|Thursday October 26, 2023
Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
The Esports & Gaming Business Summit brought together hundreds of industry stakeholders this week for dozens of panels, hours of networking, and a refreshing reset on conversations about how to reach Gen Z, build new revenue opportunities, and authentically connect with brands.
Programming from Sunday to Tuesday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas featured major game publishers like Capcom, Bandai Namco and Ubisoft as well as marquee marketers for Twitch, State Farm, TikTok, Populous, Old Spice and more. Some primary takeaways from the conference:
– With an industry-wide reset underway, right-sized activations and added value beyond a logo slap are the primary considerations for marketers. Make sure to adjust expectations, open up bandwidth for bigger ideas and be prepared to prove value through hard statistics beyond reach and impressions.
– Brands still see as much value in the esports and gaming spaces as they did before. The difficulty is that too often, non-endemic businesses look at these industries as the first to go when marketing dollars get tight. Educating leaders and, again, proving the impact of your company on theirs will help keep relationships going.
– The games and competitive audience is ever-growing, and many of them find extra value through friendships, community-building and generally engaging with game products. However, they’re distrustful of brands that come into the space to capitalize on them rather than bring them something new, interactive and truly worth their attention. For non-endemics looking to enter the space, that means thinking hard about the objectives, strategies and tactics you employ; a logo slap is likely to do more harm than good.
Learn more about what went down at EBS below as well as some of the notable winners from Monday’s Tempest Awards, which honored the best of the best in the industry.
|COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS
Sim racing is providing unprecedented accessibility to real-life racing opportunities, Racing Prodigy CEO David Cook and former GT Academy winner Nick McMillen said during a panel Sunday on one of the most unique ways the real world and gaming are intersecting. Cook’s Prodigy Racing League will hope to take the efforts of some of racing’s biggest names, like McClaren, Michelin and more by democratizing racing competition, which traditionally costs tens of thousands of dollars a year for even the youngest aspiring F1 pros. PRL competitors will have a chance to compete IRL in the Prodigy Week racing academy at Atlanta Motorsports Park and, hopefully, cement a place as an F1 racer moving forward. McMillen, who did just that through GT Academy, said the gap between virtual and in-car racers isn’t as large as many would expect and that, given the chance, many of the top sim stars would show out on the actual tracks.
Qualcomm and ESL FACEIT Group continue to see massive promise in mobile competition, the Snapdragon Pro Series Powered by Samsung Galaxy partners said during EBS on Monday. Mobile’s accessibility has made it the preferred way to play around the world, and open competition, untethered live events, and the league’s partnerships with publishers including Activision-Blizzard and Moonton have Qualcomm manager of product for gaming and esports Matthew Grossman and EFG senior vice president of game ecosystems Kevin Rosenblatt bullish on mobile’s potential. Several of the top esports titles in watch hours, Rosenblatt noted, are mobile games, and Grossman affirmed that Qualcomm continues to see the value of the league’s growth amid an otherwise difficult time for competitive gaming.
Chinese and South Korean squads are crushing League of Legends World Championship competition to no one’s surprise as the main event rolls on in Seoul. South Korea’s Gen.G and China’s Weibo Gaming are 3-0 so far, and all but two of the six squads at 2-1 in the Swiss stage are from those two countries. North America’s NRG Esports and Europe/Middle East/Africa squad G2 Esports are the two rosters with the distinction of breaking up the pack.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder has proven the traditional 2D Nintendo platformer still has the magic thanks to its co-op capabilities, refreshing mechanics and fluid gameplay. The title, which released Oct. 20, has captivated fans and reviewers alike with Universal Acclaim scores on Metacritic. Of course, being able to turn your character into an elephant in the game doesn’t hurt.
In this week’s REV/XP Presents, Senior Vice President Chris Mann is joined by Alex Gonzalez, the Head of Luminosity Gaming. Luminosity is one of the premier global esports teams, featuring competitors across titles such as Apex Legends, Smash Bros, Brawl Stars, Halo, Call of Duty, Rocket League and more. Learn more about the team at luminosity.gg.
|SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
Traditional sports might be the next big frontier for content creators,gaming personality Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff said during his fireside chat at EBS. Gaming and esports fans, who are used to microtransactions in-game and paying for streaming subscriptions, are also likely to bring their affinity for a creator to live events, such as NICKMERCS’ MFAM Gauntlet x UFC 2 earlier this year. NICKMERCS also leveraged the week in Vegas and his appearance at TwitchCon to announce a $10 million non-exclusive deal with streaming platform Kick, making him the latest big name to shift from exclusively working with the Amazon product to the latest hot commodity in content creation.
Cat food business Temptations is blazing a new trail and connecting to a young, engaged audience thanks to its bold decision to embrace gaming content as a pet brand. In Tuesday’s brand camp session, Temptations spoke to its partnership with Misfits Gaming and how it creatively approached an activation that, without a strong strategy, could have seemed like a shoehorned sponsorship for both parties. The cat food supplier’s tactics could set an example for other non-endemic brands that might feel like reaching the game audience is a square-peg, round-hole proposition.
Don’t we all want a round of applause every time our brand pops onscreen?Capcom’s 360 approach to its partnership with Chipotle led to just that for the restaurant chain, which alongside Capcom built a Street Fighter VI sponsorship that encompassed its competitive program, in-game cosmetics, additional work with companies like Twitch and more. The result: A campaign that earned cheers when Chipotle made onscreen appearances during Evo, the largest fighting game tournament in the world. Not bad, huh?
A live action series for game franchise Fallout is scheduled to release in April 2024, Amazon Prime Video announced, marking the latest in a slew of game-to-TV adaptations in recent years. Similar to the The Last of Us series, the Fallout show reportedly resulted from deep collaboration between developer Bethesda and its showrunners to authentically bring the game to life onscreen. The popular post-apocalyptic IP is slated to come to the big(ger) screens on April 12.
Fortnite on top: Analyzing Unique Channel Growth on Live Streaming PlatformsIt is hard to deny that Fortnite has been, ever since the release of the game, one of the pillars of the live streaming industry, especially on YouTube where millions of gameplays have been recorded. Up to this day, Fortnite is still one of the top games played in primary live streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Live. We know for sure since the past 2 quarters of 2023, Fortnite has been the game with the highest number of unique channels, growing 14.17% from 1.6M to 1.8M.
Fortnite caught our attention because, in the past 30 days, it emerged as the undisputed leader when it comes to unique channels on live streaming platforms. It stands at an impressive 4.9% higher than the game in second place Just Chatting category. This distinction is significant as it indicates the diversity and reach of content creators choosing Fortnite as their streaming focus.
Are you the kind of thought leader who can make a media exec’s morning?
Share advice, fresh thinking and more on the Cynopsis website, with CynPros. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, email Charlotte Dulany for more information
READ THE Q&A’S
YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Which gaming genre sees the highest amount of time spent by players?This chart highlights the percentage of players who invest a substantial seven hours or more per week on PC or console gaming, sorted by the gaming genres they play. MOBA gamers lead the pack, with 61% play for seven or more hours in an average week, followed by Battle Royale gamers at 54%. Gamers who play Massively Multiplayer/RPGs, Horror, and Indie games also log high game time, with over 50% of these players spending at least seven hours playing. By comparison, only two-fifths of racing (40%) and sports (39%) gamers play for that duration in an average week.
Grassroots events are one of the most authentic homes for players and teams and are an untapped resource for sponsors and partners, speakers at this week’s conference said. As franchised leagues such as the Overwatch League fall out of favor, teams are increasingly flocking to titles with open or semi-open formats. One example: Luminosity Gaming, an international esports organization that won its first-ever world championship through Pokémon UNITE and is a contender for the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship after picking up on mobile gaming. The fighting game community and others that have remained right-sized leading into the “esports winter” are also still primed for investment.
Esports organization Gen.G won Team of the Year and Collegiate Program of the Year at Monday’s Tempest Awards behind its Mobil 1 Racing Rocket League squad and its University of Kentucky Campus Takeover conference. The company leaned on its differentiators to stand out, with its Mobil 1 partnership as the driver of two teams (Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing and Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing Black) as well as an ongoing commitment to supporting innovative collegiate gaming programming and career opportunities at Kentucky.
Counter-Strike star Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken is joining Team Liquid,according to a report from Dust2.us. The decision’s timing is surprising given Twistzz, formerly a member of FaZe Clan, recently won the first major Counter-Strike 2 tournament with an IEM Sydney championship alongside FaZe. The move will reunite Twistzz with a former org where he found success over multiple years of play.
Speaking of FaZe, things might get complicated for the squad across multiple esports following GameSquare’s acquisition of the gaming lifestyle organization. GameSquare’s current esports program, Complexity Gaming, overlaps with FaZe in several titles, and most leagues have rules that prohibit companies from fielding multiple teams in one league. The addition of FaZe also introduces noteworthy roster price tags for an organization for which esports isn’t a primary business, meaning it’s likely there could be some tough choices to come for the org’s new parent company.
Microsoft reported $56.6 billion in Q1 revenue behind 13% growth of Xbox content and services revenue, the company announced. Despite a 7% dip in hardware sales, a surge in Game Pass subscriptions and marquee title Starfield’s release propelled the company to 13% year-over-year growth in Q1 revenues. Microsoft expects the trend to continue as it rolls out a suite of Activision-Blizzard titles on Game Pass next year.
In case you missed it above, GameSquare has acquired FaZe Holdings in an all-stock deal. The price tag, given FaZe’s free fall in the public market since August, was approximately $17 million for GameSquare, which will hope to turn the beleaguered gaming and content company around and adjust its bloated budget. Faze went from ambitiously proclaiming itself the first esports and gaming lifestyle brand with a $1 billion valuation to selling for around $0.20 on the Nasdaq as of this month as the market soured on gaming investment and was clued in to FaZe’s balance sheet.
Only around 2.2 million of Netflix’s nearly 250 million subscribers play games daily using the streaming platform, according to research by Apptopia reported by CNBC. Apptopia also reports an estimated 70.5 million downloads of the 77 game titles available on Netflix. Though the percentages look stark, co-CEO Greg Peters said the “this trajectory is not dissimilar from what we’ve seen before” and that Netflix expects gaming to be a “long-term center value of entertainment” for it during an earnings call, according to CNBC.
|Cynopsis – Reaching Audience in 2024 – Virtual Event – December 7th
Join us at this virtual event showcasing the must-have targeting tools Buyers & Sellers need to optimize ad strategy.
Connect with 400+ industry leaders and elevate your brand in 2024 by positioning yourself among top experts in the space.
Limited sponsorships available – contact Albert Nassour, Executive Director of Sales today.
How much money did Microsoft wind up spending to acquire Activision-Blizzard? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
The recently released Spider-Man 2 has been heralded as the latest masterpiece for which game developer? Answer: Insomniac Games (Sony Interactive Entertainment was also acceptable). Kudos: Tom Moore | Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg | SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank, California
|DIRECTOR, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Execute communications objectives and develop strategies to elevate Hallmark Media, its workforce, and business entities. Evaluate existing communications program in the context of its ability to support strategic planning and operating objectives. Minimum of 10+ years progressive PR/Communications Industry Experience. Full info HEREACCOUNT DIRECTOR
CHICAGORepresent Future Today, selling an expansive portfolio of O&O CTV apps, inclusive of HappyKids, Fawesome, The LEGO Channel, FilmRise, Blippi. 5+years selling linear/streaming/OLV exp req.Biz dev position inclusive of direct, pmp/pg.Solid relationships; agency & client. Full info HEREACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DIRECT RESPONSE >>
Seeking an energetic achiever with excellent written & organizational skills for role to assist in growing revenue for dynamic Direct Response Team: BA Degree, Min 2 yrs DR Experience req. Wide Orbit Exp a +. Fully info HERE
NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Communicate the value & brand strength of Urban One Networks to advertisers & agencies. Create compelling presentations that convey the benefits & features of our programming and the viewing audiences. Proactively keep clients informed of pertinent account and network information. Min. 4+ yrs national advertising sales or equivalent sales exp. Full info HEREVP/HEAD OF ADVERTISING SALES
Lead, manage, develop, and grow Ad Sales teams. Attract and retain the best talent. Work with leadership team to set, achieve, and grow revenue targets across OOH, Digital and Experiential. Instrumental in driving the team to exceed all expectations and goals. 15+ years’ experience in advertising, media, and relevant sales management roles. Full info HEREACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Achieve revenue and growth targets across linear and digital. Identify and execute strategies which result in exceeding revenue targets. Develop and execute effective sales strategies that showcase as well as maximize overall revenues for the overarching National Sales division. 7-10 yrs exp. in advertising, media & relevant sales management roles. Full info HERE
SENIOR AUDIO/VIDEO PROMOTION PRODUCER >>
WHYY/PHILADELPHIA: Produce best-in-class promotional spots, accurately reflecting WHYY’s brand mission, from strategy through management approvals. Write killer scripts for audio and video to engage audiences. Organize promotional spot production schedule for video and audio spots needed for TV, FM, digital and social platforms. 10-15+ years’ experience. Full info HERE
DIGITAL DIRECTOR, NEWS >>
WHYY/PHILADELPHIA: Develop a cogent strategy for developing and publishing WHYY news content across social media and emerging digital platforms. Convey and create SEO, social media and digital best practices in concert with the digital staff with the focus of informing and developing the newsroom’s digital muscles. Five or more years of journalism experience. Full info HERE
SENIOR STUDIO TECHNICAL MANAGER
Technical manager for live, studio, productions/eveants. Provides technical oversight, support, solutions, troubleshooting, and in-house technical resource. Functions as Studio and Tech Manager for Studio and Tech Manager for remote productions, on-site and off-site corporate events. Requires 5-7 years production technical management experience. Full info HERE
SENIOR DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT LICENSING
Negotiate, draft & review agreements for owned & operated platforms/services, third-party platform. Exp. in digital media, content licensing (domestic/international), linear & on-demand rights & distribution, Privacy & Data Security preferred. Min 5 yrs of exp. supporting digital media at media company or streaming platform. Full info HERE
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV
Represent FETV & 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, pricing & planning to achieve quarterly revenue goals. 5+ yrs media sales exp. preferably in cable TV- agency exp. +. Full info HERE
BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS AND DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE >>
HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Proactively identify, research, and develop new opportunities for our family-friendly programming blocks on ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW, Telemundo, & other media & digital/social outlets. Support creation and present strategic, cross-media concepts to multiple stakeholder groups that meet our client’s business objectives. 8 + yrs of business dev. exp. Full info HERE
SENIOR MANAGER, AD SALES MARKETING
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP, INC.
Manage the pre-sale client facing pitch process and post-sale activation of cross-platform television, streaming, digital & social media integrated marketing programs. Write & create compelling sales presentations, one-sheets & cross-platform sponsorship opportunities. 5+ yrs exp. with ad sales marketing, integrated marketing, brand advertising. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP, INC.
NYC or LOS ANGELES
Manage messaging, vision and strategy in the marketplace and internally. Responsible for helping to build, execute and enhance ad sales brand reputation and to raise awareness of the organization both internally and externally. 10+ years’ related media experience and experience with an ad sales organization. Full info HERE
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR >>
BIG FISH ENTERTAINMENT/NYC/NJ: Coordinating onboarding for all new hires.
Administering the benefits and payroll changes for employees accurately.
Maintaining an efficient filing system—paper and electronic, for employee and company records related to their job functions. Building a successful bridge between management and employees. 7 yrs entertainment exp. preferred. Full Info HERE
DIRECTOR, MEDIA SUPPLY CHAIN OPERATIONS >>
PBS DISTRIBUTION/ARLINGTON VA, Hybrid: Oversee media systems operations, including daily operations as well as development and implementation of overall media supply chain. Work with external vendors and internal stakeholders on design and implementation of hardware and software solutions for media systems. 7+ yrs of work exp. in the areas of television, media, or consumer products. Full info HERE
TV/VIDEO SPONSORSHIP-PRODUCT INTEGRATION SALES REPRESENTATIVE >>
GAME ON MEDIA SOLUTIONS/Remote: Game On Media Solutions is looking for an independent business development oriented sponsorship sales representative. Focus will be on TV/Streaming project opportunities for brands that include product integration and placement. This is an Independent Contractor performance compensated opening. Attractive fees can be earned for closed deals. Full info HERE
BRAND ASSISTANT >>
THE LEDE COMPANY/NYC: Full-service communication, strategy, and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, brand, entertainment, and nonprofit sectors, is seeking a Brand Assistant to join the Brand team in our New York office. The Assistant will play an integral role in supporting accounts for a wide variety of Fashion, Beauty, CPG and Lifestyle clients. Full info HERE
TALENT ASSISTANT >>
THE LEDE COMPANY/LA: Full-service strategy, communications and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, entertainment and nonprofit sectors. We are looking for a Talent Assistant to a Talent Publicist in Los Angeles. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates who can work in a fast-paced environment, are driven & have strong communication and writing skills. Full info HERE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR NATIONAL POLITICAL SHOW >>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC: Develop and oversee the production of a daily or weekly national political show that covers the most important political news and events of the day. Develop and execute strategies to increase the show’s audience and engagement. At least 5 years of experience as an executive producer for a political show or similar program. Full info HERE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF NEWS/ENTERTAINMENT >>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC: Oversee all editorial and entertainment content, news production and presentation. Responsible for day-to-day operations of the show: producing, writing, and guiding creative. Develop content for the News @ TEN, plan, assign and create production schedules. 7 years of experience as executive producer or show producer. Network experience preferred. Full info HERE
SR. DIRECTOR, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT >>
SHOUT! FACTORY/LOS ANGELES: P&L responsibility, ownership over all aspects of a project, standalone releases or a licensed library of titles. Works w/production, publicity, creative services, distribution/sales, digital, finance, legal, acquisitions & licensors to best position the project for success. 7+ yrs of exp. in marketing, business development, or product management. Full info HERE
SALES OPERATIONS MANAGER >>
SHOUT! FACTORY/LOS ANGELES: Prepare accurate reports using data from internal & external sources for sales planning & analysis. Communicate w/our distributor on a regular basis with an understanding of their systems & deadlines. Announce release date, pricing confirmation & metadata for staff & distributor. 3+Yrs exp. in Sales Planning & Analysis/Finance Administration. Full info HERE
SENIOR CONTENT PRODUCER
Oversee video/creative production team thru ideation, production planning, crew/talent hiring, & budget/project management. Shepherd campaigns from development, pre-production, & production thru editing & delivery. Help w/shoots as well as postproduction team. 5+ yrs exp. spanning editorial, design, advertising agency, film, branded entertainment. Full info HERE
Respond to both RFPs and direct-to-client assignments from brands and agencies. Examine client brief and lead ideation or adapt pre-existing creative. Identify innovative storytelling and emerging video formats. Minimum of 7 yrs exp. producing compelling video, television and digital media content across multiple channels and platforms. Full info HERE
|OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
You will work closely with game developers and the platform team to build both user facing and internal services with a high level of autonomy.
Senior Software Engineer
Creating solid, high fidelity textures of any given surface is required.
Hard Surface Modeler
High Voltage Software
Partner with other engineers to develop tools and processes that improve efficiency and quality.
Senior Unity Software Engineer
Netflix Games Studio
Help your project team answer the most challenging questions they face around design and target audience.
Senior UX Researcher
You will be evaluating and defining metrics and understanding long-term trends.
Senior Data Analyst
Work closely with design leadership to implement and polish compelling gameplay experiences.
Technical Game Designer
High Voltage Software
New Orleans LA
Identify and coordinate dependencies at the feature or pod level.
Apply and improve service deployment and troubleshooting strategies that maximize uptime.
Backend Software Engineer
Design and own major multiplayer systems, mechanics, and content from concept through implementation and live service.
Senior Game Designer (Multiplayer)
Create, deploy, and maintain cloud solutions using AWS.
Machine Learning Software Engineer
San Diego CA
Maintain and improve infrastructure for build and test automation.
Senior Software Development Engineer in Test
San Mateo CA
Individual contributor, working under a Technical Lead.
Senior Software Engineer
San Francisco CA
Developing partnerships with internal departments and external agencies.
Creative Director, Games Studio
Netflix Games Studio
Los Angeles CA
Develop and perform ETL and automation, define and evaluate metrics, monitor key product metrics, and understand root causes of changes in metrics.
Senior Data Scientist
Los Angeles CA
Perform algorithm and architecture definition of various video codecs such as VVC, AV1, HEVC, VP9/VP8, AVC, MVC and so on.
Senior/Principal Engineer – Video Codec
Los Angeles CA