GameSquare Esports, a Toronto-based company backed by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Crescent Real Estate co-founder John Goff, has made a move to bolster its live streaming and marketing capabilities.
GameSquare announced a merger agreement last week with Engine Gaming & Media, a data-driven gaming, media, and influencer marketing platform company. The all-stock deal will give former GameSquare shareholders around 60% of the combined entity, and Engine Gaming shareholders around 40%. Engine Gaming shares will continue to trade on the Nasdaq and TSX Venture Exchanges under the symbol “GAME.”
The combined entity will operate globally under the GameSquare brand, offering an end-to-end platform with reach across esports, sports, influencer, publisher, and advertising networks. It has the potential to help brands connect with youth culture audiences, including millions who are passionate about gaming as entertainment.
Jones and Goff will continue to be the largest investors of the combined entity, with the Jones family and Goff Capital holding “significant” board representation.
GameSquare CEO Justin Kenna is slated to lead the combined company as CEO, with Engine Gaming CEO Lou Schwartz overseeing the combined tech platforms as president.
‘A transformative opportunity’
Kenna called the merger “a transformative opportunity” for “what we believe will be one of the world’s largest and most influential gaming, esports, and media companies focused on youth culture.”
“The merger immediately expands our scale, which we expect will help us on an accelerated path to profitability in 2023, while creating an organization with a leading platform of end-to-end media, content, and technology assets,” Kenna added. “GameSquare and Engine Gaming have highly complementary core strengths, including broad product portfolios, and passionate team members committed to the gaming and esports markets. As a combined organization, we’ll have an enhanced platform and expanded resources, including essential data and analytic solutions, to serve a broader base of global customers and accelerate growth.”
Schwartz, who was CEO of Engine Gaming before being named president of the combined company, said Engine Gaming’s “unique technology assets, including live streaming data, analytics, influencer marketing platform, and programmatic advertising solutions enhance and expand GameSquare’s capabilities in connecting brands with fans..
“As a full service, integrated company, we’ll be able to meet the needs of any brand sponsor through our SaaS revenue-based technology platforms,” Schwartz added. “We believe the combined company will drive powerful growth and scale, while enabling an accelerated path to profitability.”
Leveraging large esports audiences
The two companies could pack a punch by leveraging their large esports audiences. GameSquare has an audience of 220 million, while Engine Gaming has 130 million monthly followers within its advertising network. The companies believe their combined audience “may result in an audience and reach as large as any gaming and esports company currently in the market.”
GameSquare acquired Complexity Gaming for $27M in 2021
In June 2021, GameSquare acquired Frisco’s Complexity Gaming for $27 million. Since launching in 2003, Complexity has won over 140 esports championships in nearly 30 games, and is headquartered in the GameStop Performance Center at The Star in Frisco. Goff Capital, the Jerry Jones family, and Complexity founder and CEO Jason Lake have owned Complexity Gaming since 2017. The Goff and Jones families acquired a 47% ownership stake in GameSquare with last year’s acquisition.
GameSquare plans to eventually move its HQ from Toronto to The Star. “Don’t underestimate the power of having our physical office address right there in the middle of one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world,” John Goff told Dallas Business Journal last August.
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