CYNOPSISeSPORTS & GAMING
It’s Thursday, August 4, 2016, and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming brief.
New data from DFC Intelligence forecasts PC games hitting $42 billion in revenue globally by 2020. Currently, revenue hits $30 billion, with the study projecting growth of 8% for the next five years with the biggest numbers coming from China at $12 billion. Meanwhile, retail revenue from sales of packaged PC game products continues to decline with 2015 stagnant at $1.4 billion and accounting for less than 5% of total PC game revenue.
Xbox made waves with its plans for the Gears eSports Pro Circuit for Gears of War 4 with The Coalition. The new eSports plan allows players to compete in marquee live open events around the world operated by MLG and Gfinity for a starting $1,000,000 in cash prizes. Players worldwide can earn “Gears Pro Points” by competing in regional MLG GameBattles to qualify for the international circuit open LAN events that take place every 1-2 months from the Gears of War 4 game launch in October 2016 to July 2017. This year’s international circuit includes the likes of London, Paris, Columbus, Mexico City, and Las Vegas beginning with Nov. 25-27 in Columbus.
ELeague wrapped up its first season on Saturday with Virtus.pro winning the inaugural championship. The Turner Sports/WME/IMG organization reports that its debut season saw 897 million gross minutes of video consumption on TBS and Twitch and drew more than 3.4 million new viewers to TBS during its 10-week season, with the audience composition consisting heavily of Millennial viewers in the Men 18-34 demo. Championship coverage generated approximately 48 million gross minutes of video consumption and hit a peak of 168,500 concurrent streams on Twitch.
EA’s Chief Competition Officer Peter Moore told Geoff Keighley at the GamesBeat 2016 conference that the company’s sports titles leave it poised for future success in the eSports space as more people understand the game and noting that it needed to find a way to push FIFA ‘s and Madden’s strengths to appeal to eSports fans. According to VentureBeat, he said that its partners at NFL and FIFA are concerned that they aren’t attracting new consumers from young demographics so he is encouraging them to avoid push away fans of competitive gaming by trying to marginalize it.
Valve unveiled changes to the competitive format for Dota 2 in 2017, according to ESPN, that will kick in following the conclusion of this year’s International. Overall, Valve will cut the number of majors from three to two.
Twitch is expanding its Cheering beta to all partner channels in both the US and UK, with the system handing fans the chance to support their favorite streaming via special message posts that feature premium Bits in the streamers’ chat windows. Users purchase Bits and then can type “cheer” with a number of Bits they’d like to use to support the player. Viewers can earn special chat badges by Cheering. Meanwhile, streamers receive one cent per Bit used to Cheer for them.
The eGames hit Rio this month with more countries in tow for the two-day competition. Dexerto writes that participating teams are set to include (in addition to the previously announced squads from the UK, Canada, US and Brazil): Switzerland, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Norway, Montenegro, Monaco, Moldova, Malta, Macedonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Italy, Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Georgia, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Austria, Albania, Kuwait, Armenia, South Korea, UAE, Japan, Puerto Rico, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
Jaunt Inc. and ESL released the first VR eSports documentary, CLG: Win Everythin’ which follows “one team’s emotional journey to the 2016 Intel Extreme Masters World tournament held in Katowice, Poland” with a focus on Counter Logic Gaming. The six minute VR doc can be seen on the Jaunt VR App for iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Desktop 360.
Speaking of ESL, the company announced its talent lineup for this weekend’s first North American Heroes of the Storm Fall Regional. The broadcast team will include: James "Kaelaris” Carrol as panel host; TJ "Azumoh” Sanders as reporter; and Jake "SolidJake” Kulinski, Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold, Jaycie “Gillyweed” Gluck and Josh "JHow” Howard as commentators.
Go To Team is getting deeper into the eSports space, naming 15-year-old Brendon Patrick Bryant III to its eSports division where he will serve as a consultant for the company. “Brendon is an engaged teenager with intimate knowledge of traditional and digital eSports. His knowledge of the gaming world is indispensable to our success,” says Go To Team’s Managing Partner/COO, Shawn Moffatt.
Newzoo’s recent report on the digital games market, based on reported quarterly revenues of more than 70 public companies around the world, Overall, the big kept getting bigger as the top 25 public companies drummed up $17.6 billion, with growth of 25% in the first quarter of 2016 over 2015 and equating 89% of all game revenues generated by public companies. Tencent led the way, swelling 29% year-over-year and grabbing $2.6 billion.
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PUBLISHING & PLATFORMS
Sony reports that its first fiscal quarter generated $3.2 billion in revenues from its game and network services division, rising 14.5% over the same period in 2015 with game sales pushing the numbers. “This significant increase was primarily due to a significant increase in PS4 software sales including sales through the [PlayStation Network], partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates and decreases in PlayStation 3 hardware and software sales,” the company said in its fiscal report.
EA saw a smaller-than-expected dip in quarterly revenue and profit for the first quarter, reeling in $1.27 billion. Despite the lack of major releases in the time span, while its digital net revenue hit $689 million. "Our digital business drove this quarter, particularly outperformance from FIFA Ultimate Team on console and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes on mobile," said Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen, per the WSJ. "This success along with the launch of NBA LIVE Mobile gives us great confidence in our ability to operate and add new live services through the year." Q2 will see a big sports push with the likes of FIFA 17, Madden NFL 17 and NHL 17 on deck while Q3 will see titles such as Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1.
Business intelligence firm ORC International revealed results of its newest CARAVAN Omnibus Survey, looking at the awareness, appeal and concerns over Pokemon GO. Findings saw that 53% of Millennials have downloaded or played the mobile game, while 4 in 10 Millennials consider themselves ‘obsessed’ or ‘dedicated’ to the new interactive app. Overall, 9 in 10 U.S. adults have heard of the game although 7 in 10 adults have concerns over personal safety, versus 61% of Millennials.
GameStop is looking to broaden its horizons, announcing the acquisition of three national AT&T authorized retailers: Cellular World Corp., Midwest Cellular, Inc., and Red Skye Wireless, Inc., in a move that adds 507 stores to its Technology Brands business. "Today’s announcement showcases the strength of our relationship with AT&T and fortifies our diversification efforts," said Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop. "With the continued investments in our Technology Brands business, we are on track to achieve our goal of generating $200 million of operating earnings in this growing segment by the end of 2019," Raines added.
Days after releasing its new Ghostbusters game, development studio Fireforge Games declared bankruptcy. The company was formed in 2011 under ex-Blizzard employee Tim Campbell.
Disney formally unveiled its endgame for shutting down its Infinity line, with Engadget writing that following the end of in-game purchases for PC, mobile, and Apple TV iterations of Disney Infinity 2.0 this week, the PC game will be pulled from the Infinity web store on Sept. 30 and games bought from that site will become unplayable. Meanwhile, in-game purchases for all Windows versions of the game stops Jan. 3, while the Apple TV and Windows Store versions of the game formally wrap up on March 3.
MARKETING & PROMOTION
Blizzard’s Overwatch is offering its own take on the Summer Games, launching a patch for the game that will offer new, unofficial Olympic-ish skins as well as a new game mode. Skins will be themed on different sports and feature the colors of the countries each character come from as well as new sprays, emotes, victory poses, icons, and highlight intros.
Kinguin signed on as a sponsor for the season four of the ESL CS:GO Pro League. The event begins Aug. 17. “Kinguin are a strong proponent of esports and have been with us at multiple major events this year, including ESL One Frankfurt in the Commerzbank Arena,” said Ulrich Schulze, VP Pro Gaming at ESL. “Their support of yet another ESL event means the world to us and we are confident that together we will be able to achieve great things in this space.”
Sony’s Global Sales and Marketing Head Jim Ryan told IGN that cross-platform gaming and competition may be on the horizon that could include both PlayStation and Xbox users. “There’s been a lot of noise about this recently,” he told the site, adding, “We’re completely open to this. It’s really down to the developer and publisher of a certain game to come and talk to us and we’re ready to have that conversation.”
LICENSING & EXTENSIONS
Ubisoft confirmed plans for The Division to be made into an upcoming feature film, announcing that the project will be headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain. The movie adaptation of The Division will be developers with Freckle Films and Nine Stories. “Attaching Jake and Jessica is part of our development philosophy of working closely with top talent from the earliest stages to collaborate on a high quality film,” Ubisoft Motion Pictures VP Matt Phelps said.
Former Electronic Arts chief creative director Rich Hilleman is heading to Amazon Game Studios. The EA veteran departed the company in May and posted on Facebook that "Many of you wished me well in mid-May as I left EA. Some of you wanted to know what I was going to do next. It’s time to use these hands again. Today I join a number of old friends, and some new ones as part of Amazon’s Game Studios. I will be doing a number of things you will recognize, and some new things that will surprise you," he wrote. "I can’t wait until you see some of it. John Lee didn’t fade away, and I won’t either."
Gaming Corps named Magnus Kolaas as its new CEO, taking over for Nicklas Dunham. Kolaas will focus on supporting the sales efforts in both gaming and gambling, managing the company’s marketing, building the organization and at the same time looking at opportunities to improve efficiency.
GAMING SPOTLIGHT- Trailers that struck a chord. PlayStation VR offers room with a view.
Sony shored up anticipation for PlayStation VR with this week’s trailer that "transports you to a new world of unexpected gaming experiences" with peeks at the likes of Farpoint, PlayStation VR Worlds, and RIGS Mechanized Combat League. Meanwhile, Polygon spotted that the space requirement for PlayStation VR is a suggested 9.8 feet by 6.2 feet, according to the Sony website. Click here for the video.
ON THIS DAY in 2015: Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 released.
Trivia: Name the character pictured above. (Email email@example.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which gaming brand featured the slogan “Now you’re playing with power”? Answer: Nintendo. Kudos: Jayme Cangelosi-Carat/NY; Danny Araque/NY; John McHugh/Myrtle Beach; Louis Lewow-FITE TV/Atlanta; Brian Terwilliger-WWE Network/Stamford; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Julie Reuter/Adelaide.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | eSports @VegasandVine
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JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC HELP DESK MGR ANALYST/ION TV/West Palm Beach FL: Support of Traffic System, Integrations and Analytics Reporting. 3+ yrs in related functions. OSI or other Traffic System exp req’d. Exc comm skills & able to work fast paced & independently. Apply to: Jobs@ionmedia.com (8/11)
JOB OPENING: MGR, SR ANALYST TV RESEARCH/CAA/LA: Produce written analysis & presentations for represented properties for brdcst/cbl/synd/OTT programs. Min 3-5 yrs exp TV rsch related to synd TV pref’d. Brdcst/cble ntwk exp a +. BA deg in comm or related field. Full info/apply HERE (8/11)
JOB OPENING: PRODUCTION MANAGER/Discovery/NYC: Outgoing solutions creator w/top notch communication skills to ensure content is delivered to Discovery nets on time, on budget and on brand. Manage multiple projects from development through delivery. 5 yrs exp and exp in long form content. Full info/apply HERE (8/11)
JOB OPENING: PROJECT MANAGER/Accelerated Growth Partners/Stamford CT: Business dvlpmnt advisors co. looking for mgr of client programs & to play key role in bus. dvlpmnt initiatives. Strong writing skills a must & creative/design/social media exp a +. 1-2 yrs agency, sports mktg exp. Resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org (8/10)
JOB OPENING: MARKETING MGR/Spotlight Cinema Networks/NYC: Resp for providing strategic sales support, dvlpng & executing mktg programs. Serve as a key liaison between mktg & sales teams. BA deg req’d & 3 – 5 yrs of mktg exp in a media sales org, w/specific focus directly supporting a sales team. Resumes HERE (8/10)
JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PROD/PRODUCER, SPIKE BRAND CREATIVE/NYC: Freelance position to Support EP’s & Creative Dir. Help dvlp/prod innovative & creative promos, content & campaigns for scripted series. 5-7 yrs exp TV or Dig. Directing/writing/prod exp for TV/content/advrtsng for scripted. Resume HERE (8/10)
JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST/ANALYST RESEARCH & ANALYTICS (PROJECT)/A+E Networks/NY: Support research divisions in devlpmt of reports, presentations & strategies pertinent in positioning A+E brands on various multimedia platforms. Full Info/Apply HERE (8/9)
JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR-DIGITAL COMMS/DISCOVERY/SAN FRAN: PR professional w/Corp Comms team to support Digital Media divisions. Dev & exe comm strategies, press plans/announcements, speaking engagements & award wins while lev digital media expertise. 7-10 yrs exp. Apply (8/9)
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCER/FOOD NETWORK/NY: Create & edit & review social media video for Snapchat Discover. Prev social media video exp req. Organized, strong project mgmt skills, exp w/Premier, AfterEffects, DSLR. Apply (8/9)
JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASST/FUSE Media/NY: Recent grad w/previous ad sales/adv internship exp. to asst ad sales dept. Strong Excel & multi-tasking a +. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills. Apply (8/9)
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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, VIDEO PRODUCT/NBCUniversal/EAST COAST: Product lead for nxt generation dig vid exp, roadmap, + enhancements; inclds TVE product + strgy. 5+ yrs of successful product mngmt w/deep OTT understanding. Apply (8/9)
JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/GSN/SANTA MONICA: promote & sell inv on GSNTV & GSN Games Platform w/min of 4 yrs industry exp. Send cov letter & resume to email@example.com (8/6)
JOB OPENING: COMMUNITY MGR/GSN/SANTA MONICA: Support original programming & mng various social communities in our mktg dept. Creating & posting content daily & monitoring all GSN properties. 2-4 yrs direct social marketing exp. Send cov letter & resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (8/6)
JOB OPENING: MKTG PROJECT MGR/Investigation Discovery/MD: Savvy marketer+ innovative thinker to manage multiplatform cmpgns, leverage across social/dig platforms, & reinforce brand strategy. Strong project mgmt skills, exp w/social/digital cmpgns. 3-5+ yrs exp. APPLY! (8/6)
JOB OPENING: VP, Sched & Acq/History/NY: Manage all aspects of sched, inc daily, wkly & qtrly scheds that will maximize ratings & inc profits. 7+ yrs cable and/or brdcst sched & prgm mgmt. exp. Apply: www.aenetworks.com/career.html (8/6)
JOB OPENING: MGR, MEDIA DISTRIBUTION/MP & SILVA/NY: Achieve sales goals & revenue generation by initiating leads & negotiating agreements. 5 yrs exp selling media & sports platforms req in media distribution & sales strategies across TV, Digital Media, OTT. In-depth market assessments. More info & resume here (8/6)
JOB OPENING: PAID SEARCH LEAD/Dish Network/Englewood CO: Define/mng projects to improve the effectiveness & knwldg base of DISH’s retail partners in regards to search programs. BA deg mktg, bus. or related field & min 2-4 yrs exp in digital mktg; or equivalent comb of education & exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/6)
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MKTG LEAD, INDIRECT/Dish Network/Englewood CO: Liaising between DISH’s partner mktg team, our partner media agency, and digital marketing teams. BA deg mktg, Business, or related field, and a minimum of 2-4 yrs exp in digital mktg; or equivalent comb of education & exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/6)
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OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
Optimization – Use diagnostic tools to examine current content, game performance, and identify areas for improvement.
Senior Technical Artist
Works with artists and other graphics programmers to design and implement world class rendering features.
Senior Graphics Programmer
Create a wide variety of additional concepts including creature design, hard surface props, and vehicles.
Senior Concept Artist
Join a world-class group of software engineers, artists, writers, animators and designers who are continually creating and shipping world-class social entertainment experiences.
Regularly ship a variety of products from small internal tools to large-scale web applications used by millions of people per month.
Software Engineer – Web Applications
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of an existing network codebase.
Senior Network Programmer
Turtle Rock Studios
Lake Forest CA
Work with the Art Director, Concept team and Character team to develop high quality assets.
Senior Character Artist
Turtle Rock Studios
Lake Forest CA
Collaboration with season lead writer on story creation, and to establish playable roles and interactivity.
San Rafael CA
Experience with web analytics, real time monitoring and alerting, performance trending, and capacity planning.
Senior Full-Stack Engineer
San Rafael CA
Possess the ability to effectively collaborate with a wide-range of development team members outside of their direct discipline to optimally achieve artistic goals and implementation.
Senior Environment Artist
San Mateo CA
Assist the audio designers with the creation of cutting edge audio environments within technical requirements.
Work with developers and product owners to identify and implement new features as well as improve existing functionality and performance.
Senior Software Engineer – Client
Ensure all assets across various channels, departments, and external partners remain consistent and align with strategic marketing goals.
Santa Monica CA
Create environmental layouts in the form of simplified level geometry, and then perform extensive level play-testing and layout iteration.
Graphic Designer (Single Player)
Santa Monica CA
Primary ownership and communication of the global project budgeting for all assigned projects.
Lead QA Tester
San Diego CA
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