Hitting its third anniversary this week, gamer chat platform Discord announced that the company now boasted 130 million users, swelling three times its numbers from a year ago. Overall, Discord reports 19 million daily active users sharing 530 million messages a day. Its largest server – Fortnite – leads with at 180k users. The growth comes on the heels of a new round of funding in April, which valued Discord at$1.65 billion, as well as news announcing the integration of Discord and Xbox
Fantasy sports pillar DraftKings reports that its fastest growing fantasy sport last year was esports, according to CNBC, reporting that entry fees for its League of Legends fantasy games were up 59% year over year. The company reports 2.5 million entries in League of Legends contests since it launched in 2015, despite not marketing the fantasy games.
Lots of investment news. First, global publishing platform, Minute Media, which recently launched esports brand DBLTAP, announced that it has raised $17 million in a Series F funding round that comprises of new investors, including Goldman Sachs and Vintage Investment Partners, as well as existing investors including Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and Qumra Capital. This brings Minute Media’s total funding to $77 million to-date.
Streaming platform Play2Live launched a venture fund with a focus on seed investments in gaming and esports projects. The initial value of the fund is $2M with a focus on projects from Eastern European countries and CIS. Each project will receive $50K to $150K of investment.
Esports fan engagement platform Quarterback has reportedly raised $2.3M in seed funding, with companies such as BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, and UpWest Labs buying in. Funding will be used for “further development of the platform and to accelerate the company’s growth on a global scale.”
Take-Two Interactive Software reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018, noting that net revenue hit $450.3 million, as compared to $571.6 million in last year’s fiscal fourth quarter. Recurrent consumer spending grew 42% year-over-year and accounted for 44% of total net revenue, while digitally-delivered net revenue grew 8% to $301.4 million.
A new study by the Entertainment Software Association found that more than two-thirds of American parents play video games with their children at least once a week. The report, titled 2018 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, found that 70% of parents believe video games have a positive influence on their children’s lives, and that the overwhelming majority of parents trust video game ratings and parental controls.
Sony’s E3 press conference will spotlight four titles, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden, on the PlayStation Blogcast, with deep dives into upcoming titles Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part II. The event is set to take place on June 11 at 6p PT and will be streamed on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and PlayStation’s website.
Speaking of which, Nintendo’s E3 showcase is opening the doors for fans to book play slots for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Attendees will have two experiences to choose from: they can either reserve a ticket to play against people casually “for fun,” or play “for glory” in a competitive elimination match. “We’re always looking to improve the ways people can maximize the fun they have with Nintendo at E3,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This year our focus is on the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game, and we want as many people as possible to give it a try.”
Rounding out the E3 news is the launch of Indie Heaven, presented by Good Shepherd, described as a new meet and greet event that will feature three days of demos across from the LA Convention Centre. The event will feature games and partners that include: Black Future ’88, Semblance, World War Z, Rune, Bendy and the Ink Machine, SoundSelf, Transcendent VR, Deep VR, Breath of Life, Microdose VR and DreamHack.
Hitting its second anniversary, Overwatch has now topped the 40 million player threshold, according to game director Jeff Kaplan in a developer update.
Following the announcement of the process to initiate a split of MTG into two companies, MTG and Nordic Entertainment Group, MTG has appointed new leadership team members for the new-look organization. The new MTG will now comprise MTG’s current esports (ESL, DreamHack and ESEA), online gaming (InnoGames and Kongregate) and digital video content (Zoomin.TV, Engage Digital Partners) operations, as well as other minority holdings (Comosa AG and BITKRAFT). Peter Norrelund will now serve as Co-CEO of DreamHack, working alongside the company’s current President and CEO Marcus Lindmark. Norrelund is currently EVP and CEO of MTG Sport and will continue to be an advisor to the President and CEO of Nordic Entertainment Group after the split.
Team Dignitas hired NBC Sports’ Michael Prindiville to serve as its new CEO, sources confirm following an ESPN report. Prindiville served as the co-creator and COO of the Universal Open as part of the company’s partnership with FACEIT. The team is applying for a franchise slot in the 2018 EU LCS, and seeking entry into the next Overwatch League season, according to the report.