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ESE Entertainment Inc. (“ESE” or the “Company”) (TSXV: ESE) (OTCQB: ENTEF) is pleased to announce that its media production company, Frenzy sp. z.o.o. ("Frenzy"), will produce the Polish broadcast of one of the most prestigious esports tournaments - VALORANT Champions 2021. The tournament will be held from December 1 to December 12, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The tournament will be broadcasted on the Polsat Games linear television channel owned by Cyfrowy Polsat S.A. The VALORANT Champions 2021 is considered to be the most prestigious tournament in the entire Valorant esports ecosystem. Teams from Europe, both Americas and Asia have been competing for a spot in the World Championship tournament since March 2021. 16 teams that qualified to the final tournament will compete for the first ever Champion title and for their share in a $700,000 prize pool.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. has released its financial results for Q1 2022, which ended Sept. 30, 2021, and provided a corporate update. Revenue was $35.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $19.8 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $15.3 million (77%). The majority of this increase over the comparative period in 2021 is related to growth in production service projects and due to the delivery of the live-action series Strays for CBC. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $4.8 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $1.5 million (31%). Free cash flow was $3.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $1.2 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $2.2 million (183%).
The Chinese government has blocked Tencent from updating any of its existing apps and mobile games or launching new ones. The South China Morning Post reports the measure is part of a "temporary administrative guidance" and that the nation's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has ordered app stores and other platforms to prevent Tencent from releasing updates or new apps as of yesterday. In a statement, Tencent said it has "regular cooperation with relevant government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance," adding that all apps "remain functional and available for download." Tencent currently publishes more than 100 mobile games in China as well as over 70 broader apps.
The Roblox Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Roblox content creator Benjamin Robert Simon a.k.a. Ruben Sim for leading a "cybermob" that, among other things, posts "false and misleading terrorist threats." As reported by Polygon, this lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, November 23 and alleges that Simon "commits and encourages unlawful acts designed to injure Roblox and its users." The Roblox Company is looking to collect $1.6 million in damages and is suing Simon for fraud, breach of contract and four other counts. Despite Simon being banned for years from Roblox, he has found a way in by "hacking" and using accounts created by other users. He was originally banned for "harassing users and using racist and homophobic slurs, as well as for sexual harassment and uploading photos of Adolf Hitler, Roblox's lawyers said."
Peloton’s pandemic bubble is beginning to burst. Earlier this month, the wildly popular at-home cycling brand, which had a surge in sales during covid-19 lockdowns, had its stock plunge by about 35 percent as revenue projections soured and its bricks-and-mortar competitor Planet Fitness announced gym memberships had nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. “It was a perfect storm,” said Daniel McCarthy, assistant professor of marketing at Emory University, who has studied Peloton extensively since its initial public offering in 2019. “People are cycling back — no pun intended — to gyms, boot camps and spin classes, so the big question for Peloton is this: Does it have enough hooks to retain its current and future subscribers?”
Waysun has acquired a majority stake in mobile games publisher and developer Boss Bunny Games, for an undisclosed sum. According to Pocket Gamer, Dubai-based Boss Bunny will become Waysun's publishing arm for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Boss Bunny co-founder Geraint Bungay will be stepping down from his role as CEO, with the mobile games company's chairwoman Aziza Alhamadi taking over the role. Bungay will remain as a member of the board. Waysun is a US-based publisher and game services provider with offices in Canada, the UK, Israel and China. Following the acquisition, CEO Aly Yip highlighted that MENAT has become a "vital market in the global gaming industry."
If you know anything about the relationship between record labels and artists, you know artists typically get the worse end of the deal. Mega-stars are rare, and so record labels hold on to as much of their earnings as possible to finance all the swings they take and miss. (Also, to maximize their profits.) This is a reliable source of frustration for lots of people, but especially the mega-stars, some of whom become famous in part due to their friction with labels: Prince wrote “slave” on his face to protest his treatment at the hands of Warner Bros.; Taylor Swift is now re-recording all her old albums after her former label sold the material out from underneath her. Before the year 2000 or so, labels had all the leverage here. They controlled the production and distribution of records and CDs; they had the money and relationships needed for promotion. Occasionally, an alternative artist would strike out on their own and start an independent label. But for the most part, the major record labels controlled the industry.
Less than a year after acquiring short-form video platform Dubsmash, Reddit is shuttering the service’s standalone app. When Reddit bought Dubsmash–a Brooklyn-based, TikTok-esque lip-syncing challenger turned social platform that’s popular with Black and Latinx creators–in December 2020, it said the plan was to integrate Dubsmash’s video creation tools into its own site, while having Dubsmash retain a separate brand and app. Now, however, it says that “In line with completing this integration, February 22, 2022, will be Dubsmash’s last day as a platform.” On that day, Dubsmash will go offline, and its apps will disappear from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Already downloaded versions of the app will stop functioning, Reddit said in a post announcing the shuttering.
Macy’s department stores might be closed this Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean the company has run out of things to sell. The retailer is auctioning off 10 one-of-a-kind NFTs to mark the 95th year of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Each NFT references a parade balloon from decades past, going back to a black and white toy soldier from the 1920s. Also featured is an elf character from the 2000s and a spaceman from the 1950s, who lost an arm in the 1955 parade after colliding with a lamppost (the NFT version is fully inflated). Proceeds from the auction benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with current bids generating tens of thousands of dollars. The auction ends on November 30th.
Spotify is the latest platform to incorporate the TikTok format, following successful adaptations by the likes of YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat in the form of Shorts, Reels, and Spotlight. Spotify is testing a version of the format that would ostensibly serve as a way for users to discover new music via an endless vertical scroll of music videos. The feature, aptly dubbed Discover, enables users to scroll through clips and either ‘like’ (and add to a list of liked songs) or skip. A three-dot menu also brings up additional information about each track. The feature appears as the fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom of the app, Techcrunch reports.
Shanghai-based publisher Moonton is set to kick off the third iteration of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)’s World Championship, otherwise known as the M3 World Championship, in December. The event will take place offline, at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, with teams from across the globe taking part. The marquee tournament features a prize pool of $800,000 (~£597,160), which is almost three times more than the previous year. With the mobile MOBA space heating up since the arrival of League of Legends: Wild Rift, the M3 World Championship is an important juncture for the scene and is expected to set both the pace and tone for the future of the title. According to Esports Charts, MLBB saw a peak of 3 million viewers at the M2 World Championship. At the time, it put MLBB in second place of the world’s most-watched esports event, right after the League of Legends World Championship 2019, which garnered 3.9 million peak viewers.
Jesse Lingard-owned esports organisation JLINGZ esports has partnered with video platform Recast. The agreement will see fans given access to regular exclusive JLINGZ esports content on Recast, such as gaming highlights and insights. Moreover, the organisation will utilise the video platform’s ‘unique’ monetisation model. As a result of the deal, 85 percent of the revenue generated by Recast will be passed to the rights holder, JLINGZ Esports, while 15 percent is retained by the platform, Esports Insider understands. JLINGZ Esports is a UK-based esports organisation owned by Manchester United and England footballer Jesse Lingard. The organisation currently competes in FIFA and Rainbow Six Siege.
Esports and gaming coaching platform Metafy has announced the acquisition of its former competitor GamersRdy. According to the release, the purchase is aligned with both company’s mission to ‘help players improve at the games they love through coaching, training and development’. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. As a result of the purchase, GamersRdy Owner and Head of Experience Alex Gilmore will transition to the role of Product Manager. In his new role, Gilmore will be responsible for helping build ‘the future and growth of asynchronous learning and coaching’.