It is no secret anymore that online gaming has reached incredible levels of popularity. This is due to a number of different factors, from an ever increasing selection of videogames of all genres and types, to the general advancement of technology and the implementation of gaming on devices like smart phones and tablets. What may still surprise people, however, is the popularity of certain aspects of the online gaming industry in comparison to other forms of entertainment. For example, the growing eSports industry online can clearly be seen to be overtaking everything from real life casino activity to popular sporting events.
For those who are still unfamiliar with the young but rapidly growing industry, “eSports” essentially refers to online gaming events that can be watched as entertainment. The fact is, literally millions of people play competitive and interactive games on the internet, and it was probably only a matter of time before some of these games became popular entertainment even for those people online not involved in playing. According to a recent article on the subject published by Forbes, more young people watched competitive gaming events online than college football’s Rose Bowl or NCAA basketball championship in the last year! For an industry that is still relatively new, that kind of popularity is absolutely astounding, and it only figures to grow in the coming years as more games are created with consideration of eSports
Consider for example a website like partypoker.com, where a vast number of users go to gamble real money on internet poker events. These sites are already extremely popular with people all over the world who want quick and easy gambling, and with the United States moving toward legalising internet gambling, they will only become more popularly used. There are already trends toward people abandoning real life casinos in favour of the simplicity and thrill of online gambling, and with this comes a market for viewing entertainment as well as playing activity.
There is also a clear entertainment value in other online games that involve community interaction and competition. A few great examples to consider are StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and Diablo III, which not only involve direct interaction and competition, but also allow legal gambling, which is important for viewers. Because of the popularity of these sorts of games with eSports communities, new videogames such as Ubisoft’s Shootmania Storm are even considering this aspect of the online gaming community during the creation process. While containing a number of aspects relatively typical of online combat videogames, Shootmania Storm has been specifically designed to involve many different modes of competition, making it ideal for eSports. This sort of development is a clear indication of the growing significance of eSports communities in gaming and videogame development alike.
About the Author: David Hill is a freelance writer and aspiring journalist. His interests include sports medicine, the gaming industry, and all things technology.