Electronic Arts is branching out into esports broadcasting with the unveiling of a new “state-of-the-art competitive gaming studio” at the company’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. The broadcast center, which contains a stage for shoutcasters, audience seating for “about 50 people,” and a players’ lounge, “represents a multi-million-dollar investment in the future of competitive gaming” according to Todd Sitrin, EA’s Senior Vice President of Competitive Gaming, in a recent interview with Venturebeat.
From the sounds of things, EA hopes to use this studio to launch content that will make it the ESPN of esports broadcasting: “The broadcast center and studio has a focus on running competitions, but it also will have all of the other show content, like analyst shows, lifestyle profiles — the things you see around traditional sports,” Sitrin says. Although EA is no stranger to the esports scene, having previously hosted a number of competitions around the country, the opening of the new broadcast center signals the studio’s redoubled focus on becoming not just a game publisher but an all-encompassing “media company.”
Of course, EA isn’t the only one trying to capitalize on the ever-growing popularity of competitive gaming broadcasting: Blizzard opened its own esports arena in 2017, and Daybreak Games investor Nantworks is working toward opening one of its own as well.