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Tampa gaming company rebrands

Margie Manning

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Marcus Howard, CEO, ProjectMQ speaking at 1 Million Cups St. Petersburg in February 2020

Marcus Howard fell in love with technology while playing video games as a child.

He’s carried that passion into adulthood. It was the driving force behind ProjectMQ, the company he co-founded with his brother in 2013, and it remains at the center of MetArena, the new name for the company.

The rebrand follows a partnership with MIDiA Research, a London-based market intelligence and consulting firm with expertise in the business of entertainment and digital media.

MetArena is a digital platform pairing education with esports. The company helps organizations design and implement curriculum innovation around esports. It has a catalog of competitive-ready games from independent developers. MetArena also is developing online courses on how the gaming industry is positioned for growth opportunities in blockchain and cryptocurrency, in addition to exploring the more than 100 career opportunities that exist within the industry.

“Playing video games at a young age inspired my love for technology, which has grown into a fulfilling STEAM career,” Howard, who is CEO of MetArena, said in a news release. “I’m excited to create that same opportunity for the next generation of innovators, especially those that are typically underrepresented.”

As part of the partnership with MIDiA Research, schools that work with MetArena will get access to part of the MIDiA platform at no cost. The University of Kentucky is the first school to benefit from the partnership.

“We are excited to continue supporting students in media and entertainment, by providing them an opportunity to learn and make decisions using resources that are used by some of the largest and most successful companies in media, tech and entertainment,” Karol Severin, MIDiA co-founder and lead games analyst, said in a blog posted by the company.

MetArena also has a Kickstarter campaign underway to publish an interactive encyclopedia on the esports and gaming industry. As of Sunday, the campaign had raised about 20 percent of its $10,000 goal.

The rebrand follows a a pivot for ProjectMQ earlier this year, when Howard announced at 1 Million Cups St. Petersburg that the company would become an esports agency that uses video games to help colleges and brands connect with Gen Z.

Marcus Howard and his twin brother, Malcolm Howard, initially launched the company as a way to connect indie video games from around the world with their customers through an app.  ProjectMQ, the first iteration of the company, was one of three winners of the Paypal Business Makeover Contest in 2018 and also participated in Tampa Bay Wave’s first TechDiversity accelerator cohort that same year.

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