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INTERVIEW: Christian Bishop, Director of Twitch Properties

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In the industry of esports, the talent behind the scene and on the business side of things often go unnoticed, a mere backdrop to the tournaments, teams, and players, but critical to the overall process. Without these intricately important pieces to the puzzle, the esports industry would likely stagnate and lose a lot of it’s fluidity.

For those important people behind the scenes, a wide array of talents are essential to bringing a specific organization or business to new heights, and often times those efforts lead to other professional avenues that open new doors of opportunity.

Christian Bishop is an example of that – someone who has done solid work on the business side of things, understanding the importance of such things as networking and internet marketing, and is now seeing his career level up.

Earlier this year, Christian formally announced his departure from  UK-based esports organization Method, to join Amazon as their new Directory of Twitch Properties, where he will be focusing on monetization of their first-party properties like Twitch Rivals, Twitch Con, and Twitch Gaming.

Christian discussed this, and much more,  in an exclusive interview with Gamactica Portals, and is not only a member of the Gamactica platform, but also listed in the new Business section of our Esports Directory.

“Working in video games everyday is a dream come true” he told me.

“Content creation has given many of us an opportunity to monetize gaming. I have worked with Twitch for many years and have always focused on empowering creators . Having an opportunity to serve as the Director of Twitch properties gives me a chance to work with the best programs in the world. I focus on monetization and help to build new programs for the Twitch Community. Twitch Rivals and Twitch Gaming are examples of the first party properties I work with. We also represent several 3rd parties like Team Liquid, Esports Awards, and the Game Awards.”

Christian and I first spoke early in 2021, and we immediately had symmetry due to our emphasis on networking. But, Christian also understands the critical importance of things such as Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and even more targeted processes such as Esports SEO, and this is perhaps what set him up for more success – the understanding that these pillars of success should never be ignored or underutilized.

“SEO and working through the Google machine is incredibly important” Bishop said. “This can very much make or break the success of a website or piece of content. Investing in SEO has been one of the most fruitful and rewarding decisions I have made with my media companies. I would love to see creators do more around SEO to drive traffic to their channels and content.

Discoverability and growth can be hard for a lot of creators, SEO might be one of the angles to break through.”

And Christian also has insight for those who are looking to breakthrough in esports, as a team or player, in 2022, and what specifically catches his attention in the space.

“Content creation is incredibly important” Bishop says. “Educate, Entertain or do both. Build and protect your brand. You can lose everything in a blink of an eye. Make good decisions
I believe authenticity and being vulnerable is a super power.

Personally, I enjoy exceptional game play and fun entertaining personalities. Value your community and take the time to pour back into the people investing in you.”

Bishop also talks about what changes may be on the horizon for the Esports industry, and even at Twitch.

“I believe esports teams and new operators in the space need to create more 1st party products and services” he says. “Too many teams are reliant on 3rd parties to drive their revenue opportunities. Get control of your own destiny independent from sponsorship and media rights.

Play to earn games and blockchain technology will make a big impact on our industry in 2022. This might provide the 1st party opportunities I referenced above for organizations to get to a sustainable financial place. Microsoft with their Blizzard/Activision acquisition is massive. We will see what the integration looks like and means for those esports titles.

Twitch has been a focal pillar for esports and competitive gaming for years. We will continue to invest and support the scene.”

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Follow Christian on Twitter

Connect with Christian on LinkedIn

Connect with Christian on Gamactica

Christian Bishops page in the Esports Directory

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Labor Board Says Activision Blizzard Illegally Threatened Staff

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The United Sates National Labor Board says that Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind such games as Call of Duty and Overwatch, illegally threatened staff and enforced a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ rights, according to Bloomberg.

This yet another negative mark on the company, and comes following a complaint filed with the NLRB filed against Activision Blizzard that claims employees were being threated for discussing wages and working conditions via the company’s internal Slack channel.

If Activision Blizzard does not settle this issue, the company will receive a formal complaint from the National Labor Relations Board’s regional director in Los Angeles.

 

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Take-Two Interactive Acquires Zynga

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Take-Two Interactive has officially completed it’s acquisition of mobile studio Zynga, following shareholder approval from both parties being completed last week.

With the acquisition, Take-Two now owns all outstanding shares of the company for approximately $12.7 billion, in what that company is describing as a “pivotal step” in their plans to expand their mobile side of offerings..

“We are thrilled to complete our combination with Zynga,” Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said in an official announcement. “As we bring together our exceptional talent, exciting pipelines of games, and industry-leading technologies and capabilities, we believe that we can take our portfolio to another level of creativity, innovation, and quality.

“We are eager to continue building an unparalleled portfolio of games that will reach broader markets and lead to continued growth for this next chapter of Zynga’s history” Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau said.

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Tencent Releases Q1 Financial Results, Gaming Accounts for 32% of Revenue

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Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent has released it’s Q1 financial results, which ended on March 31st, and show a reported total revenues of RMB 135.5 billion ($21.3 billion), which is in-line with the $20.2 billion reported back in Q1 of 2021.

Additionally, Games account for 32% of Tencent’s $21.3 billion in revenue.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, Tencent profits are down 52% from RMB 23.7 billion ($3.7 billion), operating profit was down 15% year-on-year to RMB 36.5 billion ($5.8 billion). Operating margin decreased from 32% in Q1 2021 to 27%.

In regards to Tencent’s gaming side of the business, the revenue for domestic titles (those in China) sow a slight dip of 1%, attributed to “direct and indirect effects” of measures implemented in China to protect minors from excessive gaming.

Titles such as League of Legends: Wild Rift and Fight of The Golden Spatula saw a rise in revenue, but were offset by the declines in Call of Duty Mobile, among other titles.

In regards to titles outside of the market in China, gaming revenue spiked 4% year-on-year to RMB 10.6 billion ($1.6 billion), largely due to the success of Valorant and Clash of Clans, but Tencent did report a decline in revenue from PUBG Mobile, explaining “as user spending normalized post-COVID.”

Domestic games accounted for 24% of the company’s total quarterly revenues, slightly down from 25% in Q1 2021, with international games accounting for 8%, a rise from 7%.

Read more, including comments from Chief strategy officer James Mitchell, over at GamesIndustry.biz.

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