Phone to your TV(built in).

    Just all around good stuff.

    #80 4 years ago
  81. xino

    fucking hell!
    I don’t believe it! Nice move Microsoft, I never thought they could pull this kind of move. Its good and shows an advantage because Sony are fusing with Google all the time.

    Skype will be on xbox next

    as usual..the comment sections…full of constant arguing spanning over 50+ comments full of garbage!

    #81 4 years ago
  82. Ireland Michael

    This is a surprising move. But a good one. Interesting to see what will come of this.

    #82 4 years ago
  83. daytripper

    that money could of been used to invest into first party studios

    #83 4 years ago
  84. ManuOtaku

    The thing that impress me the most is the insane amount of money involve, how much money does microsoft have in reality? o_O , i just hope the skype creators will recieve a hughe amount of money out of this, at least the amount of money to live their lifes careless without any concerns at all.

    #84 4 years ago
  85. Ireland Michael

    @84 Honestly, considering the service in question, I’m surprised it didn’t cost more.

    As for how much Microsoft is worth, their current revenue is about 65 billion, so this is a surprisingly large chunk of change.

    #85 4 years ago
  86. Erthazus

    Oh jeez, someone thought of a platform wars when i mentioned sony and Microsoft together? Give me a break.

    I mentioned Sony because they need to start doing their job. F A S T!

    #86 4 years ago
  87. ManuOtaku

    #85 65 billion wooowww, thats too much money for sure, anyway i know the service is top notch, i didnt said it because of that, what i did tried to said, and the thing that impressed me was the hughe amount of money microsoft have available to do the transaction. o_O

    #87 4 years ago
  88. DrDamn

    @80
    Ok fair enough – a lot of those are design decisions by MS though – rather than features they just don’t have. They do sales, just not as good value ones. The DRM situation is a choice too. It’s more MS don’t want to do these things than they don’t have the capability – so buying Steam wouldn’t necessarily bring those things to the next Xbox.

    Cloud type functionality is something I’d like to see more of on consoles for saves and settings. With more interaction across devices. Xbox to WM7, PS3 to NGP for example.

    #88 4 years ago
  89. Psychotext

    “that money could of been used to invest into first party studios”

    I doubt the Entertainment and Devices division is going to be getting funding like that again any time soon. They’re nearly $6bn in the hole since the release of the original xbox and it’s all about profits now. You just can’t keep throwing money at a problem like they did in the original xbox days, eventually you have to try and make some money.

    #89 4 years ago
  90. daytripper

    yep you’re right

    #90 4 years ago
  91. Kerplunk

    @86 Good to see you acknowledged how poor your information was and aren’t trying to distract people away from your FUD spreading.

    It’s funny. It’s always the people that insist they’re so goddamn right about everything that turn out the be the least trustworthy and reliable.

    Something that has occurred to me in the wording of the information is that there can be quite a difference between “Skype supporting XXXXX” and “XXXX supporting Skype”. The former can just be a grouping of accounts under a unified banner (skype acct, xbl acct, ms live acct etc) with the latter being to introduce key Skype VOIP functionality to a platform that previously lacked it.

    #91 4 years ago
  92. G1GAHURTZ

    THIS IS AWSOME NEWS!!!!

    Microsoft is now the clear leader in online communications.

    #92 4 years ago
  93. Ge0force

    #80: I so much agree with you! But Steam will never come to xbox, since Microsoft thinks Xbox Live is so much better.

    #93 4 years ago
  94. Old MacDonald

    “I wonder how many Billions it would take for MS to buy Valve? Steam on Xbox Next would be … beyond words.

    I know not gonna happen, but would be amazing if it did.”

    Why? What good would Steam do on an Xbox? Xbox Live does almost everything Steam does (plus a bunch of other things). And Microsoft are free to emulate the sales and stuff that Steam is doing so well. They just need some imagination. Oh, yeah, of course. They’re Microsoft. They don’t have that.

    The only thing that would happen if Microsoft bought Steam is that they’d ruin it for everybody who are using it on the PC.

    #94 4 years ago
  95. Rad430

    this is not good for microsoft.though micro call it “non-Microsoft platforms”,but i’m sure a lot of companies will likely draw back from skype,specially if google introduce a new service like skype!
    microsoft is rival of many companies in platforms!,web services,mobiles OS.
    when valve can use some other services on their steam,why microsoft(with it’s Live).
    when mobilephone companies can use other services on their android phones why contribute to micro(with its windows phone)by using skype.
    when sony and nintendo can use other services on their platforms WHY microsoft(with its xbox).
    i’m sure companies feel much better to work with google and anyone else who’s not involved in their business.using skype for them is like to help an enemy surpass themselves!
    look at android,everyone use it without question,cuz google obviously is not a competitor to them!
    google can use this chance and beat micro badly :D

    #95 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]