I spend a lot of time thinking about e-sports. This is, of course, through the eyes of someone who doesn’t much like e-sports as a pursuit or a concept. We’ve seen a couple of games take off in that arena (League of Legends and SMITE, primarily), but while looking at the latest reports suggesting that Overwatch is struggling to get its footing in that field, I can’t help but think of all the other games which have tried and failed to register as being anything significant.
Guild Wars 2 pushed hard for an e-sports presence, and that fell flat. Infinite Crisis definitely wanted to be a big e-sport, but it didn’t go anywhere. Heroes of the Storm was also clearly positioned as an e-sport game, but the community never materialized; ditto the competitive side of World of Warcraft. In fact, I’m pretty sure the game which have pushed to be e-sports mainstays have universally faltered, and the ones that succeeded did so almost by themselves.
But perhaps I’m looking at this through dark-tinted goggles. What do you think, readers? Are e-sports worth the effort for MMO developers? Should resources be poured into making games viable for e-sports venues, and if so, how much effort is too much?