After branching into co-living with WeLive, fitness with Rise By We and education with WeGrow, the money-losing startup is seeking a Play By We trademark, according to an application published by the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office. It has also hired a handful of staffers, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because it’s private.
The fate of the employees isn’t yet determined, and a decision hasn’t been made about the viability of the early-stage business, one of the people said.
WeWork is reeling from a botched initial public offering that led to the departure of Co-Founder Adam Neumann, and is planning thousands of job cuts as it prioritizes profitability and aims to “right-size” its operations, in part by homing in on co-working. The company last week accepted a $9.5 billion rescue package from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group, its biggest shareholder. A representative for WeWork declined to comment.
According to its trademark application, Play By We may offer entertainment services such as “providing online competitive, professional video games,” including conducting contests, games, tournaments and exhibitions. The application also suggests the venture could provide facilities for video-gaming events, conferences, meetings and trade exhibitions, and, naturally, shared office space.
Although it’s been building the venture in stealth mode, WeWork has shared some information about its gaming business with the public, through two now-expired job postings on LinkedIn.
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