Penske Media Corp., parent company of Variety, has partnered with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and YouTube programmer Machinima for the videogame industry’s version of the Oscars.
Under the multi-year deal, PMC will co-produce the annual D.I.C.E. Summit and Awards Show and feature exclusive gaming content in Variety throughout the year as part of its expanding coverage of the videogames biz. Machinima will stream the awards show live starting with the event’s 16th installment, set for Feb. 7 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The D.I.C.E. Summit (the name stands for Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) honors achievements in the interactive entertainment industry. Nominees for the awards will be announced the week of Jan. 21, with registration for the Feb. 5-8 summit open on the org’s website.
PMC will also stream D.I.C.E. Summit sessions live and share exclusive AIAS content via its YouTube network.
PMC’s brands — Variety, Deadline, TVLine, MovieLine, BGR and Hollywood Life — reach more than 113 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. Its portfolio of entertainment news outlets also include PMC Studios, OnCars, HollywoodLife, ENTV, India.com and AwardsLine, as well as the Young Hollywood Awards, the Style Awards and Breakthrough of the Year Awards.
Machinima, a top draw among men 18-34 with its game-focused content, will send its roster of YouTube stars to cover the D.I.C.E. Awards when it takes place at the Hard Rock’s the Joint on Feb. 7. Company generates more than 2.3 billion video views per month and reaches over 253 million viewers a month.
Highlights of the D.I.C.E. kudos previously ran on TV and online through cabler G4 and GameSpot.com.
“But it never received the level of media attention that the industry is worth,” said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, who sees the PMC and Machinima deals as “the best way for the Academy to really push ourselves out there and highlight the achievements in the industry. Together, we have the opportunity to change the conversation.”
Founded in 1996, the AIAS is a nonprofit that promotes the interactive entertainment industry worldwide. First D.I.C.E. Summit was held in 2002. Org has more than 22,000 members, including videogame publishers Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Google, Bethesda Game Studios, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Double Fine, Gearbox Software, Nexon and Insomniac Games.
“The D.I.C.E. Awards are a huge staple among the gaming community, and Machinima is proud to be the exclusive online destination for the show,” said Allen DeBevoise, chairman, co-founder and CEO of Machinima. “Our network of content creators, combined with our millions of viewers, are a perfect match for the established D.I.C.E. brand and event.”
Partnership with PMC will help the Academy “better reflect and celebrate the interactive industry’s tremendous growth, and expansion onto new platforms,” the companies said in a statement.
“We’ve been eager to expand our entertainment coverage of the gaming industry but waited for the right opportunity to enter this ascending marketplace — forging a long-term partnership with the AIAS for the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit and Awards is the perfect way for PMC to make such an entrance, and we’re thrilled with the opportunity,” said Jay Penske, PMC founder, chairman and CEO. “Since our founding in 2004, we’ve watched videogames become a multibillion-dollar industry and a hugely influential contributor to the entertainment industry as a whole. Through all of our branded channels and media platforms, including our premier entertainment trade Variety, we’ll be providing the coverage and attention that the gaming industry has deserved for years — as such an incredibly important part of the entertainment ecosystem.”