Brand’s “News of the Week” (March 16th – March 23th)
Tiger Woods, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Katsuhiro Harada prove that celebrities haven’t been replaced by newer influencers.
Here’s everything that happened in the world of videogame marketing from March 16th to March 23rd.
1) Riot Games CEO Accusations of Misconduct & Alienware Partnership Finishes
Nicolas Laurent, CEO of League of Legends and Valorant publisher Riot Games was accused of misconduct after Sharon O’Donnell ( Former Executive Assistant) filed a lawsuit on January 7, but no evidence was found, therefore, no sanctions were established.
Alienware recently terminated their sponsorship contract after harassment allegations started to spread like fire, to avoid damages to the company’s public image.
The deal terminated one year earlier than what it was scheduled to (end in January 2022).
Before that, they sponsored every official League of Legends esports broadcast, including the Worlds tournament.
2) 2K and Tiger Woods New Long-Term Deal is Here
Giant sports game publishers, 2K (owner of the NBA 2K and WWE franchise) have closed a deal with all-time best golf player, Tiger Woods. This partnership is proposed to use rights to his name and future PG1 Tour 2K game titles.
Woods will work with the team as the Executive Director and consultant of the golf franchise.
2K has also acquired HB Studios, the private company behind PGA Tour 2K21, and the Golf Club.
It will join the list of heavyweight developers wholly-owned 2K studios (Visual Concepts, Firaxis Games, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games, Cloud Chamber, and 31st Union) once the acquisition closes during the first quarter of 2021.
3) “The Rock” and Xbox Partner Once Again for ZOA Energy
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teased a brand-new collaboration between Xbox and ZOA Energy, his energy drink brand. According to him, ZOA is “the ultimate healthy and immunity-supporting energy drink that’s the first of its kind.”
How does a collaboration like this, from beverage company “Molson Coors” and the Xbox console-maker, work?
This Instagram video shows exactly how.
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During the video, “The Rock” talks about his buddy “Bill Gates” and how he keeps a picture of the two in the original 2001’s Xbox console release aside from his office desk.
Since then, they kept working together in less commercial partnerships, as with Gamer’s Outreach Xbox Series X console donations to children’s hospitals.
4) “Xbox Live” Branding Name Changes to “Xbox Network”?
Players from the Original Xbox and 360 version might think about the Xbox Live name and the good times that represented, with nostalgia. That was before it got replaced with “Xbox network,” so now there are more reasons to miss them.
Fortunately for everyone, especially those who would like to come back, the corresponding Xbox Live Gold subscription isn’t changing. Microsoft says the change is to differentiate the overall network from the subscription-based offer.
Reporter Tom Warren was one of the first to notice this change. At least was among the first to show it publicly.
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 21, 2021
The most noticeable part of this change is how “network” isn’t capitalized. A Microsoft spokesperson said this term is used to underline the Xbox online service, as is stated in the Microsoft Services Agreement, and to differentiate from Xbox Live Gold memberships.
5) Numskull Helps Playstation Release Official Merchline
From hoodies to coasters: the team of Numskull has collaborated once again with Sony’s PlayStation to release its official merchandising line. Their first collaboration was around the classic PSX anniversary.
The clothing line and other merch items follow the same branding pattern from modern-looking, newest released consoles: the PS5.
Even if you aren’t looking for a T-shirt or cap, you can also purchase a PlayStation-themed wallet, keychain, mug, flasks, coasters, and/or water-bottle.
All the collection is available now at Numskull’s website, along with the mentioned PlayStation classic product line.
6) G.I. Joe & Cobra Commander Meet World of Tanks
The Wargaming brand is no stranger to crossovers, so instead of the anime-style Transformer collaboration, this time World of Tanks meets a familiar style: Cobra Commander and Duke from the G.I. Joe franchise.
As you can imagine, it includes crew commander playable characters and 3D-style revamps for the TS-5 and the T-54, as well as themed missions, emblems, and decals.
This promotion is made possible thanks to Amazon’s Prime Gaming subscription.
Max Chugalov, its publishing director said he was waiting for this collaboration “for years.”
“The characters of G.I. JOE have captured the playtime of an entire generation as they recreated epic battles with toys and imagination. Now that generation is grown, and there is no better way for them to revisit the joy of G.I. JOE than in World of Tanks!”
7) Twitch Add Tools to Deal with DMCA Strikes
Twitch’s stakeholders have been announcing improvements on their DMCA notice systems for a long time, but just by now Twitch streamers actually got their way to track and report copyright strikes made against them.
Mainly, it’s an embedded on-site inbox message spot. Additionally, it’s now possible to bulky delete videos, all at once, in a max group of 20.
They’re also planning to release view count, game, or date sorting, and more clip deletion features in the future. The closest streamers got so far, it’s the option to hide or delist videos and clips, or to simply show the “demonetized” sign, as YouTubers sometimes do.
While copyright-free Spotify playlists and Twitch’s own soundtrack services may be useful at times, nothing has come as close as the solution as this.
8) “Harada’s Bar” Debut Webshow from Tekken’s Producer
Katsuhiro Harada released the debut episode of new interviewing web series “Harada’s Bar.”
The charismatic Tekken producer and the big-name guests from the video game industry will entertain you for a whole half hour, with interesting insider stories almost no-one knows about. Its first guess was Ken Kutaragi, Sony’s Computer Entertainment chairman.
Named “Harada’s Bar”, presents Mr. Harada working behind the glass of this good-looking Japanese-style bar, serving his guests and making everyone (the guest and the public, all included) feel welcomed.
9) Pokemon: DJ Pikachu Remixes and Exclusive GameStop’s Card
Pikachu can do anything. A battler, detective, and now a disc-jockey thanks to the “DJ Pikachu Lightning Remix” brought to us by Japan’s Pokemon YouTube channel.
Fans of the series will familiarize with the “shocking” game’s tracks and its “electrifying” performance, that it has collected almost 300,000 visualizations since its premiere.
But that’s not the only news for Pokemon fans, because they have joined GameStop to release an exclusive Pokemon card, from the Pokemon: Sword & Shield “Battle Styles” expansion, for those who get $15 worth of TCG merchandise from the store.
It’s known that Flapple (Grass/Dragon type) will be the protagonist of this exclusive edition, being the first card to have the GameStop logo stamp at the bottom right of it.
10) Hot Wheels x Mario Kart: Rainbow Road Kit Available on Amazon
A never-seen Nintendo and How Wheels product collaboration (the “Rainbow Road Kit”) mysteriously showed up on Amazon, days after announcing its merged Mario Kart Gliders.
This mysterious offer gives us all the information we could ask Nintendo or Hot Wheels alike.
It will be released on May 29, 2021, with an MSRP of $119.99.
Thankfully, it will be fully customizable, capable of being placed in a straight line or with the outrageous twists and turns we love and hate so much.
Mario and King Boo seem to be in the Rainbow Road Raceway, too. Which it makes sense, as the whole partnership, considering no other games/toys share so many characteristics.
She loves Gaming as much as she loves her Chicken pets. Vanessa harvests virtual and real-life plants. You can find her writing or playing Terraria.