Skillz Blog

Week in Review: Blizzard Opening Next eSports Stadium in LA, “Angry Birds” Maker Rovio Planning $2 Billion IPO, Facebook Expands eSports Streaming Video Offerings 


Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment via Forbes

Digital/Mobile News

  • Facebook has further expanded its eSports offerings through an exclusive streaming deal with developer Hi-Rez Studios and the World Esports Association (WESA). Facebook Live will now be the streaming home for all video content from the new Paladins Premier League. Earlier this year, Facebook signed similar deals with ESL and Wargaming to stream thousands of hours of video game tournaments per year, in order to directly compete with streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch. (Fortune)
  • Twitch is getting interactive features for streamers. Twitch Extensions will allow streamers to customize their channel by providing experiences that viewers can engage with, such as polls, music, leaderboards and more. That said, Twitch hasn’t revealed when it will be launching extensions, but said it would be “soon.” (Rolling Stone)
  • Supercell revealed its lack of interest in a ranked 2-v-2 mode and more news in its Reddit AMA. Supercell explained that part of the unranked mode’s appeal is its casual nature. The company also said that it wants to make all cards somewhat useful in play so that cards are never complete throwaways during combat, and hinted at “some really cool modes” coming in the game’s next update. (Dot eSports)
  • A new “Game of Thrones” mobile game is turning the world into Westeros. “Game of Thrones: Conquest,” developed by Turbine, is an MMO strategy game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and HBO Global Licensing. The goal of the game as “navigating the dangerous political landscape of Westeros and claiming the Iron Throne.” It will be available later this year on iOS and Android, but you can pre-register now to receive an exclusive bundle. (Nerdist)

Gaming News

  • Blizzard will open its next eSports stadium in LA on October 7th. Back in March, the gaming titan opened its first arena in Taipei. The new LA stadium will be built right by its headquarters in Burbank Studios, with its first event being The “Overwatch” Contenders’ first season playoffs. Tickets for the playoffs are on sale here. (Engadget)
  • Cycling eSports are taking off, with an event to take place in Paris. The third cycling eSports event run by Cycligent will take place at the National Velodrome in Paris in mid-September. The venue is designed for traditional cycling events, but in this event, the riders will compete on stationary bikes as their performance is brought to life in a virtual environment. Fans will be able to both attend the event and watch it streamed live. (SportTechie)
  • Glu Mobile has licensed “Deer Hunter” for a console game developed by GameMill. “Deer Hunter Reloaded” will be a first-person shooter focused on tracking and hunting animals in the while. It’s the first time Glu has been involved in a console release. GameMill is best known for its licensed console games such as “Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers.” It also developed a mobile title called “Rapala Daily Catch.” (PocketGamer.biz)
  • Eye tracking is revealing where ELEAGUE gamers look on the screen. The eSports brand, run by Turner Sports and IMG, is incorporating a number of emerging technologies to provide fans, broadcasters, and players deeper insight into the workings of eSports. ELEAGUE has partnered with Dell Gaming, Alienware, and gaming tech company Tobii to bring biometrics, advanced analytics, and virtual reality to the “CS:GO” tournament premiere. (SportTechie)
 

Business News

  • “Angry Birds” maker Rovio Entertainment is planning an IPO that may value it at $2 billion. The company behind the best-selling mobile title and “The Angry Birds Movie” is planning to sell shares in a Helsinki IPO, seeking funds to support its resurgence seven years after the release of the original game. Proceeds from an IPO may help the company fund an “Angry Birds Movie” sequel, as the hugely successful first movie made about $350 million worldwide in box office sales. (Bloomberg)
  • Swedish VR studio Fast Travel Games has raised $2.1 million in Series A funding. The company announced that the funding will be used to grow headcount and to help launch its first VR title. Fast Travel has not announced its first title, other than to classify it as an action-adventure game. (GamesIndustry.biz)
  • Taunt has raised $1.75 million in seed funding to build an eSports fan competition platform. In it, fans compete with each other to predict what will happen in real-time during an eSports match. Interim CEO of Taunt, Ben Gilbert, aims to provide fans with a real social layer complete with competition, reputation, and statistics to engage around the game, in order to transform the eSports fan experience into a multiplayer one rather a single-player one. (VentureBeat)