The Gaming Creator Economy Goes Public as FaZe Clan Closes $725M SPAC Merger

As the so-called “Creator Economy” continues to be dominated by tech platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, the creators themselves are increasingly looking for ways to get their own piece of the pie.

On Wednesday, one of the most notable shifts in that direction happened, as FaZe Clan, the gaming and content creator collective, went public in a $725 million SPAC merger. FaZe is one of the first real “Gen Z”-facing companies (it counts Bronny James, yes, LeBron’s son, as a member), and now, flush with cash from the SPAC deal, it plans to go on offense.

FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink tells The Hollywood Reporter that the company is already looking to expand into a handful of new areas, including gambling, ghost kitchens (MrBeast’s Beast Burger is a template), fan clubs and subscriptions, and web3 and the metaverse.

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“We are well positioned to expand our platform internationally as half of our fanbase network is ex-U.S.” Trink says, adding that “there are a number of emerging categories that provide opportunity to unlock more monetization of our enormous combined fanbase network of 500 million.”

But the company also needs to expand its base of creators and content, and Trink says the company has a plan to do so.

FaZe will “become an incubator and accelerator for the next generation of creators and creatives to create new IP,” Trink says. “We will use the resources we’ve created for ourselves and provide infrastructure, resources and capital to help fuel our talent’s ventures.”

And he says the company also wants to help other social media content creators expand their businesses as well.

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“As we invest in and expand our talent network and welcome the ascent of new stars, we will give them the resources, strategy and investment to grow as the creator economy also shifts,” he says. “By bringing our resources, our business connectivity and our understanding of how we were able to unlock value for ourselves and our creators, we plan to work with other influencers and brands to allow them to be CEOs of their own ecosystem.”

Launched in 2010, FaZe has expanded significantly over the years to focus on content creation. Jimmy Iovine invested in 2020, while Snoop Dogg joined the company and its board earlier this year.

FaZe signed with UTA to represent it in film, TV, podcasting and sponsorships last year.

But its gaming heritage (its founders were Call of Duty players) will continue to be a focal point, with Trink arguing that Gen Z is already playing games, making it a natural point of connection. It also ties into the company’s thinking around web3.

“Gaming is foundational for Web3’s future and that’s where our roots are,” Trink says. “As Gen Z embraces more immersive experiences and participates in ownership of the brands and creators they love, we’ll be enabling and supporting that. Importantly, unlike most others, this doesn’t require massive capital investment from FaZe; it’s our brand, innate experience and relationships with our community that drive our opportunity.”

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