Perhaps the biggest splash in the pool of E3 is that of Nintendo and their push toward making a name for themselves in competitive gaming. Remember, this is the company who hosted a competitive gaming event way back in 1995, The Nintendo World Championships, so it’s not their first eRodeo. With the recent release of revolutionary fighting game ARMS & the upcoming drop of Splatoon 2, it’s clear the team at Nintendo has what seems to be a very good plan. Competitive classics such as Street Fighter & Counter Strike have deep roots in violence, bullets & blood. This obviously keeps younger gamers from being able to get into a competitive scene filled with FPS & combat titles. Splatoon & ARMS create worlds where the familiar feeling & excitement of their respective genres still exist, but in a unique way that caters to players of all ages. This is great for all parties involved, just look at Nintendo Switch sales this year so far, nice to see the classic brand making a strong move to make their presence known in the competitive gaming scene.
Adding even more excitement to an already hot June in gaming is some big news coming out of Seattle based eSports betting company Unikrn. It’s no secret that the betting market has been growing as fast as the industry itself, with sportsbooks like 5dimes taking notice and posting odds daily to help fans make a little money on the side while enjoying their favorite matches. Unikrn ran into the issues of legality when looking to do business within the United States & came up with a brilliant workaround. Back in 2015 they created a sort of an ‘in house currency’ called Unikoin, not redeemable for real money, but rather a way to enter prize laden raffles. But recently, CEO Rahul Sood, in a posted statement said “After exceeding a quarter of a billion Unikoins turned, we knew it was time to introduce our cryptocurrency – #UnikoinGold.” Only time will tell but will Uninoin Gold become the dominant currency that players use to bet eSports in the Future? With some heavy backers such as Mark Cuban & Ashton Kutcher, plus a strong foothold in the industry, Unikon Gold looks to be a real shake up in the way people gamble on eSports.
The future outlook for eGaming took a huge upswing after big news coming out of China. In early 2017 reports suggested that eSports will grow to a 1.5 billion dollar industry by the end of this decade. Chinese Megacorporation Tencent, well frankly, they have a bit of a different idea. This week the internet giant rolled out a plan to inject 15 billion dollars into the market by 2022. This money will not only go to the formation of new leagues & tournaments, but also the construction of theme parks in China. Tencent has good reasons for making such a large play in the eSports landscape. They full out own Riot Games and have stake in both Blizzard & mobile giant Supercell. Additionally their 2016 revenue of 21.6 billion, much of that from eSports, gives them some ‘play money’. Using this money to inject a ‘bit’ of industry steroids into an already fast growing world is great news for game fans everywhere. Kudos to Tencent for putting eGames on their back and usher the market into the 2020’s.
One thing any market needs to grow is money, usually lots of it. Luckily for an eGaming industry already swimming in it, more funds are on the way & excitement, for good reason, is at an all-time high.