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Business of Esports Minute 014 – Nvidia 30 Series Launch, PUBG Mobile Ban, CDL Expansion Canceled

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. 

014 – September 6, 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, the biggest story in gaming was definitely Nvidia’s announcement of their latest generation of graphics cards. The company continues to prove that they are one of the major drivers of innovation in gaming. Nvidia’s market value has more than doubled year to date and is now worth more than its 2 main rivals (Intel and AMD) combined. With the introduction of their new “Ampere”-based cars, Nvidia provides the gaming industry with the hardware necessary to produce next-generation immersive experiences. This also puts PC gaming firmly back on top of the power mountain, with next-gen consoles not able to achieve even a fraction of the performance of the new Nvidia cards. 

In global news, PUBG hit a major roadblock this week. After the failure of their PC game, PUBG survived on the popularity of their mobile port. However, India, the biggest market for PUBG Mobile, just banned the Chinese-owned game this week, citing security reasons. PUBG Mobile is one of the fastest-growing esports in India, but its ownership by Chinese conglomerate Tencent was seen as a serious threat to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of India. It’s unclear what Tencent will do now with their PUBG franchise, but selling it back to a non-Chinese company seems like an option. The reality is that PUBG Mobile could shut down forever, and not really have a material impact on Tencent’s global gaming dominance at all. 

Finally, Call of Duty League made a suspicious decision this week to explicitly state that despite lots of great demand for CDL from “different places”, they have decided not to expand for the 2021 season. Their efforts to control the messaging around CDL achieve opposite results here. It’s highly unlikely that they are swimming in interest from new franchise partners at the sky-high prices they charged the original franchisees. This is especially true given that the league only achieved modest viewership (and very small viewership relative to the big esports), and didn’t prove out any of their geo-localised event-revenue driven model. It’s admirable that Activision Blizzard sees the need to fix their product before expanding. I just wish that’s the messaging that had gone out, instead of the fluff PR they get journalists to write for them. 

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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