Deal creates first of its kind business in Canada with plans for global expansion
TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Cineplex Entertainment ("Cineplex") today announced that it has acquired the operational assets of WG Ltd. (operating as WorldGaming), a leading online gaming platform that facilitates tournaments, leagues and gaming ladders for the competitive gaming community. The acquisition will see the creation of a new company that will transform eSports in Canada by creating a community that connects live online gaming with unique in-theatre tournament experiences to be held in Cineplex theatres across the country.
"This acquisition leverages Cineplex's existing assets including our theatre locations, the SCENE loyalty program and the numerous marketing touchpoints that we have developed," said Ellis Jacob, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cineplex Entertainment. "We see that eSports are quickly becoming a global phenomenon and this investment provides us with the unique opportunity to engage a new customer base as well as expand the concept in markets outside of Canada."
As part of the deal, Cineplex will invest $10-million US to acquire the assets in exchange for 80 per cent ownership of the new company, as well as invest an additional $5-million US to expand the business model. In addition, Cineplex is pleased to announce the creation of a new league that will operate and oversee future in-theatre eSports tournaments hosted across Canada.
"Joining Cineplex Entertainment will undoubtedly propel the Canadian eSports landscape forward and take to a whole new level," said Rob Segal, Chief Executive Officer of WG Ltd. "We are excited to be working with an iconic leader in entertainment to bring our hundreds of thousands of members into theatres where the best-of-the-best in gaming can compete face-to-face."
Theatres are ideal locations for gamers to compete and their fans to cheer them on and Cineplex is excited to bring the experience and thrill of competitive video gaming to its guests. The online portion of the tournaments will be hosted on WorldGaming's proprietary gaming platform and the events are expected to take on three main formats:
- National Tournaments – quarterly tournaments that begin with online qualifiers, moving to regional rounds in 24+ Cineplex theatres. National tournaments will culminate in one final event broadcasted via satellite across the country with the winner receiving a cash prize;
- Local Tournaments – single-day regional events featuring new games that will give casual gamers the opportunity to play in Cineplex theatres against other players locally; and
- League Play – similar to league sports like hockey and soccer, guests and teams can sign-up for a 12-week program featuring one game and play in rounds leading up to a final held locally in each city.
Details will be available soon on the league's first national tournament scheduled for October 2015. Interested participants are encouraged to visit Cineplex.com/GameOn for more information.
About Cineplex Inc.
Cineplex Inc. ("Cineplex") is one of Canada's leading entertainment companies and operates one of the most modern and fully digitized motion picture theatre circuits in the world. A top-tier Canadian brand, Cineplex operates numerous businesses including theatrical exhibition, food services, gaming, alternative programming (Front Row Centre Events), Cineplex Media, Cineplex Digital Solutions, Cineplex Digital Networks, and the online sale of home entertainment content through CineplexStore.com and on apps embedded in various electronic devices. Cineplex is also a joint venture partner in SCENE – Canada's largest entertainment loyalty program.
Cineplex is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and operates 162 theatres with 1,652 screens from coast to coast, serving approximately 74 million guests annually through the following theatre brands: Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Scotiabank Theatres, Cineplex Cinemas and Cineplex VIP Cinemas. Cineplex also owns and operates the UltraAVX, Poptopia, and Outtakes brands. Cineplex trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CGX. More information is available at Cineplex.com.
For further information: Pat Marshall, Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations, Pat.Marshall@Cineplex.com, 416-323-6648, Sarah Van Lange, Director of Communications, Sarah.VanLange@Cineplex.com, 647-287-9582