Riot Games Acquires Gaming Studio Hypixel
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
Riot Games closed its acquisition of game developer Hypixel Studios on Thursday, the Los Angeles-headquartered firm announced in a statement. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Riot was founded in 2006 and released its flagship title League of Legends in 2009, which the company reports is the "most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports."
Hypixel was founded in 2018, with Riot part of the initial investment group. The young development studio now boasts over 40 developers, currently at work on its debut game, Hytale. Described as a combination of a "creative sandbox" (á la Minecraft) and a "roleplaying game," 2.5 million people have reportedly signed up for the beta version, which does not yet have a release date, per a company representative. Hypixel has stated it expects Hytale to be playable by 2021. The game's trailer on YouTube has nearly 56 million views.
Hytale - Announcement Trailer www.youtube.com
"Over the last 18 months," said Riot Games President Dylan Jadeja in the statement, "we've been fortunate to advise Hypixel Studios as they build toward their vision for evolving a game genre that reaches an incredibly diverse range of players around the globe."
"As development kicks into high gear," said Aaron Donaghey, Hypixel's new CEO, "we'll benefit from Riot's resources, expertise, and experience while maintaining the operational independence that has enabled our success so far."
Things are certainly looking rosy in the gaming industry. New Zoo, a gaming analytics service, pegs the 2020 global games market at over $160 billion and forecasts nearly $190 billion by 2022. Gaming has climbed during the coronavirus crisis, too; last month Verizon reported a 75% increase in gaming among its customers in the first week following widespread lockdowns. As for esports, global revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion this year, according to New Zoo, and reach nearly $1.6 billion by 2023, a 15.5% compound annual growth rate from 2018.
Earlier this week the Washington Post reported that Riot will oversee the esports component of its second AAA game, Valorant, in a less centralized way than it has with League of Legends. Instead, said the report, the "gaming community" will take on an active role. Riot did, however, issue certain guidance, including standards for prize money and advertising in tournament play.
Not all video games are ripe for esports. One industry source told dot.LA that, "The popularity of an esport is going to be inextricably tied to the game itself. The majority of your esports watchers are either actively playing the game or are lapsed players."
In addition to popularity, the source said that other key factors that determine whether a game will find success in esports include whether it is free to play, requires some level of skill, and is team-based. Given its structure, Hytale is unlikely to hightail its way into the world of esports.
- Overwatch League Suspends Events Over Coronavirus Fears - dot.LA ›
- playvs - dot.LA ›
- Three Gaming Startups Pitch Top Gaming VCs - dot.LA ›
- Three Gaming Startups Pitch Top Gaming VCs - dot.LA ›
- Esports One Aims to Provide 'Fantasy Sports' for Competitive Gaming - dot.LA ›
- L.A.'s Video Game Industry Is a Safe Haven in Uncertain Times - dot.LA ›
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Take Off in the Video Game Industry - dot.LA ›
- FaZe Clan Looks to Dominate Global Entertainment - dot.LA ›
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
The Los Angeles City Council capped service charges third-party delivery services like Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats can pass on to restaurants at 15% of the purchase price during the pandemic following similar moves in San Francisco, Seattle and other major cities.
Restaurants have long complained about charges from the popular apps as high as 30% are eating away at their business, and those worries have grown during the pandemic, as owners find themselves relying more heavily on the services.
- Countywide, Bars, Gyms and Theaters Close, Restaurants Move to ... ›
- COVID-19 crisis sparks 'inflection point' for online grocery — and ... ›
RealNetworks is releasing a browser extension that automatically identifies celebrities and other public figures in YouTube and Netflix videos, using the same facial recognition technology that the company originally developed for use with live surveillance video at schools, casinos and airports."StarSearch by Real" doubles as a video navigation tool, pinpointing the places the celebs appear in the videos, and letting users quickly jump to those spots.
Venture capital has fueled billions of dollars in wealth but it has largely excluded black Americans. Only 1% of venture-funded startup founders are black and more than 80% of venture firms don't have a single black investor.
Blck VC, a group of young black investors and entrepreneurs are calling on the venture capitalist community to diversify their ranks and support the black community. Declaring Thursday, June 4th, a day of action, the group launched a campaign called "We Won't Wait."