October 9, 2020

Today’s Industry Updates

CANADIAN COMPANIES
  • Rex Opportunity Corp. Announces Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders Will be Available via Conference Call – Rex Opportunity Corp. (“Rex” or the “Company”), announces that its upcoming annual and special meeting of shareholders (“Meeting”), which will be held Friday, October 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (Toronto time) will be available by conference call. Rex urges shareholders to vote in advance using one of the methods described in the management information circular mailed to shareholders and posted to SEDAR on September 23, 2020. In order to comply with government and public health directions regarding COVID-19 social distancing and to mitigate risk to health of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, the Meeting will be available via conference call at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 16, 2020.

GAMING
  • Voodoo to release mobile games in China through The9 – French hypercasual mobile game maker Voodoo will soon see its games published in China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer and publisher The9. According to the company’s website, The9 has obtained licenses to publish two of Voodoo’s games already, though it was not specified which ones. A third game is currently being discussed for the licensing agreement as well. The9 currently runs games such as Planetside 2, Ragnarok Online 2, and others in China, and previously had the license to World of Warcraft in China before NetEase took it over in 2009. This will mark Voodoo’s first foray into the Chinese market, and follows an investment from Chinese gaming giant Tencent back in August.
  • Embracer Group issues new shares to raise money for future acquisitions – Embracer Group has completed the issue of 35,689,907 new Class B shares in its company, bringing in over SEK 5.75 billion ($648 million) toward future acquisitions. Alongside the issuance, the company’s co-founders have opted to sell over 9 million existing shares at the same price, bringing in proceeds of SEK 5.78 million ($652,000). Canada Pension Plan Investment Board was among the purchasers of the new share, paying approximately $2.1 billion ($237 million) for a portion of the issuance, and Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors’ holding company, Lars Wingefors AB, will consolidate shares from the other Embracer co-founders worth approximately SEK 5.8 billion ($654 million), with the co-founders becoming direct owners in Lars Wingefors AB.
  • AMD Launches AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors: The Fastest Gaming CPUs in the World – Today, AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) introduced the highly anticipated AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop processor lineup powered by the new “Zen 3” architecture. Offering up to 16 cores, 32 threads and 72 MB of cache in the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors dominate in heavily threaded workloads and power efficiency, while the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor offers up to a 26% generational uplift in gaming performance. With extensive improvements throughout the core including a unified 8-core complex with direct access to 32MB L3 cache, the new AMD “Zen 3” core architecture delivers a 19% generational increase in instructions per cycle (IPC), the largest since the introduction of “Zen” processors in 2017.

CONTENT CREATORS & INFLUENCERS
  • Microsoft’s Mixer Streamers Flock to Twitch Instead of Facebook – When Microsoft Corp. shut down Mixer in July, the company encouraged the livestreaming service’s stars to move to Facebook Inc. Instead, the majority have migrated to Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch, including Tyler Blevins, the gamer known as Ninja. Twitch’s market share of hours streamed jumped to 91% in the third quarter, up 15% from the second quarter, according to a report from streaming-software provider Streamlabs, which used data from Stream Hatchet. Before its shutdown, Mixer held a 14% share of livestreaming content. Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming’s market share for hours streamed increased by only 1%, and YouTube Gaming’s actually fell by 1.2% in the third quarter.
  • HOW BRANDS CAN WORK WITH TWITCH AS AMAZON MAKES ITS MARK – Twitch is a young-skewing streaming platform, speaking in a coded internet language most adults can’t follow, but there is one area in which it’s starting to grow grow up—advertising. As with any bleeding-edge internet community, with a raucous fanbase and a corporate parent like Amazon, there are bound to be some inter-generational skirmishes when the brands come knocking. Amazon and Twitch are in the middle of what’s become a familiar dance, a large internet platform trying to nurture its hipper acquisition without ruining what its fanbase loves about the service in the first place. For years, Amazon kept its distance from Twitch, allowing it to explore marketing and advertising through its own ad sales team, and it still is. But as Twitch matures—and shows impressive growth—Amazon is starting to meddle. Amazon is assimilating Twitch into its ad platform.
  • Streamer loses it after spending $2K to get Genshin Impact character – Twitch streamer Lacari went absolutely ballistic after finally acquiring a rare Genshin Impact character after he spent a whopping $2,000 trying to do so. Lacari’s journey to unlock the five-star character Keqing had him spending dollar after dollar on banner after banner on the Chinese game with no such luck. After his bad luck continued and the streamer had spent over $1,500 trying to get Keqing, his friends began to mock him over chat. “Lacari, do you know the chances of getting a five-star?” one asked while the Twitch star hung his head in disappointment. “It’s 0.6%.”

ESPORTS
  • IBM teams up with Activision Blizzard to manage tech for the Overwatch League – IBM will manage the technology for Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League, a sign esports is starting to demand the most sophisticated cloud and AI technologies. With esports on the road to becoming a mainstream phenomenon alongside traditional sports, we can expect to see more of this kind of marriage in the future. In a multi-year deal, IBM is teaming up with Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest players in the game industry. IBM will provide cloud, Watson AI, and machine learning for the Overwatch League and become a presenting partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals. The technology company will power interactive and analytical content for the league, which is one of the powerhouses of the $950 million esports industry.
  • ReKTGlobal raises $35 million from Summit Partners – Global esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal, the parent company of Rogue and London Royal Ravens, has raised $35 million (£27 million) in funding. The debt capital raise came from Summit Partners, a private equity and investment firm that oversees more than $21 billion (£16.2 billion) in total assets. Amish Shah, Co-founder of ReKTGlobal, commented in a release: “We are thrilled to announce this news and look forward to a long-term partnership with Summit Partners. We believe our dedicated teams and strategic partnerships separate us from other esports organisations, and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome Summit Partners as our debt capital partner.”
  • Newzoo Revises Esports Revenue Forecast Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Impact – Gaming and esports analytics firm Newzoo has revised its 2020 esports revenue estimates due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, particularly with regards to live events. The revised estimate has been reduced from $973.9M USD globally to $950.3M. Newzoo (which is part of Leaders Group, the portfolio of which includes The Esports Observer) noted that while neither supply (number of organizers) nor demand (size of the audience) has decreased, the number of canceled or postponed events necessitated an adjustment.

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