eSports Needs Television Advertising Backing, Says Blizzard Developer

Both Starcraft 2 and Blizzard All-Stars have huge potential in the genre

By on January 31st, 2013 08:50 GMT

Chris Sigaty, one of the developers involved in the creation of Blizzard All-Stars, believes that the only way for eSports to really break into the mainstream is to convince advertisers and television executives that they can build successful programing around it.

Speaking to Eurogamer, the Starcraft 2 producer says, “Ultimately what needs to happen from my perspective for eSports to take that next step or hit the tipping point is the realisation by advertisers that it does have the viability of other sports, that it’s worth putting the same sorts of investments they do into other sports into this.”

Blizzard has achieved great success in the eSports area with the original Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, but more needs to be done before attaining mainstream success.

Sigaty mentions the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a model that eSport could follow, saying, “Getting these fighters together in a house and watching them learning their martial arts and trials they have to go through to get to their fight, to make it to number one, that sort of programming, people would eat it up about a pro-gamer and StarCraft 2 or whatever.”

At the moment, most eSports events are streamed online and they already have a big audience willing to pay in order to see the best players in a genre go head to head.

It’s unclear how many of those viewers have the time or the inclination to watch complementary programs on television or whether they only plan to stick to the matches themselves.

Blizzard is currently putting the finishing touches on Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, the second installment of the strategy title, which will focus on Kerrigan and the Zerg.

The Blizzard All-Stars title, which will use Multiplayer Online Battle Arena mechanics, will probably launch using Battle.net infrastructure later during the year or early in 2013.

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