Pixel P&L: Unveiling the Lives of Video Game Writers and the Esports World Cup Controversy

Inside the World of Video Game Writers and the Social Media Storm of Esports World Cup 2024

Vignesh Raghuram
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Pixel P&amp;L


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Good Morning! It’s Monday, June 3. Today, we're peeling back the curtain on the lives of video game writers. Spoiler alert: it’s not all late-night pizza and pixelated glory. We’ll dig into their paychecks, jobs, and what they do when they’re dreaming up video game worlds. Plus, we’ll unravel the recent regulatory kerfuffle caused by organizations hyping the Esports World Cup 2024 on social media. Grab your coffee and joystick—it's going to be a fun ride!

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Inside the Chaotic Life of a Game Writer: Non-Stop Buzz, Tight Deadlines, and Big Payoffs

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a game writer? Picture your phone buzzing non-stop – developers seeking clarity on plot twists, designers asking for input on new levels, voice actors discussing character motivations, and playtesters giving crucial feedback. It’s a non-stop ride!

In a single day, game writers juggle morning stand-up meetings, emails from creative directors, and coordination with producers. They switch between solitary writing sessions and intense collaborations with artists, directors, designers, and programmers. The job demands versatility, resilience, and the ability to thrive under pressure.

But what does it take to break into this dynamic field? And how much can you earn? Surya explores the qualifications needed and the financial rewards of being a game writer. With insights from Harris Orkin, a veteran in the industry known for his work on "Dead Island" and "Resident Evil Village," you’ll discover the blend of creativity and technical skill required to succeed.

Regulatory Concerns Cast Shadow on Esports World Cup Promotions

Between May 6-13, esports organizations part of the Esports World Cup (EWC) Foundation Club Support Program launched a widespread advertising blitz on Twitter, promoting the eight-week competition funded by a Saudi Arabian government grant. However, this enthusiastic campaign has sparked significant regulatory concerns.

The Esports Advocate shed light on the potential breaches of advertising standards. The EWC Program offers substantial financial incentives to 30 selected clubs, including six-figure annual payouts for those excelling in competitive performance and social engagement. While the program's financial benefits are enticing, they come with strings attached: the expectation to promote the event heavily.

Regulatory bodies in various jurisdictions, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, mandate clear disclosure of any financial relationships in promotional content. The recent promotional efforts by esports organizations did not include such disclosures, raising questions about compliance with these guidelines.

The FTC’s guidelines, for instance, require endorsers to disclose any financial relationships clearly, using tags like #ad or #sponsored in their posts. Similarly, the ASA insists that advertisements must be easily identifiable as such. Without these disclosures, the promotional posts by EWC-participating teams might mislead audiences about their nature.

Considering the fact that tournament operators and video game publishers are actively incentivising teams to grow their social media presence, the absence of clear labeling in these promotional posts could lead to regulatory scrutiny and potential penalties. 

Quick Bytes

Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2024 Smashes Viewership Records

The Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2024 hit a peak concurrent viewership of over 172,000 during its Wildcard phase, reflecting the game's soaring popularity. With a prize pool of INR 2 Crores (approximately $240 thousand USD), the stakes are high. The tournament will culminate in a thrilling LAN Grand Finals in Hyderabad from June 28 to June 30, 2024. 

Embracer Boss Mulls Increasing Video Game Prices Beyond $70

Lars Wingefors, controversial CEO of Embracer Group, has hinted at raising video game prices beyond $70 due to escalating development costs and fierce market competition. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Wingefors, who recently laid off thousands of employees and shuttered multiple studios, stated, "We've discussed increasing prices, especially for extensive, high-quality RPGs. The market hasn't tested this yet."

Team Falcons Secures Multi-Year Mobile Legends Deal Amid ESWC Announcements

Saudi Arabian esports organization Team Falcons has inked a multi-year partnership with Southeast Asian powerhouse AP.Bren, marking its entry into the Mobile Legends Bang Bang arena. According to Esports Insider, the deal includes naming rights, co-branding opportunities, and a new social media presence, leading to the rebranded MPL Philippines team, AP.Bren Falcons.

Kinetix and OVERDARE Partner to Bring Generative AI to Mobile Gaming

Generative AI startup Kinetix has teamed up with Krafton-owned UGC platform OVERDARE to introduce dynamic 3D animations, or "emotes," to mobile gamers. This integration will allow players to transform videos into interactive animations, enhancing personalization and engagement. Kinetix CEO Yassine Tahi calls it a "transformative approach to gaming," while OVERDARE CEO Hyungchul Park believes it will boost player retention. Currently in Alpha testing in Southeast Asia, OVERDARE plans a worldwide release later this year.

Hello Kitty Set to Debut in Indian Market

Hello Kitty, the iconic Japanese character created by Yuko Shimizu, is entering the Indian market for the first time through a partnership between Sanrio and licensing agency Dream Theatre, according to Forbes India. Silvia Figini, Sanrio's COO (EMEA), highlighted the potential of the Indian market, citing its cultural alignment with kawaii culture. Plans include Hello Kitty merchandise, themed cafes, and a YouTube channel in Hindi, with Tamil and Telugu channels to follow.

Did You Know?

Genshin Impact, the popular open-world RPG from Chinese developer miHoYo, is poised to become the most expensive video game ever created. Initially launched with a development and marketing budget of $100 million, the costs have surged dramatically. In a February 2021 presentation, miHoYo President Cai Haoyu revealed that the game’s ongoing development expenses are estimated at $200 million per year. This substantial budget supports the game's bi-monthly content updates, which consistently introduce new characters, areas, and events.

As Genshin Impact nears its fourth anniversary on September 28, 2024, its total expenditure is projected to reach an astounding $900 million, positioning it as potentially the most expensive game of all time.

Gacha games, a category that includes Genshin Impact, are significant revenue drivers within the gaming industry. In 2023, the market for gacha games reached $480 million and is expected to climb to $783.14 million by 2029. However, this lucrative market has its downsides. As noted in our recent feature, players often spend thousands of dollars in pursuit of rare in-game items, posing considerable financial and psychological risks.

Quote of the Day

Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you."
- Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

Editor's Note

In our previous issue of Pixel P&L, we incorrectly referred to Anuj Tandon as the CEO of Jetsynthesis. He is, in fact, the Gaming CEO of Jetsynthesis. We regret the error.

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.