Ayzenberg’s Noah Eichen Talks ‘Hunt the Truth’ Season Two

These days, most advertising campaigns for games take the video route, with commercials, live broadcasts and other video content that ties in with a forthcoming project. However, with Halo 5: Guardians, Microsoft has taken a unique turn with its Hunt the Truth podcast series, which provides some rich back story that ties in with the world of Master Chief, as well as various components within the Halo series.

Hunt the Truth has already gone through one successful season, and the second has just launched, bringing with it a number of talented actors, including Mark Hamill and more. We managed to catch up with the series’ creative director, Noah Eichen, to get an idea of what we can expect this season, as well as what newcomers can expect from Hunt the Truth.

First off, what inspired you to create an audio-based series for the game, rather than taking the usual video format that most companies prefer

The format of the series was really born out of the creative ask. At the time, we were tasked with coming up with a campaign to socially support the Halo 5: Guardians TV commercials that were going to air in March. As we ideated around the themes of those commercials, we were struck by the idea of a journalist investigating the questions raised by the commercials about the Master Chief. The idea of audio storytelling in the NPR style was just the perfect fit conceptually and from a production perspective fit our budget and timeline constraints.

For those who are unfamiliar with Halo: Hunt the Truth, how would you best describe its place in the Halo universe

Hunt the Truth takes place in the fiction of Halo. It s an in-lore story produced by a character named Benjamin Giraud, a journalist hired by the government to write a story about the Master Chief. Ben is faced with unearthing the truth or toeing the company line as inconsistencies in the story emerge. The second season takes that construct and flips it on its head. But both seasons exist in the fiction of Halo, in the lead up to the events of Halo 5: Guardians.

You seem to attract a lot of top-notch talent for Hunt the Truth, and season two is no exception, with Mark Hamill and others coming on board. How did they manage to get involved

The caliber of talent that we were able to bring into the series has been amazing. I think great actors love great characters and writing that they can sink their teeth into, and I think this show is an actor s dream. It certainly doesn t hurt that it s also for Halo. But because of the format, the show lives and dies on the writing and the performance. Along with the teams at 343 and Xbox, Andrew Volpe, Ian Tornay, and I poured ourselves into crafting the most realistic and dramatically rich story and characters possible and I think actors and fans alike can feel that.

Hunt the Truth has a very big following within the Halo universe. Do you feel that will grow with Halo 5: Guardians set to release next month

Hunt the Truth has a big following within the Halo universe because there are a lot of people who love Halo. 343 Industries and Xbox have done an amazing job of building out the world around their games with novels, comics, and television. I think audio is just going to be another way that they tell stories in that universe now. Because of our approach with telling a relatable story, from a civilian perspective, Hunt the Truth has worked extraordinarily well in bringing new people into the lore of the franchise and build hype in the lead up to release of the game.

Where exactly will season 2 of Hunt the Truth tie in with the forthcoming Guardians

Thematically, we tie in to the story. There s some cross over with the timeline and events but I can t get into specifics. When you re creating stories like this you want them to support each other, but I think it s important that the stories live on their own so no one is missing out if they don t listen to Hunt the Truth.

Do you think more game development teams would be wise to take the podcast-based route for tying in to a video game s universe Or do you feel that video has its advantages as well

If you re a developer making a story based video game, and you want fans to invest into your game s universe emotionally, then I think it s crucial to tell great stories around your game. In my career, I ve almost exclusively created video but I m platform agnostic; whether it s video, audio, a novel, comic book, etc. There are numerous benefits to each. You ve got to tell a compelling story first and foremost.

Finally, would you like to see Hunt the Truth expand into new seasons down the road I m pretty sure there are more tales to tell within the Halo universe…

There are countless stories to tell in the Halo Universe, and HTT has become an exciting and vibrant way to bring some of those to life. We look forward to working with 343 and Xbox in the future to further support the franchise.

Halo 5: Guardians will release on October 27th for Xbox One. Meanwhile, Season Two of Hunt the Truth just started, and can be found here.

WME/IMG Agent Tobias Sherman Explains How TV Can Bolster eSports’ Signal

Tobias Sherman is a former eSports caster who co-founded Global eSports Management, which was acquired by WME/IMG on January 21, 2015. The agent is now working with Turner to bring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to national TV through TBS. Two 10-week tournaments have been mapped out for 2016, allowing eSports teams flexibility to compete in established league events like ESL One. Sherman talks about the new deal and how TV could catapult eSports into even higher thresholds in this exclusive interview.

Tobias Sherman

Tobias Sherman

What’s your eSports background

Five years ago I was the guy who brought the agency model into eSports. Rather than focusing on teams, I focused on player and team advocacy. I started to get some organization around how this could look and create some structure around what the industry could look like. I started off casting at MLG and producing some stuff over there, but I wanted to get in on the ground level and understand it at the base level. Business grew slowly the first few years and then picked up, and then we connected with WME/IMG integration this January.

So many pros and experts have told me over the years eSports doesn’t need TV. What’s changed

I was one of those guys years ago who said we didn’t need TV. Back then we believed there was no second bubble and we could make it in livestreaming alone. But the big ad dollars still flow through conventional TV moreso than digital. It would be small thinking to assume that everyone who wants to watch eSports knows to tune in to Twitch. We work closely with Twitch and they’re a great company. But we think Twitch would agree that there’s a bigger audience out there. If you asked any team owner or player, they deserve those sponsor dollars. It’s a viable competitive entertainment.

How are you going to deliver television content that both hardcore fans and the mainstream audience can enjoy

There’s one word we’ve stuck with through this whole joint venture with Turner and it’s “authenticity.” We want to provide the hardcore viewership with content they want. But we’re using Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is easy to understand than some other eSports games. People won’t get turned off as easily. A key part of this Turner initiative is that there is a digital companion product that goes along with that. It’s a hybrid product that allows for the most reach possible.

How do you see commercial interruptions impacting the TV broadcast

You can’t take an eSports product and jam it into a TV format. We’ve come up with an authentic solution that offers some innovative ways to advertise. And we have some tricks up our sleeves with the commercials that we think fans will accept because it’s not too far removed from what they’re viewing now. We’re not trying to disrupt how they view eSports.

How do you think TV will attract new eSports fans

That’s one of our most important questions we’ve been asking internally. We looked at the noob streams of Dota 2 and things like “Beginners Guide to eSports” that take people by the hand and walk them through it. I think the storylines are important. As an industry we could have done a better job of telling eSports stories. Someone could tune into this program and not know when the game starts or finishes, but they understand this kid’s story. It’s all eSports from there on for people after having that “a-ha” moment. Not enough people have been exposed to eSports to have that moment.

What have you learned from established leagues and eSports

The hardcore fans you satiate by sticking to the competitive format and best of 3’s and upholding the integrity of eSports. We took feedback from the teams and players to make sure this is the best tournament structure we can possibly have. It’s a strong product that will satisfy both hardcore and new fans.

ESL is doing drug testing for CS:GO because of Adderall abuse. Will you have drug testing

We’re circling that same questions right now. We’re getting feedback from teams and fans now. We haven’t made a hard fast decision, but we’ll have one come league time.

How important are big prize pools to attract mainstream viewers

The International is one of the top prize pools in eSports with over $18 million, but I’m not a big fan of the flash prize pool. I’m tuning in to see my favorite teams and the stories that evolve. The fan side of me doesn’t see large prize pools as a big deal. For the mainstream attention, Valve has done a good job of making a big splash with their big numbers — and the way they do it with crowd-funding is very smart. But eSports is not all about putting big prize money out there. Anyone can put out a big prize pool. I believe that while a huge headline will grab some curious viewers, what will keep them there is the content.

How will you be keeping players happy

We are going to be elevating the compensation from travel to prize pool to P&E so the teams are going to be taken care of in full regard. It’s important to keep in line with rewarding the teams for the competition. I do believe there should be some responsibility for prize pools because it could have diminished returns if it gets too out of control. We have a good elevation in line with the market and the eSports industry will grow across the board. We also positioned these two tournaments so it allows teams to travel to other tournaments. We’re encouraging them to do other events. Rising tide raises all boats and we want more tournament play. I’d liken it more to what we’ve seen in golf, where there are tournaments as well as majors.

What teams will make the cut and will this tie into ESL, MLG or other events

We want a wide array of teams to compete because we want those underdog stories. There’s no plan to link together to other leagues or events. We’re built from the ground up and siloed. It could get there at some point.

Where things are heading, you could have an official ranking down the road. But internally, everything we’re doing is in terms of this league right now. Great story arcs could be told across Dreamhacks and everything else.

What role will the second screen experience play for the TV broadcast

We’re programming this for the hardcore gamer. We’ll be experimenting with different things like sharing in-game audio that gives you a moment, but doesn’t divulge any secrets. We’ll have a mixture of interviews and stats. The second screen could become something no one wants to miss. We want to make it feel like a primary experience so you can enjoy what you’re viewing. It’ll definitely attract a lot more of the hardcore fans.

What type of viewership do you expect to attract

I don’t know a metric I can put on it, but I feel like it will get initial traction out of curiosity. That will segue and grow into the second season. We have some unique ideas for shoulder content that we could do that’s around the storytelling that will contribute to more of a rapid fan increase.

What impact do you feel FanDuel acquiring AlphaDraft will have on growing the mainstream audience

We just closed an eSports deal with DraftKings and Cloud 9, TSM, CLG, SK Gaming, compLexityGaming, and Mousesports. And we’ve done a lot of the influencer deals for AlphaDraft. Fantasy Sports is an example of having something that happens in traditional sports. Fans are always looking for something new. People are going to love Fantasy ESports because it does give them an attachment to the game. It’s a great thing that both of these fantasy leagues are making a commitment.

We also now have eSports betting companies like Unikorn. What are your thoughts on betting in eSports

If it’s legal and you’re of age, and players and teams insulate themselves from it, then there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s competitive entertainment. I’d never condone it if it’s not legal. Whether anyone likes it or not, people aren’t going to stop it. You can install different functions so it’s done right and you’re protecting everyone.

We’ve seen a poor ecosystem in South Korea result in some players throwing matches for quick cash from gamblers.

We need to identify where the soft spots are and how to improve. There has to be a zero tolerance policy for cheating. It’s open and shut. You simply can’t have cheating because that ruins the integrity of eSports.

Twitch Engagement Is Huge News To Marketers

It’s pretty much a given that Twitch.tv has become a huge success story in the world of game streaming, having acquired more than 100 million viewers a month and working with partners like Old Spice and others. And, of course, it’s headed into its first big TwitchCon event this weekend, with various panels, events and competitions lined up for the thousands of attendees.

What some may not realize, however, is the marketing potential that lies within Twitch.tv’s live viewer engagement. AdWeek recently posted an article breaking down the channel’s more recent numbers, with 60 to 70 percent of overall visitors consisting of men between the ages of 18-34. In addition, half of these viewers are based within the United States, according to numbers provided by Quantcast.

The numbers add up with viewing minutes as well, as the hardcore community of Twitch fans spend, collectively, more than 16 billion minutes a month watching people play games.

With the right approach to marketing, companies can reach out to this community with ease, whether it’s through mid-roll ads or using interactivity on a certain level, like Old Spice did with its “Nature Adventure” promotion earlier this year. In addition, it’s not just for console and PC play either, as a third or more of Twitch users manage their game streams via smartphones and tablets.

eSports is also playing a big part in the marketing game, as Red Bull uses its own devoted Twitch channel for competitive video gaming events. This ties in with the company’s push on the video game front, as it recently teamed with Activision to feature Destiny on its cans, unlocking new attributes that players can use within the game. It also worked with the company on a special live-stream from the game, highlighting content from the new add-on The Taken King before its release mid-month.

Adobe Digital Index had its own stats to add when it came to the marketing muscle of Twitch, indicating that watching videos via smartphone jumped 22 percent since the first portion of last year. Tablets are also being used quite often, almost on the same level as desktop users, indicating that the mobile reach for Twitch is continuing to climb.

“If more than half of Twitch users watch 20 or more hours a week of streaming video content on the platform 43 percent of whom might be live streaming games or other events from their phones it’s an indication of the immediate demand for marketers to have content that is in tune with what and where their audience is watching,” the article reads.

Twitch has also reached outside the gaming realm, launching a “Twitch Specials” category that focuses on concerts and other live events, as well as its recent partnership with music producer Boiler Room.

Indeed, Twitch looks almost unstoppable at this point, even with mounting competition from YouTube’s gaming division. We’ll see what surprises the company has in store when TwitchCon kicks off tomorrow.

Activision Ups The Ante With ‘Call of Duty’ World League

Activision is no stranger to eSports, as it’s been hosting a number of Call of Duty competitions over the past few years. This time around, however, it’s definitely getting more serious.

With Call of Duty: Black Ops III just under a couple of months from release, the publisher announced today the debut of the Call of Duty World League, an eSports-based league that will support the popular first-person shooting franchise. With it, it shows a higher devotion to competitive play, including an all-new Call of Duty Championship, which will offer a prize pool of over $3 million.

Call of Duty has always been about community, camaraderie and competition, which drives incredible engagement with the game all year long.  eSports allows us to deliver these moments to our fans whether they are playing the game themselves or cheering on those who are,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc.  “Three years ago, we held the first Call of Duty Championship to showcase the dedication and skill of Call of Duty players around the world. Since then, eSports has become a global phenomenon with more than 120 million people watching online competitive gaming each year and Call of Duty continues to lead as the top console eSports franchise in the world.”

The competition won’t just be for the pros either, as the League will be divided into two types of players The Pro Division and the Channel Division. Both will tie in to the Call of Duty Championship in fall 2016, with players from around the world, professional and amateur alike, competing for a chance at eSports glory.

“Treyarch’s passion for competitive gaming precedes Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a heritage that inspired us to introduce dedicated eSports features into the franchise and one that compelled us to push the boundaries of Call of Duty: Black Ops III‘s offerings beyond anything we’ve delivered before,” said Mark Lamia, Treyarch studio head. “While our global fan base of players range from casual to professional, they all share a desire to compete – some at the highest levels. With Call of Duty: Black Ops III, we are introducing a series of new features, like Arena mode that not only accommodate that diversity of play styles, but also let players see how they stack up against one another. Treyarch is giving the community of Call of Duty players new ways to compete and enjoy the thrill of competition.”

This marks a big shift for the event, which usually takes place in the spring, but Activision hopes it will give players the extra time needed to deliver their all, creating a rousing conclusion to its eSports competition which, again, will offer a whopping $3 million in series payouts and LAN events. (That’s bigger than previous Call of Duty events.)

More information on the World League can be found here. Meanwhile, aspiring players and pros alike can get their hands on Black Ops III when it releases on November 6th.

TBS Takes eSports Primetime With ‘Counter-Strike’

Everyone wants a piece of the eSports game these days even ESPN, a stagnant holdout for the longest time, aired an event earlier this year, Heroes of the Dorm. Now, Turner Broadcasting is getting in on the action.

Per a report from Variety, TBS will soon become the home for Counter-Strike eSports match-ups, as the Ted Turner-owned station has teamed up with talent agency WME/IMG to build a new eSports league. With that, TBS will soon have weekly tournaments devoted to the popular Valve-produced shooter for all to see.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the company’s latest build on the series, will be the featured title for the league, and TBS already plans to show 20 events that will be shot in front of a live audience. The first event is set to broadcast sometime next year, with continued competitive tournaments over the next ten weeks. Extra matches will also air during each tournament week, along with profiles on the individual players, according to the deal.

“This is a way to bring eSports to light and the 90 million homes TBS is in,” said Turner Sports president Lenny Daniels, speaking with Variety.

Tobias Sherman, the head of eSports division for WME/IMG, shared Daniels’ enthusiasm. “It’s my firm belief that there are many eSports fans who don’t know they’re eSports fans yet. Hell, I was one,” he explained

This is the latest move by WME/IMG to move into the eSports game, as it previously acquired a number of pro gamers from Global eSports Management. There’s no word yet if these specific players will be involved with the tournament, but Sherman assured that various competitors would be picked, whether they’re part of that team or not.

More details on the deal are expected to be announced sometime later this year. For now, this is big news on the eSports front and who knows, it could lead to additional broadcasts of tournaments, maybe even on a weekly basis. Imagine a League of Legends weekly series. That would probably get a ton of attention with the right source.

Minecraft Set To Creep Up On Virtual Reality

It seems that no matter what platform it’s released on, Minecraft performs record numbers. Minecraft: Pocket Edition has easily pushed its way into the top ten for both Android and iOS devices alike; Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition continues to be a best-seller on that platform; and the game has been well-received on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well.

Now, it could shake up the virtual front as we know it. At yesterday’s Oculus Connect event, founder and CEO Palmer Luckey announced that Microsoft’s hit game would be making its way to the Oculus Rift sometime early next year. Although a specific release date and price point weren’t given, more news is expected on this port very soon.

This is huge news for virtual reality, as it gives players the chance to play one of their all-time favorite games in an all-new format, using immersive 3D to build objects within Minecraft’s blocky world, while occasionally fighting off creepers and teaming up with friends.

Furthermore, it will be the Windows 10 edition of Minecraft, according to Luckey, which could open the door to more potential partnerships with console game makers. Oculus announced previously in the year that it would make Xbox One games compatible with its Rift device, {link no longer active} through the presentation of a virtual game room. This could be just the beginning for Oculus and Microsoft’s team-up. (Imagine a Halo game that utilizes the headset.)

Even though the virtual reality market hasn’t fully launched just yet the Rift, along with the HTC Vive and Sony’s recently renamed PlayStation VR (which could also see a port down the line, considering the company’s previous efforts with Mojang), are set to launch next year this could bring big news for it, as Minecraft has been nothing short of a best-seller on other platforms, mainly due to the creativity it provides to its players.

We’ll see where Minecraft virtually takes us in just a few months’ time. Mind the Creepers.

What To Expect From Gaming Insiders Summit

The Gaming Insiders Summit for 2015 is taking place in San Francisco on September 24 and 25 at the Intercontinental Hotel. The event is packed with sessions for everyone interested in the game industry, and we’ve highlighted some of the sessions of particular interest to game marketers.

Making Google Play the Home for Games (at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday) brings Jamil Moledina, Google’s Strategic Games Lead, to talk about how Google Play is becoming the world’s digital marketplace for games and apps. He’ll share success stories from major, PC, and console-based partners, and indies on Google Play. This is going to be excellent information for any marketer hoping to have products do well in the Google Play store.

Peter Levin, head of Lionsgate Interactive Ventures and Games, discusses State of Affairs: Hollywood & Gaming, where he will talk about the increasing overlap and cooperation between games and film or television projects. He’ll talk about the studio’s cooperation with publishers, turning games into feature films, and investing in game development. If you’re interested in any of the intersection between these entertainment media, this is a session you have to attend.

In a related vein, Scopely CEO Walter Driver will discuss Is it possible to create authentic games for entertainment brands , in a fireside chat with yours truly. We’ll go into detail on how Scopely addressed the challenge of turning The Walking Dead into a best-selling mobile game, and what strategies companies can use to capture the essence of an entertainment brand in a mobile game. It’s a game design challenge and a marketing challenge, and Scopely has shown it can handle both aspects exceptionally well. Marketers should get a lot of valuable information from this session.

If you are interested at all in mobile advertising (and who isn’t, these days ), the panel discussion on Monetization RTS FTW!: How not to hack and slash your way through the mobile ads ecosystem will give you the best strategies from execs at Electronic Arts, Zynga, and Facebook on what they’ve learned about mobile ads. The depth of expertise in this panel is immense, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from people who are living this issue every day.

Rounding out the day is a look at App Distribution a Year From Now, with a panel of experts from Scopely, ironsource, and TUNE to talk about the big changes ahead for how apps are going to be found and installed. Changes have been announced that will affect developers, tracking companies, and ad networks, and marketers need to be ready.

The second day of Gaming Insiders Summit also offers a great deal of insights for marketers, kicking off with Alternative growth strategies for mobile games. The panel includes execs from Storm8, Rovio, Seriously, and Space Ape Games, exploring the different avenues outside of performance marketing that leading game developers are using to drive installs. The panel will explore the use of television advertising for mobile games, influencers, and more.

If you’re looking for insights on VR, there are several sessions for you. The Business and Monetization of Virtual Reality, by the co-founder of Otherworld Interactive, will talk numbers: the size of the market, adoption rates, and revenue potential. In particular, where is the money coming from right now to build VR content If you have VR in your future, this is the kind of information you need to have.

Several of the afternoon sessions are important ones for marketers, from ASO Best Practices (dealing with App Store Optimization) to Behavior-based Cohorting (how to find your most engaged users) to The Future of Mobile Attribution (how to understand the value of a mobile game marketing channel).

The Gaming Insiders Summit will have immense value inside the sessions, and of course the networking opportunities may be even more important. Marketers should come away from this conference armed with new insights, new data, and new connections for improving business.

Disney XD Producer Explains Why Studio Has Embraced eSports With New Series

Disney XD has embraced eSports as it targets the same demographic that spends more time viewing pro gaming and video game live streaming content online than traditional broadcast TV. The new sitcom “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything” stars Cameron Boyce as Conor, a 15-year-old eSports player who enrolls in public high school for the first time after years of private tutoring. Although a thumb injury sidelines his pro career, he continues to see life s challenges as a video game. The show weaves real world with video game graphics to tap into the eSports fan base.

Executive producer Jim O Doherty has had success with TV shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, Grounded for Life, and Kickin It over the years. Now he s riding the wave of eSports with the first live action scripted show that uses professional gaming as a backdrop. O Doherty explains how eSports, and the viewing habits of its fans, is impacting traditional television in this exclusive interview.

How did you research eSports for this TV show

As soon as I became a viable candidate in running this show I immersed myself in eSports. We have hardcore gamers on the staff. It s a good marriage of traditional storytelling and video game and eSports culture. The backdrop of this show is video gaming in the same way. It s a good culture to explore.

I created Kickin It, which has a backdrop of martial arts, five years ago when there was a dojo in every strip mall in America and it was exploding. I knew a show about that would have mass appeal. Today, eSports and gaming are gigantic. We re pretty sure we re right again with targeting gamers and using an eSports backdrop.

Did you get a sense of how many kids spend a lot of their free time watching eSports

It s massive and eSports has exploded. We re conscious of how big it is. From the subculture and how it informs and relates to our demo, it s something we studied and we went to events and watched and witnessed eSports first-hand. Show creators Nick Stanton and Devin Bunje are in tune to the whole world of eSports.

Which eSports events did you attend

I went to a (Super League Gaming) Minecraft theater event competition in LA and Devin went to an eSports event in San Francisco. We ve also watched eSports online and see how massive this is. We have Julius at Disney and this is what he lives and breathes. He tells us this is more accurate and the perspective.

What demographic are you targeting with this show

The demographics of the show are boys 6 to 14 years of age. We re also starting to get a growing number of girls in our demo. The sweet spot is to get both.

How does eSports impact the show s stories

We re storytellers first and foremost. We do a three act structure over 22 minutes. We find a story that organically ties into the culture and the world of eSports. We have characters dealing with things like relationships and problems with school and parents and money. And the eSports culture is the backdrop. We have this central character, Conor, and it s through his imagination that we go into the gamer sequences. He brings that in to deal with his own personal problems.

How have eSports fans tuned in for this show

It s proven that eSports fans are interested in this. The launch was the largest live action show that XD has ever launched. The numbers are huge. The way the show is consumed has changed. We look at the first number for the first viewing, but that s just a small piece of the pie. We also look at how many times it was looked at on different devices over a three-day and seven-day experience. We have a very good understanding of how this content is consumed. It s not the way I consumed shows when I was a kid. It s much faster and much easier and more widespread for sure. That s the way the demo lives in the world of eSports.

What type of gaming background do you have

I went from pinball to asteroids to air hockey. My first job was in a video arcade. I grew up with those games and they re obsolete now. But I remember the love and joy and connection with playing video games. I didn’t want to go back to school after lunch because of arcade games. I totally understand games and get their appeal and understand that demo.

What are your thoughts on the fact that professional video gaming even exists today

It s awesome. And it s a reflection of where we are in the world. ESports and gaming are gigantic. Pro gamers, why not It s a natural extension of this day and age. It requires a skill set. My daughter goes to Berkeley and there s a huge eSports culture there. The kids can take such a joy in something they love and figure out a way to monetize it and even make a living from it.

How are you working with eSports leagues

Some of the bigger leagues are reaching out to us and trying to do a tine-in or be associated with us. That are is very active. But it has to make sense for all the people involved. There are a lot of moving parts to Disney. It s a very sophisticated machine. If it makes sense, we re always open to listening.

How has that dialogue evolved

In the beginning we were making phone calls to make sure we were doing things right. Devin and Nick are from this world, but it was important to all of us to be authentic. The minute we do something not authentic to the culture, we knew we were going to alienate people. There s an integrity to what we re doing because eSports is like a religion to these kids.

What type of cameos have you had from the eSports world

We have cameos from YouTube personalities like Stampy Cat, Captain Sparklez, and Markiplier in the show.

Tubular Ranks Most Watched Facebook Creators

With Facebook’s video division continuing to make a big impact on the social scene — and knocking on the door of YouTube’s popularity — Tubular Labs recently released a report of the top ten most watched Facebook compilation creators for the month of August. And it’s safe to say that these creators have managed to amass a huge audience on the site.

The full list of 25 can be found here, but here’s a quick recap of the top ten creators…

First up is Funniest and Craziest Videos. These videos have pleased audiences of all types with their “crazy, funny and amazing videos for everyone,” with a total of 1.1 billion views for the month of August, and 1.3 million followers overall.

Coming up in second is the prank-based comedy channel SoFlo Comedy, which is very popular in its own right with one billion views, as well as over 450,000 new followers. It rose two places from its number four position during July 2015.

Unilad TV may have dropped in the rankings (it was number two last month), but it continues to impress with over a billion views for the month and over 554,000 new followers. Considering it specializes in trending videos, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

In fourth place is StreetFX, a site devoted to Australia’s largest motorsport graphics supplier. With its car-related videos, it’s managed to gain 349,000 new followers and 593 million views for the month.

In fifth, French site Codes de Meufs made an impressive debut on the list, with 546 million views and 369,000 new followers for the month.

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The remaining top ten are below…

6. Young Paperboyz, 505 million views, 346,000 new followers

7. 2! Idol, 416 million views, 825,000 new followers

8. DJ Zant, 412 million views, 478,000 new followers

9. Viechten Met Daan, 408 million views, 927,000 new followers (the best for the month)

10. Top Vines, 398 million views, but actually lost 6,000 followers (the main negative on the list)

As you can see, Facebook’s business is booming within the top 25, and it’s likely to continue in the months ahead as the site invests in new innovations and opportunities for programmers to take advantage of.