NOTE: this is a re-post because we lost the original article somehow.
CHIBA, Japan – In those times when people preferred to play alone, Japan had a lot of success in the field of video games. But as time is passing by the preferences are changing and people do not think of gaming as a solo activity now. Nowadays gaming comprises of a computer, an internet connection and millions of other users from around the world whom you can challenge.
Japan is no doubt the motherland of video games and played a big role to introduce video games to the world through consoles such as Super Nintendo and Sony’s PlayStation, but the gaming pioneer seems to be going somewhat slow in embracing the massive business of esports.
In the Tokyo Game Show, which is Japan’s largest annual game expo, the sponsors Sony and Samsung Japan have planned to make esports a pivotal attraction of the event. The esports segment of the event will feature competitive gaming on two stages with a combined 1,000 seats. Eight esport tournaments will be open to the public this Saturday and Sunday.
Although presently there might be none esports players with the popularity and statuses like Ronaldo or Beckham yet, things are changing and esport champions are getting superstar status nowadays because of the increasing number of hundreds of millions of people from all around the world starting to take interest in esports.
The winning players can get prize money up to millions only from tournaments which are played at packed stadiums with up to 50,000 spectators watching.
Esports will be featured as a full medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games which are to be held in China, meanwhile, the newly appointed president of the Asian eSports Federation, Kenneth Fok, is struggling to get esports a spot at the Olympics as well.
Even though eSports are gaining a lot of popularity in North America and certain parts of Asia, still eSports can be seen only taking a start in Japan which is the homeland of video game pioneers ‘Sony and Nintendo’.
Due to the operation of restrictions on public gaming and prize money limits, the growth of eSports is being held back, but the expected top billing at the Tokyo show might prove to be just the thing to give eSports the boost to the next level, as said by some industry insiders.
“I hope Japanese people will eventually see that winning prize money and making a living out of this as a pro is just as great as being a tennis player like (Kei) Nishikori or other professionals,” said Taichi Shibuki, chairman of game company JPPVR.
“Not many people here even know the word esports. But this (show) could drastically change things.”
Not being affected by traditional separations depending upon gender and physical disabilities of the players, esports is something which can be played under “equal conditions,” he added.
Capcom Co’s new title “Monster Hunter: World” is another attention catching the highlight of the show, it is set to be released in January next year. Visitors will be able to experience the new title at the event.
Only the media and gaming industry will be allowed in the show for the first two days and the show will open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.