Outplay Entertainment Appoints Stefan Lampinen to its Board
The UK-based mobile game developer Outplay Entertainment has announced the appointment of seasoned industry advisor, Stefan Lampinen, to its board.
Stefan is having more than 25 years of experience in the gaming industry. He has previously held leading positions in EA, Nokia, Microsoft and Warner Bros. In his role as Managing Director and Founder of Game Advisor, Lampinen offers strategic advice and market intelligence to corporate leaders and investors within the global games industry.
Douglas Hare, Co-Founder and CEO of Outplay Entertainment, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stefan to the board at Outplay. Stefan has built an incredible reputation in the industry, not to mention an unmatched network, bringing with him knowledge and expertise that will significantly strengthen Outplay’s board. As we look forward, we plan to continue building on our successes, developing original IP as well as working with high profile licenses and celebrities, supported by our talented team, established over the last ten years. We’re looking forward to tapping into Stefan’s experience, both from a strategic and M&A perspective, as we build on 2021’s strong growth rate.”
Outplay Entertainment celebrated its 10th anniversary in April this year, and last March it sold its Eight Pixels Square subsidiary to industry giant Miniclip. The developer has launched two new games this year: Gordon Ramsay’s Chef Blast, which was released in January, and Mystery Match Village which launched in April. The quality of these titles is a testament to the talent of the team and Outplay plans significant growth from these and future titles.
Stefan Lampinen said: “Outplay has enjoyed a hugely successful ten years, having built a strong foundation of talent and capability which have enabled them to deliver multiple critically acclaimed original IP as well as hugely successful games based on Angry Birds and Gordon Ramsay. I look forward to working with the board and supporting the Outplay management team’s growth plans, building on the great work they have done to date. I’m excited to join them at the start of this next chapter and look forward to sharing my experience at board level, with our collective ambition to expand and scale the business.”
Bidstack Revs Up In-Game Advertising With Leading Mobile Racing Studios
Bidstack, the technology company pioneering Intrinsic In-Game advertising, today celebrates the one-year anniversary of its partnership with publisher Fingersoft and announces new partnerships with leading driving and racing mobile game studios The Tiny Digital Factory and Fat Cigar Productions Ltd.
Bidstack’s technology has become increasingly popular among mobile titles of all genres due to its ability to increase revenue through authentic and immersive in-game ads – without impacting gameplay or the player experience. Racing and sports games can be some of the most effective environments for in-game ads, enhancing realism and better mirroring real-world sporting environments.
Antoine Jullemier, VP, Gaming at Bidstack, said:
“I’m so pleased to be working with these three incredible racing studios. Brands are a huge part of racing and mobile games; therefore, they tend to have a lot of spaces suitable for in-game ad content, which can enhance the realism of those spaces. Our lightweight SDK means that game performance is unaffected, which is a critical consideration when it comes to players’ on-track performance. We’re super excited to further develop our relationship with Fingersoft and to add The Tiny Digital Factory and Fat Cigar Productions Ltd to the Bidstack paddock. As in-game advertising continues to gain traction with brands, we expect to see the channel generate record revenues in the year ahead.”
Bidstack’s technology was first integrated into Fingersoft’s Boom Karts Multiplayer Racing in May 2022. Over the past year, the online go-kart racer, which has had more than 3.5 million downloads to date, has generated almost half a billion in-game ad requests. One of the largest game developers and publishers in Finland, Fingersoft is best known for Hill Climb Racing and Hill Climb Racing 2, which have more than 2 billion installs between them.
Otto Simola, Head of Game Economy from Fingersoft, said:
“We’re always interested in providing players with a seamless and enjoyable experience while driving incremental revenue for the business. In-game advertising is a natural fit for both of these priorities and our partnership with Bidstack over the past year has proved to us that ads can indeed increase authenticity and immersion in games. We’re eager to see how the obvious possibilities of in-game advertising can crystallise further for players and studios alike.”
The duo of newly-signed partnerships injects yet more high-octane racing content into Bidstack’s portfolio of racing games. The Tiny Digital Factory is a world-class publisher of racing and motorsport games based in Lyon and Montreal. Its popular racing simulation, GT Manager, harnesses Bidstack’s technology to authentically bring real-world brands into its immersive on and off-track environments. Independent British Studio Fat Cigar Productions is utilising Bidstack’s technology in Street Kart Racing, a competitive mobile racer which has been the number 1 paid game on iOS in over 100 countries, to increase realism for users while adding an additional revenue stream.
Stéphane Baudet, CEO & Founder of The Tiny Digital Factory, commented:
“GT Manager is a simulation game that aims to recreate the thrill of running a racing team. Brands are part of the lifeblood of racing and Bidstack’s brand partnerships are contributing to making GT Manager as authentic as possible and supporting our business goals.”
Ross Jones, Co-Founder at Fat Cigar Productions, said:
“As a competitive racing title with a fantastic motorsport-savvy community, we don’t want to integrate any content that impacts on the performance of our game or user immersion. In-game advertising with Bidstack felt like an obvious choice to drive revenue and introduce authentic branded content without harming the user experience.”
Bidstack’s existing cross-platform sports and racing portfolio features Football Manager, Mad Skills Motocross 3, SimWin, Top Eleven and many more, enabling brands to reach an ever-growing and diverse gaming audience.
PAGCOR CANCELS ACCREDITATION OF POGO HUB IN PAMPANGA
Following the recent cancellation of CGC Technologies’ (CGC’s) accreditation – an offshore gaming service provider based in Pampanga – the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) likewise cancelled the provisional accreditation of Sun Valley Clark as an offshore gaming hub.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco stated that the Sun Valley Clark Hub in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga is “no longer suitable to maintain its provisional accreditation, nor be issued a full accreditation as an offshore gaming hub due to its failure to ensure a lawful and orderly conduct of offshore gaming by its occupants in its registered sites.”
It can be recalled that on May 4, 2023, an inter-agency search and rescue operation was conducted in Sun Valley after alleged criminal activities such as cryptocurrency investment scams, serious illegal detention and human trafficking activities were being linked to CGC, which occupies six buildings inside the offshore gaming hub. Of the six buildings, however, only two were accredited by PAGCOR.
A POGO hub is a complex which houses the operations, logistical, administrative and support services of PAGCOR-licensed offshore gaming operators and service providers. Among the facilities found in a POGO hub are office and residential spaces, food establishments, grocery stores or supermarkets, health and wellness facilities, recreational facilities, among others.
With the cancellation of Sun Valley Clark Hub, Tengco again reminded PAGCOR’s offshore gaming operators and service providers to avoid any involvement in criminal activities, should they wish to retain their accreditations and licenses.
“This serves as a warning to all our offshore gaming licensees and accredited service providers that PAGCOR is serious in its mission to uphold responsible and regulated gaming in the country. While we see the potential of offshore gaming in terms of our revenue-generation efforts, we do not condone their involvement in any criminal activity that violates the rights – not only of Filipinos but of other nationalities as well,” Tengco furthered.
The PAGCOR chief likewise warned foreign nationals to be more cautious in accepting attractive online job offers in the Philippines, which fraudsters use as a strategy to engage in human trafficking.
“PAGCOR would like to remind foreign nationals who are being offered attractive employment opportunities in the Philippines to check the credibility of the companies that they are applying in. By going the extra mile, they can protect themselves from possible scams and human trafficking activities,” he said.
Tengco added that PAGCOR is continuously coordinating with its partner government agencies including the Office of the President, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Immigration to combat illegal activities linked to offshore gaming operations.
DMCC Publishes Latest “Future of Trade” Report on Gaming and Esports
Gaming revenues are expected to almost double by 2027 from 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaching USD 6 billion, according to DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled “Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Geared for growth”. A young and digital-savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub.
Gaming and esports are both fast growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid advancements in technology as well as broader and more inclusive audiences. The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region, supported by high income levels, strong digital engagement, and public investment initiatives. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share and China, the US and Japan are the largest individual markets.
The report gathers contributions from key industry leaders to establish the critical drivers of the industry’s accelerated growth in the MENA region and beyond. It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of MENA as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that the industry needs to address to increase revenues further.
Guiding the global industry’s accelerated growth from nearly USD 200 billion in revenues in 2021 to USD 340 billion in 2027, the report outlines a set of key recommendations for governments and businesses, namely:
- Diversify esports revenue streams from sponsorship to new direct-to-fan monetisation models – including digital merchandising, loyalty programmes and training platforms for amateur gamers – to boost revenues.
- Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure privacy, security and safety online in the digital gaming ecosystem and provide a business-friendly environment – including smoother visa systems to allow esports professionals and audiences to attend live events – to attract talent into the region and elevate it into a global industry leader.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15% of the global player base. The rise of gamification in areas such as education, healthcare, and other sectors has demonstrated gaming’s role in facilitating economic activity more broadly. Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of trade. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.”
Among the most closely watched segments is esports, which is expected to post revenue growth of 23.3% between 2019 and 2024 in MENA. Fuelling this is the region’s young demographic, engagement from international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support. Tapping into this economic potential, DMCC partnered with YaLLa Esports, the Dubai-based professional esports organisation, to launch the DMCC Gaming Centre in December 2022. The Centre supports the growth of the industry in Dubai by providing gaming businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and with confidence.
Due to the UAE’s strong business environment and infrastructure, as well as its status as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, various international gaming developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country. Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi, while the gaming giant Tencent set up its MENA HQ in Dubai along with Riot Games. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has included gaming as a core element of its Neom project and has already made investments worth over $1.7 billion on the gaming industry.
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