Gaming to the Moon 🚀 🌝

Edition 8 - January 25th to January 31st

GameStop, GameStop, GameStop. There’s been a lot of chatter about them over the last week and it’s not due to gaming. Let’s take a look at what happened this week with the GameStop (GME) stock. We’ve got a lot more news to cover though so keep on reading.


GAMESTOP - Is it going to the Moon...or not?

A year ago, GameStop was on the decline and the running meme was that of people offering them $2 for their company, a jab at GameStop’s notoriously low game trade-in prices. Fast forward to January 23, 2020 and their stock price had risen to $65.01 from $3.84 the year before because of a reddit group called “Wallstreetbets”. 

This week, GameStop was on its way to the moon as the reddit group took on the corporations trying to short the stock, raising the stock price to $469.42 from the $3.84 a year prior. The 7.4 million user Reddit group got wind of Melvin Capital (among other hedge funds) having a short position on the stock and started buying to boost its price. The Wallstreetbets group was successful until the popular trading app Robinhood limited/disabled trading of the GameStop stock on their platform. 

Robinhood decided to disable the stock because of the “significant market volatility,” and claimed that they were protecting their users. These actions caught the attention of Republican and Democratic party members who now plan to look into the issue. The “real” reason behind Robinhood disabling the stock is still unknown but it is assumed that the hedge funds put pressure on the company as they were facing a $19 billion loss from their short position. 


GABE NEWELL INTERVIEW - Is New Zealand the way forward? 

Gabe Newell, Co-founder and President of Valve recently sat down with 1News in New Zealand and confirmed that Valve has plenty of new games in development, some of which will be released in the future. IGN is speculating that some of these games may even be single-player titles, which makes sense when you consider their most recent release, Half-Life: Alyx. 

Newell has spent the better part of the last year in New Zealand after his vacation was interrupted by the country's severe COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Due to his newfound love for the country and his appreciation for the government's effective measures, Newell has since applied for residency and has publicly expressed interest in moving some of Valve’s people overseas. We wouldn’t even be surprised if Valve decided to host some of their major Counter Strike tournaments and DOTA 2’s The International there since the island country is mostly back to normal life (albeit, there would likely be big restrictions and a very controlled environment to cater to the inbound players).  


GAMING MOVIES AND TV SHOWS UPDATE

Borderlands the movie is in production and they've already casted some big names. Kevin Hart, will star as “Roland” in the film alongside Cate Blanchett. The movie is being directed by Eli Roth (Hostel) and is being written by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). Don’t worry Borderlands fans, Randy Pitchford the Gearbox founder will be an executive producer for the film. 

Tomb Raider is coming to Netflix as an anime series. The tv-series will take place after the events of Crystal Dynamic’s most recent game trilogy. Tasha Huo (The Witcher) will executive produce and write the series. Alicia VIkander will continue to play Lara Croft in the sequel to the first movie.

Sonic, everyone’s favorite furry blue speedster will be getting a voice change. Actor Roger Craig Smith will be leaving the role after 10 years. Sega and Smith both confirmed through their own statements that they would be parting ways. 


THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE -  2021 is looking to be 🔥

The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG with a storyline that is indirectly connected to the other games in the Elder Scrolls franchise. If you’re looking for a general timeline, the events in the game happen roughly 1000 years before those of Skyrim and about 800 years before Oblivion.

Last week Bethesda had a virtual showcase and revealed parts of their 2021 content roadmap for The Elder Scrolls Online’s newest expansion, Gates of Oblivion. The year-long adventure will include 3 DLCs, starting with Flames of Ambition in March 2021 (which introduces two new PvE Dungeons: The Cauldron and the Black Drake Villa) followed by a brand-new chapter called “Blackwood” in June 2021. Blackwood will bring players over 30 hours of new content, allowing them to explore the colorful part of Tamriel where the diverse culture of Argonians meets with imperial ambitions. The chapter brings all-new adventures and features to enjoy, including:

  • A new zone: Blackwood (including Niben Forest, the Blackwood Bog, and the City of Leyawiin)

  • A storyline that ties into the Gates of Oblivion adventure 

  • The new Companions system 

  • A new 12-player trial called Rockgrove 

  • New world events: Oblivion Portals 

  • New delves, public dungeons, world bosses and stand alone-quests 

  • Various updates quality-of-life improvements 


ESPORTS CORNER 

Veteran esports organization Evil Geniuses have announced their entrance into the Valorant pro scene with a mixed gender roster. The squad that will debut in the NA Champions Tour qualifier features team captain Christina “Potter” Chi, Claudia “clawdia” Che, Ronan “Osias” Jeremiah Javelona, Aleksandar Hinojosa and Nolan “Temperature” Pepper. Despite having no competitive experience together, Potter and clawdia made it to the FTW Summer Showdown grand finals together while Aleksandar and Temperature teamed in the First Strike: North American main event. This is a huge step in the right direction for esports showing that team composition can be diverse. 

Versus Programming Network (VSPN), the Shanghai-based esports event company has just completed its series-b funding round by raising more than $60 million. The funds will be used to help expand the business globally, develop esports production technologies, build up intellectual properties and create esports products and content. VSPN is China's biggest esports company that holds roughly 70% of the esports event market share. Earlier this month they announced the acquisition of Banana Gaming & Media, a major esports production company across Asia. 

Back in December the PUBG Mobile esports director revealed that the 2021 season will award more than $14 million in total prize pool money. With gaming and esports growing at an exponential rate, mobile gaming is an avenue that presents less berries of entry for gamers and according to Business Insider, will make up 45% of the total games market in 2021. With hugely popular mobile games like PUBG, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor, Free Fire and Mobile Legends already having solidified pro scenes, we have a few newer titles making some serious noise with their prize pools. Supercell’s Brawl Stars will now be putting up more than $1 million dollars across various stages of their esports season and Tencent will be investing $154 million (wowza!) into the many Honor of Kings events across Asia. 


THE GAMING ROUNDUP 

  • In response to Halo fans on Reddit, 343 Industries’ community manager Brian Jarrard has confirmed that the studio will be releasing monthly blog posts called “Inside Infinite” intended to better communicate with their fans.

  • Over 19 million players recently picked up Star Wars: Battlefront 2 during an Epic Games store promo.

  • The Na’Vi vs. Vitality match becomes the most watched online CS:GO match in history.

  • Electronic Arts (EA) has created a new game studio called “Full Circle,” to create the next game in the Skate series.

  • IO Interactives’ Executive Producer Forest Swartout Large confirmed that they’re “already looking to the future” when it comes to additional Hitman 3 content.


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