At the end of 2018, we saw what looks to be the end of the ESports career of Heroes of the Storm, as Blizzard pulled off the dev team to work on other projects. Following that, it was announced that Dragon Ball Fighter Z tournaments were stopped by Toei Animation. Both games have their dedicated fans, and it presents the perfect examples of how ESports titles operate under a tricky relationship between developers, publishers, and fans.
Recently there was some very interesting news out of the Battle Royale genre. It has been reported that Epic Games is going all in with trying to turn Fortnite into the next big Esport, with an announced 100 million dollar price pool for competition funding this year. The Battle Royale, or more specifically, Fortnite scene has grown rapidly over this year. While there is plenty of interest in watching streamers play, I don’t think there is as big of an Esports market as people are hoping for.
There has been a growing debate when it comes to accessibility in competitive games. As companies try to make their titles more accommodating and welcoming to new players, hardcore players see this as a way of dumbing down what they have mastered. Where you fall on the debate will come down to your thoughts on the two learning curves that drive any sport.
Today’s Critical Thought is our first patreon-funded Critical Thought for the channel. Josh Mull of PVPLive joined me to talk about Esports design and what it means for a game to be “esports friendly.” We talked about the state of current esports games and what kinds of games competition-level players are looking for.
To follow Josh and PVPLive, you can find their info below.
PVP Live: https://pvplive.net
Josh’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/pvpolitik