If you weren’t aware, the corporation behind the Call of Duty series, Activision Blizzard, has acquired Major League Gaming and with that, has increased its stocks. For approximately $46 million, they purchased the assets to the live eSports group, hoping to grow MLG into as something as popular as ESPN, for the gaming world. This choice reflects the growth in the industry of competitive game playing; the amount of people following this kind of sport in the western audiences is increasing.
CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, expressed his feelings on the change, “Our acquisition of Major League Gaming’s business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG’s ability to create premium content, its proven broadcast technology platform – including its live streaming capabilities – strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming. MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community. Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming initiatives.”
I’ve never taken to the state of competitive gaming. I think there are things that could be done to legitimize the competition in games as an actual sport and increase spectacle. Sure, people who have invested time into following a player or team are going to enjoy themselves, but the purpose of entertainment is to be accessible to fans and newcomers alike. This is why I am actually supportive of this change. I have faith that, while it likely won’t be as high quality content as I’d hope, this acquisition will result in more widely enjoyable content. I can certainly see how more expensive production could result in a broadcast that was much more palatable to myself and other people who have no history with this sport.