The world’s largest eSports company, ESL, just announced that for the first seven months of this year, their viewer numbers rose by 90%. In addition, the number of hours watched on the platform increased by 190% and the number of video views rose by 55%. eSports are truly in vogue!
Nevertheless, individual, classic PVP-oriented games such as shooters or MOBA games dominate the scene. But where are the MMOs?
Electronic sport (eSport) has cultivated a significant amount of hype in recent years. Whereas last year almost 395 million people watched an eSport tournament, by 2022 this number is predicted to reach over 644 million – an increase of more than 50%!
But it is not only the number of spectators that continues to rise – so does the prize money. This year’s “The International” (Dota 2) once again set a new record by offering a whopping 27 million Euro in prize money. This puts the tournament ahead of world-famous sporting events such as Wimbledon or the UEFA Champions League final.
MMOs as eSports?
Currently, shooters like CS: Global Offensive or MOBA games like League of Legends still dominate the eSports scene. However, the fact that MMOs would also make suitable eSports is often overlooked. Many games from the genre offer a competitive gaming world and are therefore perfectly suited for the scene. So, what’s the problem?
One of the biggest problems MMOs face is that they are too complex. In eSports, there is a simple rule: if the game is intense, entertaining and the audience enjoys it, it will be a success. When looking at the biggest eSports titles, it is easy to see that they’re all games with a simple, straightforward concept. In a Counterstrike game for example, everyone knows when a particular moment is intense and thus tension develops. In comparison, many MMOs are much more complicated and therefore attract more niche fans rather than colossal audiences.
Further, complications also arise due to game concepts and dynamics. In general, the tempo of MMOs is tempered. In addition, not all MMOs are developed with a PvP-focus. Instead, many games concentrate more on the PvE system, the world and the story to please their players. Even if an MMO developed a strong PvP-focus, the basic principle of many MMOs is problematic. This is because, unlike games like Counterstrike, characters are always evolving and new items and skills become unlocked, and so on. This causes an imbalance because the abilities of the individual players are no longer prioritised.
The future of MMOs in the eSports scene
That all sounds rather bleak – but there is hope! Newer games, such as World of Tanks, seem to be gaining a foothold in the eSports industry.
Going forward, it is important that MMOs learn how to create synergies with eSports, but without altering their principles. For example, new modes (1v1) or an eSport league that simplifies combat mechanics and character design could be a good middle ground. Consequently, MMOs could bring their own style to the eSports industry and revolutionise the scene.
Find out more about the eSport industry in the following infographic:
eSports – an Infographic by hotukdeals