eSports is Becoming a Huge Money Machine

What was once a little known online activity for a few enthusiasts of multiplayer online games is now a multi-million dollar industry which is predicted by experts in-the-know to grow a whopping 25% this year reaching over $178 million USD. This revenue boom is expected to continue at least into 2020 where it could surpass 200 million USD.

Those that stand to benefit from this growth include:

  • game developers,
  • players,
  • leagues,
  • teams,
  • live venues,
  • streaming platforms,
  • TV networks,
  • audiences,
  • marketers.

The revenue from eSports mainly comes from:

  • advertising,
  • sponsorships,
  • media rights deals,
  • ticket sales,
  • merchandising.

Much of the eSports growth is due to the increasing audiences which is expected to grow 18% this year to about 30 million. According to some, the viewership will reach 50 million by year 2023. And it’s getting easier and easier to join the global audience as the livestreaming of the multiplayer games can be seen on sites like Twitch and YouTube. Plus, there are live venues that show the games on a large screen such as Madison Square Garden in NYC and Key Arena in Seattle.

In case you’re wondering, this trend is not just in the U.S., it’s very much alive in Europe and Asia, especially in S. Korea and China. All this is quite remarkable considering that only a few years ago, advertisers wouldn’t even consider reaching out to kids playing online games against each other.

 

 

888 Holdings PLC Grows into the Sports Betting Market

 

888 Holdings PLC, often known as just 888.com, has purchased Dublin-based BetBright’s sports betting technology platform which is one area that 888 was outsourcing to a company named Kambi. Kambi Group Plc is a business to business sports betting provider marketing it’s front end user interface, odds compiling, customer intelligence and risk management. That outsourcing was a huge financial burden on 888, but as soon as 888 can integrate BetBright’s technology with their present platform, they will save a bundle and drive up their profits as well.

 

Just this past Monday, 888 announced to it’s investors of it’s deal with BetBright’s parent company Dedsert Ltd for almost 20 million USD in order to acquire the operator’s sports betting platform, it’s Dublin office, and it’s staff.

 

888 Holdings is based in Gibraltar and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. 888 got it’s start back in May of 1997 as Virtual Holdings Limited; founded by four Israeli entrepreneurs. Their first website was Casino-on-Net.com which is still active even today boasting over 1,000,000 punters over the years.

 

This acquisition of it’s own sports betting product gives 888 complete ownership of it’s gambling products:

  • casino,
  • sports,
  • poker
  • and bingo.

Although the addition of it’s own sports betting product will save 888 royalty fees, the cost of integrating the new product with it’s current line is said to be huge, driving stocks down 2%.

NBC TV’s Today Show Has Free Games

Announced just yesterday, the Today Show is offering an application that includes free games for mobile phone users. The app can be downloaded from itunes.apple.com or play.google.com. However, the Today app has more than just a few games, it has all or most of the content from the actual live broadcast and it has archived shows.

 

“Find your favorite recipes, celebrity interviews, parenting tips, uplifting stories, healthy living, pop culture, and national news.” Today.com

 

For those of you not familiar with the Today Show:
“Today, also called The Today Show, is an American news and talk morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre on American television and in the world, and after 67 years of broadcasting it is the fifth-longest-running American television series.” Wikipedia.org

A few of the hosts on the Today Show are:

  • Savannah Guthrie
  • Hoda Kotb
  • Al Roker
  • Craig Melvin
  • Carson Daly
  • Jenna Bush Hager

 

So, now you get have games, news, weather, and commentary all day long no matter where you are all in one single application on your iphone or android device. The games mentioned on the Today Show’s website are:

  • crossword puzzles,
  • sudokus,
  • card games.

 

Great while riding the bus or subway.

What are Online Game Voice Skins?

 

Over the years, online games have become more and more a personal experience. Another way to express oneself with armor, choice of weapons, and choice of many male or female avatars. In a nutshell, you can control your appearance in the game and that makes the whole game more fun. Now, a computer software company called Modulate, co-founded by Mike Pappas and Carter Huffman is introducing voice skins, which will basically change the way you sound in the game.

 

Modulate uses neural networks and machine learning in order to allow a user to customize their voice. You could choose a voice sounding like the opposite gender, or maybe your favorite celebrity. So, if the skin you happen to be wearing is of something menacing or makes your avatar look intimidating you might change your voice skin to Darth Vader.

 

On the other hand, for those players that are somewhat self-conscious about the sound of their natural voice, Modulate’s voice skin could let them have a better game experience.

 

Of course, all of this is still in Modulate’s pilot program where they are testing with certain chat platforms and new games. Other features they want to add would be such things as changing your accent. This feature could give a British accent to an American player or a Texas drawl to a British player.

 

Fortnite Battle Royale Loses the Battle

 

We’ve written so many articles about how wonderful Fortnite is and about it’s overwhelming popularity, that’s it’s refreshing to write that Fortnite is no longer winning the battle of being the top First Person Shooter, (FPS) game online.

 

Apex Legends, which is a battle royale-style game from Electronic Arts has smashed all of Fortnite records for downloads and viewership since its release three weeks ago. Many of the FPS streaming games stars have helped to powered that fast rise of Apex. Meanwhile, the esports teams are in a big rush to sign up as many talented players as possible, but some in the industry are warning not to over commit because what goes up, must come down.

 

Apex Legends is developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. Apex Legends has taken all the main popular aspects of Fortnite and added their own few twists. Fortnite Royale, of course, is a game where a player is dropped onto a battle ground with 100 other players and the battle ground shrinks as the game progesses. The object is to gather food, water, weapons, etc. etc, and kill everyone else. The last man standing wins.

 

Just like Fortnite and most other FPS games, Apex is free to download and to play.

276 Arrested In Online Gambling Raid.

Philippines:
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) raided a complex in Makati, Philippines on February 19, 2019 and arrested 276 foreigners that appeared to be employees of an online gambling establishment; first reported on local news outlet ABS-CBN. The Intelligence Division Chief for the BI, Fortunato Manahan Jr., stated the raid was “for verification of their travel documents and immigration status.”.

Reportedly, BI had received an anonymous tip that many of the casino’s employees were illegal foreigners. It is not clear how anyone would have known that, unless maybe the tip was from the ‘inside’ of the company. As it turns out, most were undocumented and they were not able to present any proof of their immigration status. BI Chief Mananan said that it is possible that these individuals simply did not bring their passports to work with them, or that their passports have been lost.

BI Chief Mananan also stated that identification and immigration status verification is ongoing and that in the meantime, the foreigners are being held at the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig City. The scale of this arrest signals that 2019 could be a recored year in this crime catagory. The number of foreigners that were arrested in 2018 was just 533 for the entire year.

Game of the Month: February 2019!

 

World of Tanks is a PvP (player versus player) and MMO (massively multiplayer online game) developed by Wargaming. The title gives away the game play, but the historical accuracy in the game is amazing. It’s all about the armoured combat vehicles of WW2 and you will see tanks from various countries, such as:

  • America,
  • Britain,
  • Germany,
  • Japan,
  • and the Soviet Union

You will not only see them, you will test them yourself by driving them and operating their heavy guns in the game’s combat sessions. Although World of Tanks is PvP, you will belong to a squad of tanks or other armoured combat vehicles and you will need to work as a team in other to have any advantage in the vicious tank battles.

As of December 2013, the game has 75 million registered players worldwide and a 1.1 million peak concurrent players!

World of Tanks is so much fun that it’s been spun off to several variations including:

  • the Xbox 360 named: World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition,
  • there is also a PlayStation 4 version,
  • Mobile users have World of Tanks Blitz,
  • a board game titled World of Tanks Rush,
  • a collectable card game titled World of Tanks: Generals.

 

 

Britain Gets Tough with Gambling Providers!

UK lawmakers have tightened up the age verification process that online gambling providers must follow in order to better identify

  • underage gamblers,
  • detect criminal activity,
  • and identify ‘self-excluded’ customers.

The new rule, in part reads:
“Licensees must obtain and verify information in order to establish the identity of a customer before that customer is permitted to gamble. Information must include, but is not restricted to, the customer’s name, address and date of birth. A request made by a customer to withdraw funds from their account must not result in a requirement for additional information to be supplied as a condition of withdrawal if the licensee could have reasonably requested that information earlier. This requirement does not prevent a licensee from seeking information on the customer which they must obtain at that time due to any other legal obligation.”

The main difference to the new players is that currently they can deposit funds and place bets during the age verification process which can take up to 72 hours; under the new rule this changes. The gambling provider will now have to verify the age before accepting a deposit and even before allowing the new player to have access to “free-to-play versions of gambling games” on their websites.

The changes apply to all remote betting and gaming operators, as well as lotteries. They will take effect from 7 May, 2019

Switch Multiplayer Games Are Up To 70% Off Right Now!

 

Europeans are getting a big break: up to 70% off on selected multiplayer games!

Here’s a partial list:

 

  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker,
  • Diablo III,
  • Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection,
  • Pocket Rumble,
  • Super Meat Boy, Windjammers,
  • FIFA 19

The discounts will run until February 21, 2019.

Nintendo Switch, aka: the Switch, is a video game console developed by Nintendo and was released on March 3, 2017. Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is said to be one of the world’s largest video game companies and has created some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as

  • Mario,
  • The Legend of Zelda,
  • and Pokémon.

 

Nintendo Co. Ltd. was founded on 23 September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade playing cards. By 1963, the company had started several small businesses, such as:

  • a TV network,
  • a food company,
  • favor-toys,
  • cab services
  • and love hotels,

 

but those never really took off. In the 1970s Nintendo hit the jackpot: video games! This market and Nintendos ingenuity led the company to become one of the biggest in the industry with earnings of over $85 billion in 2007.

 

Top Played Online Game for 2018!

 

It’s official: Fortnite was the overwhelmingly dominate online game of 2018.

 

It’s full name is ‘Fortnite Battle Royale’ and it is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed and published by Epic Games. The name ‘battle royale’ actually comes from a 2000 Japanese dystopian thriller film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and written by Kenta Fukasaku. Basically, ‘battle royale’ means that a group of people will be isolated in a bordered area, usually an island, where they have to scrounge around for survival items such as food, water, shelter, and weapons. The concept is that the last man standing is the winner!

 

As of January 2019, the game has seen over 200 million players, and has been estimated to have earned $2.4 billion from in-game micro-transactions. Just as an example, in August 2018, Epic Games says that nearly 80 million people played Fortnite. Most players, about 60% are under the age of 24 and over 70% are male. Actually, those are the age groups that are registered members, during the game, it is more likely to be over 90% male.