Bold Moves in Gaming

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Here’s what we have for you today:

  • Gamefam’s UGC Creator Fund 💸

  • Esports At The Olympics 🏅

  • Gaming vs Esports 🎮

  • VALORANT Coming To Consoles 🔫

💸 Gamefam’s UGC Creator Fund

source: Gamefam

Gamefam has launched a $5 million Creator Fund aimed at supporting user-generated content (UGC) creators on platforms like Roblox and Fortnite.

The fund, overseen by Gamefam CEO, Joe Ferencz, allocates 25% specifically for creators from underrepresented backgrounds, reflecting Gamefam's commitment to diversity. Creators selected for funding, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, will receive support in game design, roadmap planning, and monetization strategies from Gamefam's expert team. Gamefam specializes in bringing brands and IPs to UGC gaming with scale and impact, and with established partner relationships, will provide brand opportunities for games in the fund.

Additionally, creators gain access to Gamefam's proprietary assets, marketing resources, influencer networks, and analytics tools to enhance their projects. The fund is looking for innovative game ideas globally and encourages applications from creators with working prototypes or past game launches. 

Each deal will take the form of an investment, where creators retain ownership of their content and Gamefam gets a meaningful part of the business. Eligible creators must have a working prototype of the game in consideration. If not, entrants should have launched games in the past. Entrants must not be a full-time employee of a video game company. Selection for the fund must not conflict with any agreements with existing employers.

👀 Our POV

I believe any attempts to uplift the passionate creators and dedicated community builders within the gaming scene is a positive, especially those who don’t have much representation within the media.

Game developers often struggle with publicizing, promoting their work, and getting others to invest in their ideas, so this initiative being so well-backed is a fantastic opportunity for creators. I’m curious to see what games will stand out to Gamefam and which creators and their projects will be selected. It’s really cool to see how video games can traverse physical borders and connect people worldwide.

- Trinity Nguyen (Private Lobby)

🏅 Esports At The Olympics

source: IOC

The Summer Olympics are kicking off next month, bringing together the globe to celebrate sports — and esports could be joining them in the near future… 👀

While the competition is going on, the International Olympic Committee will hold its annual meeting in Paris, which will feature a vote on whether the committee should hold an “Olympic Esports Games”. The committee is looking to hold a separate Olympics for esports instead of attaching it to the Summer/Winter Olympics.

The IOC recently held its “Olympic Esports Week” in Singapore last year, which gave the first look at how the IOC would handle esports. The event wasn’t your typical esports competition with games like League of Legends & Counter-Strike. Instead, the games played mimicked traditional Olympic games like Archery, Baseball, Cycling, and more…

👀 Our POV

I’m honestly a little worried about this… The initial community reaction when the IOC first came out with its list of esports games was not well-received — it was honestly a slap in the face.

We’ve had decades of successful esports events showing that there’s an audience and pool of players interested in what most of us think of when we think of “Esports” — however the committee thinks esports is just competitive Wii Sports…

One major block that could be stopping the IOC from running a more “traditional esports” Olympics could be licensing & IP. Being able to say that your game is an official Olympic game would be a huge selling point for publishers like Riot, Activision, etc…

I’m interested in seeing where they take this with the vote being next month, and if they’ll move towards more of a “traditional esports” model.

- Justin Palacios (Private Lobby)

🎮 Gaming vs Esports

source: Getty Images

Gaming vs esports — are they the same thing? For many, the distinction between gaming and esports can be blurry. While both revolve around video games, they represent different aspects of the gaming world. Let's explore the key differences and similarities!

1️⃣ Differences

Gaming is a super broad term that relates to anything and all things video games, from casual mobile gaming to competitive multiplayer gaming, and everything in between.

Esports is a subset of gaming, referring to organized, competitive gaming. All esports can be considered gaming but not all gaming can be considered esports. Esports typically leverage events, tournaments, or leagues to drive competition, some open to anyone and some invitational only.

2️⃣ Similarities

Both gaming and esports engage players and fans at incredibly deep levels. Players and fans participate in their games communities, watch content and streamers, and stay up-to-date on news and updates around their favorite games.

Both gaming and esports serve as entertainment first and foremost, providing fun, excitement, and an escape from everyday life.

Whether it's casual gaming, hardcore gaming, or professional esports, at the end of the day it's all a part of the vast gaming world that engages it's players and audiences at a level that is hard to match in any industry.

- Zach Eller (Private Lobby)

🔫 VALORANT Coming To Consoles

source: Riot Games

Available on only PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, Riot Games’ limited console beta for VALORANT released June 14th to a select number of players. The VALORANT Console Limited Beta requires participants to meet specific criteria: signing up directly or using a referral link from someone invited by Riot Games, possessing a clear VALORANT Account without active bans, and owning an Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation5.

The beta is limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and Japan, but there are talks about potential future global expansion. Receiving an invite is necessary to participate, regardless of signing up. The Beta aims to ensure that VALORANT is fully optimized for consoles, starting with a selection of maps and game modes with plans to expand gradually.

The beta has also a special console-only game mode called “Focus,” which aims to get the player adjusted to and improve their ability to shoot. This was implemented so the controller players could feel confident in their abilities and on par with their PC counterparts. 

Production director Arnar Hrafn Gylfason said in a statement:  “We were adamant that Valorant’s core, competitive gameplay must feel natural on a controller..and — if we couldn’t deliver on that gameplay promise — we had to be prepared to walk away from it. We hope we nailed it, but ultimately, our players will have the final say.” Now, it’s only a matter of time before Riot receives the player’s feedback and makes changes from there.

👀 Our POV 

I’ve been following the hype closely, getting opinions from my friends and seeing gameplay from my favorite streamers alike. I was surprised to see how difficult the game looked, especially with pro players mentioning the difference in gameplay and strategy has translated over onto console. Of course, this is bound to happen with any game that releases cross-platform, but nevertheless it’s fun to watch the learning curve of a familiar game in a not-so-familiar format.

I’m curious to see how this expands once it becomes available to everyone. Other games have had success with console versions, such as Overwatch and Apex Legends. The limited content that’s already being produced is doing pretty well, and it seems that there’s a general consensus that the game shows lots of promise for its own playerbase to form. I can’t wait to get my hands on it as soon as I can, and I think this was a really good move on Riot’s part.

- Trinity Nguyen (Private Lobby)

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Disclaimer: our views are ours and in no way represent those of our employers.