In the past few years, we have seen game developers making pushes into the eSports realm. Some of these companies include Activision-Blizzard and more recently, EA. As eSports grow in popularity, more traditional sport outlets are taking notice. TBS has broadcasted a CS:GO tournament while even the sport juggernaut, ESPN, has dedicated a corner of its website to eSports and the occasional broadcast on ESPN-2. What might be some of the draws for game developers to promote their game as an eSport?
There are many reasons why a game developer would want their game as a popular eSport. To begin with the obvious, the publicity is kind of a big deal. Seeing pro gamers play is always exciting. They play at a higher level than us mere mortals, which adds an elevated level of excitement and fun. This fused for a lethal combination of “I want to try this game”. In other words, eSports is an effective way of reaching an audience that might not have played the game otherwise. Also, the company’s share of the advertising revenue does not hurt.
However, eSport popularity can be a double edged sword. An eSport game needs to hold the attention of not only the public but the eSport teams as well. If a game can attract the best eSport teams then the fans are sure to follow. With big cash tournaments, games attempting to be the next big eSport can attract the biggest players in eSports, which brings more viewers. However, if an eSport can’t afford cash prizes as big as competitors they are doomed to be overshadowed by other games. By staying in the eSport cycle, it keeps the attention of fans and players alike. Overall, eSports can seriously add to the longevity of a game.