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Bethesda Heading Toward Potential Standoff with Sony

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It appears that The Elder Scrolls: Legends card game could pit Bethesda in a standoff with Sony over cross-play across consoles, as Sony has been stubbornly resistant to the idea of cross-play across multiple platforms and consoles, despite willingness from other brands, such as Microsoft.

“It’s way more pertinent to Legends,” Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of marketing and communication said, according to EuroGamer’s Robert Purchese.

“Fallout 76, sure: it would be nice if I could play on my Xbox and my kid is playing on his PC and we can play together, but if we can’t, OK. There’s lots of games – I play Overwatch on Xbox and he plays on PC separately and has a whole separate account. It’s not critical.

“But for Legends it’s absolutely critical,” he said, “both cross-play, which is how Legends works right now on every device – you’re playing against somebody who could be on any device – and, more importantly, cross-platform progression, which means no matter what you do on any platform, you load up the game and so long as you’re logged in, here is all your progression, here is everything you had, everything you were doing.

“If you were in the middle of a match on PC and I flipped that [he gestures at my laptop] closed while you’re in the middle of a match and you load it up on your phone, you would be right back in the match where you were. That is a must for us on any platform. If we have to start segmenting our audience to say ‘folks on this platform can only play folks on that platform’, or ‘any progress you make on that platform can’t be there’, then man, that’s a bad situation.”

Fortnite has been putting pressure on Sony as well, and has been vocal with their support of cross-play, and with the popularity of Fortnite, Sony has still be steadfast in their current ways, which raises the question, what can Elder Scrolls do to sway Sony?

. “We continue to make our case for ‘this is how it needs to work’ and ‘this is how it needs to function’. But we are moving ahead with the assumption that any platform we release it on must support cross-progression and cross-play.

“I am aware of the conflict that arises given that statement but we are continuing to work on it.”

He said Bethesda is “always” talking to Sony about the issue. “But in fairness not just with Sony – with everybody. We need everybody to be on board and understand – Nintendo, Microsoft – this is how we’re proceeding. I don’t want anybody to think I’m trying to single Sony out because I’m not,” he said. “These conversations we have, we have with everybody, including Apple and Google.”

And if Sony stays their course, what would Bethesda do then?

“This is a really good question,” Hines continued. “I imagine the answer is fairly dire but I don’t want to jump to conclusions yet because there’s a lot of space between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. What if they so ‘no’ to this but ‘yes’ to this?” It could present an unforeseen and workable solution.

“It remains to be seen,” he said. “Whatever they say, we will continue to have a conversation with any platform directly. I don’t want to play this out in the court of public opinion. We respect Sony, we respect Microsoft, we respect Nintendo. If I or my company has an issue, we will bring it up with them directly; we know who to call, we know who to email – we’ll talk to them and see if we can figure it out.”

 

 

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X1Esports Acquires Tyrus LLC

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X1Esports

X1 Esports and Entertainment Ltd., which is a video games and creator economy portfolio company,  has officially announced the acquisition of influencer management firm Tyrus LLC (aka Tyrus).

“The Tyrus Transaction offers tremendous opportunity for X1 to partake in the growing global creator economy which is an industry of over 50 million individual content creators1 where Tyrus is extremely well-positioned,” said Mark Elfenbein, CEO of X1, in an official statement. “The video game category has been a top category of the creator economy and has largely benefited the growth of the video game industry recently.”

Tyrus’ Manager, Amanda Solomon, will also join the X1 Advisory board as part of the move.

“Becoming part of the X1 family will allow Tyrus to extend its reach and engage with new and exciting talent in the gaming and esports community,” said Amanda Solomon, CEO of Tyrus. “The talent and diversity of our influencer roster is something we take great pride in. I look forward to growing our presence in this space and providing unique access for global brands to a highly influential GenZ audience”.

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DoubleVerify Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

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DoubleVerify

DoubleVerify, which is a leading software platform for digital media measurement has officially released their 2022 second quarter financial results.

According to an official press release: “We delivered an outstanding second quarter and surpassed our expectations for growth and profitability fueled by record Activation revenue and continued momentum on Social and CTV platforms,” said Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify. “As advertisers seek stability and clarity in an increasingly unstable and opaque marketing environment, they continue to choose DV’s industry-leading quality and performance solutions to protect their brands and reduce media waste, ultimately driving better outcomes and ROI. Based on our strong results in the first half of 2022, we are raising our guidance for full year revenue and adjusted EBITDA. We remain confident that our growing global scale, market leading innovation, and legacy of trust will further deepen our client relationships and fuel steady growth that will outperform our competitors and the broader digital ad industry in 2022 and beyond.”

Here are the numbers:

Second Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights:
(All comparisons are to the second quarter of 2021)

  • Total revenue of $109.8 million, an increase of 43%.
  • Activation revenue of $60.5 million, an increase of 60%.
  • Measurement revenue of $38.9 million, an increase of 23%.
    • Media Transactions Measured (“MTM”) for CTV and Social increased by 56% and 26% respectively.
    • International measurement revenue increased by 18%, with EMEA revenue growth of 14% and APAC revenue growth of 25%.
  • Supply-Side revenue of $10.4 million, an increase of 49%.
  • Net income of $10.3 million and adjusted EBITDA of $34.0 million, which increased by 60% and represented a 31% adjusted EBITDA margin.

Second Quarter and Recent Business Highlights:

  • Grew Total Advertiser revenue by 43% year-over-year in the second quarter primarily due to a 24% increase in Media Transactions Measured (“MTM”) and a 10% increase in Measured Transaction Fee (“MTF”), and continued to achieve a Gross Revenue Retention rate of over 95% in the second quarter.
  • Grew premium-priced Authentic Brand Suitability (ABS) revenues by 52% year-over-year in the second quarter driven by existing client upsells and geographic expansion as well as by a 20% year-over-year increase in the number of advertisers activating the solution in the second quarter of 2022.
  • Drove global market share growth through product upsells, international expansion and new enterprise logo wins including British Airways, Taco Bell, Universal Parks, Roshfrans, Meta, Asda, Califia Farms, Infiniti and Smile Direct.
  • Continued to expand our coverage in the digital gaming sector and began working with Twitch Ads on a solution to identify contextually brand-safe and suitable livestreamed content for advertisers on Twitch. The solution is currently in closed beta. Twitch is an interactive livestreaming service and global community.
  • Launched an exclusive partnership with Reddit to enable full-suite media verification and maximize advertiser performance across its dynamic, user generated content environment.
  • Launched an exclusive partnership with Scope3 to provide advertiser and agency customers with a comprehensive campaign-based carbon footprint metric via DV’s flagship service and analytics platform, DV Pinnacle®.
  • Launched a platform-wide agreement with the LinkedIn Audience Network to provide brand safety and fraud prevention for all LinkedIn native ads across desktop, mobile web and in-app. The integration uses DV’s technology and data to not only ensure that all campaigns activated through the LinkedIn Audience Network are brand safe, but also fraud-free.

“We delivered strong revenue growth in the first half of 2022 due to the resilience of our business model and the essential nature of our products,” said Nicola Allais, CFO of DoubleVerify. “Our revenue outperformance translated into stronger than expected adjusted EBITDA margins, which also benefited from the faster integration of recent acquisitions and our overall financial discipline, ensuring that our operating expense growth was commensurate with our expected revenue growth. At the midpoints of our raised full-year guidance range, we now expect 35% revenue growth and 31% adjusted EBITDA margins. We continue to monitor the impact of the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment on our clients’ ad budgets, and to engage them in regular dialogue as we successfully execute our plan for the rest of the year.”

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Ireland, Colombia Xbox Insiders Can Preview New Game Pass Offer

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Xbox Insiders based in Colombia and Ireland can preview a new game pass offer right now, according to an official announcement from Xbox. In order to participate in the preview, you need to purchase the “Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview” Game Pass plan in the Microsoft Store.

Things to know about this preview:

  • The people you share your membership with do not have to be Insiders but must reside in the same country as you. Enrollment is limited and will remain open while the offer is available.
  • Joining the Game Pass – Insider Preview will convert the time remaining on your membership to time in the new plan, based upon the monetary value of the old membership. For example, a full month of Ultimate will be converted to 18 days of membership for this plan. This way you won’t lose any of the remaining value on your existing subscription upon conversion. Conversion is final, and users must wait for their new membership to expire before returning to a previous membership.
  • Conversion is not available for invited group members. Before joining a group, a group member can cancel their existing subscription or wait for it to expire. If they do not have a Microsoft account, invited friends and family will have to create a new Microsoft account and sign in with it to participate.
  • Members with Xbox All Access won’t be able to participate in this preview.
  • In Colombia, parts of the copy for the preview have not been localized and might be displayed in English.

Known issues:

  • Invited members with an existing subscription may encounter an error when accepting an invite. We’re working on enabling these members to cancel immediately to accept the invitation.
  • Attempts to upgrade twice within 24 hours will be blocked. For example, upgrading from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will work, but attempts to then upgrade from Ultimate to Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview will be blocked for 24 hours. There is currently a generic error code shown when this is attempted.
  • Microsoft account family members will not receive an email when automatically added to a group. Primary account holders can share benefits with Microsoft account family members automatically. We’re working on sending a confirmation email, and family members do not need to explicitly accept an invite to get access.
  • A Primary account holder may see a “Something went wrong” error when trying to share directly to two or more Microsoft account family members at once after purchase. Please wait a short time and try again. Alternatively, try sharing via email or link.
  • Error while trying to purchase Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview plan. If you’re blocked from purchase with this error code: PEX-CatalogAvailabilityDataNotFound, please report a problem following the steps outlined in the Insider subreddit here. You may be able to work around this by restarting the Microsoft Store and trying to purchase again.
  • Subscription sharing “Get help” link on account.microsoft.com links to the support.xbox.com home page instead of a specific support article with sharing help.
  • Invitation and group management related emails are currently only in English.  We are working on additional languages for these emails.
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