Hi everyone, it’s Friday Jr.

For the new subscribers, two things:
  • I will do my best to serve you well. Happy to have you here.
  • The welcome email that you probably just deleted, has a little gift: a link to a spreadsheet with +150 gaming collabs in 2020-2021. 
Alright, a lot happened this week, let’s cut it down real quick...

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🍺 Beer Talk

💸 The Future of Entertainment and Sony’s 200 IQ
Long story short, Epic Games is collecting degenerate amounts of money to accelerate the future of entertainment, and among others, Sony fully believes in their vision. 

One thing is to believe though, the other is to place the cash where it's needed and Sony ain’t dry on budget. They invested $250M for 1.4% stake in the company, and now, not even a year later, they added another $200M to the mix during Epic’s $1B round funding. Tasty. But why? Well, Epic isn’t fucking around when we talk about future.

Structure: Epic Games owns game creation (Unreal Engine), original games (Fortnite), acquired games (Rocket League, Fall Guys) and distribution (Epic Store).

Approach: their free-to-play environment helped them fully understand three major things:
  • People aren't in it just to play a game, but to be entertained in general and it happens that it can be performed by combining gaming, film, music, design and technology into a dynamic social experience. 
  • People really care about how their digital versions look like.
  • People love collaborations and combining unexpected brands.
All these points represent the new revenue machine that nobody in the world is running it better than Epic Games. 

Let’s also add the possibility for Sony to fully test the latest technology through Unreal Engine for PS5 games. This is the perfect spot for them to invest. Sony is already involved with film, music and other ways of entertainment, and Epic Games has the formula to unify it all.  

⏳ Save the Date
For the ones thirsty for virtual reality development, on April 21st, the first ever Oculus Gaming Showcase will be streamed on all platforms, except Mixer. Mixer is dead, just wanted to put it out there just in case you forgot that Ninja is still spending that money in $5,000 wifi bills per month. 

🎮 Esports Cut
  • MAD Lions won the LEC 2021 Spring Finals. Congrats Jorge, well deserved!  
  • Flashpoint 3 returns on May 10th.
  • Heroic won the ESL Pro League Season 13.
  • Cloud 9 won the LCS 2021 Spring Finals.
  • Blizzard announced three in-person OWL events in 2021.

💌 Some Indie Love
Nintendo Indie World Showcase came through yesterday with lots of new game announcements for the Switch, here you have the highlights. 

🤝 New Owners Wave
100 Thieves incorporated Valkyrae and Courage as co-owners. If you still have doubts about content creation not being king, order a stronger beer and think twice. 

I feel that there’s a lot we could talk about, but let’s center it to the main element:
100T could survive without Courage or Valkyrae, but not because merch drops are all they need or building esports programs will make the cut. It’s because the company is so appealing that they could replace them with other content creators. 

I have seen esports orgs sleeping on huge streamers by going contract-to-contract on shaky foundations easily countered by other companies. This isn’t just loyalty towards these two, it’s a clear message to every creator in the world: we are the company you should work for, we care about you, come with us.

Let's be real about it, FaZe Clan started the wheel of content prioritization in gaming, and this is an interesting move from 100T to truly fight for that respect once creators have to make a choice.     

🎥 Sonetflix
Netflix bought exclusivity to all Sony’s upcoming films, including Spider-Man and Uncharted. This is a huge move, Sony has several studios attached to their film factory and Netflix called dibs on all of them starting in 2022. Gaming and Netflix bond is getting pretty tight.

👾 Game of the Week 
Age of Empires, one of the first games I grinded on PC. Most people cringe when I tell them about it. Save the cringe, you better put some damn respect to this legendary game. Age of Empires IV is coming this fall. Fan Preview.

🎞️ Trailer of the Week
Days Gone - Features Trailer, by PlayStation.

📓 Lil’ Note
Blake Robbins recently asked for newsletter suggestions on Twitter. We want this guy in the family guys, let's spam his post with something like "Yo Blake check out!" or some shit. Some love on social media is always appreciated.


 🥶 Collabs

Power Rangers x Street Fighter
XSET x Ozuna
Horizon Zero Dawn x Fortnite

💈 Strictly Biz

A trend in esports that is quietly picking up steam is going public. Or, at least, going more public with dual-listings in hopes to capitalize on investors in the United States. Guild, the British team co-owned by Beckham, as well as Danish legends Astralis and Canadian media company Enthusiast Gaming, have all recently made it known that they’re targeting the US — a nation that’s seemingly breeding thousands of new investors every day alongside the rise of cryptocurrencies.

One aspect of a company being publicly-listed that really benefits the esports industry is the transparency. In order to float on a stock exchange, they have to be pretty damn open about their plans, their intentions, and the deals they’re signing. Guild have announced a £3.6m three-year deal and “multi-million-pound” two-year Subway sponsorship already, and they only launched in mid-2020.

Esports is shrouded in mystery. As a member of the public, you’ll only find out exactly what these companies want you to know. Companies capitalize on the smoke and mirrors by selling reports based on bullshit numbers and everybody — both inside and outside of the industry — runs with whatever narratives are conjured up. Now, due to more and more organizations choosing to go public, esports is slowly entering the age of transparency. We can have true insight into how healthy the ecosystem truly is (or isn’t, for that matter).


 💰 VC Land & Partnerships

  • OverActive Media raises $40M from Montreal Canadiens and NHL stars.
  • US Soccer announces collab with Esports Engine.
  • CLG partners with Samsung.
  • Envy Gaming receives $40M investment from Gray Television.
  • inSTREAMLY raises $1.3M in seed round.
  • OG Esports joins the BMW family. 
  • The Games Fund launches $50M early-stage investment fund.
  • H4X drops apparel collection with Nickmercs. 
  • Houston Outlaws signs Boomer Naturals as official wellness partner.
  • Tripledot Studios raises $78M.
  • Cooler Master announces LATAM Crew partnership. 
  • OverActive Media (Toronto Ultra and Toronto Defiant) partners with H4X.

💎 Gem of the Week

I bring OlliOlli to the spotlight because I thought this was the perfect example of an original and refreshing reveal. Storytelling, images, transitions… simply beautiful.

Let’s support OlliOlli fam, I have a good feeling about the team behind it. 

😂 Fuckery Snack

This island is trouble.

🗓 Upcoming Events

April 14 - 16 / Game Industry Live
April 16  / OWL 2021 Kickoff
April 23 - 26  / LudoNarraCon: Celebrating Narrative Games
April 28 - 29  / GamesBeat Summit

Thanks for reading!

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