Giants Rolling into Gaming

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Here’s what we have for you today:

  • Introducing: Rolling Stone Gaming

  • Now Hiring: Ikea in… Roblox?

  • Netflix x Minecraft: Animated Series

  • On The Rise: Co-Streaming in Esports

  • VCT China Brings Record Revenues for Orgs

Introducing: Rolling Stone Gaming

source: Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone “Rolling Out” New Gaming Coverage

Rolling Stone has launched a new gaming section, signifying a renewed commitment to covering the gaming community on its own terms. As the new Senior Gaming Editor explains, gaming is ubiquitous in pop culture, engaging billions of players daily across various platforms. The influence of video games extends far beyond just the player base, intersecting with music, movies, and other forms of entertainment.

Rolling Stone aims to provide in-depth previews, reviews, and analysis of the latest games, offering the same level of journalistic rigor as its music and entertainment coverage. The section will also offer behind-the-scenes looks at game development, cover industry trends and creator feuds, and uncover intriguing stories from unexpected places within the gaming world. The goal is to delve deeper into gaming by adopting a serious journalistic approach focused on the community itself.

Why This is Important

Many might see this and simply move on with their day. However, this announcement is a massive win for the gaming space, as gaming journalism has struggled with a lack of support and viability over time. Many great journalists who cover gaming have had to move around or pursue independent work due to a lack of support from their outlets. The constant need for more clicks and revenue has made it harder to tell meaningful stories highlighting crucial parts of gaming’s community.

I’m eager to see how RS Gaming tells stories and generates enough traffic to continue doing what it wants to. As it stands, they have some great stories about Roblox’s newest developments, “cozy gaming's” effect on stress, and the new Astro Bot game.

Our POV 

To me, this is fantastic news. We need more video game news outlets that aren’t clickbait farms posting Twitch clips and the latest Adin Ross headline. Some gaming news coverage (I won’t name names) has fallen into tabloid-level nonsense that lacks any real journalistic integrity. They may generate impressions and traffic to justify their tactics but fail to tell real informative stories. I’m all for more major outlets choosing to cover gaming and share what makes our community so special. Rolling Stone seems to have someone who holds a love for the world of gaming and understands the importance of good storytelling around it.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on RS Gaming, as I’m always looking for more places to get news and stories about the world of gaming. We could all use fewer clickbait tweets and more stories that make us think. After all, the gaming world is vast and full of different games, art styles, passionate people, and stories. Someone has to take up the mantle of sharing the stories and the research relevant to today’s gaming fans, and I hope RS Gaming can contribute to that noble goal.

- Brendan Valentine (Private Lobby)

Now Hiring: Ikea in… Roblox?

source: IKEA/The Independent

On June 24th, IKEA will launch “The Co-Worker Game,” a virtual universe within Roblox that offers players a chance to experience working in IKEA’s virtual universe. And we mean working. Players have a chance to apply for immersive positions that not only simulate being an employee, but in an hourly-paid job with chances to step inside the world of IKEA completely from the comfort of one’s home.  

Applications for these limited roles are open until June 16th, with successful applicants having the opportunity to flex their sales skills, assist customers, and even a chance at promotion in the future. This initiative marks IKEA's debut in mainstream gaming and aims to showcase its unique approach to careers. 

Alongside paid roles, the broader Roblox community can explore IKEA's virtual world, engaging in activities like enjoying their iconic Swedish meatballs in-game or organizing spaces with famous IKEA products, with chances to win exclusive IKEA rewards.

Virtual interviews for applicants will take place for this fully remote virtual role between Thursday, 14th and Tuesday, 18th June 2024. The recruitment process includes a questionnaire and an updated CV – videos can also be submitted, and if they pass the first round, applicants will be invited to a digital interview. Candidates need to be over 18 and live in the UK or Ireland. Each successful applicant will be paid an hourly IKEA Co-Worker rate for their time on the game, and those only 18+ and above are qualified to apply.


While I think this is a creative, unique idea to not just promote the brand but appeal to a new demographic, I feel like there's a lot of opportunities for it to potentially go awry— but I guess by that same token, plenty of opportunity for it to greatly succeed.

I’m really curious to see the turnover rate for employees, assuming that IKEA will continue to monitor and hire employees and not just stop after the first round of employment. It seems like they’re taking this pretty seriously; I was surprised to see there were actual interviews that were going to be conducted with an age limit enforced. Especially with as unserious of a game as Roblox is, I’m intrigued to see what struggles a virtual IKEA employee faces on an average day versus an in-person employee. 

I do think a positive thing is that this opportunity brings forth a new way of thinking about corporate jobs. People get to look at careers in a different light, which in turn, generates a new way of non-linear thinking. Additionally, I think this opportunity can be great with those who have disabilities that make them unable to physically be present in the workplace or be mobile for long periods of time. I’m really excited to see how this plays out, and I wish them all the best.

- Trinity Nguyen (Private Lobby)

Netflix x Minecraft: Animated Series

source: Netflix

Coming off its 15 year anniversary, Minecraft has announced its newest venture. An animated series based in the Minecraft universe, exclusively on Netflix. The series seems to be in early development, with Mojang only saying a little about the new series.

The series will tell an original story with new characters and reflect the world of Minecraft in a new light. It is currently in development by the talented studio WildBrain (creators of Sonic Prime, Ninjago: Dragons Rising, and Carmen Sandiego) and will debut exclusively on Netflix.) - Mojang

Based off the studio attached to the development of the series, we can probably expect the series to be more kid & family friendly.


I’m excited to see what Netflix & Minecraft can build (haha) with this partnership. Unlike games that have created TV series like League of Legends, Fallout, etc. there’s no main storyline & characters in the game already — so there’s no hard story the writers need to follow.

However, with whatever story they do create, there’s plenty of opportunities that could come from the series. I would love to see a custom Minecraft x Netflix server promoting the series with mini-games & activities. Or even custom seeds that players can use to put themselves in the same world as the show.

- Justin Palacios (Private Lobby)

On The Rise: Co-Streaming in Esports

source: OpTic Gaming

Co-streaming has emerged as a dominant trend in esports and more broadly, boosting viewership numbers and even surpassing the viewership for the primary broadcasts in many cases.

It's nothing new -- during the 2022 CS:GO PGL Antwerp Major, Brazilian streamer Gaules' co-stream recorded a peak of 684,000 viewers, far exceeding the 114,000 peak viewers on the official main stream. All the way back in 2021, 31% of the hours watched in top North American esports events came from co-streaming. During the VALORANT Stage 1 Grand Finals, 3 co-streamers brought in over 60% of the 230,000 peak viewers.

From Stream Hatchet's 2024 Live-Streaming, Esports, & Social Trends Report: "Co-streaming viewership is up from 10% in 2020 to over 1/3 of the market share in 2023."

John Needham, Riot Games' President of Esports, highlighted the importance of co-streaming as "a funnel to onboard new fans to the game," as streamers can better explain game fundamentals; however, as I'm sure John is aware -- co-streaming is much more than a funnel for new fans.


If you look at Scump and his watch parties for the Call of Duty League, you can see that Scump's Watch Party is not "just another stream" but the place to be for watching competitive Call of Duty. Co-streams bring a level of personality and audience interaction that you can't get in a traditional broadcast.

The numbers don't lie. For the recent Toronto Ultra Major III, Scump controlled over 125K of the 238K peak viewers for the event.

Co-streamers engage their audiences at a way deeper level than casters and traditional broadcasters can ever hope to, leading to a better and more engaging viewing experience for both their fans and even "neutral fans".

- Zach Eller (Private Lobby)

VCT China Brings Record Revenues for Orgs

source: Riot Games

Following up on our article on VALORANT team skins, VCT China has followed in the footsteps of the other regions — selling team skins that allow organizations another revenue stream.

Just after the release of the skins, the top organization in China, Edward Gaming sold over 100,000 skins & $690,000 USD in revenue just 4 hours after launch through a Douyin stream (The Chinese version of TikTok). This still excludes any sales via the in-game client. The livestream event saw over $1,980,000 in revenue across all 11 teams in the Chinese league.

This is the first full year of the VCT China league, following a Top 8 placement from Bilibili Gaming & Top 6 placement from Edward Gaming at VCT Champions 2023.

Riot has not released any sales data for any of the teams in NA, EMEA, or Asia-Pacific.


With China's success across games like League Of Legends & VALORANT, it’s no surprise to see a large amount of support for their teams. Like many Asian countries, it seems to be a strong part of the day-to-day culture, being just as, if not more popular than traditional sports. China is noted for being responsible for 34% of the global esports industry revenue  —  according to market research by Niko Partners.

I’d love to see if Riot will release the full data across all regions to see which regions are thriving with the new revenue stream. 👀

- Justin Palacios (Private Lobby)

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