16-20 Dec: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Digital digest index

Google Acquires Game Developer Typhoon Studios
Google has acquired Typhoon Studios, the developer behind upcoming space exploration game Journey to the Savage Planet, as part of the company’s efforts to bolster its internal game development plan. Typhoon Studios will join Stadia Games and Entertainment, according to a statement posted by that studio’s head, Jade Raymond.

Typhoon Studios was founded in 2017 and is based in Montreal it announced Journey to the Savage Planet which is set to launch in 2020. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter: “The Typhoon team will be joining our first Stadia Games and Entertainment studio that is based in Montreal and led by Sébastien Puel,” Jade Raymond, head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, said in a blog post Thursday.

Apple, Amazon, Google and Zigbee form smart home alliance
The new working group launched by Apple, Amazon, Google and Zigbee plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet.

IBC365 reported the Connected Home over IP (CHIP) project aims to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. It will build upon internet protocol (IP) to enable communication across smart home devices – which can range from connected speakers to smart TVs and smart light bulbs – with mobile apps and cloud services.

NENT Group and NBC Universal sign kids content deal
Following NENT Group and NBCUniversal’s long-term content partnership deal signed earlier this year, the two companies have announced a first-window deal for kids and family programming.

According to a report by Variety, under the agreement, NENT Group will distribute NBCUniversal’s kids series and family content and DreamWorks Animation film catalogue on Viaplay streaming service and Viasat pay-TV channels.

As part of the deal, NENT Group will have first-window rights in the Nordic region to NBCUniversal titles such as Where’s Waldo?, Cleopatra in Space, Dragons: Defenders of Berk and Curious George, as well as DreamWorks Animation blockbuster Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda and Boss Baby franchises.

Lionsgate strikes content deal with Bharti Airtel
The agreement will see Airtel customers gain access to Lionsgate’s portfolio of feature film content including new and recent theatrical releases as well as its entire content library. The collaboration is expected to be a compelling value proposition for the Indian cinephile audience, through expanding the Indian market’s access to premium quality content on a leading digital platform.

IBC365 reported, Hollywood blockbusters including La La LandTwilight and the Hunger Games franchises. Content will be available on the Airtel Xstream app and web platforms, joining a catalogue of over 10,000 movies and 400 TV channels.

Microsoft names new games console Xbox Series X
Microsoft has revealed the name for its new games console – Xbox Series X. The machine, previously known by the codename Project Scarlett will launch in Holiday 2020, and will ship with a redesigned version of the Xbox wireless controller.

The console itself is designed to be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations, and according to The Guardian, Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, promises that it will “deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way.”