DeAndre Cortez Way A.K.A Soulja Boy is making headlines in the news lately, but not for his hip-hop, but his jump into the gaming industry. He’s expressed interest in started an e-sports league and launched his own “gaming console.” Critics are skeptical and rightly so.
SouljaGames abruptly jumped into the market with the announcement of a handheld emulator, per Rolling Stone. The emulator was allegedly pre-loaded with 3,000 titles that were previously released for handheld Nintendo and Sony consoles like 3DS, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advanced, Vita, and NEOGEO. Way was adamant his device didn’t break any laws and wasn’t at risk of legal action from Nintendo or Sony, per Screen Rant.
Way was absolutely in danger of legal action as it turns out. Nintendo threatened him with legal action for violating the Trademark Counterfeit Act with each Nintendo game on the device. He was forced to remove the emulators from his SouljaWatch online store, even though it still contains a host of other bootleg electronics like smart-phones and wireless earbuds that look identical to Apple air-pods.
Way has also mentioned his interest in starting a professional e-sports gaming league. Way has caught the Fortnite bug along with 30 million other active players and wants to put together a professional team to compete with other pros like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Belvins. Way mentioned putting together teams for other popular e-sport competitive games like Overwatch, Call Of Duty, and Counter-Strike, per sportsmedia.com
My Take On Soulja Boy’s Gaming Industry Attempt
There was never any chance the gaming community took Way’s foray into the gaming industry seriously. The console market is like the political system, if you’re not a democrat or republican, you’re not winning a damn thing. Consoles like the Switch and PlayStation 4 are the some most advanced gaming systems ever created and a bootleg emulator will never compete with the heavy hitters.
As for Way’s interest in managing competitive e-sports teams, I have no problem with it. As long as he’s paying and treating his teams in a fair way, I don’t see any problem. However, I would be extremely wary of signing a contract with an e-sports team associated with Way after his bootleg emulator debacle. It’s rather clear that many of Way’s ploy’s are closer to get-rich-quick schemes rather than sound business investments.
It’s hard to imagine any league he puts together will attract budding professional players over the likes of ESPN, USC, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who all have investments in professional e-sports teams.
This off-season @MisfitsGG did not hold back, adding three new players in @sOAZ, @MSF_Febiven and @lolGorillA. I joined @Phil_Sports to break down the high-profile moves and what this means for one of the veteran teams in the #LEC. pic.twitter.com/4Dekl0Aals
— Jacob Wolf (@JacobWolf) January 2, 2019