BD: Hi, Roberto! Nice to see you. And, right of the bat, let’s start with your vision of the e-Sports industry and your company’s niche inside of it.
RL: Hi BearDev team, first of all let me thank you and your team for this opportunity. As you know, there have always been videogames tournaments among friends and, at a low scale, in specialized shops or in local associations. These events were clearly amateur-oriented, with the addition of some national or even international events, but the 90s are clearly a step forward for professional and competitive gaming.Over the last years, the e-Sports recognition increased a lot and this is mainly due to the industry created around it. Leagues and events organized by the Electronic Sports League (ESL) for example, or even by the developers of the most competitively successful games themselves, such as Riot (League of Legends), Blizzard Entertainment (Starcraft, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm), Valve (DotA and Counter Strike), or Activision (Call of Duty) take advantage of the media the same way as big regular sport events do.The key figure to understand the impact of e-Sports is 32 million viewers for the Finale of the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship in 2013, which was higher than the NBA play-offs of the same year.Regarding the Electronic Sports MastersTM (ESMTM), as you said, our objective is to promote e-Sports as well as the principles and values of the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF), but focusing on a single game, ARMA III.
BD: Is it true that e-Sports involve only a thin layer of the society mainly consisting of young people between 21 and 34 years old? And, what is your current audience structure?
RL: Having a look at the current evolution, I would even say younger, as kids now seem to be born with a tablet in their hands. Regarding Arma 3, it is a bit different because a big part of its community, players and ideas men are following the saga since its beginning in 2001 with the release of Operation Flashpoint… and it was 14 years ago. More recently, we decided to get figures about the average age among our audience, here are the results:
- 38.9% between 20 and 25;
- 22.2% older than 36;
- 16.7% between 26 and 30;
- 16.7%between 31 and 35;
- 5.6% younger than 20.
* Around 40% are players older than 31.
This shows that the ARMA III community is made of experienced players mainly due to the game developer company itself, Bohemia Interactive, which gave the code in open source as well as the tools allowing add-ons and mods to be created. About BI, I would like to add that their business model and the way they take care of the community are simply unique. Just have a look at the life duration of their games and free content they develop, such as e.g. the latest update “Nexus” released in November or the next one called “Eden” to be released at the beginning of 2016 with a powerful 3D edition tool, and as I said, everything is free!These are the things that make a player/customer faithful to the saga and create his special connection with the company.
BD: e-Sports seem to become a highly competitive market. How do you take the blow? What are the most important success components for you?