Opinion: GAME gamble on eSports is a safe bet

Christopher Dring
Opinion: GAME gamble on eSports is a safe bet

Any investment in eSports is often viewed as a risk.

We have been here before with professional gaming. Pro-gaming organisations promote themselves aggressively, attract big investment, only for them to collapse and leave investors walking away with holes in their pockets. It's perhaps why investment in this current eSports resurgence has been so tentative.

Yet even if the eSports obsession - driven by the seemingly unstoppable rise of live-streaming platform Twitch - is only a temporary fad (it isn't), GAME has still made a shrewd purchase in Multiplay.

The competitive gaming firm has been through it all. It has ridden the eSports rollercoaster and held on, not out of luck but out of a genuine love for competitive play.

But aside from its resilience, it is also a good events business, which is the crucial element here. Since GAME's recovery, the retailer has always insisted its future is in marketing games to consumers and running local and national events. Multiplay is just the expertise it needs to deliver on that goal.


THE RACE TO SHELVES IS ON FOR VIRTUAL REALITY

The teams at Oculus and PlayStation will have gone to GDC this year with a reason to be fearful.

Over the last 12 months some of the biggest names in technology have joined the virtual reality battleground. When it was just Sony and Oculus, both competitors were complimentary of one another. The former was targeting the console space, while the latter had its eyes on the PC sector. As a result, it was a friendly rivalry.

But now that Valve, Samsung, HTC and a host of other companies are all readying rival VR devices, it's time to stop playing nice and actually release the headsets.

The Oculus Rift has been in development for over three years and there's now a genuine risk it won't be the first to market - which would have been unthinkable six months ago.

Oculus and PlayStation still have the expertise, the financial backing and the development and technology resource to lead the VR revolution. They just need to stop dawdling and get a consumer version to shelves, before someone else beats them to it.

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