In The News
Electronic Arts laid off some 350 employees — 4% of its workforce — yesterday. EA’s official statement can be found here. It reads, in part, “We have made changes to our marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams, and we are ramping down our current presence in Japan and Russia … This is a difficult day. The changes we’re making today will impact about 350 roles in our 9,000-person company.”
The Japan office has closed as part of the layoffs, GI.biz’s James Batchelor reports. “CEO Andrew Wilson said the publisher would be decreasing its presence in both Japan and Russia, but it seems that means cutting it entirely from the former.”
Oxford Internet Institute’s Andrew Przybylski blames ESA for “mishandling of concerns raised about addiction,” Variety’s Brian Crecente writes. This mishandling has allegedly led to “regulation, sin taxes, and fines.”
Judgement has sold “roughly 97 percent of its stock since the company halted sales of the game, and worldwide inventory is almost gone as well,” Gamasutra’s Emma Kidwell writes. The sale surge is due to “Pierre Taki, the Japanese voice actor and character model for character Kyohei Hamura … [being] pulled from the game after admitting to illegal drug use.”
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is getting an energy drink courtesy of Red Bull, VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi writes. “The new 8.4 fl oz Red Bull Energy Drink Ninja can will be available nationwide beginning April 1 to April 4 in four-packs and 12-packs.”
ESPN posted its ESPN #Esports64 list, “the only bracket challenge where you get to tell us we seeded XYZ incorrectly!”
Interviews: Tencent’s Steven Ma (VentureBeat).
Extra Esports News:
Bent Pixels has “launched an esports division that already has Team SoloMid and NRG Esports as clients. Bent Pixels has also entered a partnership with gaming marketing and talent agency Ader to work with its roster of clients, creating new revenue streams,” Esports Insider’s Adam Fitch reports.
GameStop and compLexity Gaming have signed a deal where GameStop will have “naming rights to compLexity Gaming’s new headquarters at The Star in Frisco, Texas,” TEO’s Ben Fischer writes.
Partnerships & Sponsorships:
Secretlab is partnering with “professional soccer player Dele Alli. Alli, who played for England in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, streams Battle Royale games on Twitch,” TEO’s Dane Weeden writes.
Thrustmaster is sponsoring “Squadron Air-to-Air League (SATAL), a Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) competition ran by DCS World Events. Thrustmaster will award winners of the league with gaming hardware geared towards fight simulation,” Fitch reports.
IN: Mineski added Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui and Michael “Ninjaboogie” Ross Jr. Ninjaboogie.