Riot Games has appointed John Needham as its new Global Head of League of Legends esports.Before his new role, Needham was the Managing Director of Europe and North America at Riot Games – responsible for the developer’s publishing and operations across the two regions. Photo credit: Riot GamesNeedham will now be responsible for the growth of all of the regional leagues that are operated by Riot Games, and will lead the development on global events such as the World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event.Jarred Kennedy and Whalen Rozelle, the previous co-Heads of Esports at Riot Games, have moved on to new roles within the company. Kennedy will lead a division that focuses on “building and operating new businesses” and Rozelle will lead “new esports initiatives across the organization.”Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games commented in a release: “Riot’s aspirations are growing, and we are moving three of our proven leaders to accomplish even bigger things, on games, and beyond games. John’s global experience, track record with our regional esports leagues, and true passion for gaming will accelerate the evolution of League of Legends into one of the leading sports and entertainment properties in the world.“LoL is an esports phenomenon, thanks in large part to the leadership, drive, and vision of Jarred and Whalen, and we’re now confident that we are well on our way to becoming a multi-decade, multi-generational sport. We plan to provide our players, teams, partners, and fans with even more high-impact, amazing League of Legends experiences.”Esports Insider says: In just over two years, Needham has gone from managing Europe, to North America and Europe, to now Riot Games’ global esports efforts – he must be doing something right. As the industry continues to grow, it becomes even more vital for Riot Games that LoL remains at the forefront so there will undoubtedly be a lot of pressure on Needham from the get-go.Subscribe to ESI on YouTube
- When will Disney get back into video games? | Opinion
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKevin McIntosh Head of Production, Torus GamesA year ago My company worked with Disney Consumer Products during 2014-2015 and enjoyed the experience. We started with portions of the development, and as we proved ourselves we were given more titles and content to create. We had a growing influence on the product and creative control. There was certainly a focus on each element of the game, and we spoke frequently about details that some may see as minor to the experience, but it improved the overall quality of the product. Others had always warned with some horror stories about working directly with Disney, but the whole process was much smoother than I had been led to expect. We ended up winning Disney Developer of the Year for our work on a range of projects. The team at Disney knew games and product development well.My two cents is that Disney should be involved in their own products – licensing is a retreating business and devalues their brands when left in the hands of others. When I visited Disneyland a couple of years ago, I was amazed to see that the range of licenses that were represented, all the way back to brands which hadn’t been touched for 30+ years. They’ve done a great job of keeping some of their brands alive on low boil and cross-generational, as opposed to others who missed their opportunity. My kids understand if I make reference to Mickey Mouse or Mary Poppins (even before the reboot), but would look at me weird if I talked about Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny. There are some big name licensing opportunities like Star Wars / EA which make sense (sort of), but it would be great to see a Disney game strategy. I’d be happy to contribute to that. 🙂 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago I would of thought Disney would primarily be after Nintendo.Would be a terrible idea for Nintendo, but I’m surprised Disney haven’t been pushing that for years. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyChris Ochs Software Development 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKlaus Preisinger Freelance Writing When will Disney get back into video games? | OpinionSuggesting Disney should buy Activision Blizzard is half correct; its gaming strategy needs re-evaluation, but that’s the wrong acquisitionRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 5th July 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleActivision BlizzardThe Walt Disney CompanyWith the closing of Disney’s $71.3bn acquisition of most of Fox’ media properties, an updated image of the giant company’s holdings went viral online. Showing all of Disney’s interests and subsidiary companies on a single, appropriately Mickey-shaped diagram, it wasn’t entirely clear whether it was meant to shock or impress — but it certainly made clear the scale and reach of the company.From its immensely popular parks and resorts via movie studios and TV networks through to print publishing, merchandising and licensing, Disney has its fingers in almost every pie related to entertainment. Moreover, thanks to an incredible series of acquisitions over the past decade or so, Disney owns a fairly dramatic slice of the world’s most beloved entertainment franchises.Pixar (acquired in 2006), Marvel (2009), and Lucasfilm (2012) each brought with them incredibly valuable IP — Toy Story, The Avengers, Star Wars — and Fox is no different, not only reuniting a large part of Marvel’s film rights with the successful MCU franchise but also giving Disney ownership of everything from The Simpsons and National Geographic through to the Alien, Avatar and Independence Day franchises.”It’s weird that we’ve just capped off more than a decade of Marvel movies, and yet the closest thing to a game is a squad-based shooter that doesn’t use the MCU characters and isn’t out until next year” There is, however, one gaping hole in the Disney empire — and it’s no secret what it is. The company’s enormous ambitions in almost every other area of the media, including its aggressive attempt to corner a large part of the streaming video market with Disney+, simply don’t seem to extend to video games. The firm makes no bones about it; CEO Bob Iger told investors earlier this year that “the best place for us to be in that space is licensing and not publishing”, reiterating a party line that was set with the closure of Disney Interactive Studios back in 2016.The company’s ungracious exit from video games had been signalled for several years — it shut down several studios on its way out the door, including Black Rock (Split/Second) and Junction Point (Epic Mickey). Since then, it’s focused almost entirely on licensing out its properties, notably working with EA on Star Wars titles and with Square Enix on an upcoming Avengers game. At least one investor thinks Disney needs to suck up the taste of its former failures in this market and get back in the game; Nick Licouris at Gerber Kawasaki, which owns about $22 million worth of Disney shares, argued this week that the company should take advantage of the recently depressed share price of Activision Blizzard and make that into its next major acquisition target.Now, Gerber Kawasaki isn’t exactly a disinterested party here; the firm also owns about $4.3 million worth of Activision shares. That makes it easy to dismiss this story as “guy who would make a packet from Activision being bought by Disney thinks Disney should probably buy Activision, News at 11″ — but even if Gerber Kawasaki’s interest is obvious, the idea itself is worth thinking about a little.Since the struggles of Disney Infinity, the entertainment giant has had little direct involvement in video games, instead opting to license out if propertiesSure, Disney hasn’t had much success in running its own game studios — but it’s hard to see its current arms-length attitude to games as being in the company’s best interests. The firm’s prior failures in this market were largely attributable to a lack of experience and understanding of video games within Disney’s executive levels; the company had the know-how and background to successfully complete the integration of acquisitions like Lucasfilm and Marvel without damaging their creative cultures, but working with video games just proved a bridge too far.The result has been that despite licensing efforts, Disney’s IPs are dramatically underserved on the video games front. It’s not that anyone wants a return to the bad old days of undercooked tie-in titles being launched alongside every major movie release — ugh. But I think we sometimes don’t appreciate just how weird it is that we’ve just capped off more than a decade of Marvel movies with a $2.7bn grossing mega-hit like Avengers Endgame, and yet the closest thing there is to a game that will capitalise on that enthusiasm and love for the franchise is, um, a squad-based shooter that doesn’t use the MCU versions of the characters and isn’t out until next year. Let alone that we’re about to hit the third Star Wars film in a new trilogy — a new Star Wars trilogy! — and the fifth film made under the Disney banner, and so far all we’ve got to show for it is an online multiplayer FPS game from a couple of years back that people mostly remember for some very unpopular monetisation choices.”Disney is a little more active in mobile — but money spent on a license translates into a desperate need to monetise in incredibly aggressive ways” By comparison, Sony owns the tiniest sliver of the Marvel universe — Spider-Man and his associated characters — and it managed to spin that into one of the best PS4 games of the past year, linking it cleverly to the character’s history both in print and on screen, and even tying it to the brand new Spider-Man: Far From Home with both a free DLC for the game and a subtle nod in the movie itself.”Sony is pretty good at this video games lark” isn’t exactly a truth bomb, but the point stands that given only the tiniest fraction of the IP powerhouse Disney controls, the firm has managed to make video games and movies into a mutually beneficial circle (perfectly balanced, just as all things should be). Hell, for all that DC Comics has struggled terribly in Marvel’s shadow with its film adaptations, it’s knocking it into a cocked hat with games — the Arkham series of Batman games and the Injustice beat ’em ups are both solid franchises that both draw from and feed back into the IPs upon which they’re based. When Disney has found success with games in recent years, it’s largely only been in partnerships which mix its IPs into other companies’ formulae — revivals of Kingdom Hearts with Square Enix and of Marvel vs. Capcom with, well, Capcom being the key examples. By and large its licensing approach doesn’t seem to be working; it’s not just that it loses the company opportunities to tie together video games, TV shows and movies in interesting and compelling ways; that would be forgivable if licensing was resulting in world-class games that Disney didn’t feel it could create on its own, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case.If anything, the licensing approach seems to result in weaker games — perhaps because the inevitable bureaucratic overhead introduced by not one but two giant corporations leaning over the developers’ shoulders is a significant burden on creativity and speed. Or perhaps because the sheer amount of money involved in the license dampens the appetite for risk-taking in the creative process. Or perhaps simply because building games at arm’s length from the people who are creating everything else to do with the IP isn’t a great idea to begin with. This seems to be especially severe in the mobile space, where Disney is a little more active than in PC or console — but where the amount of money being spent on a license translates into a desperate need to monetise in incredibly aggressive, off-putting ways. Sony has demonstrated with Marvel’s Spider-Man how Disney-owned IP can be better adapted to the video games space, and even tie in with filmsIn short, whatever competence Disney thinks it lacks right now in games is a competence it should really be trying to acquire one way or the other, because “we’ll just license it out” isn’t an approach that’s going to wash forever for a company of this size and stature. Sure, Disney can’t do everything at once and right now it’s still focused on integrating the Fox acquisition and gearing up for an epic streaming showdown with Netflix — but this is a company that’s always in search of the next growth opportunity, so constantly overlooking a market the size of video games just isn’t an option. “Should Disney be buying Activision Blizzard? Oh, hell no” So, should Disney be buying Activision Blizzard? Oh, hell no. An acquisition of some kind might make sense for the firm — after all, if the issue is a lack of knowledge and experience of games in the C-suite, then a well-managed acquisition of a successful game publisher ought to come with that in droves.Good acquisitions, however, are additive; they bring growth to a company by allowing it to expand into new markets and find synergies with the existing business to the benefit of both sides. Activision may be cheap right now, at least by the standards of large game publishers — it would probably cost about $40 billion to acquire — but it’s cheap for a reason. It’s had a rough few years and hasn’t convincingly shown how it’s going to break out of that cycle; its knack for creating valuable new franchises seems to have faded and several of its biggest existing franchises seem to be slowly winding down. If Disney doesn’t have the know-how to handle game publishing on its own, it certainly doesn’t have the know-how to turn around an expensive acquisition that’s struggling somewhat.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Of course, Activision may well turn things around for itself — I have no doubt that it’s working hard on products designed to do just that, but until it proves itself, it’s hard to see how Disney would justify opening its war-chest for this acquisition.If Disney is shopping around, Activision isn’t the only company on the shelf. Indeed, for the kind of money Disney has paid for some acquisitions, it could go straight to the top — Sony’s market cap is only around $70 billion, which is an absolute steal for a firm that would bring with it another prestige film studio, a major music label and a huge consumer hardware empire, plus assorted billion-dollar odds and ends.That’s a pipe dream, of course, not least because Sony has absolutely no desire to be acquired right now — but if you flick through company valuations and daydream a little, you can find any number of better ways for Disney to get into this market — if and when it gets over its C-suite level reticence and realises that this is a sector it can’t afford to sit outside forever.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision Blizzard wins patent lawsuit after nine yearsThe judge ruled that the patents were “not inventions” of Worlds Incorporated, which was suing for infringementBy Marie Dealessandri 6 days agoCall of Duty, King push Activision Blizzard to record Q1 revenuesPublisher’s revenues jump 27% to $2.28 billion as Call of Duty Mobile’s Chinese debut helps drive Activision division sales up 72% year-over-yearBy Brendan Sinclair 7 days agoLatest comments (11)Grant Stanton President, TSC Management Services GroupA year ago This will never change. There have been attempts since the 90’s and all have failed for the same reason….The Disney Way. Every knowledgeable game talent who has ever worked for them has experienced the unwanted and unneeded direction from Disney film and animation. Interference in all aspects of the development process by inexperienced Disney staffers is inevitable. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyAbdulBasit Saliu Mechanic, Flowmotion Entertainment IncA year ago I will like to see AT&T Games (formerly WB Games) and a new Disney Interactive (from small studio acquisitions). Great article BTW. A year ago @Shane Sweeney: Disney is one of the very few companies that could merge with Nintendo. There are extremely few foreign companies that have the clout with the Japanese public to where it would be seen as good or a loss of face. Of course, Nintendo isn’t motivated in that sector right now due to their relationships with Geneon Universal and WB.It isn’t the production space, it’s that Disney is absolutely clueless when it comes to consumer goods. Everything they do and make is licensed and outsourced. They know how to make movies and experiences, but every single time they try to do anything in merch it bombs hard.Disney Infinity wasn’t a release quantity issue, it’s a pacing issue. They’re used to the box office where you make all your money in the first 30 days. it was that the guys in charge quintupled production runs in expensive to make toys after the initial sellout. I believe the line was “we sold a million Hulk toys, unfortunately we made two million” 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyRichard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital ExtremesA year ago Don’t know how to do merch? What the Company with 400 stores worldwide and billions in revenue from it? Disney’s pretty good at everything bar interactive ; their hiring in the space has always been poor and acquisitions curious at best. the fact their mobile success was down more to original brands by inspired internal creatives (Where’s My Water) shows how inept the management was there. But Disney’s bigger problem in Interactive is brand based and their protection of that. Activision is a non-starter ; Call of Duty shooting women and children terrorists under the Disney umbrella? Yeah that’s hard to see. Now they have Fox one could argue they have an out but that really depends how they handle that brand. We shall see. A year ago Disney has an assembly line of content that is unimaginable in video game terms. For starters, they have at least 10 major movies each year which they expect to gross extremely well. Star Wars Solo at $400 million isn’t defended much if people call it a flop and the makers of it have a social media breakdown. I want to see any video game studio head accuse their audience of not getting it after making $400 million in the first four weeks on this site.Disney could buy EA, Activision, Ubisoft and Take 2 and their combined output would still not satisfy Disney’s idea of production pace. In my opinion, Disney would not enter the video game space as one publisher of many. It would enter on the level of Sony and Microsoft, be their own platform, with an all year round schedule of $60 Disney games. In essence, buy Sony. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago Microsoft’s Disneyland game is pretty enjoyable for the most part. Some mini games were clunky, but I had a lot of fun 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyAdam Campbell Product Manager, AzoomeeA year ago @Jeff Kleist: Doesn’t the Japanese government get involved when it comes to potentially huge foreign acquisitions? 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A year ago @Richard Browne:They don’t do it, they approve it. There is no Disney clothing factory or division.They outsource basically everything you see at Disney parks. They don’t produce their own toys, they don’t produce their own shirts. The most iconic Disney merch, the watch and the phone both were made by third parties. Here’s a fan site complaining about this very thinghttp://studioscentral.com/studiosweekly/the-big-problems-with-walt-disney-world/Disney Infinity was the first time they tried to make their own toys. We’ve seen what happens when they try to make their own games. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (11)Shane Sweeney Academic A year ago I was at studio acquired by Disney and experienced first hand what happens. The Disney Way indeed. These people are just entirely unsuited for the game industry. It’s not just operations, they don’t understand the industry well enough to even make smart acquisitions.The acquisition I was a part of Disney got everything wrong you could get wrong from the start. Their valuation was completely off, they overpaid. They then did everything they could to kill it off, which is exactly what happened.So it’s to their credit I think that they stay out of making games. But invariably they will try again once the sting and lessons learned from the last failure start to fade. Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 8th July 2019 2:40pm 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
- Japan set to accelerate PV expansion
Japan set to accelerate PV expansionA new energy plan approved by the Japanese cabinet last month makes the case for the accelerated rollout of photovoltaic power generation in communities and municipalities throughout the nation. May 15, 2014 Edgar Meza Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share Japan’s cabinet approved the country’s New Basic Energy Plan last month. According to a new report by Tokyo-based research and consulting firm RTS Corporation, the government plan takes into account Japan’s mid to long-term energy supply and demand structure for the next two decades. The plan is designed as a guideline for Japan’s energy policy, including political issues to be addressed in the future. The RTS report, PV Activities in Japan and Global PV Highlights, underscores the fact that one of the plan’s significant features is the establishment of a “ministerial council on renewable energy” in order to introduce renewable energy to a maximum extent. Anticipating structural changes in energy supply around the world, the plan recommends that Japan concentrate on reforms in the 2018 to 2020 period in order to establish a stable energy supply and demand structure. With regard to renewable energy, the plan calls for a “maximum acceleration” for three years beginning in 2013 followed by a continued acceleration thereafter. In addition, grids are to be strengthened, regulations rationalized and research and development on cost reductionwill be steadily promoted, according to the RTS report. Furthermore, the government is expected to establish a ministerial council on renewable energy while also reinforcing its own function in leading the introduction of renewable energy. Other key points in the plan include facilitated collaboration among concerned ministries and agencies and an overall greater push of renewable energy than earlier energy plans. In order to achieve greater solar power generation, the Japanese plan calls for support for community-level efforts to increase PV power generation as part of promoting utilization of renewable energy in distributed energy systems. The RTS report points out that support for community-level PV projects will be readily available due to the ease of installing PV systems on a medium scale as a distributed power source without much burden on the grid. In addition, PV systems can be used as emergency power sources. The plan recognizes PV systems as suitable for distributed power sources supporting self-consumption, local production and energy consumption. The report adds that distributed energy systems are energy sources that take root in communities and it is therefore important to promote the introduction of PV systems in communities and municipalities. “Distributed energy systems offer different levels of people in the nation opportunities to recognize energy issues as their own issues,” the report notes. “They also create new industries in communities, leading to revitalization of communities. In case supply from large-scale power sources becomes difficult in an emergency, renewable energy will contribute to securing a certain supply of energy in communities.”Popular content The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particul… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particul… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… 123456Share pv magazine The pv magazine editorial team includes specialists in equipment supply, manufacturing, policy, markets, balance of systems, and EPC.More articles from pv magazine Related content Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.… Doping and capping promise perovskite stability Mark Hutchins 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists demonstrated two new approaches to improving the stability of perovskite solar cells. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… iAbout these recommendations Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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