×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

L.A. Times Owner Sees Esports as Evolution of Modern News Media

The Los Angeles Times’ new owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is investing in “H1Z1” developer Daybreak Game Company — and esports in general — because he sees video games as an evolution of modern news media, according to a recent interview in The Washington Post.

Soon-Shiong’s holding company, NantWorks, announced its investment in Daybreak earlier this month. As part of the new venture, NantWorks will publish mobile version of “EverQuest” and “H1Z1” under the name NantG Mobile. The L.A. Times will also add esports coverage to the Sports section of its paper and build new esports arenas inside the new L.A. Times Center.

Soon-Shiong will join Daybreak as a member of its board of directors. He told The Washington Post the investment is part of an ambitious strategy to engage young people and sports fans on the platforms where they already spend their time.

“The most evolved engagement engine is video gaming, ‘Fortnite’ … the Millennials, across Twitch, interconnect and communicate,” he said. “We could take an engine like this and find a way to enhance a different form of social network, and games add an element of storytelling.”

The investment is also reportedly part of the L.A. Times’ effort to become a go-to destination for sports coverage — and that includes professional gaming. “I consider esports a sport, like chess or like golf, it’s a mental sport with muscle twitch. It’s a sport,” he told The Washington Post.

The global esports industry is expected to grow 38% this year to $905.6 million, according to market intelligence company Newzoo. The majority of that money will come directly from sponsorships and advertising, and indirectly from media rights and content licenses.

“The growth of virtual sports has been explosive,” L.A. Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine said in a press release. “We look forward to covering all the major games companies, including Daybreak.”

More Gaming

  • Arc System Works and WayForward Revive

    Arc System Works and WayForward Revive Classic 'River City' IP

    Notable fighting game developer Arc System Works is teaming up with “Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse” developer WayForward to create a brand-new game based on the classic “River City” intellectual property, they announced on Friday. The new project is called “River City Girls.” While the two studios won’t release full details about the project until [...]

  • Panthers Schedule Promo References a Slew

    Panthers Schedule Promo References a Slew of Video Games

    The Carolina Panthers’ released its 2019 schedule promotion video on Wednesday, which makes callbacks to classic games, like “Pitfall” and “Oregon Trail” among other games, shared via YouTube. The Carolina Panthers are a professional football team in the National Football League (NFL). The team is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The promo video shows various [...]

  • Gearbox CEO Defends Epic Games Store

    Gearbox CEO Defends Epic Games Store and 'Borderlands 3' Exclusivity

    Earlier this month, developer Gearbox Software revealed the PC version of its anticipated co-op shooter “Borderlands 3” is coming exclusively to the Epic Games Store. This created some blowback from fans who prefer Valve’s digital storefront Steam. Gearbox founder and CEO Randy Pitchford defending the decision in a lengthy Twitter thread on Saturday (helpfully recreated [...]

  • Inside the Music of Netflix's 'Ingress:

    Inside the Music of Netflix's 'Ingress: The Animation' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Ingress: The Animation” hit last fall in Japan, but the global release doesn’t hit Netflix until April 30, fortunately, it’s bringing a little something new to the show based on Niantic’s other popular video game. The global version of the show will feature a new musical score created by Jacob Yoffee (“Free Meek,” “Andi Mack”). [...]

  • Vic Mignogna

    Accused of Sexual Harassment, Vic Mignogna Sues Funimation

    Vic Mignogna, known for voicing Broly in the “Dragon Ball” series of games, films, and tv shows, filed a lawsuit claiming defamation and other charges against Funimation and other voice actors on Thursday, according to public court documents. Fellow Funimation voice actors Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi, along with Rial’s fiance Ronald Toye, are also [...]

  • South Korea's FTC Reviewing In-Game Purchase

    South Korea's FTC Reviewing In-Game Purchase Clauses

    The Fair Trade Commission in South Korea will conduct a review of game companies’ consumer practices and thus contacted 10 companies, including Nexon, Blizzard, and Riot Games, on Friday, according to The Korea Herald. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned with in-game purchases in PC and mobile games. In particular, one concern is the [...]

  • 'Pokémon Go' Dev Niantic Accepting City

    'Pokémon Go' Dev Niantic Accepting City Submissions for Live Events

    Fans of games like “Pokémon Go” and “Ingress Prime” can now nominate their favorite cities to potentially host a live event in 2020, developer Niantic announced on Thursday. Submissions are now open on Niantic’s website. Anyone can submit an official city nomination between now and Oct. 1, including players, parks departments, tourism boards, and local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content