December 23, 2020

Today’s Industry Updates

CANADIAN COMPANIES
    • Fandom Finalizes Mutual Affiliate Agreement with Elite Duels – Fandom Sports Media Corp. (CSE: FDM) (OTCQB: FDMSF) (FSE: TQ43) (“Fandom” or the “Company”), is pleased to announce that it has entered into its first Mutual Affiliate Agreement (MAA) partnership for its regulated wagering platform. Fandom’s peer-to-peer wagering platform is being built upon proprietary data feeds from leading Esports game publishers. Fandom and Elite Duels Corp. have executed a MAA under which Elite Duels Corp. (“Elite”), a private company operating an Esports fantasy platform, will be promoting Fandom’s wagering platform and Fandom will be driving traffic to Elite Duels’ platform under a mutual revenue sharing agreement.
    • WOW! Unlimited Media Provides Update to Animation Production Backlog – WOW Unlimited Media Inc. (“WOW!” or the “Company”) (TSXV: WOW; OTCQX: WOWMF) is pleased to provide a year-end update to its animation production backlog. As of today, the Company’s current orders on hand, not including billing in progress for the quarter ending December 31, 2020, is at $95.4 million, significantly higher than the previously reported backlog of $57.6 million as at September 30, 2020. Backlog represents the undiscounted value of signed agreements for production services contracts and intellectual property in relation to licensing and distribution agreements for work that has not yet been performed, but for which the Company expects to recognize revenue in future periods.

GAMING
    • TikTok owner reportedly in talks to buy stake in Chinese mobile games publisher – China-based ByteDance, best known as the owner of social media platform TikTok, is planning to purchase a share of a local mobile games publisher. That’s according to Reuters and its four anonymous sources, who say the company is in talks with CMGE Technology Group Ltd to arrange a potential deal. ByteDance is said to be interested in the 27.6% stake currently held by Fairview Ridge Investment, a company controlled by CMGE’s own chairman Xiao Jian and vice chairman Sin Hendrick. The TikTok owner is expected to buy part or all of the stake, which according to Reuters is worth $275 million, with CMGE valued at $997 million.
    • Cyberpunk 2077 has sold over 13m copies – Cyberpunk 2077 has sold approximately 13 million copies including both physical and digital sales, according to CD Projekt. In a regulatory announcement today, the publisher said that this number is accurate as of December 20, 2020, and factors in submitted returns from both brick and mortar as well as digital storefronts. Previously, the company announced it had sold a total of eight million pre-orders, 74% of which were digital. However, CD Projekt does not state how many refunds were factored into the total, a number that may be potentially significant after Microsoft, Best Buy, and more recently GameStop issued statements or guidance on processing Cyberpunk refunds, CD Projekt opened a dedicated email address for refunding purchases, and Sony went so far as to pull the game from its store.
    • The Year in Numbers 2020 – Christmas looms like a slightly obscured beacon of relief in the murky fog that is 2020, and here to guide you along the way is our annual infographic. For the fifth year running, we’ve attempted to break down the biggest stories, trends and growth areas of the past 12 months into a single image, plus an assortment of statistics that can be firmly filed under “Huh, that’s interesting.” You can scroll down to find the 2020 edition of our Year In Numbers infographic — and keep scrolling if you want to reach the very end of it. Along the way you’ll discover the estimated value of the global games market, the best-selling games of the US, Japan and the UK, the year’s highest and lowest-scoring games on Metacritic, the most covered/searched/tweeted/livestreamed titles of 2020, and more besides.

CONTENT CREATORS & INFLUENCERS
    • Less aspirational, less produced: Luxury brands are (finally) making headway on TikTok – TikTok has swiftly become brands’ go-to social channel for connecting with younger consumers — and luxury brands have joined that pool in recent months. Moncler, for example, rolled out a hashtag-challenge campaign on December 14. It featured influencer Charli D’Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok, along with other big names like Bella Poarch, Michael Le and Abby Roberts. Called the #MonclerBubbleUp challenge, it asked users to wrap themselves in something resembling Moncler’s puffy, bubbly winter coats — choices included sleeping bags and bubble wrap. They then used TikTok’s editing features to transition it into an actual Moncler coat. While sponsored hashtag challenges like this can be expensive — as much as $150,000 per week — they can also be worth it. As of Dec. 18, Moncler said the hashtag had already received more than 2 billion views.
    • The North Carolina Kid Who Cracked YouTube’s Secret Code – In the fall of 2016, Jimmy Donaldson dropped out of college to try to solve one of the biggest mysteries in media: How exactly does a video go viral on YouTube? Donaldson, then 18, had been posting to the site since he was 12 without amassing much of an audience. But he was convinced he was close to unlocking the secrets of YouTube’s algorithm, the black box of rules and processes that determines what videos get recommended to viewers. In the months that followed, Donaldson and a handful of his friends tried to crack the code. They conducted daily phone calls to analyze what videos went viral. They gave one another YouTube-related homework assignments, and they pestered successful channels for data about their most successful posts.
    • A 9-year-old made more than $29 million on YouTube last year and is the highest paid YouTuber for the third year in a row – Apologies in advance, but you may feel bad about your life choices after reading this. A 9-year-old has topped out the list of top-earning YouTube stars this year, making more than $29 million, according to Forbes. And this is the third year in a row that he’s stood at the top of the list. Others on the list include Rhett and Link (third with $20 million), and controversial beauty guru Jeffree Star (10th with $15 million). The third-grader, who lives with his family in Texas, gained notoriety for his unboxing videos when he was just four. A video of him unboxing and reviewing toys from the movie “Cars” went viral and garnered more than a billion views and Kaji’s “Ryan’s World” channel took off from there.

ESPORTS
    • Riot Games Korea Reveals Valorant Esports Team Support Program – Riot Games Korea announced the Valorant esports team support program, with plans to provide structure and financial incentives to teams in the region. Under the new program, Riot Games Korea will help fund eight teams in South Korea that make it through a rigorous screening process. Selected teams can receive up to ₩50M KRW (roughly $45K USD) total three times during the 2021 season (at the start of each stage) if they meet certain requirements, as outlined on the team support program website.
    • FATE Esports and Shikenso Analytics enter strategic data partnership – Jordanian esports organisation FATE Esports has named German analytics company Shikenso Analytics as its new data provider to help with the measurement of its sponsorship assets. Shikenso’s analysis will provide insights into FATE’s current sponsorship assets, as well as their performance on social media and streaming channels, allowing the esports organisation to make strategic decisions towards existing and potential sponsors. According to the release, the partnership is expected to highlight the potential for sponsors to work together with the Middle Eastern esports organisation.
    • ESL Gaming Exec Andrea Intiso Joins Nerd Street Gamers – Longtime ESL Gaming executive Andrea Intiso has joined esports events and facilities company Nerd Street Gamers as its new director of publisher relations. Intiso served in multiple roles while at ESL Gaming  over a five-year span including director of esports services for the company’s team in Cologne, Germany,  senior partner manager, and senior product manager. She has also worked in ad sales for Scripps International, and in marketing positions for NCompass International and RPMC, Inc. In those roles, she worked with Activision Blizzard to market several notable franchises including Guitar Hero and Call of Duty. In her previous role at ESL Gaming, she worked closely with Activision Blizzard.

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