Why former esports and digital media execs are forming a talent and content company to simplify the digital entertainment business

A group of former executives from the digital creator, music and esports spaces have formed a new venture intended to unify the talent, gaming and content sides of the digital entertainment business.

The new venture, talent management firm and digital content studio Fixated, was founded by former FaZe Clan president and COO Zach Katz, Jason Wilhelm and Dean Johnson, respectively the co-founder and a former executive at the talent management company Talent X, and YouTuber Luc Boulch.

Fixated has been operating in the shadows since late 2023 and already employs over 30 people across its talent and content divisions. The company is formally launching this week after accruing a portfolio of custom gaming experiences, such as a TurboTax-branded Fortnite map published last month, as well as a roster of creators that includes Kylie “Sketch” Cox and chess influencers Alexandra and Andrea Botez.

“We are differentiating ourselves by helping content creators with the content — the quality and distribution of it — and then of course commercializing it thereafter with brand deals, products and things of that nature,” Katz said. “So that’s really what Fixated is: this house of IP on the one side, and the talent representation on the other, working together symbiotically to have this new-age digital company.”

The two-pronged nature of Fixated reflects its founders’ esports industry backgrounds. In recent years, talent management and content production have been two of esports organizations’ most successful revenue streams. Fixated is similarly producing original content and using it to connect gaming creators with sponsors, but without the additional overhead costs that come with having to manage teams of competitive gamers.

“You can go to a Fortnite creator and say, ‘Hey, not only are we going to help you with actually developing your brand, but at the same time, we’re going to develop maps with you as part of that brand,’” Wilhelm said.

Fixated is not the first creator talent management firm to invest in developing homegrown content studios and intellectual properties for its clients, particularly by leveraging user-generated content platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite. Over the past two years, for example, streamer Ali “SypherPK” Hassan has worked with his management company The Kinetic Group to launch Oni Studios and SuperJoy, both companies that design and build maps in Fortnite Creative.

“SuperJoy is a business that is led by Sypher, but doesn’t necessarily require him, the streamer and content creator, to be attached and involved,” said The Kinetic Group CEO Justin Miclat. “We’ve been able to stand up both businesses, despite marketplace conditions, and we will continue to take that approach for the foreseeable future.”

One difference in Fixated’s approach is that the company is doing all of its content production in-house, rather than working with its clients to spin off their own ancillary production companies.

“You’ve got the IP side of the business that very much allows us to have a different conversation with a lot of people,” Wilhelm said. “Because we can actually point to things that we ourselves are building internally, that prove our skill set and areas in which we can involve the talents in those owned experiences and products and services.”

Fixated and other agencies are increasingly acknowledging content creators’ need to develop more sustainable intellectual properties and revenue streams in the long term. Although Fixated’s founders primarily come from the esports industry, they believe their approach is also applicable to the broader world of digital entertainment. 

“We want to work with creators that see themselves not as influencers, not even just as content creators, but really as studios — guys and girls that have that greater ambition,” Katz said.

https://digiday.com/?p=543861

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