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Irvine, Other OC Cities Top US Gaming Markets

C’s three largest cities scored high marks in a new study rating the best gaming markets in the country.

Irvine, home of Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Obsidian Entertainment and Mobilityware, among others, was ranked eighth best city in the U.S. for gaming, according to a report by Washington, D.C.-based Wallethub.

OC’s third largest city had the top tanking in two categories, including the percentage of adults with a smartphone, and per capita computer stores. It’s ranked second in the percentage of households with a computer. It also scored high on the percentage of households with a broadband connection, and average internet speed.

The University of California-Irvine, which has a highly regarded computer science program, is believed to be the only one in the nation to offer scholarships for competitive gaming and operate its own esports stadium.

The 3,500-square-foot iBuyPower Arena, which opened last year, includes 80 custom PCs from iBuyPower in the City of Industry and a live webcasting broadcast studio. It cost about $250,000 to build.

Anaheim, OC’s largest city, is ranked 17th on the list, while Santa Ana, its second largest, was the only other local city to crack the top 100, at No. 54. Los Angeles is No. 6, and Long Beach is No. 56.

Lawsuit Proceeds

A judge in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana ruled against Vizio Inc. over its developing data business.

Judge Josephine Staton denied the Irvine-based company’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by Vizio TV owners that contends the company secretly monitored and tracked their viewing habits without their consent and concealed the tracking software.

Vizio denies the claims and vowed to fight the charges.

“Vizio never gave information about consumers’ identities to its viewing data partners. Vizio, in fact, prohibited its viewing data partners from identifying any consumer,” a spokesperson told the Business Journal. “We look forward to presenting these facts to the court at the earliest opportunity.”

The consumer electronics brand agreed in February to a $2.2 million settlement related to charges it violated unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws by tracking the viewing habits of about 11 million smart-TV owners and sold the data to third parties. The company also agreed in the settlement to change some business practices.

Vizio adopted an opt-in policy in March, in which viewers have the option to select “agree” on the notification screen. Verizon also just adopted an opt-in policy. Some video-service providers still use opt-out policies for customer consent to track viewing habits.

The technology, fully acquired in 2015 for $50 million from San Francisco-based Cognitive Media Networks Inc., was poised to spin out as a separate entity owned by Vizio Chief Executive and co-founder William Wang as part of Vizio’s $2 billion sale to Chinese conglomerate LeEco, which collapsed in April.

Vizio has since filed two lawsuits against LeEco seeking at least $60 million in damages, legal fees, and other relief from the fallout.

Buy Complete

Anaheim Hills-based IT services provider SACA Technologies Inc. completed the purchase of Advanced Computer & Networking Technology Inc. in Las Vegas.

Financial terms were undisclosed.

ACNT, established in 1994, specializes in computer components, peripherals, repairs and servers.

It provides onsite IT support from seven California locations.

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