News Digest 61: Top Gaming News This Week

23 October, 2020 | By Anzu

The accelerated rise of mobile gaming, significant investments that drive creative ideas forward, and brands that successfully communicate with their audiences through video games and esports -- all of that and much more in our weekly news digest!

The news we couldn’t afford to miss out on! Mobile analytics provider App Annie released its quarterly report examining current trends in mobile consumer spending, and the numbers outline a record period for the sector. According to the data, global consumer spend surpassed $20 billion last quarter, with an average weekly download rate of more than 1 billion, which is a 15% year-over-year increase. Even though the impact of COVID-19 on the games industry has been already well documented, App Annie’s latest report illustrates a continuation of this trend. Mobile was the most lucrative gaming platform, but the pandemic has elevated it to another level. As a result, App Annie is projecting the mobile sector, by the end of the year, to be 2.8 times and 3.1 times more lucrative than PC and console games respectively, reports

Gaming and entertainment live-streaming network VENN has announced that it closed a $26 million Series A financing round which was co-led by BITKRAFT and Nexstar Media Group, with the majority of the existing series-seed investor group also taking part. It’s worth mentioning that VENN has also recently acquired The Roku Channel, a TV-based streaming channel which has 40 million active accounts and built-in capabilities on one-third of smart-TVs sold, enabling VENN to reach a greater streaming audience. Esports Insider cites Ben Kusin, VENN Co-founder and CEO, saying that with this investment, the company is “positioned for its next phase of growth” as they plan to further expand content creation capabilities and continue to enhance the distribution of their “instant and everywhere” viewing experience.

German video game developer InnoGames is launching a partnership with MAC Cosmetics to embed its makeup art in the online fantasy city-building game Elvenar. The companies are said to have teamed up to raise awareness about diversity in both real and virtual worlds. According to VentureBeat, the collaboration runs from October 22 to November 11. During this period, the fans are promised lots of fun -- they will be able to attend an in-game Halloween event, participate in giveaways on the companies’ social media channels, but also see Elvenar-inspired makeup looks in the real world and get tips on how to recreate their own look at home.

According to The Independent Game Developers' Association (TIGA), growth in the UK video game industry has been faster in 2019/2020 than it's ever been! covers the numbers propelled by lockdowns due to the pandemic this year and dwells on the government policies that have had a positive influence on the industry in the country, such as the UK’s video games tax relief, or a video games investment fund that might be introduced later. 

Apple-owned headphone brand Beats By Dre is joining the roster of sponsors of TOP Esports (TES), alongside Audi, Logitech G, and others for League of Legends Worlds Championship. The brand logo has already been featured on the team jerseys during the first match last Saturday. However, TES players won’t be using Beats By Dre headsets at the Championship since the headset maker Bose, as per its partnership with Riot Games, has already been named an official partner of the Worlds 2020 Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event, reports the Esports Observer is an in-game advertising platform that brings real-world brand ads to video gaming and esports. Backed by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, WPP, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Anzu redefines digital advertising through seamless integration of non-intrusive ads into the gameplay. Bringing real-time data and programmatic to the video gaming world, the platform promises native advertising, brand safety and ad viewability. Follow Anzu on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.