Making a Purpose-Built Esports Game

This article caught my eye because of the discussions we’ve had in recent weeks about developers making concerted efforts to break into the esports scene with their games. It has some interesting points on what a game developer should aim for if it is making a game with the primary purpose of creating a popular new esport.

Some of the points made in the article resonate with me as to why League of Legends, Dota 2, or other MOBAs may not be the “optimal” esports games, despite having by far the largest followings at this point. There are so many intricacies to the games that it becomes hard for people who are not intimately familiar with them to cue into what’s happening. I mentioned in my presentation a few weeks ago that CS:GO was aired on the cable tv station TBS. Part of the rationale behind that was because, as an FPS game, it’s much easier for an audience to know what’s going on – at it’s core, it’s just a point-and-shoot game. Much like basketball, football, or soccer, more casual fans can just enjoy the simple mechanics of the game, while more dedicated ones can appreciate the intricate strategies that go into building the most successful teams.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that esports as a genre is just inherently accessible and interesting to people who are avid gamers, and that it won’t grow beyond that fanbase. But if the industry is going to continue to expand, then developers will need to pay attention to what kinds of games will be easier for the general public to digest.

One response to “Making a Purpose-Built Esports Game”

  1. Aylmer Wang

    I agree 100%. That’s why I made the comment in passing about CS:GO being possibly “the best Esport” half jokingly. I believe you’re exactly right in saying that the simplicity of a game to a general audience mixed with sufficient depth to the engaged audience is one part of the “formula” for a good esport.