In The News
Ubisoft apologized for a misfired PR email with a subject line containing a joke about the government shutdown. PC Gamer’s Shaun Prescott has more.
The best 10 mobile esports players “earned more than $8 million in 2018, with seven of the 10 rankings claimed by women,” Skillz reports via VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi. “The prizes earned by this year’s winners were three times larger than that earned by 2017’s top players.”
Hearthstone’s mobile revenue was up 5% in 2018 compared to 2017, Sensor Tower reports. “That single-digit growth becomes significant when considering that the title’s global revenue on mobile actually declined 13 percent between 2016 and 2017.”
Nintendo is opening a flagship store in Tokyo, Japan.
A “small version” of the Switch may be on the way, according to a Google translated Nikkei report.
One million Labo kits were sold in 2018, Variety’s Brian Crecente writes. “Nintendo knew even before the title’s launch that the sales and reception to the Labo kits would be ‘different from traditional video games.’”
Nintendo Switch Online “has gained over eight million subscribers, not including free trials,” IGN’s Adam Bankhurst reports.
Sumo Group acquired Red Kite Games, Batchelor reports. “Under the deal, the studio will retain its name and its current staff of 27 developers but it will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumo digital.”
Netmarble is preparing a bit for Nexon, Reuters reports.
Kingdom Hearts III “sold 610,077 copies in its first week — and that only includes retail” in Japan, GI.biz’s James Batchelor writes. “The game more than doubled the sales of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake.”
Konami’s “revenues and profits were up across the board thanks to strong performance from the company’s sports games,” Gamasutra’s Alex Wawro writes. “Konami says it earned an operating profit of ¥39.4 billion … for the nine months ending December 31st.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan is coming for loot boxes. She is “asking the head of the [FTC] commission for an update on the status of” the loot box investigation, Crecente writes. “Hassan reiterated that an FTC investigation is a necessary step to ‘adequately protect children and other vulnerable people who play video games.’”
An “early teens gaming” study by Ofcom in the United Kingdom, reported by GI.biz’s Brendan Sinclair, shows “three-fourths … of kids ages 5-15” played a game online. “12-to-15-year-olds reported a surge of an hour and a half more each week.”
What’s more, parents are “increasingly concerned with how games make money off their kids … Among parents of kids ages 3-4 who game, 25% said they were concerned about the pressure put on children to make in-game purchases, up from 16% the year before. For parents of gaming kids aged 5-15, the number was 39%, a jump from 30% the year before,” Sinclair reports.
Folks seem to be big fans of Microsoft’s Super Bowl commercial.
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is going to stream FIFA with Edwin Castro for the Wounded Warrior Project, Dot Esports’ Aaron Mickunas reports.
And then there’s Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Don’t forget about him.
Extra Esports News:
Wizards of the Coast debuted information on its Mythic Invitational.
Capcom Pro Tour 2019’s schedule and details are here.
Order Esports and Alienware are partnering, TEO’s Seamus Byrne reports. “The partnership with ORDER is Alienware’s first direct deal with an esports team in the Australian region.”
OMEN by HP and RFRSH Entertainment are partnering, Esports Insider’s Adam Fitch writes. It covers all RFRSH properties.
Vici Gaming and SIPG are partnering, Esports Insider’s Chenglu Zhang reports.
Fnatic and Twitch are partnering for an “exclusive” streaming relationship, Esports Insider’s Oliver Ring writes. “The two will ‘join forces to develop new forms of creative live content that can be delivered to fans in a new and innovative way.’”
IN: William “Leffen” Hjelte resigned with Team SoloMid for 2 more years.
OUT: Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi is no longer with Echo Fox.
Reddit AMA: Ryan Morrison.