GAME has revealed a new branding for its esports and events division.
The retailer purchased Multiplay, the company behind the Insomnia Gaming Festival, back in 2015 for £20m.
This time last year, GAME sold the Multiplay Digital hosting division to game dev engine provider Unity, but retained its esports/events activities and infrastructure.
Now it is starting to roll out Player1 Events branding. The trading name is technically still Game Esports and Events Ltd (GEE), but this move to a new public-facing brand will mean they will remove references to the Multiplay Events name and the Multiplay logo.
A new website is set to launch which will house everything about ‘Player1 Events’, ‘Rentals’ and ‘Activate’ over the next few months.
The news comes after GAME revealed a rise in esports and events revenues for its financial year ending July 28th 2018.
Esports and events revenues rose 40.2% year-on-year from £8.7m in 2017 to £12.2m in 2018. This figure excludes the Multiplay Digital sale.
GAME generated more revenues despite the number of Insomnia events dropping in 2017. It cancelled the winter Insomnia and also cut events in Scotland and Ireland.
You can see a dip in footfall, however, as Insomnia footfall fell from 155,000 in GAME’s fiscal 2017 to 126,000 this financial year.
“We are also seeing growing participation from our supplier partners to utilise the BELONG arenas for local esports events, beta and other launch activities for new games.”
Martyn Gibbs, GAME
GAME had 19 BELONG arenas in operation at the year end, with a total number of stations in BELONG arenas of 368, up from 289 the year prior. There were 350,000 hours played in arenas in the year, up over 350% on the previous year.
GAME first announced its BELONG Arenas back in late 2016.
In its latest financial year GAME also held three seasons of BELONG Arena Clash tournaments, with more than 2,100 total competitors.
Overall, GAME made a loss of £7.4m before tax, a 26% improvement on the £10m loss made the year prior. Revenue dipped 0.1% to £782.3 million, from £782.9 last year.
GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs said: “The expansion of the Group’s live gaming service, BELONG, has remained the key objective in the period and [GAME’s] signing of the collaboration agreement with Sports Direct in February 2018 has the potential to deliver growth in BELONG in the next financial year with the financing required to implement the strategy.
“We have moved to establishing opportunities in far larger premises that will accommodate more stations as our utilisation rate at peak times continues to grow.
“We are also seeing growing participation from our supplier partners to utilise the BELONG arenas for local esports events, beta and other launch activities for new games. We expect these activities and the associated revenue to grow as we add more space to accommodate such events.”
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.