Big steps are being taken in the games industry as the market expands into film and sports. Blizzard celebrates the launch of Whispers of the Old Gods with impressive player numbers, Valve and Lionsgate partner up, and ESL starts its own channel for eSports fanatics. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal is getting ready to add some Pandas and Dragons into their line-up.
There’s Always Room for Another!
Blizzard Entertainment announced that Hearthstone has reached over 50 million registered players with numbers still climbing at a fast pace, says GamesIndustry. The announcement coincided with the launch of its newest expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, as well as its Standard and Wild game modes. To help coax players into the new deck and modes, Blizzard has also implemented in-game quests that reward up to 13 free card packs for participating players.
Valve and Lionsgate Bring More Movies to Steam
Earlier this week, Valve announced a new partnership deal with Lionsgate Entertainment that will be sending more than 100 movies over to Steam for rental streaming, with more titles to be continually added worldwide. The Verge noted that the deal marks Valve’s first big efforts towards expanding into blockbuster movie, adding series such as The Hunger Games, Saw and Divergent. Rentals will range from $4 to $5 and will be available on any Steam supported platform.
ESports All Day Long…
ESL Gaming Network announced they will be launching the first-ever 24 hour eSports channel called: “esportsTV” which will provide coverage of pro gamers across popular titles like League of Legends, DotA 2 and CS:GO. According to TechRadar, ESL is currently in talks with television distributors to broadcast the channel worldwide. The channel will launch in May in Nordic and Baltic countries on MTG’s Viasat platforms.
Extra: NBCUniversal Plans DreamWorks Acquisition
NBCUniversal today announced plans to purchase DreamWorks Animation in a $3.8 billion deal to close by late 2016, reports The Verge. The acquisition is still under review for anti-trust approval, but would greatly increase the entertainment portfolio for the Comcast subsidiary, bringing along successful titles like Kung-Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.