VRstudios, a provider of commercial, large-scale, free-roaming, multiplayer VR solutions for Location-Based Entertainment businesses, announced the debut of VRcade PowerPlay, described as a “flagship, next-generation, competitive esport built specifically for LBE Arenas.” VRcade PowerPlay enables unrestricted physical action across the entire arena playing field and encourages incorporating competitive strategies and teamwork. “Everyone recognizes that eSports are increasingly popular and we believe that the release of VRcade PowerPlay is literally a ‘game-changer.’ It’s the next generation of eSports that adds true athletic activity over a large format playing field, and it can be deployed by any LBE operator,” said Kevin Vitale, VRstudios’ CEO.
Upstart streaming platform Caffeine announced a deal with ESL to bring live events, highlights, replays, as well as a brand new ESL talk show to the platform beginning with IEM World Championship Katowice, which will be livestreamed on Caffeine.tv/ESL_Live from March 2-4.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports signed a partnership agreement with Gamer Sensei to connect competitive collegiate esports players with a curated collection of professional coaches. The partnership between NACE and Gamer Sensei will better enable colleges and universities launching esports departments or expanding the number of games they compete in to find qualified coaches to lead these collegiate teams to victory.
Maestro is debuting Impact Scores, described as a brand and agency-focused rating system that applies metrics to interactive live streams, measuring viewership, engagement, viewer hours and monetization with a final score out of a possible 100.
Cynopsis Esports is partnering with business publications Chief Marketer and Event Marketer to launch the Esports Business Summit (EBS)—a “first-of-its-kind conference, exhibition and networking experience for those interested in pursuing or expanding business opportunities in the burgeoning esports industry,”; featuring amazing networks events, sessions covering competition, production, sponsorship, venues and investment as well as a dedicated evening for the industry’s top esports awards. The event runs from Las Vegas from Oct. 1-3 and features an unprecedented board of advisors that include executives representing publishers, leagues, platforms, teams, brands and talent. A big thank you to:
- Pete Vlastelica, CEO, Activision Blizzard’s MLG
- Brendan Donohue, Managing Director, NBA 2K League
- Robert Occhialini, VP of Esports Products & Technology, ELEAGUE/Turner Sports
- Paul Brewer, Vice President, Global Sponsorships. ESL
- Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner, WESA
- Nicole Pike, Managing Director, Nielsen Esports, Nielsen
- Matt Lederer, SVP-Marketing Communications and Strategy, Comcast
- Josh Watson, Head of Esports, Psyonix
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, SVP, Lifestyle Marketing & Branded Entertainment, NCompass International
- Kurt Melcher, Executive Director-Esports, Intersport
- Michele Morrow, On-air host, executive producer, actress
- Ben Nichol, Head of Events and Business Development, NYXL
- Caleb Fox, Business Development Manager for Games & Esports, Microsoft
- Nathan Lindberg, Director of Esports at Twitch
Blizzard laid out plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of StarCraft, rolling out a slate of activations surrounding the event that includes: StarCraft is Life: A 20th Anniversary Celebration, a short film featuring StarCraft players from around the world sharing how the series has impacted their lives; a StarCraft Anniversary Live Stream; a Party Across Games; StarCraft Remastered; and salutes in other Blizzard games.
Ubisoft is adding video game development studio Blue Mammoth Games to its umbrella, subsequently adding fighting game Brawlhalla to its portfolio. The brawler is currently the most played fighting game on Steam and is among the top free-to-play games on PS4.
Find Your Grind, an organization dedicated to helping kids explore unconventional careers and alternative lifestyles, awarded its first ever esports scholarship to Jackson Liberty High School junior, Thomas Ferullo. FYG awarded the $5,000-scholarship to Ferullo at the John P. Stevens High School stop of the Jostens Renaissance Find Your Grind Tour, following its recent partnership with esports infrastructure company ReKTGlobal.
Superdata reports that the VR/XR is on the cusp of acceleration, driven by augmented reality and mixed reality, and will reach a combined $7.7 billion in 2018 across hardware and software. AR and MR revenue will more than double to $3.2B this year, with most of these earnings coming from mobile AR apps like Niantic’s Pokemon GO and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Indie publisher Kongregate is launching a new downloadable games platform titled Kartridge. The store will be launched on PC this summer, offering premium and free-to-play games, as well as ad-supported titles. Developers will also be able to create their own store pages for their games.
Nintendo slated a new Nintendo Direct presentation for today at 5p, dedicated to upcoming games for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch and running around 30 minutes. The presentation will run on YouTube and include Mario Tennis Aces for Switch, Detective Pikachu for Nintendo 3DS, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, Nintendo Labo, Project Octopath Traveler and Metroid Prime 4 for Nintendo Switch.
aXiomatic Gaming announced that Bruce Karsh, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, has joined the company as investor and Co-Executive Chairman. He will serve alongside: Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and Co-Owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers and MLS’s Los Angeles Football Club, Peter Guber; Majority Owner and Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis; and former hedge fund manager and current Owner and Chairman of NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeff Vinik.
Website esports.com named Arne Peters, formerly Vice President Strategic Relations at Turtle Entertainment GmbH, as an advisor to the platform. Philipp Geppert, co-founder of eSports.com, also switches to an advisory role, and Benjamin Fockersperger has departed the company.