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You should not develop eSports with the intention of making money

You should not develop eSports with the intention of making money

Developers should not put eSports in their game with the intention of making money straight away, says ESL VP Strategic Relations & Technology Arne Peters.

Speaking at Casual Connect Europe, Peters said that instead, developers should first implement competitive features for retention and improving the player lifecycle, with eSports coming later.

"In the first place, you should add competitive elements to your game only for user engagement reasons," he said.

"Also the retention of your gamers. Competitive multiplayer provides opportunities for content activation, and it's a foundation for a long lifecycle for your game.

"But don't do it with the intention of making money right away, and always remember you can’t force eSports onto your community."

Big business

Peters concurred with the hype, that eSports is potentially "a multi-billion dollar business in the making - five times what it is now", but urges caution to developers adding multiplayer options to their games.

"Whatever you do to run your game as an eSport," he said. "Actualy it's the community that decides whether they’re going to play it that way."

He advised developers not to jump into eSports unprepared: think about it, have people in your company who are involved in the competitive multiplayer scene... but don’t start with that in mind, and don’t mention eSports to your community at first.

"Give them a great game, grow your audience organically, and let it happen,” was his advice. 

The four most important tips he gave were:

  • Find an original competitive concept. "Find your own Rocket League. Don’t just copy League Of Legends. You're unlikely to be successful just by taking a Counter-Strike clone to a mobile device.”
  • Get the matchmaking right.
  • Have the option for custom lobbies "so people can play with their own friends - if you don't build this in, they'll just find their own way to do it".
  • Think about anti-cheating options. "As soon as you get big, this will become a factor. Even if people are just talking about it, you have to deal with it, especially on PC."

ESL is the world's largest eSports company. Casual Connect runs in Berlin from Februart 7th to 9th.


Chief Operations Officer

Dave is Steel Media's Chief Operations Officer. He gets involved in all areas of the business, from front page editorial to behind-the-scenes planning. He began his career in games and entertainment journalism back in the 1990s when Doom arrived on four floppy disks. Please contact him with any general queries about Pocket Gamer, The Virtual Report and Steel Media's other sites and events.

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