News Digest 45: Top Gaming News This Week

3 July, 2020 | By Anzu

This week has seen significant investments and has further proved the trend of brands entering the world of gaming as a secured and trusted space. Intrigued? Find out more in our weekly news digest.

Koji has raised $10 million for its platform for creating interactive social media posts. It’s a broadly available, standards-based remix tool that anyone can use to make and share minigames and interactive content. The San Diego-based company has said that it would like to go one step further than TikTok, the platform that popularized this type of tool. They spent the past year beta-testing the product, stating that people made 150,000 Kojis and played them 10 million times during the beta-period, reports VentureBeat.

And some more investment news! Discord officials have revealed that they’ve raised another $100 million in funding from Index Ventures last month -- at a $3.5 billion valuation! Forbes estimates that Discord, which became a viral cult favorite among gamers soon after it emerged in 2015, is on track to top $120 million in sales this year, up from around $70 million last year, fueled by its subscription service called Nitro, which allows users to customize their profiles and the Discord groups that they belong to. In general, the app becomes “less gaming-specific” and the company assures that they continue to take decisive action against white supremacists, racists, and other haters. 

Japanese esports content provider PlayBrain announced that it has closed a $6M USD Series A financing round, bringing the company’s total funds raised to $8M. Existing investor BITKRAFT Esports Ventures participated in the financing round. PlayBrain revealed that it plans to use the investment’s proceeds to grow its footprint, expand into additional esports and entertainment properties, and strengthen its commitment to leading the creative direction, operation, and commercialization of League of Legends Japan League, reports the Esports Observer.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is rolling out a live-streaming service, making a rare foray into American social media. Initially called Madcat and now branded Trovo Live, the new service closely resembles Twitch in its appearance and functionality. Beyond Tencent’s own portfolio of popular games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, Trovo also spotlights titles like Grand Theft Auto and Destiny 2. However, its beta-testing has gone largely unnoticed outside the gaming community, and the WeChat operator has been met with mixed results in its efforts to build online users abroad. The platform recently detailed plans to entice and reward creators with a $30 million partnership program starting this month. Find more details on Bloomberg

Gameloft for Brands, the brand advertising division of the mobile game publisher, has recently released its Gamers & Brands report, based on three surveys of a combined 80,000 gamers -- defined as people who play games at least once a day -- and conducted in cooperation with Gameloft parent Vivendi, reports The report says that 56% of gamers trust companies and brands, compared to 47% of non-gamers. In addition, the report implies that gamers are more likely to serve as amplifiers for a brand's message, with 57% of gamers saying they are a trusted source of advice for their friends and family, compared to 48% for non-gamers. Do you still doubt moving in-game? 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.