Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and gaming brief.
Millennials are the largest untapped market in gaming
, with more than 52% of the demographic ranking gaming as their No. 1 interest in a study by Fandom. Fandom’s “Inside Gaming” study, a consumer survey that tracked participants’ consumption habits and preferences related to gaming, revealed that while Gen Z and Gen Alpha are spending more time gaming year-over-year, Millennials spend more hours per week playing. The results are driven by a larger percentage of highly invested players among Millennials vs. younger generations: “40% of Fandom’s Millennial audience spend over 22 hours per week gaming, compared to only 29% of tweens,” according to the study.
The results aren’t particularly surprising; adults have more agency over how they spend their free time, limited though it might be, and it’s likely that as Gen Z and future generations age up, they will have even larger percentages of people spending sizable hours on games. To that point, time spent on games by Fandom’s teen audience rose 48% year-over-year, and tweens’ time increased by 63%, according to Fandom.
However, the research serves as a reminder: It’s essential to capture future demographics, but you can’t forget the purchasing power – and gaming-focused preferences – of older audiences. Millennials are about 24% more likely to be positively influenced to purchase products if they are attached to brands with investments in gaming, according to Fandom, be it as sponsors, partners, or just part of the portfolio.
| COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS
The Call of Duty League is Las Vegas-bound for its Championship Weekend from June 15-18, the CDL announced. The live tournament will take place at University of Nevada-Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center, which is home to UNLV’s basketball programs and other events. The arena has a seating capacity of 19,522, though changes in venue setup will likely affect that availability. Pre-sale ticketing began Wednesday, with general public ticket sales beginning Friday.
Ubisoft free-to-play first-person shooter XDefiant has been a beta hit for passionate competitive FPS players. The game, which is increasingly being considered as a potential mainstream competitor to Call of Duty, has been developed with significant input from pro FPS players, including Call of Duty luminaries like the game’s winningest player ever, Ian “Crimsix” Porter, and CDL pro-turned-Ubisoft developer Patrick “ACHES” Price. The game’s closed beta period led to plenty of hype for the so-called “CoD killer,” but worries about how approachable the game will be for a casual audience and ironing out the typical technical issues present during beta play still loom.
The Overwatch League is navigating the absence of one of its teams as the Chengdu Hunters, a Chinese OWL franchise, continues to “contemplate the future direction of their team.” Chengdu, one of the franchises impacted by a licensing issue that saw Overwatch 2 shut down in its home country, has not commented publicly on its future since sending a tweet on the Jan. 23 shutdown date that said, “Goodbye and see you again.” The Hunters became a fan favorite after joining the OWL as an expansion team in 2018 but missed the playoffs last season.
Riot Games is preparing for a beta launch of VALORANT Premier, a part of the developer’s expansion of its path to pro initiatives in its tactical FPS title. VALORANT Premier is expected to launch April 25 alongside the game’s latest content push, Episode 6 Act III. While VALORANT Premier will not initially be a feeder program for amateur and pro play, Riot said the game mode will eventually replace Open play and be a pathway into the VALORANT Challenger League for top Premier teams and competitors.
The new live-streaming service, Kick, has made a name for itself
in the gaming space, quickly attracting some of the biggest names in the industry. The site was created in collaboration with Stake.com, a gambling website, and live streaming creator Trainwreckstv, who is most known for his slots and gambling live streams.
Launched at the end of 2022, Kick’s main draw as an alternative to Twitch is its desire to put creators first. As Trainwreckstv explained in a Sportskeeda article, Kick will have a 95-5 revenue split, with the majority of revenue going to the live-streaming creator. Tips from viewers will go directly to the streamer and all creators will have the opportunity to make a “steady income” based on viewership metrics.
To better understand the platform’s impact, we’ve compiled a list of Kick’s top five live-streaming channels based on their average minute audience (AMA) for the week of April 5-11, 2023.
Read more on Stream Hatchet’s blog.
| SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
The Dallas Cowboys and GameSquare have launched a platform for Cowboys fans focused on the gaming community and creating new ways for the franchise to connect to its audience. Dallas Cowboys Game Time will offer always-on programming, the companies said in a statement, and allow users to compete for rewards. PC technology company Lenovo has partnered with the Cowboys on the initiative, which will kick off May 20 with a Fortnite tournament featuring a grand prize of an all-expense-paid trip for two to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.
Mainframe Studios and content creator Nicholas “Nick Eh 30” Amyoony are using Fortnite 2.0 to create a new animated series, with Unreal Engine 5 powering the production of “Endurathon.” The show, which has a Ready Player One theme to it, is targeted toward an 8-to-14-year-old audience, which lines up with Nick Eh 30’s family-friendly programming style. “We wanted to create relatable character-driven stories that are anchored in the exciting world of esports and gaming,” Mainframe Studios President & CCO Michael Hefferon told Animation World Network. “92% of our target audience are avid gamers, evenly split between male and female. Nick Eh 30 brings an authenticity to Endurathon’s esports experience that speaks directly to that audience.”
Complexity Gaming and the U.S. Army will partner for a fifth-straight year to put on Soldier Showdown 5, a multi-title cross-platform event for active-duty U.S. service members. Through the initiative, members of the U.S. military will get a chance to compete in three competitive titles across three months: Multiversus (May), Rocket League (July) and Call of Duty: Warzone (September). Top performers will advance to a live final in November at Complexity’s Lenovo Legion Esports Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Two Chinese esports stars and a prominent caster have partnered with Oakley in a deal put together by SPORTFIVE. Two members of Edward Gaming’s esports programs – Former League of Legends world champion and ??Tian “Meiko” Ye and Arena of Valor pro Yuan “NingZhi” Jun – and League of Legends Pro League caster Guan Zeyuan, have endorsed Oakley and will make commercial and brand activation appearances for the eyewear company as part of the deal.
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YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Where are America’s esports fans going for the munchies?
Compared to the overall American population, esports fans show a strong relative preference for KFC, according to Current Customer data from YouGov BrandIndex. They are more than twice as likely as all Americans to grab a bite at the iconic fried chicken fast food chain (31% vs 13%). The esports followers’ group also shows a strong relative preference for Burger King (32% vs 20%), Wendy’s (28% vs 18%), Subway (28% vs 16%) and Chick-fil-A (26% vs 16%).
Veteran Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth has been benched by Astralis as the team searches for a path forward in the esport. Xyp9x has been with Astralis since 2016, and during much of that time the Danish team was considered the undisputed best CS:GO program in the world. Since 2022, however, the team has struggled, including missing the IEM Rio Major that year and recently missing the BLAST.tv Paris Major. Xyp9x will move to the Astralis Talent, the team’s Academy squad, while Alexander “Altekz” Givskov moves up to take his place in the main lineup.
The Sentinels VALORANT squad continues to face obstacles in its attempts to qualify for international competition through the VCT Americas circuit. Following the arrest of substitute player Hunter “SicK” Mims and a 1-2 start to the season that saw head coach Donald “Syyko” Muir dismissed, the team is now dealing with a hand injury to star duelist Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. After attempting to play through the injury, TenZ will get a week off, new coach Adam Kaplan said. Substitute Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen will start for Sentinels in the team’s next two matches.
Dignitas will hope to reshape its fortunes in the League of Legends Championship Series with the addition of Lee “Rich” Jae-won, according to multiple reports. Rich, who previously played in China for Victory Five and Ninjas in Pyjamas, is best-known for his time in a different game: He was one of the best Heroes of the Storm players in the world and won three consecutive global titles in that game prior to developer Activision-Blizzard ceasing its operations of that game as an esport. Rich then transitioned to League and has been part of multiple rosters since 2019. He will replace Turkish import player Irfan “Armut” Tükek, once one of the most-sought-after young talents in the scene, following Dignitas’ last-place finish in the LCS Spring Split.
VALORANT Challengers team Disguised finished shuffling its roster with the departure of Damion “XXiF” Cook and addition of his replacement, Michael “nerve” Yerrow. Nerve, who previously played for Soniqs and reportedly was scouted by VALORANT Champions Tour squad Cloud9, will join former C9 player Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker on Disguised as the content creator-owned team tries to stake its claim on the VCL.
Sega has purchased Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment in a $775 million deal that will allow Sega to break into the global mobile gaming market. The all-cash acquisition will give Sega, a Japanese company, access to a developer with “high-level expertise in live service-mobile game operation centered around the United States and Europe,” the company said in a statement. The gaming giant also noted the success of both its marquee franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Angry Birds in breaking out of video games and into pop culture by leveraging film and other entertainment mediums. Rovio, meanwhile, will hope to leverage this deal into cross-platform expansion of Angry Birds and its other intellectual property, according to a statement.
Nintendo’s never-ending fight against ROM sites continued this week with the publisher earning a win in the Paris Court of Appeals against emulator site operator Dstorage. Nintendo will be awarded more than $510,000 in the decision, according to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, should Dstorage not choose to appeal. Emulator sites provide ways to operate games on platforms other than the ones they’re designed for (for example, playing a Nintendo DS game on a PC), either through downloadable ROMs that can be run through computer programs or on-site play. The practice is particularly popular for older IP that is not as easily accessible, such as games exclusive to older consoles, but is a form of piracy and has increasingly been used to bring new first-party titles off of their intended platforms.
Former Head of Creative for Halo Infinite Joseph Staten has joined Netflix as the streaming company looks to expand into game publishing. Staten, who worked at Bungie and then with Microsoft’s 343 Industries on the Halo franchise, announced he will be working at Netflix as the creative director behind an original AAA game title. The video game industry veteran announced his departure from Microsoft earlier this month, and he’s not alone: Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor is also leaving Microsoft amid cuts to Halo studio 343 Industries, according to Axios.
Virtual reality company Virtex is gearing up for Counter-Strike 2 in a different way: The organization is launching a VR esports stadium alongside Skybox to create a virtual esports spectator experience. According to Eurogamer, users will be able to watch from a traditional stadium seating point of view and also observe the match from a map-level setting. Virtex Stadium will also feature a lobby area, bar, and main hall to encourage fan interaction and a deeper experience for fans watching from afar. Virtex’s closed beta is underway for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with Counter-Strike 2 compatibility planned as the sequel’s Summer release approaches.
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You might not have heard of Rovio Entertainment before today, but you’ve definitely heard of Angry Birds. Answer this, then: When did the original Angry Birds game release? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Back to the big screen: Which actor did Bowser voice actor Jack Black say he wanted to portray Wario in a Super Mario Bros. Movie sequel? Answer: Pedro Pascal. Kudos: Sophia Clement | NBCUniversal, New York, New York; Tom Moore | Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg | SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank, California; Michelle Bergmann| Mediassociates, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
|SR. DIRECTOR, DIGITAL PLATFORMS AND PARTNERSHIPS
SILVERSIDE MD, NYC, Hybrid Remote
Develop, cultivate, and socialize vision, mission, and strategy for Digital Business, Programming Visibility, Content Creation and Content Partnerships & Data Governance. Lead and facilitate cross-functional and cross-company project teams. 12 yrs in the media & emerging platform landscape with building digital platforms and vMVPD growth strategy. Full info HERE
VP OF BROADCAST ENGINEERING >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA, INC./NYC, NEW YORK: Oversee the planning, management, installation & maintenance of the networks technical infrastructure: studios, transmitters, digital production platforms & automated systems. Ability to deploy in the field to coordinate special events. 8+ yrs of broadcast troubleshooting in a television network environment, preferably in a network News environment. Full info HERE
MEDIA RESEARCH MANAGER
Evaluate programming for our linear and FAST channel schedules to provide insights for content strategy and audience growth. Analyze & interpret media research for programming, ad sales, marketing, and affiliate sales. Research, & preferably Nielsen background is a strongly preferred. Media Research with linear, or similar platforms, is required. Full info HERE
SCHEDULING ASSISTANT- PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT
Partner with the Programming Director to perform scheduling tasks for our Linear and FAST Channels. This includes data entry and distributing weekly schedules. Strong attention to detail and love for data entry/meta data is a plus. This role is ideal for someone looking to break into the media world. Full info HERE
TRAFFIC ASSISTANT- AD SALES METADATA ENTRY
Performing a variety of administrative tasks to provide support to the Traffic Department. The majority of this role will focus on metadata entry and must have strong attention to detail. This role will also assist team members with projects and serve as an idea source during team meetings. Full info HERE
VIDEO EDITOR- MOTION GRAPHICS
Responsible for editing a variety of content, including but not limited to: network promos, show promos, sponsor ads and graphics. The ideal candidate is highly skilled in the Adobe editing suite and is highly motivated and organized. After Effects/Motion graphics skills are needed and coding is preferred, but not required. Full info HERE
VICE PRESIDENT, COMPENSATION
NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Review current compensation programs to identify changes needed for a true best in class compensation approach. Develop simple tools that can be used by recruiters, candidates, & employees to effectively communicate all aspects of a compensation package. Minimum of 10 + years of experience in compensation. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Leader of the Sales Team. Drive new business & digital sales development. Manage inventory, rates, political sales processes & revenue forecasting. Develop and execute integrated marketing packages and projects to increase stations’ revenue. Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service. Min. 5 years’ exp. in Television Sales Management. Full info HERE
NETWORK ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
WEIGEL BROADCASTING CO.
Building and managing relationships with existing and potential new clients and agencies through routine communication; actively grow industry relationships to gain marketplace intelligence. Generate revenue for the networks & meet monthly goals through effective outside sales techniques. 5 yrs of National Network selling and sales development exp. Full info HERE
Represent FETV and FMC to media community via ongoing communications & relationship building. Maintain & develop strong working relationships w/both agencies & internal departments in support of sales efforts. Work w/sales management and pricing & planning to achieve quarterly revenue goals. 5+ yrs media sales exp. preferably in cable TV. Full info HERE
AD SALES PLANNER >>
SINCLAIR BROADCASTING GROUP/NYC, Hybrid: Responsible for creating, analyzing & communicating sales proposals to the Sales team for presentation to advertising agencies and/or clients. Collaborate w/all media platforms & departments to create proposals, execute campaigns, manage stewardship & pacing of linear & digital deals. Point of contact post sale & provide excellent client services. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF SALES >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP WKRN -TV (ABC)/NASHVILLE TN: Being a Leader of the Sales Team and owning the position. Driving new business development. Managing inventory, rates, political sales processes & revenue forecasting. Developing and executing sales packages and projects to increase stations’ revenue. Performing other duties as assigned. Minimum five yrs experience in Television Station Management. Full info HERE
MANAGER, RIGHTS CLEARANCES, STANDARDS & PRACTICES
SILVER SPRING MD, Hybrid, Remote
Pre-screen broadcast programs, commercials and other content to ensure compliance with TV One’s current Content Standards, Federal Trade Commission/Federal Communications Commission regulations. Assign parental ratings to all TV One programming based on content review. 3+ yrs exp. in a rights clearances and standards and practices is preferred. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, UNSCRIPTED >>
LIGHTHEARTED ENTERTAINMENT/NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Hybrid, Remote: Responsible for overseeing the development of unscripted programming from concept to delivery. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of identifying, developing, pitching and producing successful unscripted projects across a range of genres and networks. 5+ years of experience in unscripted television development. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR, AD SALES RESEARCH
Collect, analyze, & interpret audience data (Nielsen, MRI, iSpot, etc.) for recurring sales reports & ad hoc requests. Synthesize large data sets from multiple sources into compelling & strategic insights for our Linear, CTV, and Distribution sales teams to drive revenue. 10+ yrs of exp. in a TV research role, including managing & leading staff. Full info HERE
RESEARCH ANALYST >>
REELZ, NYC: 2+ years exp generating & analyzing competitive viewing & advertiser information. Support sales, programming, marketing and finance. Working knowledge of NPower, StarMedia, iSpot TV and MRI. Expertise in Excel & PowerPoint. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF AD SALES – PLATFORM PARTNER
BBC GLOBAL DIGITAL NEWS & STREAMING
BBC Global Digital News & Streaming is looking for a highly skilled, NY based, Director of Ad Sales – Platform Partner. The purpose of the role is to launch BBC Studios Youtube and social advertising proposition across the Americas, deliver advertising revenues across the BBC Studios global portfolio and build a best in market Partner Sales team. Full info HERE
LOG EDITOR, COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS
CHICAGO, IL, NEW YORK, NY – Hybrid, Remote
Prepare and update the daily assigned program log for TV One or Cleo TV. Manage the placement of key clients by using detailed instructions to ensure correct placement as ordered by the Advertising Sales team. Bachelor’s degree in a related field or 2+ years of experience in Broadcast Cable Log Operations. Full info HERE
SR. PROMO EDITOR
SILVER SPRING, Hybrid, Remote
Video editing, with primary responsibility in marketing and digital media. Work with creative marketing teams to complete their production assignments. Contribute creative ideas that will help elevate the brand. Organize, Manage and Archive Avid Media Projects and files. 10 years of video editing exp. including 5 years of promo editing exp. Full info HERE
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/CHICAGO Remote: Strategically sells linear & digital properties to drive Ad Sales revenue. Works with agencies & clients to develop unique advertising solutions for their brands. Requires 5-10 years of sales experience with established agency & client relationships. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong negotiation, communication & presentation skills. Full info HERE
SALES PLANNER – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/NEW YORK, Hybrid/Remote: Works with Account Executives to service clients daily. Builds sales plans, maintains media schedules & handles client requests such as stewardship, liability, and traffic concerns. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong communication, problem-solving & time management skills. Must have 1+ year of planning experience. Full info HERE
MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER >>
LONG STORY SHORT MEDIA/WASHINGTON, DC: Bring creative concepts to life through design and animation. Motion Designer will work in a team environment to share fresh design perspectives and create engaging high-quality content for a variety of subjects and media. Full Info HERE
SALES MANAGER >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP/INDIANAPOLIS: Provides leadership for the broadcast/digital sales teams. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluation, promotion and operation of account executives and sales assistants. Develops and executes sales strategies that exceeds revenue targets in local, new business and digital revenue. Min 5 yrs of media sales exp; management exp. preferred. Full info HERE
SENIOR MANAGER, ACQUISITION AND OUTREACH >>
TELEVISION ACADEMY/LOS ANGELES, Hybrid: Develop, build, and execute member acquisition plans (monthly, quarterly, and annual) with measurable targets, optimize program performance and deliver strategic plans to achieve/exceed specific campaign KPIs. Identify and implement A/B tests & tactics, innovating & continually seeking to drive and improve. Min 4 yrs’ exp. in an acquisition role. Full info HERE
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & ON-AIR PROMOTION >>
REELZ/ALBUQUERQUE, NM: Develop strategic approaches and tactical planning for on-air promotion, guiding the creative process from creation through post-production, and managing the execution of consumer marketing programs for on-air promotion and off-air advertising. Responsible for full on-air presentation and format management. Min of 8-10 yrs exp. Full info HERE
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/NYC, Hybrid, Remote: Strategically sells linear & digital properties to drive Ad Sales revenue. Works with agencies & clients to develop unique advertising solutions for their brands. Requires 3+ years of sales experience with established agency & client relationships. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong negotiation, communication & presentation skills. Full info HERE
SALES ASSISTANT – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/NYC, Hybrid, Remote: Provides workflow support to ensure effective campaign delivery for advertisers. Verifies order and schedule accuracy and entry. Monitors accounts while booking and maintaining inventory. Works closely with Account Executives and Sales Planners. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong communication, analytical & problem-solving skills. Full info HERE
MANAGER, COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS
CHICAGO, NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Supervise & train copy coordinators & log editors for accuracy & attention to detail of building a commercial log & reading agency instructions. Monitor employee performance & output; provide back-up for all desks including log editing, added value insertion & continued communication with marketing for all custom creations. Min of 3 yrs of exp. Full info HERE
TRAFFIC MANAGER >>
WHYY/Hybrid, PHILADELPHIA: Create monthly programming grids for 12.1 and 12.3. Update programming grids when schedule changes are made. Prepare daily logs & submit to Centralcast Joint Master Control. Work w/WHYY Traffic Specialist who creates programming grids for 12.2 and logs for 12.2 and 12.3. 3-5 yrs of management exp. & working with data or traffic systems. Full info HERE
Remote, must be licensed in NY or CA
Negotiating and drafting development deals, shopping agreements, amendments, talent deals, above-the-line contracts, PSAs, production release templates, trade-out agreements, specialty releases and other necessary documents. Shaping corporate and production legal policies. 5-10 yrs of entertainment legal exp. working with a law firm or production. Full info HERE
You are responsible for building design teams, co-dev connections and collaboration.
Lead Game Designer
Create wireframes, storyboards, prototypes, and interactive design mockups to communicate design concepts and gather feedback.
Senior UX Designer
Develop, refine, and manage the team’s resources, milestone and content update content, Player Support infrastructure, and deliverables.
Avalanche Studio Group
You will be working on the backbone of our project: the data architecture that drives everything from weapon damage to mission scripting.
Gameplay Systems Programmer
Avalanche Studio Group
Support the automation of manual tasks to reduce downtime and improve stability of systems.
Build & Release Engineer
Ghost Story Games
Design and implement the rules and conditions for triggering narrative content.
Senior Technical Narrative Designer
Ghost Story Games
Lead, task, mentor and conduct one-to-one meetings with other Level Designers.
Lead Map Designer
Deploy, evaluate performance, optimize and test UI software on PC and console platforms.
UI Engineer – Call of Duty
Work with the Engineering Director and Leads to establish technical direction for our outsourcing vendors.
Lead Engineer, Vendor Partnerships
San Diego CA
Sculpt and paint textures required for rendering physically based game environments.
Senior Texture Artist
Santa Monica CA
Create high poly models, UV`s, in game topology and textures to ensure high quality in game characters.
Senior Character Artist
Santa Monica CA
Collaborate with other engineering and product teams at the company to push the boundary of what is possible.
Senior/Principal Software Engineer, User Connections
San Mateo CA
Work with our business partners to determine the vision and roadmap, and lead the project execution end-to-end.
Principal Software Engineer, Observability
San Mateo CA
Work with the Art Leads and Director level to establish visual direction for our outsourcing vendors.
Senior Outsourcing Artist
San Diego CA
Secure the game client and its interactions with the game servers.
San Francisco CA