TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: JANUARY 13

In this week’s gaming news, Sony announces it will not be present at E3 2020, the future of GameStop is bleak following a poor holiday season, and YouTube smacks Twitch by stealing three more top streamers.

Sony skipping out on E3 2020
For the second consecutive year, Sony will be absent from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). In an official statement to GamesIndustry.biz and later reported by Engadget, Sony explained that while it respects the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the organization behind E3, it feels as though the vision and venue of expo is no longer in alignment with Sony’s goals and strategy. Fortune, CNET, TNW, and more said Sony’s decision to skip out makes E3 “the Xbox show,” as competitor Microsoft will have the opportunity to show off games and features of its upcoming console, the Xbox Series X, to an undivided audience.

GameStop continues to struggle following rough holiday season
In a note to investors, GameStop announced it suffered a 27.5% decrease in holiday sales from 2018 to 2019, causing its stock to dive 16%. Despite cutting back on staff, closing multiple stores, and transforming select locations into “retro gaming” retailers, GameStop has failed to encourage investors, reports Forbes, Screen Rant, and TheGamer, leaving the company to navigate rough waters moving into 2020. Polygon claims the future of GameStop is grim, and predicts that no matter how well the retailer does following the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, it won’t be able to recover in the face of an ever-growing digital world.

YouTube expands streamer pool, lands 3 more exclusive deals
The battle for streamers is heating up, reports Business Insider, Windows Central, and TheGamer after YouTube announced it signed exclusive deals with Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins, and Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott. The streamers, known mostly for their Fortnite content, were previously housed on Amazon’s Twitch and had a combined viewership of 1.5 million. Since moving to YouTube full-time, the streamers have amassed a following of 21 million across all three channels. Despite YouTube and Mixer continuing to poach on Twitch’s arsenal, The Verge explains, “All of this said, Twitch isn’t going anywhere. It’s still the biggest live-streaming platform by a large margin, no matter which way you slice up the charts…I think it’s probably a mistake to think that the fight for streaming talent is a war or even zero-sum.”

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