The eSports competitive video gaming market continues to grow revenues & attract investors

eSports Advertising and Sponsorships

What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments

Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.

These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.

But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.

eSports Market Growth Booming

To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for “lol” does not produce “laughing out loud” as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.

What started as friends gathering in each other’s homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.

And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.

Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.

So it’s understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.

eSports Industry Analysis – The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market

Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.

And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group’s $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter’s Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.

Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don’t watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.

So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?

Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.

Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet

Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:

  • eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
  • There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
  • The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
  • The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
  • The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
  • Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
  • Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.  
  • Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
  • Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
  • Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
  • Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
  • Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.  

In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:

  • The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
  • The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
  • eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
  • eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
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Here's everything we know about the next 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie

johnny depp pirates

Warning: There are spoilers and potential spoilers below about “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Jack Sparrow is returning to the big screen this summer for a fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. 

Disney recently released a new teaser trailer and a bunch of official photos for the movie, out this May.

If you didn’t know another “Pirates” movie was on its way, keep reading to see everything you need to know about the next installment in the franchise.

The fifth “Pirates” movie is called “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Johnny Depp

Depp first teased the fifth “Pirates” movie at Disney’s annual fan convention D23 in 2015. He took the stage dressed as his character Captain Jack Sparrow.

The film will feature a group of “deadly ghost pirates” who are hunting down Jack Sparrow.

captain salazar pirates of caribbean

Apparently, Sparrow has an arch-nemesis Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) who we’re only just hearing about after four films. He’s the creepy-looking guy who has popped up in every trailer and he’s on a quest to hunt down and kill every pirate with his own ghost pirate army.

This is the official film synopsis Disney released for the film:

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea … including him.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

Who is Captain Salazar?

captain salazar pirates of the caribbean

Salazar is a former admiral in the Spanish Navy. According to an interview with the film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, in the spring issue of Disney’s official fan magazine twenty three, there’s a reason Salazar has a thing against pirates. 

“Pirates corrupted his father and he lost his life, and Captain Jack Sparrow was the one who caused him to be ‘the undead.’ So Salazar wants to avenge what happened to him because of Captain Jack Sparrow,” said Bruckheimer. 

From the teasers, it looks like we’ll get a flashback-heavy sequence that shows how the lives of the two characters intertwined years ago. We’ll also see exactly how Sparrow cursed Salazar and his fleet. 

captain salazar javier bardem pirates of the caribbean

The group presumably gets trapped in the Devil’s Triangle for years. After escaping, Salazar and his undead crew’s mission is to still hunt down every pirate — and Jack Sparrow is at the top of their list. 

javier bardem cursed pirates of the caribbean

We see a presumably younger Sparrow, suggesting Disney is using technology to transform Johnny Depp into a younger version of himself.

young johnny depp pirates of caribbean

During that flashback sequence, it’s likely we’ll see a young version of Sparrow. 

It’s not the first time the studio has done this with a big-name actor. They recently did the same with Robert Downey Jr. to de-age him in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Sparrow will go on a mission to seek out Poseidon’s trident.

johnny depp pirates of the caribbean

It’s not completely clear why, but, according to the film’s synopsis, the person who wields it has control over the sea. Maybe he believes it will help him defeat Salazar. 

Orlando Bloom will be back as Will Turner.

orlando bloom pirates of caribbean

Bloom will reprise his role as Will Turner after starring in the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Disney confirmed Bloom will be back in a January press release for the film. 

We’re not sure what he’ll be up to, but the last time we saw Turner, he and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) were married before he became the captain of the Flying Dutchman at the end of “On Stranger Tides.” That meant he was sentenced to roam the Netherworld for a decade where he brings souls to the afterlife. In the time he’s gone, he and Elizabeth have a young son.

In 2014, Bloom hinted to IGN that the film could revolve around his relationship with his son. Since he’s technically “Davy Jones” now and is at the bottom of the ocean, Bloom also said we may see him look totally different on screen.

orlando bloom

“It might be kind of fun to do something where I’m rumbling round the bottom of the ocean, because I won’t look anything like me. [Gestures to face] Get all gnarly,” said Bloom.

The movie will also center around Will Turner’s son.

brenton thwaites pirates 5

Brenton Thwaites also stars in the film as a young sailor in the Royal Navy named Henry. “The Giver” actor was seen in the film’s teaser trailer being questioned by Captain Salazar about Sparrow. While trailers haven’t given much else away about the character, we know for certain he’s Will’s son.

In Disney’s spring issue of twenty three, Bruckheimer confirmed Thwaites will play a boy searching for his father. “His father just happens to be Orlando Bloom [Will Turner],” said Bruckheimer. 

Thwaites previously hinted to the Mirror that Turner would be his character’s father“There’s a curse that prevents him from doing that [reconnecting with his dad],” he said. “I think it’s about how he goes around that and tries to fix it and he has to save his dad.”

We’ll see a few other familiar faces.

dead men tell no tales pirates 5

Geoffrey Rush will return as Captain Barbossa along with Kevin R. McNally and Stephen Graham as Joshamee Gibbs and Scrum, respectively.

Captain jack sparrow and joshamee gibbscaptain jack on stranger tides scrum

New additions will include Kaya Scodelario (“The Maze Runner”), who plays an astronomer named Carina Smyth who will help Jack on his hunt for Poseidon’s trident and Iranian actress and musician Golshifteh Farahani who will be a sea-witch named Shansa. 

carina smyth

The film has different names overseas.

While US viewers will see the movie marketed as “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” some overseas viewers will see different names for the film. In the UK and Netherlands, the film will be called, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.”

pirates caribbean salazar revenge

In Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, and the Vietnam the film will be called a variation of that title, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Revenge of Salazar.”

One reason Disney may have changed up the name for US viewers is so that the film may perform better in the states. Though the last film, 2011’s “On Stranger Tides,” made over $1 billion in theaters worldwide, it made most of its money overseas ($804 million). 

“Pirates” is an interesting franchise to look at worldwide. While it’s box office intake has slowed domestically after the first sequel, its popularity has continued to grow internationally.

That may suggest that fans are hungry for a sequel overseas no matter what the title of the film whereas US viewers may need a more vague, mysterious name to draw interest. The fifth film will be coming six years after the fourth in the franchise and that one was not a fan favorite

The sequel will be out in May.

johnny depp jack sparrow pirates of caribbean

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is set for release May 26, 2017. Previously, it was set for a July 7, 2017 release.

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Explained: Packer, Crypter, and Protector

In this article, we will try to explain the terms packer, crypter, and protector in the context of how they are used in malware. Bear in mind that no definitions for these categories are set in stone and that they all have overlap and that there are exceptions to the rules. But this is the classification that makes sense to me.

What they all have in common is their goal

The payload, which is the actual malware that the threat actor wants to run on the victims’ computers, is protected against reverse engineering and detection (by security software). This is done by adding code that is not strictly malicious, but only intended to hide the malicious code. So the goal is to hide the payload from the victim and from researchers that get their hands on the file.

Packers

This usually is short for “runtime packers” which are also known as “self-extracting archives”. Software that unpacks itself in memory when the “packed file” is executed. Sometimes this technique is also called “executable compression”. This type of compression was invented to make files smaller. So users wouldn’t have to unpack them manually before they could be executed. But given the current size of portable media and internet speeds, the need for smaller files is not that urgent anymore. So when you see some packers being used nowadays, it is almost always for malicious purposes. In essence to make reverse engineering more difficult, with the added benefit of a smaller footprint on the infected machine.

Crypters

The crudest technique for crypters is usually called obfuscation. A more elaborate blog post on that is Obfuscation: Malware’s best friend. Obfuscation is also used often in scripts, like javascripts and vbscripts. But most of the time these are not very hard to bypass or de-obfuscate. More complex methods use actual encryption. Most crypters do not only encrypt the file, but the crypter software offers the user many other options to make the hidden executable as hard to detect by security vendors as possible The same is true for some packers. An in-depth analysis of one crypter (as an example) can be found in our blog post Malware Crypters – the Deceptive First Layer. Another thing you will find in that post is the expression FUD (Fully Undetectable) which is the ultimate goal for malware authors. Being able to go undetected by any security vendor is the holy grail for malware authors. But if they can go undetected for a while and then easily change their files again once they are detected, they will settle for that.

Protectors

A protector in this context is software that is intended to prevent tampering and reverse engineering of programs. The methods used can, and usually will, include both packing and encrypting. That combination plus some added features makes what is usually referred to as a protector. So a researcher will be faced with protective layers around the payload, making reverse engineering difficult.

A completely different approach, which also falls under the umbrella of protectors, is code virtualization, which uses a customized and different virtual instruction set every time you use it to protect your application. Of these protectors there are professional versions that are used in the gaming industry against piracy. But the technique itself has also made its way into malware, more specifically ransomware. Which enables ransomware that doesn’t need a C&C server to communicate the encryption key. The protection is so efficient that the encryption key can be hardcoded into the ransomware. An example is Locky Bart that uses WProtect, an open-source code-virtualization project.

Summary

We discussed several techniques to protect malware against analysis, hoping to make sense of the different names that are in use for this class of programs.

The post Explained: Packer, Crypter, and Protector appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Competitive video gaming will be a $1.5 billion industry by 2020, researchers say

You can say “it’s not a sport” all you want, but competitive video gaming — also known as eSports — is a thing, and, as this chart from Statista shows, it’s only expected to get bigger.

In its latest eSports market report, market researcher Newzoo thinks eSports at large will make $696 million in revenue in 2017, with its total audience — be it hardcore fans or those who just watch the bigger game championships — reaching 385 million. By 2020, Newzoo projects, those will reach $1.48 billion and 589 million, respectively. (That revenue figure doesn’t include money made from eSports-related gambling, either.)

That’d still fall well behind major sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, and the relative inscrutability of, say, “League of Legends” — the most popular competitive video game in the world — still makes it harder for newcomers to get into. Plus, while sports media titans like ESPN has stopped ignoring the trend, some of their forays into gaming haven’t been popular.

But eSports’ fans are overwhelmingly young and online, media and tech giants are increasingly dipping their toes in the sport, and more and more game developers are building their titles to have eSports-friendly features. Put it all together, and these sort of expectations may not be unreasonable.

COTD_3.27 esports growth

SEE ALSO: Some of the biggest tech stocks in the world have been outpaced by… Domino’s Pizza

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Mobile Menace Monday: Preinstalled adware and sometimes worse

BLU manufactured mobile devices have been discovered with preinstalled adware known as Android/Adware.YeMobi.

Behavior of YeMobi

The incriminating behavior of adware YeMobi is its ability to launch the default browser on a mobile device and use it to display ads. There is an unusual element to this as well—it only displays ads while the Google Play store app is running.  As seen in the code below, if com.android.vending (the Google Play store app) is active, activity MessageLoadDetail is loaded.  Activity MessageLoadDetail then goes onto to display ads.

The rise of preinstalled malware

Buying a new phone only to find it comes preinstalled with adware or even more dangerous malware is frustrating.  Trust us, it’s just as frustrating not being able to remove these apps for our customers.

With the ease of selling online, Android devices re-imaged with custom ROMs(“Read-Only Memory”) containing preinstalled shady/malicious apps are starting to appear more and more on the online marketplace.  Sellers can easily re-image an Android device with a custom ROM which replaces the default operating system—typically stored in read-only memory. Sellers then turn around and sell these devices for cheap online.

Just like when installing apps, it’s important to buy your mobile device from trusted sources.  Avoid buying devices online from untrusted sellers/stores; even if the price is hard to pass up.

Disabling YeMobi and other preinstalled apps

In order to keep essential operating system apps from being removed on Android devices, you cannot uninstall preinstalled apps. However, you can disable some preinstalled apps—like Adware YeMobi. Simply go into settings > apps, find the YeMobi app, open its settings, and disable it via the Disable button.

Finding preinstalled malware on your device can be tricky—a mobile scanner can assist with finding them for you. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile detects Adware YeMobi along with other preinstalled malware and can be found for FREE on Google Play.

As always, stay safe out there!

The post Mobile Menace Monday: Preinstalled adware and sometimes worse appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Facebook Now Allows Live Video Broadcasts from Your Laptop or Desktop

Users Can Now Use Facebook Live from Computer and Laptop Devices

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is taking live streaming to another level as it recently announced that users can now, in addition to smartphones and mobile devices, broadcast live video directly from their laptop or desktop computers.

Facebook Live from Computer and Laptop Devices

“While it’s been possible for people to go live to Facebook from mobile devices since last year, desktop or laptop computers provide a stable camera setup that can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts — from Q&As to vlogs to tutorials to any broadcast from someone who isn’t on the move,” the company said in an official post.

The update also allows personal accounts to post live video feeds, not just a business Page. “We’ve also added a new feature that makes it easy to use streaming software or external hardware when going live from a computer. This capability previously was possible only through a Page, but we’ve heard feedback from our community that it would be useful for profiles, too.”

Facebook Live was introduced in August 2015 and back then it was only available to a few selected celebrities. In December of the same year, Facebook decided it was time to let more people have fun with the app.

Facebook Live Video for Small Businesses

While the ability to use Facebook Live from computer or laptop devices may be welcome news for those who want a more stable setup, the need for high quality livestreaming to catch your audience’s attention hasn’t changed:

Use a Third-party App to Improve Your Broadcast

Do you at times come across Facebook Live videos that sound and look amazing, while others are a bit difficult to hear and see? To create a good quality broadcast, you need to consider using a third part app such as Telestream’s Wirecast.

Invest in Better Equipment

At the very least get away from background noise. But for good quality sound, invest in a noise cancelling microphone. Be sure to stream using an HD camera whenever possible.

Create a Studio for your Broadcasts

For TV-quality streams, you will have to get a dedicated machine that’s specifically designed to handle high-quality live streaming, with proprietary software loaded onto it. Based on your needs, two companies you’ll want to look at are NewTek and Livestream.

Create Events Listings on Facebook to Promote Upcoming Broadcasts

One of the live broadcast challenges is getting enough people to watch and engage with you. However, to counter this, you need to start promoting your broadcasts before you go live. You could easily do this by using the Events listings on Facebook.

Be Consistent

Probably the most important tip is to broadcast consistently. That counts even if it’s once a week. If people know to expect a live stream from your company or brand, they’ll start looking for it.

Image: Facebook

This article, “Facebook Now Allows Live Video Broadcasts from Your Laptop or Desktop” was first published on Small Business Trends

An oil firm said it has made the "largest undeveloped discovery" of oil in UK waters

Map Oil

LONDON — An oil exploration firm says it has made the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil in UK waters.

Hurricane Energy said in a statement on Monday morning that it had identified a huge oil field on a site in the North Sea, 60 miles west of Scotland’s Shetland Islands.

The BBC reported that the site — called the Greater Lancaster Area (GLA) — could hold up to one billion barrels of recoverable oil, although that is only a fifth of the size of the Forties field, the largest existing site in the North Sea.

The company’s tests indicate that two sites where it has drilled — which are around 30 miles apart — are part of the same huge oil field, described as “a single large hydrocarbon accumulation.”

Dr Robert Trice, Hurricane’s chief executive officer, said it was a “highly significant moment for Hurricane.”

“We believe that the GLA is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK continental shelf,” he said.

The discovery of an oil-bearing column at least 1,156 metres deep was described as “very significant” in the statement.

The company said that testing operations ceased for financial and safety reasons, but added that it plans to return for further testing.

Shares in Hurricane Energy had risen nearly 9% by late afternoon trading. Here is the chart as of 3.50 pm B.S.T. (10.50 am ET):

Screen Shot 2017 03 27 at 15.49.07

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The 'Walking Dead' villain has a warped definition of rape in the zombie apocalypse

walking dead negan

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”

We need to talk about Negan. If you’ve been watching season seven of “The Walking Dead,” you may have noticed that in addition to having a penchant for smashing in brains and ironing faces, the foul-mouthed, bantering showman of the zombie apocalypse, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, has a messed up definition of rape.

On Sunday’s episode, we see one of Negan’s Saviors, David, approach Sasha while she’s held captive. Sasha asks for a glass of water and David says he’d be glad to get her one if she’ll do something for him in return. He tears her shirt slightly and is getting ready to have his way with her, but then Negan enters the scene and stops David.

sasha david walking deaddavid holly

Negan takes a quick look at Sasha and asks David if he was about to rape her. Negan’s crystal clear on his rules with his subordinate, telling him they do not rape. It’s against his rules. 

negan rape rulenegan david

Though David apologizes, Negan kills him and then orders his men to get Sasha a new shirt. The moment seems to puzzle Sasha, who went to the Sanctuary to kill Negan for murdering her friends earlier in the season. But the entire scene, taken straight out of issue #117 of the comics, humanizes Negan a bit. He tells Sasha they’re not monsters.

“I’m sorry you had to see that. Sorry about the rope, too,” Negan said, before offering her a chance to eventually become a part of his team.

“I’m a man short. You can’t really call this piece of sh– a man, but still, I’m short,” Negan said. “You can help me run this place one day. All of us together, following the rules, working on the same side of things. That’s all this was ever about, and it still can be for you.”

While Negan is strict when it comes to following his rules, and doubles down on his “no rape” policy at the Sanctuary, the scene is contradictory to what we’ve seen from Negan in the past. There’s no question that Negan is against what he views as rape — both in the comics and on the television show — but the problem is he has his own warped definition of rape.

This is made even more troubling when the viewer is forced to consider that Negan doesn’t realize (or want to realize) when he himself is raping women in the apocalypse.

Negan’s wives

Earlier in the season, we were introduced to six of Negan’s many wives, any of whom are available to him whenever he wants them. After Carl shows up at the Sanctuary in season seven, episode seven, Negan says aloud that he may not get a chance to screw one of his wives later that day. Shame.

negan wives

Negan’s polygamist situation strangely isn’t one that’s discussed throughout the show very much. Eugene briefly questions the fact that Negan has more than one wife when he shows up at his compound later in the season, but nothing more is said about the situation.

“Did you say wives meaning plural?” asked Eugene. 

“Hell yes I did,” said Negan.

eugene negan

When I spoke recently with Austin Amelio, who plays one of Negan’s right-hand men Dwight on “The Walking Dead,” he said it’s something his character isn’t too fond of either.

“I don’t think he’s a fan of it [Negan’s wives],” said Amelio. “He’s not, to be honest. Probably a little bothersome.”

We learn throughout the season that these women — some of whom are married when Negan decides he wants them — have made a kind of deal with Negan. In exchange for becoming one of his wives, Negan protects them and their families or former husbands. Negan provides his “wives” with shelter, food, medicine, and more. All he asks is that these women are now 100% loyal to him, regardless of whether or not they were married beforehand. If they were married, they can’t be with their husbands anymore. 

That’s exactly what happened with Dwight. Negan explains his arrangement with Dwight and Sherry to Daryl in season seven, episode three. Sherry’s sister needed medication so Negan asked her to marry him. In return, he would take care of her. Negan views his actions as perfectly fine.

negan walking dead

“I am a stand-up guy,” Negan tells Daryl. But that all went south when Dwight and Sherry ran off with her sister who we saw killed in season six. Sherry and Dwight wound up back at Negan’s compound and they struck another deal which resulted in Sherry becoming one of Negan’s wives.  

“Dwight, he begged me not to kill Sherry, which I thought was kind of cute, so I was just gonna kill him, but then Sherry says that she will marry me if I let Dwight live, which, if you think about it, that’s a pretty screwed up deal because I was gonna marry her sister until she wound up dead, but Sherry is super hot,” said Negan.

Negan then said that wasn’t enough so he ironed Dwight’s face, but let him live. 

“Then I married his super hot wife, ex-wife. And then after all that, he still got on board and now look at him … one of my top guys. And we are totally cool,” said Negan. 

Why it’s rape

Negan sees nothing wrong with the fact that he coerced Sherry into becoming his “wife” and sleeping with him after he had just chased her down, threatened to kill her husband Dwight, and still assaulted him with a hot iron. Sherry, rightly fearing for her life, acquiesces to Negan — a textbook definition of sexual coercion or, to put it more starkly, rape.

dwight walking dead

When one of Negan’s other wives, Amber, cheats on him a few episodes later, he makes it clear that is not acceptable. In his mind, he’s not forcing the women to be there, and anyone can go whenever they please. 

But if she does, he warns her that life may just be harder for her moving forward — and for her family.

“Amber, baby, you know I don’t want anyone here that doesn’t want to be here, right?” Negan asks.

amber negan

“If you want to leave and go back to Mark, you can,” he adds. “There’s plenty other gals who would love to take your place and there’s a few job openings that I can think of. You want to go back to Mark and your mom? Hell, I’ll put you all on the same job.” 

What Negan doesn’t understand is that these women are being blackmailed into relationships with him. Either be one of his so-called wives — which is reality is much more akin to becoming a sex slave — or take your chances on your own in the zombie apocalypse with your family without the protection of the Sanctuary.

While most of the women on the show are clearly unhappy with Negan, viewers never see him get physically violent with them. He makes sure they’re well dressed, fed, and taken care of. They regularly have doctor’s visits — though it becomes more horrifying when you realize they’re stopping by the doctor to make sure they’re not pregnant.

sherry pregnancy test

Negan’s wives in the television series are also watered down compared to how they’re portrayed in the comics. In the show, the women are always wearing some sort of dresses and jewelry and — compared to everyone else in the zombie apocalypse — seem to live a life of luxury. But in the comics, the women live in some type of brothel where they’re all dressed only in lingerie.

walking dead negan wivesnegan wives

Negan’s entire relationship with his wives is so jarring because he is adamant when he tells his Saviors that rape is not allowed. In Negan’s world, sex only becomes rape when a woman doesn’t verbally consent.

Negan believes his wives are his property

He also views the women as property that he can dole out to the men when they do a good job. In season seven, episode three, Negan offers Dwight a one-night opportunity to reunite with his former wife Sherry or any of Negan’s other wives as an incentive for a job well done. His one stipulation: “Pick whoever you want, as long as she says yes.” 

Dwight passes on the offer to rape one of Negan’s wives.

dwight negan

Later, in season seven, episode 11, Negan also offers up his wives as a prize when he tells Eugene he’ll send a few of them over to his apartment to show him a “good time” after Eugene helps him solve a security issue at the compound. 

“As a token of my gratitude, I’m gonna send you over a few of my wives to your apartment tonight to show you a good time,” Negan tells him. “Now, I don’t think I have to worry about this, but who knows how truly smart you are. No sex. That is a grave no-no. However, you can have a little dinner, drinks, share a few laughs. There is nothing like beautiful women that smell good to make you feel human ago.”

eugene negan wives

These women are constantly raped, reduced to sexual objects, treated like property, and have the threat of violence and death looming over their heads. Yet as far as the audience knows, Negan doesn’t believe he’s mistreating his wives because they have all gave verbal consent to be with him. Like he tells Amber, he isn’t forcing any of them to stay or have sex with him. They can go anytime they like.

While he may mean that, it’s unfathomable to viewers that Negan believes any of the women truly want to be there. He’s ripped many of them away from their own husbands by violence. He made them feel like they had no choice but to surrender to him in order to survive. The alternative is fending for themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. 

And Negan should know they’re not happy with him just based solely on their actions. None of the women look happy to be with him, they long to go back to their former families, and Sherry, Dwight’s ex-wife, escapes the compound because she knows that submitting to Negan was no way to live. 

sherry dwight

While I can appreciate moments when Negan goes toe-to-toe with anyone who wants to sexually assault women or anyone else in the zombie apocalypse, it rings hollow when you realize he’s guilty of the same thing, many times over.

No matter how much the comic and television series attempt to humanize Negan, fans should never forget his hypocrisy or normalize his crimes.

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