News Digest 36: Top Gaming News This Week

1 May, 2020 | By Anzu

While the pandemic-driven quarantine rules ease in some countries, the video gaming and esports industries are still moving forward without any sights of slowing down! Read on for a summary of the most powerful industry insights from this week.

To begin with, some inspiring news from China: COVID-19 has already wreaked havoc around the globe, but it all started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which went through a 76-day-long lockdown and subsequent economic recession. To accelerate the recovery of Wuhan’s economy, live streaming platform DouYu and esports organization eStar Gaming have teamed up to host a four-day online shopping event, during which all eStar Gaming players became “salesmen” and recommended specialty products to the audience through exclusive shopping channels. This resulted in eStar Gaming and DouYu selling 810 thousand specialty products, with over ¥30M RMB ($4.2 mln) in sales. Why did it go over so well? Keep in mind that both esports teams and esports professional players have massive fan bases around the world that can leverage their fame for sales, charity, and other causes. Read more of the weekly China esports recap on the Esports Observer.

In the midst of social isolation, people are spending more time playing and watching games than ever before. According to Newzoo cited by, between December 2019 and March 2020, all game genres have seen growth in player share on PC with shooter titles seeing the most growth--up to a total share of 46%. Rainbow Six Siege saw the highest share of PC players engaging with shooters, but some of the category's growth was due to the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Warzone mode. Aside from shooters, other genres on the rise include gambling games, deck building, and platformers.

We’ve already seen NBA players playing NBA video games and NASCAR drivers taking part in NASCAR racing video games, but how about some of the world’s finest athletes picking up a controller and playing Mario Tennis? That’s what this upcoming tournament, a joint venture between Facebook and tennis management company IMG, is doing anyway, reports Kotaku. While current stars like the Williams sisters, Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys are taking part, there will also be other people involved as well, from former players like Maria Sharapova to Titans QB Ryan Tannehill to...Seal. The event will be broadcast live on Facebook on Sunday at 1pm PT/4pm ET.

Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch has launched a dedicated directory for esports tournaments, teams, and players based on users’ viewing history. The hub is said to make “the world of esports streaming more intuitive and accessible,” reports Esports Insider. Well, it’s about time, since esports has played a big part in Twitch reaching its current status and securing its hold on the live streaming business. The existing competition will keep pushing such platforms to develop new and helpful resources.

French publishing giant Ubisoft has announced that its next Assassin's Creed game will be centred on Vikings and hence called Valhalla. According to PC Games Insider, 15 development studios are currently working on the project with Ubisoft Montreal taking centre stage. The fans have been flocking to the company’s Youtube for a world premiere which was scheduled for April, 30 5 pm CEST. is an in-game advertising platform that brings real-world brand ads to video gaming and esports. Backed by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, WPP, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Anzu redefines digital advertising through seamless integration of non-intrusive ads into the gameplay. Bringing real-time data and programmatic to the video gaming world, the platform promises native advertising, brand safety and ad viewability. Follow Anzu on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.