MMO Business Roundup: Bethsoft Moscow, A:IR publishing, OSU esports, SpatialOS, and Square-Enix

    
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Business business business numbers, is this working?! Let’s dip into some of the scattered online gaming business tidbits of the week that might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Bethsoft Moscow

According to a press release issued this morning, Bethsoft has opened up a new office in Moscow, Russia, to “directly oversee sales and marketing in Russia and CIS, underscoring Bethesda’s commitment to its global publishing operations.” MMO players will recall that Bethsoft is the parent company that publishes Elder Scrolls Online as well as the upcoming Fallout 76.

AIR Korea

We knew Kakao Games was going to be publishing Bluehole’s steampunk-fantasy MMORPG Ascent: Infinite Realm here in the west. Apparently, Kakao will also be publishing the game in South Korea as well. Huh.

OSU esports

The Ohio State University has created an interdisciplinary course set for esports, including coaching and marketing, complete with an 80-seat esports arena. Tell that to your mom who still thinks gaming is a waste of time. (Thanks for the tip, Ashfyn!)

SpatialOS and Unity

SpatialOS developer Improbable rolled out a GDK specifically to enable integration with Unity development. As we’ve previously covered, SpatialOS is used by multiple MMOs, including Worlds Adrift, and the company has received staggering investment hauls from folks eager to double down on the Improbable’s vision of the future of online games. You might also recall that MMO Chronicles of Elyria dropped the platform in part because of its lack of integration with Unreal.

Square Enix scores Blizzard exec

Remember Blizzard’s John Heinecke? He was last the VP of Global Publishing over at Overwatch, after having “led the global launch campaigns” for Hearthstone and Diablo III too. Now he’s the Chief Marketing Officer of Square Enix.

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Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

The Ohio State University has created an interdisciplinary course set for esports

From what I’ve read at the linked article, this would involve “coaching, business management, marketing, and game development”. Not really sure what the people can learn from these, except the very obvious “get to know the game better by playing it and watching others play it” (this is required to be a coach or someone like a tournament caster) or “e-mail to as many junk “gaming gear” manufacturers as you can in order to get sponsorship for your team and e-mail to the teamless players who have a high “competitive mode” ranking and/or have a large following on livestreaming sites in order to sign them up for your “eSports team” or your “Livestreaming team” then find some famous people/corporations willing to loan you some money to kickstart this whole thing” (this is all that is needed for “business management” part) ;-)

The “game development” part can be useful, but I believe there are plenty of courses already at various universities… And all you need for your game to be “eSports-ready” is add a good spectator tools.

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ChaosConstant

I can see both sides of this, but to play devil’s advocate, couldn’t the same be said of coaching programs for traditional sports? Learn how to scout, recruit, train, etc.?

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Armsbend

“The Ohio State University has created an interdisciplinary course set for esports, including coaching and marketing, complete with an 80-seat esports arena. Tell that to your mom who still thinks gaming is a waste of time. (Thanks for the tip, Ashfyn!)”

Instead of thinking gaming was a waste of time I’d be convinced that college was also a waste of time. If I were paying for my child to attend college the checks would stop flowing immediately. Because, as a lifelong gamer, I know a kid’s bullshit when I see it.