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Esports could emerge as a way for the NHL to grow its audience in China

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Patrik Laine, the Finnish professional ice hockey winger who ascended the ranks of youth hockey in Finland, disclosed that he came to learn about the NHL from video games.

“I learned probably just about the players.Nowadays it’s super realistic, and you can just pretty much see how everybody is playing and how good they are,” the Winnipeg Jets star added.

It is anticipated to get even more real with the NHL following the lead of the NBA, NFL, FIFA and other leagues, in making an imprint on the ever-proliferating esports market. The 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship, launched Friday, is an initiative towards a potential version of the season-long NBA 2K League that’s scheduled to begin in May or perhaps eMLS on FIFA 18.

NBC Sports Executive, Rob Simmelkjaer, who got his introduction to hockey from playing “NHL 94” on Sega Genesis said: “You’re really both tapping into and expanding the existing fanbase of the game. I think that’s something that the NHL can benefit from by putting esports front and centre in the way that they market their sport.”

Players will be able to match up 1-on-1 in EA Sports NHL 18 qualification rounds. That will be followed by regional finals in the United States, Canada and Europe on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and then the June 19 championship at Esports Arena Las Vegas during the NHL Awards with a prize pool of $100,000.

The hope is to land new fans and connect with current fans in a different way.

“This is really at its embryonic stage,” NHL Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Keith Wachtel said: “This is the most basic way for our fans to play. We’re also going to explore in the future the opportunity, and we’re going to test this with some of the guys at the regional tournaments and the final, maybe a two-versus-two or a three-versus-three.”

WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague are already experimenting with gaming at movie theatres in Canada and are in the midst of the Snider Hockey Cup tournament on EA Sports NHL 18 with the finals taking place March 22 in Philadelphia, next to the Flyers’ arena.

“After the response, we got to this tournament, we worked closely with the NHL and Electronic Arts for this programme,” WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague CEO Wim Stocks said: “They are going to be in the marketplace with really cool esports programming in the very near future.”

Sports-based esports have a long way to go to catch up to fighting games like “Dota,” ”League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike,” but National Amusements programming and corporate development executive Kevin Mitchell doesn’t believe the NHL needs to worry.

“Console gaming is just now starting to take off,” said Mitchell, who also teaches esports at Emerson College in Boston. “I think it’s really just coming up with an ambidextrous strategy on finding ways to integrate with their traditional fan base and finding ways to create cross-over engagement for this new generation that has been primarily consuming content online.”

Mitchell thinks esports ventures are ways for leagues to make fans of young people who get their sports largely through their smartphones or computers. According to Newzoo’s 2016 Esports Consumer Insights, 28 percent of hockey fans are 21-35, while 49 percent of esports enthusiasts are in that age bracket.

“We have a very attractive fan base,” Wachtel said. “It’s young, it’s very tech-savvy, and millennials these days, which is really the gamer, are consuming sports in a much different way.”

For a sport grappling with challenges of getting kids interested in hockey in places where ice time and equipment can be expensive and difficult to come by, this is another possible route. Mitchell said about 50 U.S. colleges now offer esports scholarships and expects more development at youth levels as they become more popular.

NBC Sports in the U.S., Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and Viasat in Europe will promote the event, airing regional finals and the championship and putting highlights on TV around playoff games.

How it goes will help determine the NHL’s next steps.

“We don’t really have a statement on what the future holds other than we’re going to be active in one way, shape or form,” said Chris Golier, NHL vice president of business development. “We’re going to have a lot of involvement and conversation with a lot of the top gamers, as well, make sure that it’s fun, engaging, the content works and we’ll revise as we see fit going forward.”

Esports might be a way for the NHL to grow its audience in China, where it is already broadcasting regular-season games and hosting exhibitions ahead of the 2022 Olympics.

“China is a huge gaming population,” Stocks said. “What better way to help bring the game of hockey to China than through video gaming? I think the NHL has a great opportunity.”


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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