|Thursday November 16, 2023
Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
A PC Gamer gaffe reminded the games industry just how much work we have left to do
in order to make sure we’re properly recognizing the contributions of women and underrepresented persons in games. To celebrate PC Gamer’s 30-year anniversary, the publication revealed its list of the most influential people in producing the magazine in the past three decades – a list that featured no women.
Here’s what probably happened, from someone who’s been in newsrooms crafting these kinds of projects before: A staff full of predominantly men put their heads together to discuss the most important decision-makers in the games industry. They made their list, unconsciously leaving out people that deserved a spot but are so often left out of the limelight in this industry. And no one in the room, because the room was so lacking in underrepresented people (if not entirely devoid of them) was able to advocate for or identify the problem that PC Gamer’s audience immediately noticed and correctly panned.
We all need to do better. We need to not just be intentional about our recognition of the contributions of all types of people to this industry but also be intentional about putting others in the room that don’t look like us, that don’t share our points of view, skin color, gender identity and all the other traits the people who match the status quo are often too uncomfortable to talk about. Because if we don’t open seats at the table, things like this happen – and unfortunately, this is just one small example in an industry that gives even less back to its underrepresented stakeholders and advocates than most other sectors.
|COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS
T1 and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok are one series away from making more League of Legends history at the League of Legends World Championship in South Korea. Faker, recognized as the greatest League player of all time, led his T1 squad to a stunning 3-1 win over tournament favorite JD Gaming and will now face Chinese squad Weibo Gaming in the final at Gocheok Sky Dome on Sunday. Faker and T1 will go for an unprecedented fourth Worlds title with a hometown crowd behind them, while Weibo Gaming will attempt to complete a miracle run that began with multiple upsets in their regional league just to make this year’s main event.
Developer Rockstar Games is finally releasing the next edition of the Grand Theft Auto series, with a trailer for the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto 6 releasing in early December. Rockstar president Sam Houser confirmed the news on X (formerly known as Twitter) last week, though the studio hasn’t outwardly committed to that title yet. Grand Theft Auto V came out more than a decade ago and is still going strong thanks to online play; the game has sold 190 million units, according to a November 2023 version of publisher Take-Two Interactive’s investor deck.
A Counter-Strike 2 Major tournament is coming to Shanghai thanks to organizer Perfect World, the esports event operator announced. The event will be the second Counter-Strike competition hosted in China, with venues and dates for the 2024 event yet to be announced. It will also be the first Major, or Valve-backed international competition, to take place in Asia.
Scholastic esports tournament organizer PlayVS has made its events fee-free for North American competitors, CEO Jon Chapman told The Esports Advocate. The move runs counter to the troubled past PlayVS is known for; the organization previously had a reputation for scooping up game licenses for scholastic competition, then charging schools at all levels to participate. PlayVS will instead shift to relying on partnerships and sponsorships to fund its operations.
|SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
Twitch streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys is launching a snack food line, the popular content creator announced. Pokimane, alongside former Kellogg executive Darcey Macken, revealed Myna Snacks on Monday, a healthy snacking option inspired by Pokimane’s dissatisfaction with the types of quick-and-easy food available to her during the gaming and content sessions that are the hallmark of her brand. Myna’s first product, known as Midnight Mini Cookies, are available online at four packages for $28.
Gaming lifestyle festival DreamHack is giving back to host city Atlanta later this year through a partnership with Toys for Tots during DreamHack Atlanta from Dec. 15-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The initiative brings back DreamHack’s Dream BIG charity program, which was introduced at DreamHack San Diego earlier this year. Along with a Toys for Tots drive, the festival is donating $530,000 worth of tickets to students at Title 1 schools in Atlanta.
Rainbow Six Siege publisher Ubisoft is partnering with stream analytics firm Esports Charts to help the developer build additional insight into its esports audience. The move will equip Ubisoft with the full suite of Esports Charts data, including demographics of its audience, their viewership habits, comparisons to competitors and potential next steps for enhancing the Rainbow Six production experience and overall audience size.
XSET has partnered with RoboSquad Revolution to bring in-game items featuring the gaming lifestyle organization into the video game platform. RoboSquad Revolution, an arena-based shooter and free-to-play game available in Early Access on Steam, will work XSET gear into the title, with influencer partnerships, sponsored tournaments and more planned following RoboSquad Revolution’s official launch.
OTK’s Mak’Gora Creator Event Boosts World of Warcraft’s Viewership By 50%
The World of Warcraft (WoW) community experienced a unique thrill in October, thanks to a collaborative effort by OTK Network and Starforge Systems. They hosted an extraordinary event on a WoW Classic hardcore server called The OTK/Starforge Hardcore Mak’gora.
The event helped boost World of Warcraft to the 7th most-watched game in streaming last week, and boosted its weekly viewership over 50% from the prior week. The game generated almost 13M hours watched, with a quarter of that coming from the Mak’gora event.
This event underscores a critical aspect of MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games) like World of Warcraft; they are a niche market, yet they hold immense potential for successful campaigns. The hardcore Mak’Gora event tapped into the community’s passion, delivering an experience that was both authentic to the game and thrilling for the players and viewers alike.
Read more at Stream Hatchet’s blog.
|Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
BEST IN CLASS: ENTRIES OPENING SOON!
The Sports Media Awards recognizes and celebrates the industry, across production, marketing, technology and talent. Next year’s event launches this month – take a look at last year’s winners for an idea of what it means to win.
2023 SMA WINNERS
YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Gamers Prefer Search Engines, US Adults Flock to Retailer Sites for Holiday Finds
Nearly half of gamers (50%) turn to search engines when looking for products to buy during the holiday season, while 43% of all US adults opt for retailer websites/apps. Family, friends, and colleagues influence 43% of gamers and 38% of adults in their product decisions. Online reviews hold sway over 36% of gamers and 29% of adults. The data reveals distinct patterns in how gamers and US adults navigate their holiday shopping, showcasing the pivotal role of digital platforms and personal connections in their purchase decisions.
A Turkish VALORANT pro who died in earthquakes in the country earlier this year has been memorialized in-gameby developer Riot Games. Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya, a VALORANT Game Changers player died in February 2023 amid the disaster that affected parts of Turkey and Syria. Riot produced an in-game player card to honor the player, according to information from a data miner who discovered assets that will soon be available in-game.
The Houston Outlaws, a former Overwatch League team, are facing fan backlash following the organization’s decision to scrap its Overwatch program entirely and turn the Outlaws into a content creation-focused organization. The Outlaws, who cut the Houston moniker alongside the decision, signed three streamers, none of whom regularly stream Overwatch. The organization has since made multiple statements on social media acknowledging fans’ concerns but has yet to sign any Overwatch creators to its relatively unknown cohort of streamers.
Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona is expected to enter VALORANT esports as part of its new Barca Games program, according to multiple VALORANT insiders. FC Barcelona would have to enter the ecosystem via the Spanish VALORANT Challengers circuit, but from there could qualify to the Tier 1 VALORANT Champions Tour via the regional Ascension tournament.
JD Gaming coach Yoon “Homme” Sung-young has resigned and will take a temporary break from coaching following the team’s 3-1 loss to T1 in the League of Legends World Championship. The decision was another stunner at the end of JDG’s attempt to be the first team to complete The Golden Road: an accolade that includes winning both domestic splits, the international Mid-Season Invitational tournament and Worlds in the same year. “I should have done better today,” Homme said on social media platform Weibo following the loss. “I did poorly, so we lost the series.”
Enthusiast Gaming reported a net loss of $43.1 million in Q3 2023, with a cash balance of just above $2 million remaining for the Canadian gaming and esports entertainment company. Enthusiast, which operates esports organization Luminosity Gaming, noted its continued success as the No. 1 gaming brand in terms of unique traffic according to Comscore. However, the views and programmatic revenue that come from them aren’t making magic happen on the balance sheets, with expenses rising year-over-year for the company alongside a 10% revenue dip compared to Q3 2022. Previously, Enthusiast had announced a voluntary delisting from the Nasdaq public stock exchange, though it is still traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Amazon has cut around 180 employees from its Amazon Games division, according to Aftermath. The layoffs affected Amazon’s Twitch channel, known as the Crown Channel, and the company’s Game Growth team. “We’ve listened to our customers and we know delivering free games every month is what they want most, so we are refining our Prime benefit to increase our focus there,” Christoph Hartmann, the VP of Amazon Games, said in an internal email obtained by Aftermath. “With these changes in our business approach come changes to our resourcing.”
Developer crunch is rearing its head again following a report from Bloomberg detailing issues during the development of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. The title, which was initially planned as an expansion of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, turned into another mainline title instead on an extremely truncated timeline, according to Bloomberg, though representatives from publisher Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games have denied that claim. Modern Warfare III has been near-universally criticized post-launch, particularly for its campaign mode, which takes only three to four hours to complete.
Gaming publication Uppercut is scaling back its operations due to underfunding and understaffing, editor-in-chief Ty Galiz-Rowe announced. Uppercut, one of the premier publications focused on indie titles and cultural issues in gaming, will not be accepting pitches moving forward. “Thank you to everyone who supported me/us over the years. It has meant a ton to us and helped us to make at least a small impact during our time in operation,” Galiz-Rowe said on X. “Please support the small sites that are still around, like Into the Spine, Start Menu, DEEPHELL, no escape, and try to find others like them.”
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READ THE Q&A’S
At the halfway point of the NFL season, which team has the best win/loss record – and which has the worst? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
On what day does daylight saving time begin again in 2024? Answer: March 10. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan | MSG Networks, New York; Michael Goodman | Radio One Atlanta; 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 HERE
Represent 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 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 HERE
VP/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 HERE
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/events. 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
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
|OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
Conduct market and competitive analysis to lay out a differentiated product vision that delivers unique value based on customer demands.
Product Manager – Gaming Gear
City of Industry, CA
Be sole point of contact for establishing business relationships with third party and cloud hosting providers, customer support, quality assurance, NOC and localization.
Head of Game Operations
Orange County, CA
Manages and supports the environment concept team to make sure they get properly tasked and balances their workload, ensuring environment concept team’s wellbeing.
Lead Environment Concept Artist
Santa Monica, CA
Leads strategic consultation and support for business leaders around Talent Management needs.
Senior Talent Management Partner
Establish and maintain ongoing business relationships with key stakeholders at external publishers and developers in the games industry.
Sr. Manager, Partner Management (AAA Partners)
Act as the primary lead for several key Workday modules such as Core HCM, Advanced Compensation, Time Tracking and Absence (Global), Benefits (US), Reporting, and Security in Workday.
Lead Expert Analyst (Workday)
Santa Monica, CA
Develop innovative, complex, and visually stunning visual effects and work closely with our designer, animators, and programmers to implement effects.
Senior Real-Time FX Artist
Architect and develop new features on modern Unreal Engine code, in support of our multiple games on PC, console and mobile.
Senior Engine Programmer
Coordinate, track, and manage the activities of project resources to ensure that project tasks are completed on time, within scope, and at acceptable quality.
Project Manager, Technical Operations
Daybreak Game Company
San Diego, CA
Work with the animation team to help develop new animation systems and improve existing ones.
Senior Software Engineer (Animation) – American Football
Work with the disciplinary leadership to understand their goals and create a strategic plan to accomplish their needs along with the project goals.
Development Director – Technology
Interact closely with gameplay, cinematic, and facial animation teams in addition to tech art and support animation pipelines and workflows.
Senior Technical Artist: Animation
New York, NY