US Congress moves to ban loot boxes in video games

TL;DR - The “Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” has been proposed by Senator Josh Hawley with the aim of eliminating loot boxes and pay-to-win mechanics from games “designed for kids” that “monetize addiction”.  Senator Hawley’s team specifically mentioned Candy Crush in its press release, but it’s easy to see a bill like this being applicable to a wide range of games including Overwatch, Fortnite, and many others. The bill has yet to be formally introduced to the Senate, but the Entertainment Software Association hasn’t wasted any time addressing the press release and downplaying Senator Hawley’s concern.

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Streamlabs pairs up with Loots to expand monetization options

TL;DR - This deal will allow streamers using SLOBS to quickly and easily integrate the Loots application into their streams.  With Loots, viewers can deliver a sponsored message to a streamer without actually paying anything themselves, by first watching a short (15-second or so) advertisement.  Loots uses an algorithm which looks at audience size and overall engagement to determine the sponsorship amount the advertiser will pay. The streamer takes a cut and viewers aren’t upset by ads because they’re delivered on request and only to those requesting a sponsored message.

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DotA 2 International 2019 Battle Pass clears $10M in short order

TL;DR - After only three days on the market, the International 2019 Battle Pass has racked up over $10M in sales, with half of that coming in the first 24 hours.  This is the first time in the history of the Battle Pass it’s reached such a sum so quickly. At $10M, it’s nine days ahead of pace versus 2018 and well on its way of being the first International prize pool to crack $30M, and becoming the largest prize pool in the history of esports.

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Mixer rolls out Mixer Matchups ahead of E3

TL;DR - Mixer and have teamed up on a new competition they’re calling Mixer Matchups.  From May 13 to June 2, Mixer users can compete online for cash and a chance to play in the finals at the E3 2019 Mixer Dome.  Eligible games include League of Legends, Halo 5: Guardians, and Paladins, each taking place across three successive weeks. The weekly competitions will feature a $25k prize pool, and a chance at a cut of an additional $75k prize pool.  To be recognized, the games must be streamed on Mixer. E3 is set to take place June 11th in Los Angeles.

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Amid trade tariff concerns, Douyu may delay stock IPO

TL;DR - Chinese live streaming platform Douyu is considering delaying its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange by about a week, with the growing rhetoric from the US on imposing trade tariffs on China.  The company was set to begin trading under the symbol DOYU on May 16th, but with President Trump’s activity on Twitter lately that future is uncertain. Douyu is hoping to raise $500M through the IPO to further its esports ambitions and attract more talent to the platform.

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In case you missed it…

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about how YouTube Gaming has been picking up steam and gaining share quickly against Twitch - the current live streaming platform leader.  Last year, YouTube announced it would integrate YouTube Gaming better into the overall YouTube ecosystem, with the goal of improving discovery for both streamers and viewers. Given the growth the platform has seen on the live streaming front, it looks like those changes were for the positive.

In a recent interview, Ryan Wyatt, the big dog over at YouTube Gaming (YTG), chatted with YouTuber Nick Eh 30 during some friendly Fortnite matches about his vision for the future of the platform.  You can catch the full video (47 mins.) here.

The article provides a good summary of the interview if you’re strapped for time.  But what stood out to us is the potential for YTG to integrate closely with Stadia, Google’s new game streaming service set to launch later this year.  Wyatt mentioned specifically the ability to watch a video and then, through a single click, hop into the game from the video and experience it first hand.

What he’s sharing is a potential future path the industry could take which could dramatically alter how games are experienced and purchased - just as streaming has done over the past several years.

There’s tons more opportunity to be explored so check out the video and we’ll catch you here next week.  Cheers!