Dust 514 E-Sports: A Vision
Greetings, welcome to the first post of the new keithneilson.co.uk. This is the first post in a series. Over the course of the next 5 posts I propose to outline a vision I have for how E-Sports could be handled in EVE and Dust and the innovations that will be required. Let’s make a start shall we?
By the end of this year a new kind of warfare will be coming to New Eden. The power blocs of 0.0 will no doubt take advantage of the availability of the groundpounders made available by Dust 514 to perpetuate the engine of war that keeps the economy of EVE ticking over. Warfare in New Eden is :srsbznss: as we all know, and it may be that the fate of an alliance will rest on the skill of a handful of ground troops. But, Dust opens up another avenue of gameplay, industry and profit as a possibility; Professional E-Sports.
For the last couple of years, basically since Starcraft II came out, E-Sports has been something the gaming and media industries have been buzzing about. With games like League of Legends, DOTA2, Starcraft II, Shootmania and others shifting the online multiplayer focus from random, pick-up, matches to one based around properly organised competitions and tournaments.
In the majority of these new E-Sports focussed games the contests are organised and administered by the publisher or developer of the game. Like the Alliance Tournament in EVE these contests are periodic affairs and serve the purpose of highlighting the existence of these games and keeping people playing them. I propose something slightly different…
The idea is this:
- Players form Teams, the equivalent of Corporations, which can then compete against each other in matches with pre-agreed rules.
- Each participating Team retains the broadcast video rights to matches they participate in and can sell those rights to in game Broadcasters (more on them in a moment.) for ISK.
- Teams can also form Leagues and/or Associations. In EVE the nearest equivalent would be alliances, in the real world they’d be something like FIFA or the NFL, NBA etc.
- These Leagues would organise competitions between their members and act on their members behalf when negotiating the sale of the collected match videos to Broadcasters. They would also deal with setting any rules and regulations with regard to matches.
- Broadcasters would then offer matches over the screens in the Captain’s and Merc quarters for ISK (and eventually on screens in Player Establishments maybe)
- The Broadcasters may choose how they wish to monetize the matches. This could be advertising and sponsorship funded, Subscription based, or on a Pay-Per-View basis.
- Broadcasters have to buy licenses from the owners of the stations in which they want the matches to be available. These licenses could be purchased on a per station, solar system, constellation, regional or galaxy wide basis.
- Each individual station owning corporation (NPC or Player) would license broadcasters separately. For example a license to broadcast on Roden Shipyards’ stations would not grant a license for Kalakiotta stations.
- ISK spent on licenses from NPC corporations would act as an ISK sink.
- Teams and Leagues may purchase services from CCP for either ISK or AUR*. These services may include server rentals, Custom team uniforms, etc. (* See The Economics section)
Further to these in-game interactions there may also be the opportunity for Teams and Leagues to sell the right to broadcast match videos on external websites/services. These rights would be bought from the Team/League using AUR which would, in turn, be purchased from CCP for real cash. The Team/League could then spend those AUR on specialist E-Sports services from CCP.
We’ll take a deeper look at this possibility in the third post in this series where I’ll be looking at the economics of Pro E-Sports in New Eden. So there you have the basic concept of how I think E-Sports should be handled in New Eden. In the next post in this series we’ll take a look at the role of each of the participants, and then we’ll consider the economics of the concept and how the ISK/AUR flows.
In this post I’ll also look briefly at the income possibilities this presents to CCP. In the final post we’ll consider the tools and infrastructure that would make implementing the concept easier. Of course, this being EVE, the playerbase is likely to come up with something to work around the lack of any specific tools, so the last post will be more of a wishlist for CCP than absolute requirements.
If you have any thoughts on the idea as presented so far feel free to leave them in the comments below. (DUST BETA PLAYERS REMEMBER THE NDA THOUGH)
(Thanks to http://solastgen.com/ for the header image)