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The Competitive Video Game Scene Erupts into a Global Industry
Friday, July 19, 2019 News Commentary

NEW YORK, July 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Video games have become more than a hobby in modern day society. The most attractive aspect of the industry is the diverse selection of games that people can choose from. Aficionados can now play single-player or multiplayer games and even choose from a variety of genres such as action, adventure, horror, and sports. Approximately 67% of Americans, or roughly 211 million people, play video games on at least one type of device, with more than half of those playing on multiple platforms, according to a study by Electronic Entertainment Design and Research. The study compiled statistics from 5,000 people and also showed that 90% of those also play games on their phones or tablets. The study noted that approximately 52% of gamers play on their personal PCs or laptops. Meanwhile, 43% of the group played on a console, while 9% played on their mobile devices. Furthermore, the study also discovered that gaming takes up approximately 16% of U.S. gamers' free-time, totaling an average of 12 hours per week. And since the origin of the first game ever, Pong, there has consistently been a competitive scene in the gaming industry. At first, competitive gaming involved players trying to break one another's records for all-time hit games like Tetris, Super Mario, and most notably, Pac-Man. The industry then morphed over the past several decades and created a new and highly technologically advanced setting for serious gamers. Now, following the emergence of electronic sports, or eSports, companies and gamers have gotten more and more involved in the competitive scene. However, the eSports market is still rather small considering it is relatively new, but despite the size, major gaming corporations have already been able to hold tournaments for players to compete for millions of dollars in cash prizes. According to data compiled by MarketsAndMarkets, the global Esports Market was valued at USD 926.3 Million in 2018. By 2023, the market is projected to reach USD 2.17 Billion while registering a CAGR of 18.61% from 2018 to 2023. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA).

Nowadays, the eSport has become such a reputable industry that many players are beginning to dedicate themselves to their craft full time. Moreover, some colleges and universities have even provided students with degrees, scholarships and courses revolving around eSports. In 2018, the eSports' market witnessed a 38% year-over-year growth, predominantly driven by sponsorships, advertising, and licensing content. The exponential growth that market generated allowed companies to hold tournaments that paid out millions of dollars to players. For example, 18 teams fought for a chance to win Dota 2's The International 2018 grand prize payout of USD 25.53 Million. To put that into perspective of sports, the Confederations Cup had a total prize pool of USD 20 Million and the NBA Championships had a grand prize of USD 13 Million, according to the World Economic Forum. Other popular games with an eSport scene include the Call of Duty franchise, FIFA19, NBA 2K19, Counter Strike, and Fortnite. Some of the top players within the eSports industry such as Kuro Takhasomi (Dota 2) and Amer Al-Barkwai (Dota 2) have collected USD 4 Million from winnings. Additionally, in 2018, notable players showcased their skills in front of nearly 380 million viewers across various media platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. "Between League of Legends appearing in the Asian Games and worldwide phenomenon Fortnite dominating headlines, 2018 has been a formative year for eSports. Never before have games had such an assertive presence in mainstream media and entertainment," said Andrew Paradise, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Skillz, a mobile eSports development platform. "I don't believe the trajectory of eSports is slowing anytime soon -- bigger, better things lie ahead."

UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) just announced breaking news this morning that, "it will commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange today, July 19, 2019, under the trading symbol ESPT. UMG is also pleased to provide an update on its operations.

UMG continues to expand its esports original content business. Through its distribution channels UMG continues to expand its user base. UMG produces and distributes the following on going series at its studio in St Louis:

Minecraft Mondays

Emergence Days - Gears of Wars

Keemstar Fridays

Call of Duty Weekly Rumble

With notable streamers such as Ninja, NICKMERCS, PewDiePie, and DrLupo, these broadcasts UMG produces, is proud to announce that they have had generated in excess of 20,000,000 live views on their platforms of its broadcasts.

UMG's user base continues to grow, in the second quarter of 2019 the registered user base has increased by 70,000 to over 2,200,000. The increased user base has added to the daily tournaments played through the UMG network. Over 18,000,000 matches have now been played through the UMG platform. The matches include daily tournaments, season ladders and individual cash matches. The majority of the matches played on the site are cash based. From these matches well over $3,000,000 in prizes have been paid out.

UMG is also excited about a number of the upcoming and recently completed live events. UMG has plans to broadcast a portion of the weekly Keemstar Friday Series live from various locations in the United States including Las Vegas.

About UMG - UMG is a premier esports company in North America. UMG has operations involved in live tournaments, online esports contests, casino esports operations, creation and distribution of original content and esports tournament operations through its proprietary tournament management app. Readers can learn more about UMG and its esports offerings at .

For our latest "Behind the Buzz" Corporate Snapshot Show featuring UMG Media Ltd., please head over to:

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Xbox recently showcased a blockbuster lineup of 60 anticipated games for both console and PC in its Xbox E3 Briefing and shared a glimpse of the future with Project Scarlett, which launches alongside "Halo Infinite" in 2020. Headlined by the biggest game of 2019, "Gears 5," along with 34 games premiering in Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox E3 Briefing delivered 11 world premieres and a record 14 games from Xbox Game Studios, which will soon include legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions. "It's great to celebrate with our incredible fans and show how we are delivering against our vision to empower gamers to play the games they want, with the friends they want, wherever they want," said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. "With thousands of Xbox games in development, we curated our show around our players, with new titles premiering in Xbox Game Pass across console and PC, and game streaming that enables them to play their favorite games, with their friends, wherever they go."

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), headquartered in New York City, is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. recently reported strong results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019, ended March 31st, 2019, and provided its initial outlook for its fiscal first-quarter 2020, ending June 30st, 2019, and fiscal year 2020, ending March 31st, 2020. GAAP net revenue grew to USD 539.0 Million, as compared to USD 450.3 Million in last year's fiscal fourth quarter. Recurrent consumer spending (virtual currency, add-on content and in-game purchases) increased and accounted for 54% of total GAAP net revenue. The largest contributors to GAAP net revenue in fiscal fourth-quarter 2019 were NBA® 2K19, Grand Theft Auto® Online and Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, Sid Meier's Civilization® VI, Dragon City and Monster Legends, and WWE® SuperCard and WWE 2K19. Total Net Bookings grew 19% to USD 488.4 Million, as compared to USD 411.4 Million during last year's fiscal fourth quarter. Net Bookings from recurrent consumer spending grew 27% year-over-year and accounted for 62% of total Net Bookings. The largest contributors to Net Bookings were NBA 2K19, Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, Sid Meier's Civilization VI, Dragon City and Monster Legends, and WWE SuperCard and WWE 2K19. "Take-Two finished a stellar year with strong fourth quarter operating results highlighted by the outperformance of Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, as well as NBA 2K19, and significant ongoing sales of our blockbuster hit, Red Dead Redemption 2," said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two. "For the full fiscal year, our Company delivered record Net Bookings and Adjusted Operating Cash Flow, which exceeded our outlook at the start of the year, along with strong earnings growth driven by the record-breaking launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, the outstanding performance of NBA 2K, and better-than expected results from Grand Theft Auto Onlineand Grand Theft Auto V.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), headquartered in Santa Monica, California, is the world's most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. Returning with a dedication to providing global consumers with an unmatched fan experience centered on consumer products, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group recently showed at Licensing Expo 2019 an all-star roster of new and returning licensed programs and world-class licensees. The iconic franchises from Activision and Blizzard Entertainment continue to grow beyond gameplay, and Licensing Expo will showcase a range of consumer products that deliver engaging, relevant, and innovative experiences unparalleled in the video game space. Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group is a division of Activision Blizzard. Since its inception, ABCPG remains steadfast in its efforts to drive global growth and engagement for Activision Blizzard's flagship brands, including Activision's Call of Duty®, Crash Bandicoot(TM)and Spyro(TM), and Blizzard's Overwatch® and World of Warcraft®. Additionally, with Activision Blizzard at the vanguard of competitive entertainment, ABCPG continues to raise the bar for esports via the merchandise program for the Overwatch League(TM) as we usher in a new generation of fans and athletes. "Activision Blizzard has a portfolio of some of the world's most beloved franchises, and our aim is to work with world-class licensees that enrich our fans' experience around the world," said Steve Young, President of Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group. "The fan experience is at the center of everything we do, and we're thrilled to create new opportunities for players to immerse themselves and show their passion for Activision's and Blizzard's games through relationships ranging from LEGO to UNIQLO."

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. Recently, Electronic Arts Inc. and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced that the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series generated more than 680 million minutes watched, a 60% annual increase and 61 million total views, a 25% year-over-year increase. Significant viewership growth was anchored by many key factors as the FIFA 19 Global Series featured 17 official league partners vs. eight last season, the first-ever eChampions League in collaboration with UEFA crowned NYC_Chris as its inaugural respective champion and the FIFA eNations Cup(TM) was successfully introduced for the first time. "We're thrilled to see a global community rally around the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series in such monumental ways," said Brent Koning, FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner. "Our partnerships with FIFA, UEFA and 17 world-class football leagues elevates our connection to the traditional sport driving unprecedented player and spectator engagement. Now, we watch the top 128 players that qualified for the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series Playoffs compete in pursuit of becoming world champion at the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019."

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