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LimeWire buys Midjourney competitor BlueWillow after relaunching as a Creator Studio

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A strange cowboy is arriving in the Wild West of generative AI. Last year, LimeWire, once notorious for music piracy and shut down by the music industry, moved into content creation under new owners. It acquired BlueWillow, a popular generative AI image creation platform that competes with Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, today to expand that.

Despite being founded earlier this year, BlueWillow took off due to rising interest in generative AI, Discord becoming a popular platform for creatives to use these tools, and its free main version. With 2.5 million members and 500 million+ images created, BlueWillow claims to be Discord’s second-largest AI image-generating community (Midjourney is first).

The plan is to keep BlueWillow on Discord and integrate its functionality into LimeWire’s website’s paid and advertising-based free creator service tiers. LiveWire will use it to launch more media services.

Financial terms are unknown, but BlueWillow talent will not be acquired. Ritankar Das, the company’s founder and CEO, said in an interview that the BlueWillow team is advising LimeWire on the platform during a transitional period, but they plan to leave en masse to work on a stealth AI venture.

The deal shows LimeWire’s commitment to growing its user base and revenue. The startup raised $17.5 million through token sales from Arrington Capital (run by Mike Arrington, the founder and former editor of this site), Kraken, Crypto.com Capital, CMCC Global, Hivemind, Deadmau5, and others to build an NFT marketplace for music creators in its relaunch. Early this year, sources estimated its value at $60 million.

LiveWire founders Paul and Julian Zehetmayr have diversified into building a platform to create and distribute content, with NFTs now “more of a sideline” rather than LimeWire’s core business.

LimeWire’s core business needed more tools. We hired engineers to build subscription and other features for creatives, but we used third-party integrations for AI-based image generation. LimeWire acquired BlueWillow to offer its own image generation tools and expand to video and audio generation.

Besides expanding that tech stack, BlueWillow will add users: Julian Zehetmayr told an interviewer that LiveWire has “thousands” of smaller creators in its long tail and 100 “bigger creators” on its platform.

And like Midjourney, BlueWillow was bootstrapped and funded by the founder. Das is a wunderkind who graduated from Berkeley at 18 with a double degree in bioengineering and chemical biology in three years, then studied at Oxford and Cambridge and founded a health tech startup that CirrusDx acquired in 2022.

Das started BlueWillow to learn how generative AI tools worked and could be built, not to make money.

He said, “What we saw was that a lot of people were developing generative AI models for images,” and he wanted to join the tech “Cambrian explosion”. However, Das and his team found that there were dozens of Large Language Models (LLMs) in the market, and using them together would speed up the process of building the basic service and let engineers focus on improving user interfaces and other front-end features to make using BlueWillow easier.

“Making it really easy for users” became the main goal, and BlueWillow built its own “weights” and customizations to improve image making depending on what it was used to illustrate and for whom. «Architects and advertisers require different looks and feels, so we built for each.»

Long-term, Das and his team didn’t want to scale and build the next phase of BlueWillow because compute power is expensive. There were no immediate plans to raise money, so when LimeWire called, it seemed easy to sell.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

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Evaluating Fallout 76’s Value in 2024

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If you’ve been keeping up with the new Fallout show on Amazon Prime, chances are you’ve been relying on PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium to access and enjoy one of Bethesda’s legendary RPGs. We decided to bypass the highly acclaimed Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 3, opting instead to explore the vast landscapes of West Virginia in Fallout 76. Infamous for its initial reception, Todd Howard’s “Fallout with Friends” has evolved significantly over the past six years. However, does that imply the game is of high quality? Is it worth playing in 2024?

As we ventured out of Vault 76 for the very first time, we were determined to find the answers to those burning questions. Recalling our escapades on the Push Square YouTube channel, we encountered quest-giving NPCs—a feature that was surprisingly absent upon release—awe-inspiring bases built by fellow players—and an abundance of loot that could easily burden us 76 times over.

In the midst of the vast array of open-world online experiences, we found ourselves quite enthralled by the combination of 50s classics playing in the background as we obliterated the heads of ghouls. And to top it off, we were able to enjoy all of this with our friends. Exploring the wasteland in the company of a ragtag band of survivors adds a unique element to Fallout 76, setting it apart from other games in the series. However, does it manage to prevent us from uninstalling and transitioning to one of the mainline entries in the series? To discover more, be sure to watch the complete video!

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The cast of the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 film has added an exciting new addition with the inclusion of Shadow, who will be voiced by the talented Keanu Reeves

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After a long wait, it appears that the search for a capable Hollywood actor to bring the brooding Shadow the Hedgehog to life has come to an end. Keanu Reeves, a renowned actor known for his iconic roles in film franchises such as The Matrix and John Wick, as well as his involvement in the highly anticipated game Cyberpunk 2077, has officially been cast for the role.

Speculation has been running wild lately, but The Hollywood Reporter has officially confirmed the casting, citing reliable sources in the know. News of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 being showcased at Cinemacon has quickly spread. Reeves is sure to bring his own special touch to the role, but it’s uncertain how well he will mesh with the mustachioed Dr. Robotnik, as Jim Carrey is set to reprise the character.

What are your thoughts on Keanu Reeves being cast as Shadow the Hedgehog in Sonic the Hedgehog 3? Please avoid sharing fan art in the comments section below.

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Get ready for a metaphorical rollercoaster ride with ReFantazio Livestreams!

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ATLUS has just announced their latest event, the “ATLUS Exclusive: Metaphor: ReFantazio” broadcast. Fans can look forward to an exciting 30-minute showcase of never-before-seen gameplay from the publisher/developer. How exciting is that to anticipate?

According to Gematsu, director Katsura Hashino will serve as the host of the broadcast, which will debut on YouTube on April 22. The English version will include dubbed audio and English subtitles, and we have also expanded the list of timezones available.

  • North America: 3 pm PDT, 4 pm MDT, 5 pm CDT, and 6 pm EDT.
  • UK/Ire: 11pm BST
  • Europe: 12am CEST / 1am EEST
  • Asia/Oceania: 7am JST, 6am AWST, 8am AEST.

Additionally, there is a scheduled stream for the next day, April 23rd, with the specific times listed below. Get ready for the “ATLUS Exclusive Debut Commemoration Special—Metaphor: Stalkers Club Final,” where fans can indulge in the captivating presence of hosts Mafia Kajita and Tomomi Isomura. They will thoroughly analyze and delve into all the information disclosed during the initial broadcast. Sayawaka, a visitor who is the author of the associated manga’s story, will be with them.

  • North America: 7 am PDT, 8 am MDT, 9 am CDT, and 10 am EDT.
  • UK/Ire: 3pm BST
  • Europe: 4pm CEST / 5pm EEST
  • Asia/Oceania: 11pm JST, 10pm AWST, 1am AEDT

What are your thoughts on the influx of information about Metaphor: ReFantazio? Are you planning to watch any of the upcoming broadcasts? Share your authentic thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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