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Microsoft Teams goes big with ad at NFL

Microsoft will be showcasing a 30-second ad for its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, during the NFL Playoffs.

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The NFL playoffs are among the biggest events in US sporting history and will also be shown in the UK, France and Germany. That explains why Microsoft has spent an undisclosed, but clearly massive, amount of money on screening a 30-second ad for Microsoft Teams.

One would think that Microsoft would showcase one of its bigger products, like Windows or Office, during such a big event, especially when there’s so much money being spent on the ad. It suggests that Teams may very well be a money-maker for Microsoft, which is why they’ll be pushing it to such a wide audience. Of course, the metaphor of teamwork ties in strongly, too, during a sporting event.

At the launch of Teams nearly four years ago, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said: “Just like Outlook brought together email, contacts, calendar, into this one magical user experience scaffolding that changed how we work, Microsoft Teams will bring together chat, meetings, notes, Office, Planner, Power BI and a host of other ecosystem-developed extensions and applications to help teams get work done. “

The ad showcases instant team meeting organisation, background blur on video chats, a digital whiteboard that’s shared during virtual meetings, and group chat functionality.

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Spirit of the North comes to Switch and PC

A Nordic-inspired adventure game, Spirit of the North, will be released on PC and Nintendo Switch later this year.

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Merge Games have announced a partnership with Infuse Studio to bring the emotional exploration-puzzle adventure, Spirit of the North, to Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.

Spirit of the North is a single-player, 3rd-person adventure game inspired by the breath-taking and mysterious landscapes of Iceland. The story takes root from various pieces of Nordic folklore.

Breathe in the surroundings to solve various puzzles and speculate the meaning of a lost ancient civilisation. With the help of a companion, shed light on the ruins of the past and overcome obstacles.

Play as an ordinary red fox whose story becomes entwined with the guardian of the Northern Lights, a female spirit fox. As players journey over the mountains and under red-stained skies, they will discover more about their companion and a land left in ruin. Traverse tundra, glaciers, and mountainsides as they follow a foreboding scarlet trail that paints the sky.

Key Features:

  • Make your way across stunning landscapes, on an emotionally stirring journey.
  • Solve environmental puzzles to change the world around you, using ancient powers bestowed upon you by the guardian of the Northern Lights.
  • Follow the mysterious Spirit Fox across a land left in ruin as you discover more about a lost civilization.
  • Moving orchestral soundtrack featuring 14 original compositions.

To find out more about the game, visit here: mergegames.com/spirit-of-the-north

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Crash Team Racing gets Grand Prix season

The Crash Bandicoot-themed racing game, Crash Team Racing, gets a downloadable content pack with 50 more kart bodies and 51 new characters.

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The villainous Nitros Oxide has decided earth is no longer of interest, and has challenged Crash and team to one last epic battle on his home planet in the Gasmoxia Grand Prix.

During this toxic race to the finish, players will challenge each other on an epic new track high up in Gasmoxia’s atmosphere, where two rival fast-food conglomerates are battling it out for planet domination (and a CTR TV sponsorship). New skins, karts, an imperious new character to unlock and a new track to conquer, touted as the most technical track ever assembled in Crash Team Racing – players will have a wild ride in this Grand Prix season.

New characters: As if Oxide’s presence wasn’t enough, he’s enlisted help from the Galaxy’s self-proclaimed ruler, Emperor Velo. Unlock this devious new character in the Nitro Gauge.

New time trials: Velo isn’t just making an appearance this season, he’s providing a new challenge in Time Trials.

New karts: Your intergalactic ride awaits. Unlock three hovering new karts this season: the Void Manta, the Velo Chopper, and the retro-vibing Galactic Cruiser.

Pit stop items: When in Gasmoxia, do as the Gasmoxians do. Look like a local with a wide array of new Pit Stop items to swag out your racer and kart in the space-adventuring theme of the planet.  

The Gasmoxia Grand Prix season is set to go live this today, 20 February, at 5 PM SAST. With the launch of the Gasmoxia Grand Prix this week, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled boasts a total of eight Grand Prix seasons, 40 racetracks, 12 Battle Arenas and more than 50 characters.

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