Week in Review: HTC Mobile VR on Horizon, Newzoo Projects eSports Growth, Digital Games Market to Hit $100 Billion in 2017

Image Credit: HTC via TechCrunch

Image Credit: HTC via TechCrunch

Digital/Mobile News

  • HTC’s mobile VR solution is said to be coming before the end of the year. It will work with the company’s new top-end smartphone, the U Ultra, but will be more than just a headset that lets the smartphone do most of the work. HTC is increasingly focusing on VR as one of its largest product categories, and launched the dedicated HTC Vive headset in partnership with Valve last year. (TechCrunch)
  • ClanPlay is providing a messaging platform for clan-based mobile games. This platform makes it easy for mobile game developers to add messaging features to their clan-based games. It includes the messaging systems for players to communicate, plan their strategies, recruit newcomers, engage in diplomacy with other clans, and share their accomplishments. ClanPlay hopes to grow the audience of people who play clan-based games. (VentureBeat)

 

Image Credit: Valve via VentureBeat

Image Credit: Valve via VentureBeat

Gaming News

  • eSports are projected to generate $696 million in revenues in 2017, according to Newzoo. That is year-over-year growth of 41 percent, and most of that expansion will come from brands spending on ads and sponsorships. Newzoo’s report also claims that the audience for eSports will expand to 385 million people this year. That includes 191 million enthusiasts, with the rest of that total audience comprised of more casual fans. (VentureBeat) 
  • The World Electronic Sports Games just wrapped up in China, awarding $5.5 million in prizes. Thanks to the open auditions, the event saw tens of thousands of gamers compete. Alisports wanted to make the WESG the Olympics of video games; the opening ceremony saw the players parade on to stage holding their respective country's flag. Over 200 countries/regions were part of the wider rounds of competition, and the final itself drew in a crowd of 6000 supporters. (Gamespresso)

 

Image Credit: PG/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

Image Credit: PG/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

Business News

  • The digital games market is set to see sales worth $100 billion this year. Juniper Research's annual report into the games market predicts the video game market on PC and mobile will grow to earn $132 billion in total revenues by 2021. Juniper named Supercell as the market leader, and found that the sector's growth is being driven predominantly by mobile gaming and the "free to play" (F2P) model. (CNBC)

President's Day Weekend Golf Tournament!

To celebrate President's Day, plus the introduction of new levels in Mini Golf, we're running a special 7-hole event this weekend.

The top winner will receive an Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 #1 putter!

Even if you don't have the highest score, there are still opportunities to win some awesome golf prizes. The second place finisher will receive a box of 12 Skillz-branded Nike Mojo Lucky #7 golf balls, and players who finish between third to tenth place will win a sleeve of three balls.

This special live event can be found in the 'GAMES' tab of the Mini Golf app. So what are you waiting for? The tournament ends Monday at 10:00pm PST!

NOTE: This special event starts at 10:00am PST on Sunday, February 19, 2017 and ends at 10:00pm PST on Monday, February 20, 2017. We will contact the winners of the event directly for address verification. Delivery will take up to 2 weeks if you live in the continental United States and up to 3 weeks if you live outside the continental United States. Odyssey and Nike are not sponsors or involved with Skillz in any way.

Compete in Our Special Valentine's Day Event!

Win $175 in prizes, plus custom Skillz bowling pin keychains!

Win $175 in prizes, plus custom Skillz bowling pin keychains!

Happy Valentine's Day! Love is in the air, and so is the excitement for the United States Bowling Congress Open Championship that begins this weekend! To celebrate both of these events, we're hosting a special tournament in Strike! Bowling today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST.

The top finishers in this "Lovers Lane" tournament will receive winnings based on their ranking in the event:

1st: $45
2nd: $30
3rd: $20
4th: $15
5th: $10
6th-10th: $5
11th-15th: $3
16th-20th: $1

In addition to the cash prizes, the top 50 players in this event will win this commemorative Skillz bowling pin keychain!

So what are you waiting for? Visit games.skillz.com to download "Strike! Bowling" for your iOS or Android mobile device. Once you open the app, tap the "Games" tab at the bottom of the page. You should see our special "Lovers Lane" event listed as the first option at the top of the page.

Show of your bowling skills and enjoy the holiday!

 

NOTE: This special event starts at 10:00 a.m. PST on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 and ends at 10:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. We will contact the top 50 players of the event directly for address verification. Delivery of your keychain will take up to two weeks if you live in the continental United States and up to three weeks if you live outside the continental United States.

Week in Review: "Faker" Sets Twitch Stream Viewer Record, NBA and Take-Two Partner on eSports League, Snap Files for IPO

Image Credit: Riot Games via ESPN

Image Credit: Riot Games via ESPN

Digital/Mobile News

  • YouTube has rolled out mobile live streaming to its biggest creators. Following a small rollout last year, YouTube says it's ready to offer mobile live streaming to anyone with over 10,000 subscribers, with a wider rollout slated in the future. The functionality remains unchanged – you can still set a custom title, enable or disable live chat, and choose to send a notification to all of your subscribers. (Engadget)

 

Image Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images via Engadget

Image Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images via Engadget

Gaming News

  • The NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software are partnering on a new "NBA 2K" eSports league. The actual NBA franchises will own eSports teams competing for the championship. There's no word on which teams will be first to own one of the 8-12 initial teams in the "NBA 2K eLeague." Each will feature five human players and the plan is to eventually have one for each of the league's 30 teams. Competitions will air both online and in television broadcasts. (Engadget) 
  • Twitch has launched Communities to help gamers organize around their shared interests. Designed to cater to users’ unique interests, this section contains hundreds of categories, including cosplay, drawing, painting, comedy, food and music. Users can also set up their own communities. Inside them, there’s also a “stream wall” which displays the live content from creators who are choosing to broadcast to the community. (TechCrunch)
  • Psyonix announced a $2.5 million investment into Rocket League eSports over the course of 2017. This includes $1 million for prize pools, a more meaningful presence at community events, onsite events at major gaming competitions, a collegiate "Rocket League" scene and more. Psyonix also promises tournaments for the Xbox side of the player base (in addition to its PC events), as well as charity events throughout the year. (ESPN)

 

Image Credit: Snap via TechCrunch

Image Credit: Snap via TechCrunch

Business News

  • Sega Sammy's sales and profits are both on the up for the nine months ended December 31. Company-wide sales rose by 16.6 percent to $2.54 billion YoY, while profits increased by 462 percent to $324.9 million across the same period. Rising video game sales were partly responsible for that upturn, with digital games pulling in $311.6 million over the past nine months, an increase of 6 percent. (Gamasutra)
  • Facebook had another strong quarter in Q4 2016, earning $8.8 billion in revenue from 1.8 billion monthly users, up 3.9 percent this quarter. Mobile now makes up 84 percent of its ad revenue, accounting for $7.2 billion. Profit reached $3.6 billion with revenue growth at 177 percent YoY, compared to $2.4 billion last quarter. Revenue was up 51 percent YoY compared to 56 percent last quarter and 59 percent in Q2. Facebook raked in $27.6 billion in total revenue in 2016. (TechCrunch)
  • Zynga has expanded its board and created a litigation committee. The company added two seats to the board and appointed Janice Roberts and Carol Mills to fill them. The two new directors will have wide-ranging authority in their new roles. They can hire attorneys and advisors, investigate, request documents, and prepare reports to make recommendations about how the company should proceed. (VentureBeat)
  • A jury has awarded ZeniMax $500 million in its Oculus VR lawsuit. A jury in Texas awarded ZeniMax Media $500 million after finding that Palmer Luckey (and by extension Oculus) violated the terms of a non-disclosure agreement. The jury also found Oculus guilty on charges related to false designation and copyright infringement. Oculus was found not guilty on charges that the company stole trade secrets to create the Rift headset. (TechCrunch)

Week in Review: Mobile Gaming Revenue Matches Box Offices, New "Hearthstone" Tournament, Hutch Raises $5.5 Million

Image Credit: Nintendo via VentureBeat

Image Credit: Nintendo via VentureBeat

Digital/Mobile News

  • You can now download the ESL Play app on Android and iOS. Over 6 million members have played in ESL Play online cups, and now users will be able to better navigate the platform directly from their mobile devices. Users will have access to the competitions, with tournaments and cups in 50 different gaming titles. Additional features are incoming such as map voting, game integration and more. (eSports Insider)
  • Take-Two Interactive is moving into mobile gaming with the purchase of Social Point. Take-Two is the developer behind "Grand Theft Auto" that once rebuffed a $2 billion acquisition offer from EA. It has acquired Social Point, a publisher based out of Barcelona referred to as the “Zynga of Europe," for $250 million with additional earn-outs of up to $25.9 million. Up to now, Take-Two has focused more on console and PC gaming. (TechCrunch)
  • "Pokémon Go" has surpassed $1 billion in revenue after launching in July, according to SensorTower. For comparison, "Clash Royale," another app closing in on $1 billion in revenue, grossed $550 million in its first seven months. Although daily revenue on "Pokémon Go" has fallen since its launch, the game is still pulling in up to $2.5 million every day. (Business Insider)

 

Image Credit: Blizzard via Engadget

Image Credit: Blizzard via Engadget

Gaming News

  • EA is partnering with ESPN for "FIFA" eSports broadcasts. The "FIFA" Ultimate Team Championship Series competition will be the first gaming competition to appear on the ESPN flagship network. Meanwhile, the "Madden" NFL Championship Series and "Madden" Bowl will be broadcast on NFL Network and Univision. (VentureBeat)

 

Image Credit: Hutch via TechCrunch

Image Credit: Hutch via TechCrunch

Business News

  • Glu Mobile has appointed ex-EA GM Mike Olsen as its new Senior VP of StudiosOlsen will be responsible for building the company’s team of developers to work on new projects. He joins after 20 years with EA spanning across PC, console and mobile. During his time at EA, Olsen led the company's Capital Games studio and worked as Senior Creative Director at Mythic Entertainment. (PocketGamer.biz)