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Business of Esports Minute 016 – Next-Gen Console Pricing, Logitech x Shroud, Ninja Return

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. 

016 – September 20, 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 big news was pricing. All of the next-generations consoles and their variants now have official pricing. At the high end of the market, PS5 will be going toe to toe with the Xbox Series X at the $499 price point. However, at the low end of the market, Sony will be selling a disc-less PS5 for $399 and Microsoft is undercutting with the Xbox Series S at $299. Even though the Series S uses less powerful hardware, the price point gives them a significant leg up in the price-conscious console market. Furthermore, Microsoft is innovating on the pricing front with a 2-year financing option that includes Xbox Game Pass. This makes the Microsoft offerings more accessible than ever. It’s likely that Sony simply can’t make their business case work at a $299 price point and will have to rely on exclusives to be competitive. Microsoft is attacking on all fronts from pricing to the bundling of services and cloud gaming. Interesting start to this console generation war for sure. 

Logitech and Shroud are partnering for a branded product line that includes a mouse, keyboard, mousepad, and headset. Unfortunately, none of the products being introduced are new, but simply rebrands and shroud stickers applied to existing products such as the G Pro Wireless mouse.  What is most disappointing is the seemingly lazy and minimum effort  here on Logitech’s part. It would have been far more interesting to see a collaboration with Shroud that involved the development of brand new accessories designed specifically for hardcore gamers looking to improve their aim. In a rush to secure influencer partnerships, activations like this can sometimes fall flat.

Finally, Ninja, perhaps the world’s most well known gamer, returned to Twitch last week with an exclusive multi-year deal. What is most puzzling is why any platforms would pay for exclusivity at this point given the wealth of data showing that audiences don’t migrate that easily. After taking $30M from Mixer and failing to attract a significant user base, Ninja is rumored to have accepted less than $10M from Twitch. Does that sound like a familiar amount? It’s the amount of money Twitch saved by kicking out the less family-friendly Dr Disrespect. Conspiracy theory anyone? 

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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