December 29, 2020

Today’s Industry Updates

CANADIAN COMPANIES
    • ESE Entertainment closes private placement for $3.64M – ESE Entertainment Inc. has closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement through the issuance of 3,315,482 units of the company at a price of $1.10 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of $3,647,030. Each Unit is composed of one common share (an “ESE Share”) and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a “Warrant”), each Warrant exercisable for two (2) years at $1.50 per ESE Share. The Closing was effected in two tranches, the first on December 23, 2020 through the issuance of 545,400 Units, for gross proceeds of $599,940, and the second on December 24, 2020 through the issuance of 2,770,082 Units, for gross proceeds of $3,047,090.
    • Wow Unlimited grants options to buy 125,000 shares – Wow Unlimited Media Inc. has granted stock options to its independent directors, pursuant to the company’s stock option plan, as approved by shareholders on Dec. 12, 2016, and subject to TSX Venture Exchange policies and approval. On Dec. 23, 2020, the company granted 25,000 stock options, expiring in five years, to each of its five independent directors, for an aggregate of 125,000 stock options. Each stock option entitles the holder thereof to subscribe for one common share of the company at an exercise price of 40 cents per common share, calculated using the most recent 10-day volume-weighted average price of the company’s shares as quoted on the TSX Venture Exchange.

GAMING
    • Shares of Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan take a hammering in Hong Kong as Beijing clips Ant’s wings, cracks down on monopolies – Hong Kong stocks slipped on Monday as investors assessed the impact of Beijing’s clamp down on monopolistic behaviour in the technology sector, while coronavirus infections increased in both mainland China and the city. Major tech stocks took a pounding. The Hang Seng Index lost 0.3 per cent to close at 26,314.63. The Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.02 per cent higher at 3,397.29. Both gauges had fluctuated between gains and losses earlier in the day. Investors are closely monitoring signals from Beijing about antitrust rules after the government recently stepped up its regulation of the country’s internet and technology sectors.
    • Police investigating suspected poisoning of billionaire game tycoon Lin Qi after Christmas Day death – A billionaire Chinese gaming tycoon died on Christmas Day, his company announced, with police now investigating whether the 39-year-old was poisoned. The Yoozoo company board of directors released a statement on December 26 confirming the death of founder and chairman Lin Qi. “The directors, supervisors, senior management and all employees of the company express their deep condolences on the passing of Mr. Lin Qi,” the statement said. A colleague of Lin’s — a 39-year-old man with the surname Xu — has been detained in Shanghai, with authorities saying in a statement that they were first alerted to a suspected poisoning on December 17.
    • CD Projekt facing class-action suit over Cyberpunk 2077 – CD Projekt S.A. is facing a legal battle over Cyberpunk 2077, as Rosen Law Firm today announced it has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company alleging executives lied to investors about the state of the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems. The suit claims that CD Projekt management failed to disclose that the game was “virtually unplayable” on the consoles “due to an enormous number of bugs,” resulting in Sony pulling the digital version of the game from sale and Microsoft and other sellers offering refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 purchases.

CONTENT CREATORS & INFLUENCERS
    • Trump administration appeals court order blocking TikTok restrictions – The Trump administration isn’t giving up on its campaign against TikTok just yet. The US government on Monday appealed a decision handed down by a federal judge earlier this month that prevented authorities from fully implementing its restrictions against the popular short-form video app. The appeal challenges a Dec. 7 preliminary injunction from US District Court Judge Carl Nichols, which prevented the US Department of Commerce from enforcing rules that would have made it illegal for infrastructure companies to carry TikTok’s network traffic.
    • New year, new YouTube: how to detox your feed – Japan’s mid-December alarm over resurgent Covid-19 numbers returned Tokyo to that state where work, rest and play arrive through a screen. Rising susceptibility to earworms — those tunes or sounds you just cannot shake — felt closely correlated. As 2020 ran down the clock, I found myself stuck with three. One was the opening bars of “Moi Lolita”, the moody, weapons‑grade-catchy, 20-year-old electronica hit by the Corsican pop sensation Alizée. The second was the “kiri-kiri-kiri” vocal trill that the female lead of the nightmarish Japanese horror classic Audition uses while torturing her fiancé. The third (no less unsettling) was the sing-song catchphrase of KFC’s garlic-chicken campaign.
    • WWE Superstar Gaming Series Debuts on WWE Network – World Wrestling Entertainment has revealed the “WWE Superstar Gaming Series,” a competition show which will debut on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on the free version of the company’s pay TV service, WWE Network, and across “WWE social platforms.” WWE stars will take part in an all-star competitions in Among Us and WWE 2K Battlegrounds against popular streamers including  FaZe Adapt (Alexander Hamilton Prynkiewicz), Nicholas “Nick Eh 30” Amyoony, YouTube star Lele Pons (Eleonora Pons Maronese), and rapper Wale (Olubowale Victor Akintimehin). WWE talent taking part in the competitions include Ronda Rousey, The Miz, Liv Morgan, Adam Cole, Tyler Breeze, Shayna Baszler, and Jessamyn Duke.

ESPORTS
    • Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company Signs Consulting Agreement to Design and Buildout New Esports Gaming Center in Milwaukee, WI – Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company (OTCQB:WINR) (“Simplicity Esports”), announced that it has signed a consulting agreement that will generate approximately $250,000 in revenue for planning, designing, and buildout of an esports gaming center at 3130 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee, WI. The owners of the commercial building, directly across the street from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee contacted Simplicity Esports to leverage the experience of the company with the largest footprint of esports gaming centers in North America, to assist them in the planning and development of their esports gaming center. The gaming center is expected to open to the public during the first calendar quarter of 2021.
    • Long-Time WWE Exec Joining Electronic Arts for Esports Marketing Position – Long-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) executive Craig Tello announced Monday that he is leaving the company to join Electronic Arts (EA). Tello announced that he is leaving his position as senior VP of programming and media operations to join EA as its new head of marketing communications & content strategy within its competitive gaming division. Tello did not elaborate further on the new position. EA currently operates, with the help of third-party tournament organizers, FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 competitions. “Days left in this year of infamy and I’m focused not just on a new ‘chapter,’ but a whole new ‘book’ in 2021,” Tello wrote on social media. “I am elated to share that I have joined Electronic Arts (EA) as its new head of marcom & content strategy within competitive gaming.”
    • Team Queso partners with Twitch and ESPAT – Spanish esports organisation Team Queso has partnered with Amazon streaming platform Twitch to highlight the team’s efforts across mobile esports. Additionally, the organisation has entered into a partnership with digital media licensing provider ESPAT Media for representation and distribution of its content. Team Queso’s agreement with Twitch aims to bring more mobile esports content to the platform. The deal is said to involve Team Queso content creators who will receive Twitch Partner status and occasional home page placement to ‘create even bigger communities’ within the mobile esports space. The deal is said to last through July 2021.

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