Earlier this year VENN, the Video Game Entertainment and News Network, broke the 2020 mold by pushing its release date forward instead of backwards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people engaging with video games than ever before, it seemed like the perfect time to launch a games-focused entertainment network.
VENN will be inhabiting the Vista Studios in Los Angeles, with a second studio in New York to come next year–though it’s likely many of its creators will work from home while the COVID-19 crisis continues.
Now, ahead of its August 5 launch, VENN has announced the lineup of shows that will carry its 24/7 live programming, along with a number of big-name personalities who have come on board.
The core of the programming seems to be VENN Arcade Live, a daily variety show hosted by League of Legends Championship Series host James ‘Dash’ Patterson and joined by Instagrammer Emily Mei, model and host Tehya Johns, and TwitchRivals host Daniel ‘Dgon’ Gonzales. The show looks to be gaming’s answer to the talk show, inviting a live audience to the studio set along with regular guests and live performances.
Newly announced is Grey Area, a show hosted by performer Sasha Grey and Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, which will focus on all things relationships, dating, social media, and modern love.
Another show on VENN’s schedule will be Dare Package, a live reality show where “loot boxes” filled with classic reality-style challenges will be sent to big-name streamers’ homes. Guest House is a show that will invite a new guest from the world of gaming each show, offering them VENN’s studio space and resources to build their own custom two-hour show.
Other shows on VENN’s programming slate have tapped popular creators to basically do their thing–with the additional resources the network can provide. YouTuber CashNasty will host Looking For Gains, a gaming-themed workout show, while TheSushiDragon has been brought on for The Sushidragon Show–basically just him doing his thing.
Notably, VENN is not a platform designed to be a competitor to Twitch, but rather an entertainment network that will likely stream its content on Twitch, along with other distribution platforms. While the specifics haven’t been announced, VENN says it will be available on media platforms “including streaming services, social, cable, satellite and OTT.”