October 8, 2020

Today’s Industry Updates

CANADIAN COMPANIES
  • TGS Esports Announces Intent to Acquire Canadian Esports and Digital Media Startup, Volcanic Media – TGS Esports Inc. (“TGS” or the “Company”) (TSXV: TGS) is pleased to announce that it has taken the next step in its growth strategy by executing a letter of intent dated October 1, 2020 (the “LOI”) to acquire Volcanic Media Inc. (“Volcanic”), a leader in scholastic and grassroots Canadian esports (the “Acquisition”). Volcanic was founded in 2018 and is the creator of the National Esports Scholastic League, a first of its kind initiative that works directly with school districts and educators to create various esports initiatives. To date Volcanic has worked with over 1000 high school students in 13 different cities spanning 6 school districts.
  • How FansUnite is using gaming technology to grow its audience base during the pandemic – The global COVID-19 pandemic caused runs on toilet paper and cleaning supplies, turned parents into homeschooling teachers, challenged — and sometimes killed — longstanding businesses, from restaurants to manufacturers to clothing retailers. But it also presented some enterprises an opportunity at a time when people were hunkering down in their homes — and because people were hunkering down in their homes. For FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS | OTC: FUNFF), a technology company providing online gaming solutions, both for consumers and other gaming businesses, the increase in the number of people looking to be entertained in their own homes accelerated its growth and revenue as well as its opportunities to expand into new markets.
  • CSE Esports New Listing: Gamesquare Esports Inc. (CSE: $GSQ.C) – The common shares of Gamesquare Esports Inc., previously listed as Magnolia Colombia Ltd. have been approved for listing on the CSE. Listing and disclosure documents will be available at www.thecse.com on the trading date. Gamesquare operates an esports agency supported by complementary media and technology to support a cast of influencers, players and on-screen talent in the gaming sector.

GAMING
  • Genshin Impact made $60m in its first week on mobile alone – MiHoYo’s open-world action-adventure title, Genshin Impact, grossed approximately $60 million during its first week on the App Store and Google Play alone. Sensor Tower reports that the game was the second-highest grossing title on mobile during its launch week, trailing Honor of Kongs — which grossed $64 million that week — and beating out PUBG Mobile — which saw $56 million. In China, where MiHoYo is based, Genshin Impact brought in $25 million in mobile spending on the App Store, with Google Play not available in the country. Japan was the second-highest spender that week at $17 million, and the US generated $8 million of all revenue.
  • Apple Arcade violates the same App Store policies that are keeping Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia off of iOS, says former App Store leader – On September 15, Microsoft launched a major coup in the video game business: The world’s first game streaming service with a built-in library, Netflix-style. For $15 a month, you can stream over 100 games to smartphones and tablets as part of Xbox Game Pass — but it isn’t available on Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone and iPad. The reason, according to the former Apple App Store director Phil Shoemaker, is because Apple’s own subscription service, Apple Arcade, is a direct competitor. “Apple’s gaming service, Apple Arcade, is a type of app that was ‘consistently disallowed from the store,’ when offered by third-party developers, but Apple allowed its own app in the store ‘even though it violates existing [App Store] guidelines,'”
  • My.Games buys a controlling stake in Deus Craft – My.Games has acquired a controlling stake in the mobile studio Deus Craft, in a deal that could be worth as much as $49 million. That will depend on the Russian developer reaching approximately $15 million in monthly revenue by the end of Q1 next year. My.Games will pay $14.1 million upfront for Deus Craft, with a further $35 million due in April 2021 if the studio can reach its earnout target. Either way, My.Games will own a 51.16% stake in the company, which has 70 employees spread across offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Novosibirsk.

CONTENT CREATORS & INFLUENCERS
  • Twitch staff accused of tricking streamer into promoting brands – Twitch streamers are speaking out against the broadcasting platform for attempting to promote brands within individual chats. Content creators are slamming the practice, especially since they have no control of removing the adverts from their channel. One longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer who goes by ‘The Black Hokage’ noticed a staffer had dropped a message in his Chat. The purpose of the text, sent by ‘newcryka,’ was to have the streamer acknowledge the listed brand with 400 Bits attached to the post. He immediately took issue with the move: “Yo, are you promoting something?… You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting sh*t in my Chat?”
  • Ocean Spray surprises Tik Tok star with a new cranberry-colored truck after his Fleetwood Mac video went viral – Ocean Spray is giving back after a TikTok video featuring one of their products exploded online. The video, posted by Nathan Apodaca — perhaps better known to some as 420doggface208 — was as simple as it comes: He rides a long board down the road, drinking Ocean Spray, while lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t crazy, but everyone went wild for the Idaho man’s vibe. Even Mick Fleetwood posted his own version of the video as the first post on his TikTok account. But there was a reason Apodaca was on that board — his car broke down and he had to get to work. “My car shuts off from time to time, and it shut off down the highway… I didn’t want to wait to flag someone down to get a jump. So I grabbed my juice and grabbed my board,” he told CNN on Wednesday.
  • YouTube Premium subscribers get a new perk with launch of testing program – YouTube  has long allowed its users to test new features and products before they go live to a wider audience. But in a recent change, YouTube’s latest series of experiments are being limited to those who subscribe to the Premium tier of YouTube’s service. Currently, paid subscribers are the only ones able to test several new product features, including one that allows iOS users to watch YouTube videos directly on the home screen. This is not the same thing as the Picture-in-Picture option that’s become available to app developers with iOS 14, to be clear. Instead, YouTube says this feature allows users who are scrolling on their YouTube home page to watch videos with the sound on while they scroll through their feed.

ESPORTS
  • G-Loot Raises $56M Financing, Prepares Its Public Listing for 2021 – Swedish esports competition platform G-Loot announced Wednesday that it secured a kr500M SEK ($56M USD) financing round that increases the company’s pre-money value to roughly $143M. Investors that participated in the investment include Club Network Investment (CNI), Inbox Capital, and Swedbank Robur, which previously led a kr230M ($26M) financing in March 2019. G-Loot, which was founded in 2015 and is also the organizer of the GLL Esports tournament brand, revealed that it will use a part of the investment proceeds to “expand its service across gaming platforms and create a strong, global brand.“ The company is currently preparing for a public listing in 2021.
  • Simplicity Esports acquires PLAYlive Nation gaming centre in Florida – Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company announced an agreement with one of its franchisees to acquire all of the assets of the PLAYlive Nation esports gaming centre St. Petersburg, Florida. PLAYlive Nation was acquired by and merged with Simplicity Gaming in 2019. The franchisee-run esports gaming centre, located in St. Petersburg’s Tyrone Square Mall, first opened in 2017. The franchise owner will receive 29,504 shares of restricted Simplicity Esports common stock in exchange for the location including furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, and customer list. The current staff will keep their jobs.
  • Tundra Esports Partners With TikTok, Kappa – London-based esports organization Tundra Esports revealed its new brand, alongside announcing partnerships with short-form video app TikTok and sportswear brand Kappa. Kappa has been named the FIFA esports organization’s “official sportive teamwear provider” and will produce Tundra’s new apparel line of jerseys and tracksuits, which will be worn by players and be made available for purchase online through Wild Thang. TikTok has been named Tundra’s “principal partner,” with the company’s logo appearing prominently on the front team’s jersey. Tundra and TikTok will also launch a special account for the team on the short-form video app, which will receive special promotion on the platform. Financial terms of these new partnerships were not disclosed.

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