It's clear that the money folks don't think eSports is going away, if you were hoping for that. After Bobby Kotick's huge deal with Actision buying out King for almost 6 billion dollars, Activision continues its acquisitions by acquiring Major League Gaming (MLG) for a much smaller $46 million. Kotick basically wants to make an ESPN-esque kind of thing under his suit.
To be exact, he said, “I want to build the ESPN of video games.” Keep that quote in mind.
It should mesh well with Activision franchises such as Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and StarCraft. That said, Activision will still allow non-Activision franchises on Major League Gaming, of course, and MLG's staff will still work on it. They primarily wanted to buy out MLG's premium streaming capabilities.
|mlg.tv as of publishing. Yup, TOTALLY doesn't have an Activision bias.|
By the way, you bet that mlg.tv competes with KoopaTV for entities with TV at the end of their name.
Activision would in fact like to bring MLG's content to actual televisions, hence the comparison to ESPN. Well, it just so happens that ESPN had a response.
|Good work, eSports. You're now at the top of the “Other stuff here” ellipsis list!|
The placement of eSports still leaves it not as good as whatever the NCAAM is (National Collegiate Athletic Association Men... or male college basketball) but now it gets to hang out above NASCAR and the ever-respectable Special Olympics.
Just a reminder that I'm in the non-special Olympics and I really need to train for that.
While this is an impressive promotion for eSports, one can't help but feel that ESPN still won't give it the proper respect that some believe it deserves. Will eSports events regularly be featured on the main ESPN channel? I highly doubt it, but I also wouldn't watch to find out.
So Kotick still has room to make MLG the ESPN of eSports! You know, back in my earliest days of gaming, I saw MLG as a kind of inspiration. Well, more so a validation that playing videogames ain't a waste of time back when it wasn't culturally acceptable to people. I could say that people actually made a (pretty poor) living from gaming, even if I myself wouldn't feasibly reach that height of skill and initiative. But in the modern era, MLG is now the butt of crappy montage videos and memes. Not really sure what happened to its reputation between then and now, but maybe under Activision it'll turn around?
...Eh, knowing Activision it'll probably get worse.
The only eSports games that Ludwig sort of follows are competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, but he wouldn't watch them on ESPN or an MLG television venue. Would you?
Yahoo! is getting a section too.
ESPN's eSports articles are actually pretty good, and lends credence that eSports are sports.
The Special Olympics aren't being given much respect in the article about it.