I got it wrong. That is the best way to describe what happened this week when I reported that the India’s GST Council was proposing a hefty tax on games/online games. The 28% tax would be aimed at casino, horse racing and online gaming—in short, it would be aimed at online gaming that involves real-world money wagering, and not “online gaming” as we might refer to it.
But it’s fairly easy to believe that the government would levy such as tax on “gaming” as we know it because it has really struggled in figuring out the difference between “gaming,” or gambling/betting/wagering apps (fantasy or otherwise), and our kind of gaming—video games that require skill to play. So when the government says “online gaming” that gives us pause. In this particular case I’m happy to be wrong, because such a massive tax on top of what developers already have to pay for a mobile app to platform owners, for example, would decimate the growth of the gaming industry in the country. – James Fudge.
The Eleventh Hour: FTC Appeal of Activision Blizzard – Microsoft Deal Rejected
The biggest hurdle for Microsoft at this point is approval in other regions such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Microsoft is already reportedly working with the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) behind the scenes in some capacity to resolve issues with the UK regulator, but some have speculated that it might push the deal out for another month. New Zealand is expected to offer some sort of guidance or ruling on Monday…
100 Thieves Lost $2.5M USD on Call of Duty League
“I’ll put it out there: We lost $2.5 million on our Call of Duty program last year when we were the world champions,” Robinson said during the show.
The episode featured Robinson, 100T founder and CEO (and host) Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, 100T Senior Vice President of Esports Jacob Toft-Anderson, and Haag personal assistant Joe Kalas.
The reason for mentioning this loss is pretty straight forward: 100 Thieves is asking all of its business units to hit at least break-even milestones in 2024. The organization currently operates its professional esports efforts, its Juvee brand of energy drinks, peripherals division Higround, content creation efforts, a line of apparel, and game development efforts including work on content for Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), and its full-fledged game development project Project X being built using Unreal Engine 5.
Biden Administration Reveals New Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Initiative
The new initiative follows the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan at the end of June. That plan would have provided a small measure of relief to 37M people and complete debt forgiveness of predatory student loans to 14M people in the United States.
Survey Says: Fans Ready to Adopt Counter-Strike 2
EFG asked gamers if they were “excited” about switching from CS:GO to CS2 when it is released later this year. Approximately 67% said they were “extremely excited” to switch, and around 21% said they were “very excited” for the change, while 9% said they were “somewhat excited.” Only 2% said they were “not so excited,” while 1% responded that they were not “not excited at all.”
EFG did provide details on how or where this survey was conducted, what countries these respondents were in, or other important data points.
Overall, the survey shows that people will be excited to play the game when it fully releases later this year. The next round of professional and officially sanctioned Counter-Strike competitions will solely focus on CS2, but for those that hate change, there’s no doubt that legacy CS:GO tournaments will continue in regions throughout the world to cater to the audience that isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel on that classic and popular game…
So Long, Major Nelson
“After 20 incredible years, I will be leaving Xbox,” Hyrb wrote in a social media post. “As I step back and work on the next chapter of my career, I want to thank the millions of gamers around the world who have included me as part of their lives.
“Thanks to Xbox team members for trusting me to have a direct dialogue with our customers. The future is bright for Xbox and as a gamer, I am excited to see the evolution. In the meantime, I am going to soak up the glorious Seattle Summer with my family while I think about what is next. “
In Other News
💰 Sentinels launch reservations for public equity crowdfunding.
🏀 ESL FACEIT Group, FIBA detail eFIBA Season 2.
🤝 RTE merger with Galaxy Racer moves forward, completion date pushed to August.
👋 Astralis sets a meeting to vote on delisting from NASDAQ.
➕ FaZe Holdings shareholders approve reverse stock split.
🥛 GameSquare and Dairy Max expand partnership.
💻 Global Esports partners with Intel India.
👛 Veloce Media Group gets investment in its crypto.