Train2Game News Will eSports be at the 2020 Olympics?

With eSports tournaments expected to feature in some form in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and millions of pounds of prize money up for grabs for existing tournaments, it is no surprise that the popularity of viewing competitive multiplayer video gaming is on the rise.

According to the latest Harris 24 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, almost half of UK respondents aged 16-54 believe they have great potential for a mass audience in the future (49%), while a fifth of those polled (19%) agree that eSports should form an official part of the Olympic Games.

Awareness of eSports

The latest study, which aimed to investigate the UK’s awareness and perception of eSports and the impact on brands who sponsor such events, reveals that over three-quarters of those surveyed (76%) have heard of the term “eSports” and that two-fifths (39%) are interested in watching.

Streaming services – such as YouTube Gaming, used by almost half of eSports viewers (48%), and Twitch (39%) – are rapidly driving awareness.

Fortnite, a relative newcomer, stands out as the compelling eSports title, together with long-standing franchises FIFA and Call of Duty. Such games are helping to broaden its audience, which remains a niche – 18% of the UK currently watch eSports – according to the study.

Deeper coverage of the top competitions and its inclusion in the Olympics could be the core drivers to create more of a mass-market appeal. While the latter is not without its controversy (only 19% agree it should be included and 45% have concerns about violent eSports games), there is broader agreement (38%) that having eSports in the Olympics would make the games connect better with younger generations.

Brand opportunities

The survey highlights hugely enticing brand sponsorship opportunities in the coming years. Over half of all UK respondents (51%) and over three-quarters of those who were eSports viewers (76%) say they are happy for brands to sponsor eSports.

Furthermore, over half of those questioned (53%) and over three-quarters of those who were also eSport viewers (76%) agree that brands who sponsor eSports benefit from the association.

Crucially, almost three-fifths of the 2,030 respondents (58%) claim that eSports can help sponsor brands connect with a younger and tech-savvy audience.

For players and teams involved in eSports, there is the appeal of major prize money. The International Dota 2 Championship saw teams battle for a fund in excess of $20m, while Epic Games recently announced a $100 million prize pool for eSports events featuring battle royale game Fortnite.

“It’s fair to say that entertainment is a driving force for watching eSports, with almost two-fifths (37%) of the public agreeing that they are very entertaining,” commented Steve Evans, Head of Entertainment at Harris Interactive. “What’s more, we can see from the survey that viewers are extremely receptive to brand association, which should encourage brands to invest in sponsorship opportunities afforded by popular eSports events, leagues and tournaments. The potential for brands to tap into younger, tech-savvy audiences is huge, and will only increase further as its popularity intensifies.”

A link to the full research can be found at: http://www2.harris-interactive.com/esportsreport

The eight-minute online survey was completed by 2,030 participants and was conceived, designed, fielded and analysed using the Harris 24 ultrafast polling service during May 2018.

Results are weighted to be representative of UK demographics by gender, age and region. To find out more, visit: http://harris-interactive.co.uk/solutions/harris-24/.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 02.08.13

Batman It’s the end of the week so is is time for the Train2Game news round up.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today confirmed that Batman: Arkham Origins will ship with a mode that allows players to take the franchise’s award-winning gameplay online to play with friends and foes.  The online component blends the traditional Arkham gameplay with third-person shooter mechanics and is in development by Splash Damage. The multiplayer will be available on all platforms except the Wii U. You can enjoy the trailer for it here: http://youtu.be/CFx82wX3NE8

Continuing the hero game theme, Deadpool has had it’s first DLC announced. The “Merc with a map pack” will introduce two new challenge maps; GRT Plaza and Inside the Tower. You will also get two new costumes for Infinite Mode: a D-Pooly and Uncanny X-Force suit. The DLC is available now for 240 Microsoft points. You can also now purchase the game from the On Demand market.

In celebration of the highly anticipated launch of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, the first of three legendary character distribution events begins August 30 at participating Game stores across the UK. Players can get their hands on Shiny versions of the Legendary Pokémon —Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina—starting with, Dialga, which was featured on the cover of the Pokémon Diamond video game. What makes this event extraordinary is that each of the distributed Legendary Pokémon, which are already difficult to get during gameplay, will be Shiny, meaning they have unusual colouring that is extremely rare. Each Shiny Pokémon will be available, one at a time, for only two weeks each, so Trainers will need to plan accordingly and head to a participating Game store if they want to add these extremely rare Legendary Pokémon to their Pokémon Black, Pokémon White, Pokémon Black 2, or Pokémon White 2 game.

A new character has been announced for the hit mobile game, Temple Run 2. You can now pay for and download Gold medal olympian, Usain Bolt to run from the dangerous in the game. As the first branded character in Temple Run history, Usain Bolt’s worldwide recognition demonstrates the global and cultural reach of the original endless runner game. “I am a big fan of Temple Run. I travel all over the world and travel time gives me lots of opportunity to play Temple Run at airports or on car journeys,” said Usain Bolt. “It’s exciting to see myself represented within a game I already play.”  The Usain Bolt character is available now as an in-app purchase in Temple Run 2 for $0.99, for a limited time only.

Finally in the lead up to the realease of The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda have announced The Elder Scrolls Anthology for PC.  The game arrives on retail shelves in Europe on September 13, 2013 for £49.99/€59.99, The Elder Scrolls Anthology features all five critically-acclaimed games, plus official add-ons – packaged together in an exclusive premium collector’s set.