In The News
Please check League Land for today’s top story.
Discord acquired Blitz Esports and a lot of people aren’t happy about it. “As of this week, Blitz will no longer produce new content, but our existing videos will stay on YouTube and everything will be browsable online,” the press release reads. But this is the part that has folks cranky: “That said, some of our editorial staff will not be transitioning to Discord. The silver lining to our sunset is that other orgs can now get in on some of the best talent in gaming content.”
Dot Esports’ Nicole Carpenter described Blitz’s announcement as “extremely weird to repackage layoffs as your former staff entering ‘free agency.’” Ana’s Tal Mask, Ali “Alicus” Saba and Philadelphia Fusion’s Evan Frasca concurred.
Richard Lewis was more direct in his criticism, saying in part: “Just when I thought the ‘you all have phones, right’ would be the most tone deaf thing for a while, calling shit canning an entire department a ‘silver lining’ definitely tops that. Who the fuck writes these things?”
Defy Media is dead. “The digital media company whose brands include Smosh and Clevver, is shutting down operations and laying off its employees,” Variety’s Todd Spangler writes. “The company at one point reported having nearly 400 employees. Defy did not confirm its current headcount, which has shrunk in recent months as it pared back the business in the hopes of staying afloat.”
Gains & Losses:
Pokémon Go made “an estimated $73 million in gross revenue worldwide across the App Store and Google Play” in October, Sensor Tower writes.
Turtle Beach “revenues are up 107% year-on-year to $74.4 million from $36 million, while net income has increased significantly to $14.4 million after posting a loss of $500,000 for the same period last year,” GI.biz’s Haydn Taylor reports.
Square Enix “has reported an extraordinary loss in its latest fiscal report,” GI.biz’s James Batchelor reports. “The firm announced Luminous Productions … This decision has caused a loss of ¥3.73 billion ($33 million).”
“Starbreeze recorded a pre-tax loss of SEK 102.3 million (~$11.3 million), nearly triple the SEK 35.3 million (~$3.9 million) loss it recorded in the third quarter of the 2017 fiscal year,” Gamasutra’s Alissa McAloon reports. “That’s also a significant dip from the SEK 26.2 million (~$2.9 million) in profit it reported last quarter.”
Overwolf raised “$16 million for its game apps and services in a funding round led by Intel Capital,” VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi reports.
Square Enix acquired 20% in “indie game developer Bulkhead Interactive,” Variety’s Brittany Vincent writes.
Tencent and DeNA are partnering “to launch Arena of Valor” in Japan, GI.biz’s James Batchelor reports.
Waves eGaming’s Toronto esports facility will open “to the public in a matter of weeks” after raising “close to $1 million through various investors,” according to a press release. Ali “Alicus” Saba has been appointed to Waves’ board of directors.
Steven Ma of Tencent has joined The Game Awards’ advisory board.
Nintendo’s changing Mr. Game & Watch’s Native American skin in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips writes. “One of the character’s moves references Fire Attack, a 1982 cowboy game where you defended a wooden fort from screaming Native Americans who wielded burning torches and wore feathers in their hair.”
Microsoft built its headquarters in Minecraft to help familiarize employees with updates, CNBC’s Jordan Novet writes.
Profile: Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri (Variety).
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Extra Esports News:
G2 Esports and Paysafecard are partnering for “‘Making The Squad’ … the newest talent show aimed at finding the next four top content creators in Fortnite,” a press release reads. “The show, further backed by Logitech G and Esport-Management, will have Fortnite enthusiasts and influencers compete.”
ONE Championship and Dentsu Inc are partnering for ONE eSports, Esports Insider’s Joe Wong reports.
Happy birthday Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi!