EA wants a slice of the eSports pie

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Esports

eSports is becoming increasingly popular. According to recent research by Superdata, 71 million people’s eyeballs were transfixed on eSports last year, and it’s something evidenced by the fact that tickets for this year’s Valve-sanctioned Dota fest, The International, sold out within an hour. It could become quite a bit more lucrative – so it makes sense that EA wants in on the eSports action.

“When we’ve just come off franchise reviews I looked at a number of properties that we’re doing that certainly have an eSports focus to it,” EA boss Andrew Wilson told Red Bull, who sponsor a number of eSports events, and whose product keeps many gamers from experience that blissful thing we call sleep.

“As a company, we believe this is something that’s going to continue to grow. We have some ready-made franchises for this in our sports properties, but we also have a number of other franchises that people may not typically think about as eSports opportunities, but we think there might be an opportunity in the future, so it’s something that you’re going to see more of from us.”

So they want to go at eSports, but go beyond the obvious. EA’s set to release its own MOBA, Waystone games developed Dawngate soon – though I doubt it will have much of an impact on Dota and League of Legends’ install bases. It’s all about creating your own champion, instead of using pre-defined heroes.

And of course, the obvious candidate for eSportification is the Battlefield series. Call of Duty’s made a fair number of changes to make it more suitable for the larger eSports arena, and I don’t see why Battlefield couldn’t muscle its way in. Of course, FIFA could be used more.

Interestingly, the now cancelled Command and Conquer was built from the ground up to be eSports focused, though that obviously didn’t work quite as well as planned.

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Last Updated: April 11, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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