Amazon's GameOn Service Could Be Game Changing

TNL Take: Developers want to concentrate on one thing: making good games. However a slew of services need to be incorporated to make really great games. This could be anything from multiplayer functionality, leaderboards and tournaments to rewarding the top players - anything that drives game engagement and retention.

Amazon announced on Monday, Amazon GameOn, a cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers. With GameOn, developers can easily integrate competitions natively into their games on mobile, PC, and console through a set of flexible APIs which is built on AWS cloud infrastructure. 

Here's what stands out about GameOn:



GameOn currently supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions - but most importantly gives developers - or anyone really -  the flexibility to create custom events. These tournaments can also be geo-targeted to allow for specific groups of players to take part. This could anywhere from countries and states to just your local McDonald's, which opens up a multitude of brand opportunities.

Developers can also enable players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants. Just imagine Twitch phenom Ninja running a Fortnite tournament for his massive viewing audience while doling out prizes to the winners - more on that shortly.

Further, all of these components are integral to creating a great esports experience outside the core component of the game itself.

Currently, Amazon GameOn is being used by 13 developers including nWay, Game Insight, Millennial Esports’ Eden Games and others.




his is where it gets really interesting. In game rewards as well as watch-to-earn rewards have been around for a while and implemented in almost every mobile game. However implementing real-world rewards is a challenge. During my time at Kiip, one of the companies that pioneered rewards for games, we needed to collect email addresses in order to achieve fulfillment.

With Amazon GameOn, you simply sign into your Amazon account - and at this point who doesn't have one in the US - and the item is automatically shipped to you with no additional work for the developer or the customer. 

Another scenario: you're playing a geo-located tournament in Madden Mobile and the Top 10 winners all receive the team's jersey for placing. The cost of the jerseys could either be looked as a marketing expense or even better - have them brought to you by a brand.



What's this all cost? Developers can use GameOn APIs for free until May 1, 2018. After that date, the first 35,000 plays per month are free for a limited time, then developers will pay $0.003 per play. 

Running simple math, if your game is doing 1M plays per day, that's almost $100,000 per month which may become cost prohibitive unless the ROI is there for developers that don't have any of the services integrated.

MLS and EA Sports Launch Esports League eMLS

TNL Take: Welcome to the next round of sports leagues looking to integrate esports.

On Friday, Major League Soccer and EA Sports announced a partnership to form the eMLS, with 19 of the 23 MLS Clubs participating. If this sounds similar to NBA 2K League - it is - in a good way.

MLS now joins other traditional sports leagues like France's eLeague 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie which have both incorporated esports.

The 19 clubs that will participate in the inaugural season of the eMLS include: 

Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

19 of the 23 Clubs in the eMLS (Photo: MLS)

19 of the 23 Clubs in the eMLS (Photo: MLS)

Even more interesting is that each eMLS club will only sponsor one Pro to represent the organization. While the announcement was fairly sparse on the operations of the league it leaves some open questions currently which will  be taken care of by launch.

What about the other 4 teams?

It's unsure why 4 of the clubs would not participate as this would have provided full participation of MLS teams similar to other national leagues.

How will the Pro's be selected?

While the NBA 2K League has a uniform set of rules on drafting, becoming part of the team, etc., eMLS teams are allowed their own process for selecting their representative. For example, instead of competing in the club's qualifying tournament, a team can sign their own FIFA Pro and field them for eMLS like the New York Red Bulls.

NY Red Bulls FIFA Pro Mike Labelle (Photo: NY Post)

NY Red Bulls FIFA Pro Mike Labelle (Photo: NY Post)

How will the Pro's be paid?

Still TBD but would expect a minimum yearly commitment ala NBA 2K League.

What console will they be playing on?

Still TBD as well.

What's very unique is that all of FIFA 18 esports - whether another national league or a 3rd party event (ESL/Gfnity) - will now feed directly into the FIFA eWorld Cup. This is a fantastic move by EA Sports and the MLS as every competitive aspect funnels into the finals.

This announcement also comes on the heels of MLS's announcement that they were looking for an esports Manager and can imagine this would fall under their purview.

The first eMLS event, the eMLS Cup, will take place during PAX East 2018 in April with the winner earning a guaranteed playoff spot.

eSports Week In Review: The 1st $100M Team?, eSports In The Olympics By 2024, 2 Podcasts


USA Today "eSports In The Olympics Could Happen Before You Know it" (Photo: USA Today)

USA Today "eSports In The Olympics Could Happen Before You Know it" (Photo: USA Today)

This week The Next Level started the first part of a series on the International High School and Collegiate eSports space, when we may see the 1st $100M eSports team, eSports in the Olympics by 2024 and 2 podcasts.

Next week: A special Brand research report 🎮 💰 📈 🚗 🍔 

Here's happened:

MONDAY 04/17


Garena Taiwan Campus League (HS and Collegiate)

Garena Taiwan Campus League (HS and Collegiate)

TNL eSports Podcast 019.png
eSports Becomes A Medal Event In The 2022 Asian Games (Photo: AOC)

eSports Becomes A Medal Event In The 2022 Asian Games (Photo: AOC)




Google Play




Have a great weekend!

TNL eSports Podcast 018: Morgan Stanley's Overwatch League's Revenue Estimates



TNL eSports Podcast 018: Morgan Stanley's Overwatch League's Revenue Estimates (Graphic: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Podcast 018: Morgan Stanley's Overwatch League's Revenue Estimates (Graphic: The Next Level)

Today's TNL was also going to include a full overview of Morgan Stanley's report however I'll be speaking with their analysts today to get additional perspective.  This podcast was recorded last week on SiriusXM Radio.

TNL Take: In this edition of The Next Level Podcast, SiriusXM's Kevin Knocke and I discuss the recently released Morgan Stanley "research" on the potential for Blizzard's Overwatch League in Year 1.

Let's say the estimates are eye-opening to say the least: ranging from ~$100M to over $700M. While that's a big variance, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the potential for the "NFL of eSports"

  • How many teams will there be?
  • US only cities?
  • How much will the teams cost?
  • What happens to the existing Overwatch teams?
  • Can a large endeavor be launched by Fall 2017?

Outside of the many questions around the Overwatch League, the revenue estimates seem on the high side:

  • $32M - Advertising/Licensing
  • $30M - Sponsorships
  • $27M - Merchandise
  • $13M - Ticket Sales

This stat is the most peculiar one for me:

"All in all, the Overwatch League would need to average 72,000 active viewers and hit 7.7 million viewers during the playoff season to make this estimate a reality"


Hope you enjoy our chat.