In The News
VENN’s the newest “gaming-focused TV network” on the block, Variety’s Janko Roettgers reports. “Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round” for VENN, which is short “for Video Game Entertainment and News Network. VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020.”
E3 2020 looks to be moving more toward consumers with an additional 10,000 tickets and a “festival” feels. “In a pitch deck intended for the lobbying group’s members, the ESA says it has plans to adapt its offerings in response to feedback gathered from publishers. As part of its overhaul, the group proposes leaning into influencers and paid celebrity deals with talent representation agencies like UTA and CAA,” GD.biz’s Mike Futter reports.
Mixer is bringing in ads, but the revenue might not be going to streamers. “It appears the only entity earning money from the ads will be Mixer itself. Some of the ads will show up on channels run by Microsoft itself — but other partnered channels, like Ninja’s, will now see ads appear in front of their content that don’t support them financially,” The Verge’s Bijan Stephen reports.
Gears 5 is doing alright. Microsoft announced the launch attracted “over three million players in its opening weekend and setting new records for Xbox Game Pass with the biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation.”
Kickstarter is under fire from two former employees who claim the company fired them for “helping its workforce to unionise,” GI.biz’s Matthew Handrahan writes. “These allegations are surprising, as the efforts to unionise the Kickstarter workforce started positively in March this year.”
Mobcrush’s American audience “has grown to more than 84 million unique viewers per month,” VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi reports. “The company additionally disclosed that its Go Live, Get Paid sponsorship platform has disbursed more than $5 million in ad sponsorship funds to esports players, teams and gaming-centric live streamers since the program’s inception in 2018.”
Network Next’s latest technology to reduce lag is being distributed worldwide, Takahashi writes. “The technology measures the lag in a particular player’s game every 10 seconds. If it finds the delay is too long, it looks for alternate paths to speed the packets over the internet to the right destination.”
Casey Viner, a co-defendant in the deadly Kansas City swatting case, was sentenced to 15 months in prison. He has also been “banned from online games for two years,” Polygon’s Ryan Gilliam reports.
Scopely opened a Japan office to be lead by “former Walt Disney Company exec Justin Scarpone,” The Hollywood Reporter’s Patrick Shanley reports.
UKIE and Alzheimer’s Research UK are partnering for “Journo/Dev Swap game jam,” GI.biz reports. “The 2019 Journo/Dev Swap will take place from Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29 — towards the end of World Alzheimer’s Month — and will be hosted at UKIE’s London headquarters.”
Twitch streamer Quqco has been suspended for 3 days because her Chun-Li cosplay broke Twitch’s “rules about sexually suggestive content,” PC Gamer’s Andy Chalk reports.
Extra Esports News:
Juked, the esports company focused on condensing and streamlining esports event information, has opened its beta to everyone. Additionally, the budding company has streamlined its mobile experience for users.
Gears 5 looks to have a strong esports program, ESI’s Laura Byrne reports. “The Coalition, together with event organiser PGL, has unveiled details for the upcoming Gears 5 esports program. The 2019-2020 season will provide opportunities for players of all skill levels from around the world to compete for $2 million (£1.9 million) worth of prize money.”
SoStronk raised “an undisclosed sum of money from IP Ventures in a funding round. The capital will be used for research and development and to expand its team,” ESI’s Eva Martinello reports. “It’ll focus on recruitment, marketing, QA, and development.”
Interviews: Hearthstone’s Alex Charsky (Dot Esports).
Happy birthday Jonathan “Wubby” Gunnarsson!