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Celebrating a Decade of Global Gaming Connections: Pocket Gamer Connects Announces 10th Anniversary Event in San Francisco

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Kicking off 2024 with the flagship event in London, Pocket Gamer Connects (PGC) is set to continue celebrating its 10th anniversary with a brand-new special event in San Francisco, California, in March 2024. This milestone event marks a decade of connecting the global games industry, with over 750 attendees expected to participate in two days of networking, discovery, pitching, and learning from some of the world’s leading authorities within the games industry.

The Pocket Gamer Connects: San Francisco event will be held at the Hibernia, a prime venue in the heart of the city. This historic venue, a former bank, is known for its unique Neoclassical Revival-style architecture. It is a short walk from the Moscone Conference Center. Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco is a perfect way to kick off conference week in the city, providing a unique experience, expo showcase and specialised talks and panels in an intimate setting.

Starting in the UK in 2014, the Pocket Gamer Connect event series, now under the parent company Enthusiast Gaming, has transformed from its modest origins into a worldwide sensation, organising 45 events globally. It has become the ultimate hub for the mobile games industry, providing a platform for professionals to gather, connect, exchange stories, and celebrate their achievements.

The PGC San Francisco event is expected to attract over 750 attendees, encompassing a diverse range of industry professionals from all over the globe. These include developers, indie developers, creatives, recruitment professionals, C-level executives, marketing professionals, students, investors, publishers, tool providers, technical teams, ad companies, media, ASO practitioners, app marketers, and app advertisers.

The event will provide an exciting opportunity for these professionals to connect, collaborate, and learn about the latest advancements in the gaming industry. The program will delve into AI, virtual reality, Web3, blockchain, and the metaverse while continuing to provide in-depth coverage of all things mobile gaming.

 

Exciting Collaboration with MeetToMatch

In a powerful partnership with MeetToMatch, Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2024 is set to become a hub of industry connections. This collaboration positions PGC San Francisco as the official meeting point for this dynamic networking platform. Every delegate at PGC will receive an all-access pass to the MeetToMatch meeting platform, free and unlimited for five whole days during Pocket Gamers Connects and the following days, which runs the same week as Game Developer Conference 2024. Every year, the MeetToMatch San Francisco Edition provides a convenient way to meet people around the city during this busy week. Getting access to this activity as part of your Pocket Gamer Connects ticket registration makes joining the conference even more advantageous and cost-effective.

PGC has partnered with MeetToMatch to ensure that a ticket to PGC San Francisco includes access to MeetToMatch: The San Francisco Edition beyond the conference. Trusted by hundreds of publishers, investors, and developers, the MeetToMatch messaging and matchmaking platform enables ticket holders to connect with the greatest minds from all game companies around the world.

Operating throughout the week’s conference activities, a ticket to PGC enables you to use the platform to schedule meetings all week at various locations around the city. With a PGC ticket, attendees will also have the privilege to use the PGC meeting zone at the elegant Hibernia venue to conduct their meetings; even non-PGC users of MeetToMatch will be able to join you at our meeting tables.

Pocket Gamer looks forward to welcoming all ticket holders to San Francisco in March 2024 for a one-of-a-kind event. For more information about the 10th-anniversary event of Pocket Gamer Connects in San Francisco, please visit http://www .pgconnects .com/sanfrancisco

Enthusiast Gaming, North America’s leading gaming media and entertainment company, supports a proprietary mix of community sites, content, esports, and gaming assets, with Pocket Gamer reaching some of the largest gaming audiences, reflecting the scale and diversity of the gaming industry.

Gaming

Snail Games Enhances Current Game Titles with Exciting New Developments

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Snail Inc., a leading global independent developer and publisher of interactive digital entertainment, announced significant strides with the launch of West Hunt on Nintendo Switch and the introduction of ASA Premium Mods for ARK Survival Ascended. These initiatives underscore Snail Games’ unwavering commitment to continuously improving and enhancing its current portfolio of game titles.

West Hunt on Nintendo Switch

Snail Games’ independent game branch, Wandering Wizard, in collaboration with developing studio New Gen, recently launched West Hunt on Nintendo Switch. This highly anticipated game transports players into the heart of the Wild West, enabling them to embark on manhunts wherever they go. The launch of West Hunt on Nintendo Switch marks a significant milestone in Snail Games’ journey, as it extends the game’s reach beyond Steam into the thriving console gaming community.

ASA Premium Mods

Snail Games is also set to introduce ARK Survival Ascended’s Premium Mods program. This innovative initiative revolutionizes the modding landscape by providing unprecedented opportunities for monetization. With one of the most competitive revenue-sharing models in the industry, ARK Survival Ascended’s Premium Mods program ensures that modders are duly recognized and rewarded for their creativity and dedication. Moreover, ASA Premium Mods’ cross-platform compatibility across PC, Xbox, and PlayStation amplifies modders’ reach, enabling them to maximize their earnings and connect with a broader audience. ARK Survival Ascended’s mod program is committed to fostering an environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and fair compensation for modders. The program aims to be a catalyst for positive change within the modding community, empowering creators to thrive in their craft. The premium mod program has launched on the PC platform with other platforms to follow in time.

“We remain committed to improving and elevating our current portfolio of games, ensuring that every player finds adventure and excitement in our diverse offerings. We embark on these exciting new ventures with our community and partners at the forefront of our strategy,” Jim Tsai, Chief Executive Officer of Snail Games, said.

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WA.Technology appoints Waldir Marques as Director of Regulatory Affairs

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WA.Technology, a leading B2B iGaming solutions provider, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Waldir Marques as its new Director of Regulatory Affairs—this key addition to WA.Technology’s leadership team fortifies the company, particularly in light of recent regulatory changes in Brazil.

Waldir Marques, the former CEO of the government-backed lottery syndicate CAIXA Loterias S.A., brings a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record in iGaming regulation. His high-profile role at Brazil’s CAIXA Loterias S.A., a company renowned for its commitment to ethics, integrity, and transparency, has honed his skills in ensuring strict adherence to regulatory requirements – a crucial asset for WA.Technology’s operations. Waldir’s insights and expertise will be invaluable in bringing credible and knowledgeable advice to clients, opening the door for bigger and better opportunities in a legally compliant way.

“With the latest regulatory developments in Brazil, Waldir’s profound understanding of the legal landscape will be instrumental in guiding our expansion efforts in the country and the wider Latam market,” said Tim Scoffham, CEO of WA.Technology. “His appointment proves our commitment to operating within legal compliance, ensuring our clients receive exceptional service and the peace of mind that comes with rigorous regulatory adherence.”

Waldir’s curriculum vitae is a testament to his breadth of knowledge and experience in the field. His roles as Director-President & CEO at CAIXA Loterias S.A. and  Subsecretary of Regulation of Lotteries, Prizes and Sweepstakes at the Ministry of Economy, Brazil, highlight his capabilities in navigating the regulatory environment of the Brazilian market and beyond. His team leadership and governance skills further solidify his fit for this pivotal role.

“I am excited to start this new chapter with WA.Technology and contribute to its growth in the Latam region,” said Waldir Marques. “Ensuring compliance and fostering a trustworthy environment for our clients is my top priority. I look forward to helping to steer the company through the evolving regulatory landscape, particularly in Brazil, in light of the ongoing changes. I’m also looking forward to taking on the challenge of bettering WA.Technology’s advancement in the broader South American market as the company branches out into other markets such as Mexico.”

Waldir Marques will be part of the WA.Technology team at ICE London 2024 and will be available at the WA.Technology stand S4-240. His presence at such a prominent event underscores WA.Technology’s commitment to expanding its reach and expertise in the flourishing Latam market.

This appointment marks a significant stride for WA.Technology in fortifying its position in Latam. WA.Technology is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and client service, and the addition of Waldir Marques to its leadership team signifies its commitment to excellence, integrity, and growth in the region.

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Gaming

SharpLink Gaming Sells Fantasy Sports and Sports Game Development Business Units to RSports Interactive

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SharpLink Gaming Ltd. (Nasdaq: SBET) (“SharpLink” or the “Company”) announced that on January 18, 2024, the Company entered into an agreement to sell all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock or membership interests, as applicable, in its SportsHub/fantasy sports and free to play sports game development business units to RSports Interactive, Inc. (“RSports”) for $22.5 million in an all-cash transaction. Nearly all employees of these acquired business units will also move to RSports to help ensure a seamless transition.

SharpLink further reported that it used approximately $14.9 million of the proceeds from the sale to repay in full all outstanding term loans and lines of credit with its lender; in addition, SharpLink paid approximately $4.5 million to redeem an 8% Interest, 10% Original Issue Discount Senior Convertible Debenture issued to an existing shareholder in connection with a Securities Purchase Agreement signed in February 2023. As a result, the Company is now free of interest bearing debt.

As further detailed in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later today, SharpLink’s Board of Directors considered the following factors, among others, in reaching their decision to approve the sale:

  • With the sale consummated, SharpLink expects to significantly reduce its operating expenses, primarily due to a significant reduction in headcount, lower office lease costs, greatly diminished state licensing requirements, elimination of interest bearing debt service and other resulting cost savings, thereby positioning the Company with the ability to achieve positive cash flow from its remaining performance marketing business on an accelerated basis;
  • The sale significantly strengthens the Company’s working cash position and total shareholders’ equity and provides the capital necessary to extinguish nearly $19.4 million in interest bearing debt – all without having to rely on dilutive equity financings to support the Company’s future growth;
  • The improvement in the Company’s total shareholders’ equity position is expected to enable SharpLink to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum continued listing requirements; and
  • The sale of the Company’s fantasy sports and free-to-play games development businesses positions SharpLink as a pure-play, performance marketing company serving the global sports betting and iGaming industries.

In connection with the sale, Chris Nicholas, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, resigned as an officer and director of the Company, effective immediately.

Commenting on the sale, Rob Phythian, SharpLink’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This sale represents a pivotal milestone for SharpLink, allowing us to unlock significant value in our fantasy sports and game development businesses and achieve multiple critical objectives without having to turn to a potentially dilutive equity financing to strengthen our financial footing, regain compliance with Nasdaq, and support our efforts to ultimately create sustainable long-term value for our shareholders. Moreover, we are confident that our fantasy sports and sports game development businesses will continue to thrive and prosper in the great hands of RSports, which has exciting plans to elevate the combined businesses to new heights.”

Continuing, Phythian said, “Our remaining sports betting and iGaming performance marketing business will be more focused and simplified, allowing us to prioritize innovation and organic growth, while empowering us to look for strategic opportunities to strengthen SharpLink’s position as a trusted solutions provider to both current and future business partners.”

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