The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the place where top video game trends are showcased, and there’s no bigger buzz in gaming right now than eSports. Considering how eSports viewers take in a tremendous amount of content, with revenues expected to reach $463 million this year, it’s no surprise that companies are including eSports features in their top competitive games.
Here are a few examples of how some companies are catering to the eSports crowd at this year’s E3:
Following the recent success of Doom, id Software and Bethesda wasted no time in modernizing another classic franchise with Quake Champions, which was revealed during the publisher’s pre-E3 showcase Sunday night. Right off the bat, id Software creative director, Tim Willits, confirmed that Quake was being built from the ground up with eSports potential in mind.
Its multiplayer components are largely focused on competitive play, and there are already a number of players who have proven just how accessible the game is, judging from the hands-on portion of the company’s event following the showcase. Bethesda will provide more information about the game, and news on a potential beta, in just a couple of months during its fan-oriented QuakeCon event. This includes details on the support it intends to provide for both eSports leagues and tournaments down the road.
Quake Champions doesn’t have a release date yet, but more information will be revealed over the next few months.
Mortal Kombat X is highly regarded in the eSports realm, and developer Netherrealm Studios is planning to repeat that success with, Injustice 2—a fighting game that features DC Comics characters expected to release next year.
The superhero-laden brawler, which iconic characters like Superman, Batman and The Flash, will be built with eSports in mind, so players can compete on a tournament based level and utilize their skills to become better with particular characters.
Injustice 2 will release next year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Electronic Arts revealed its master plan for eSports going forward, for both its mainstream sports titles and shooters like Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. The company revealed a new structure with a trio of forthcoming event types for each of these games, including Challenger events, Premier events and EA Major events.
“EA is no stranger to the power of elite competition,” said the company’s chief competition officer Peter Moore during the company’s press conference on Sunday. “But the spectacle of eSports barely scratches the surface of competition. It’s a select few that become pro gamers, that’s why EA is embracing a new approach to competitive gaming, we want to make stars of all of our players.”
Community members will be able to host and run their own tournaments, and partners will also have the opportunity to partake in large-scale live events as well, although Moore didn’t detail any sort of schedule as of yet regarding how that would be set up. He did note, though, that there would be room for “partners from inside and outside of the gaming world.”
The company also debuted the first bout from this set-up with the Madden Championship Series, which took place during EA Play over the course of earlier this week and it turned out to be a very big draw through Twitch streaming. Although specific details as to what EA has planned next haven’t been given yet, we can expect Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 to appeal toward pro gamers when they release this fall.
Call of Duty
Although Activision doesn’t have a booth on the E3 show floor this year, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is certainly making its presence felt, with a huge banner adorning the building outside the LA Convention Center. Furthermore, its recent gameplay trailer, showcased during Sony’s pre-E3 press conference Monday night, stirred up plenty of buzz.
Activision already has ambitious eSports plans in motion with its Call of Duty: World League, which has been in full swing since earlier this year. The championship round will take place during the company’s recently announced Call of Duty XP event, and more details on Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer are expected at that time as well.
It’s very likely that Activision will continue pushing forward with its Call of Duty-oriented eSports events, even with the slightly negative response given to its initial Infinite Warfare trailer. World League has gotten over quite well with its community, and Infinite Warfare has some promising features that should make multiplayer interesting from hereon in.
We’ll know just what Activision is up to in a few months’ time, when XP takes place. For now, Infinite Warfare is certainly picking up speed at E3, even without Activision’s presence.