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Business of Esports Minute 011 – Fall Guys, Blizzard Baseball, Shroud & Doc Return, Epic Sues Apple

A week of news covering the intersection of business and gaming / esports, all in about one minute – everything you need to know from the “profit of esports” himself. 

011 – August 16, 2020

From the keyboard to the boardroom, this is the Business of Esports Minute! Every single week, I, Paul Dawalibi, the prophet of esports, will be bringing you my hottest takes from the week, basically everything you need to know about the business of esports all in about one minute. Let’s go.

This week, Fall Guys took the spotlight as the latest runaway success in gaming. In its first week, the game sold over 2M copies, and had 23 million hours watched on Twitch. Many of the top streamers such as xQc and Pokimane have been enjoying the game and pulling in huge viewership numbers. 

In more unfortunate news, Activision Blizzard named the MLB’s Deputy Commissioner, Tony Petitti, its new President of Sports & Entertainment. Tony will oversee esports, consumer products, and film and television, but he was mainly hired to try to save Activsion Blizzard’s two city-based leagues, Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. It’s clear that Tony brings much-needed management experience and operational excellence to an organization sorely lacking in those departments. However, baseball suffers from many of the same challenges as the Activision Blizzard leagues, and traditional sports thinking and a lack of innovation are a big part of what got those leagues in trouble in the first place.

This week saw Shroud return to Twitch with an exclusive deal. Roughly a month after the shutdown of Mixer, Shroud made a triumphant return to the platform where he has 7.1M followers. Dr Disrespect also made his return to streaming, although in his case, he went to YouTube, and his comeback was a more dramatic affair. Spread over 2 days, the Doc had hundreds of thousands gripped in suspense. In the end, we got no new information regarding his Twitch ban, but given that his return basically broke YouTube, I don’t think he’s losing much sleep over it. Don’t be surprised if you see a Dr Disrespect production company in the near future.

Finally, you should know that Epic sued Apple and Google this week over antitrust violations, namely with regards to the cut the tech companies collect on all App Store purchases. Apple and Google both removed Fortnite from their app stores after Epic tried to circumvent their cut. In short, this is the story of Epic Games getting greedy and wanting to re-negotiate a contract they agreed to with full transparency and eyes-wide open, after massively benefiting from the global distribution channels built by Apple and Google. We actually dedicated an entire special livestream last week to this topic if you’re looking for greater depth. 

For far more detailed insight and discussion into the business of esports, as well as the most exceptional line-up of guests, please tune in every week to the Business of Esports podcast and every Wednesday evening into the Business of Esports after-show livestream. Also make sure to follow us on Twitter @bizesports and on YouTube at The Business of Esports. 

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