LGC12: League of Legends user numbers competing with the likes of Modern Warfare 3 three years after release

ESports can help games last test of time

ESports is an effective business model that can help games last the test of time, the chairman of Heaven Media has said

Speaking at the London Games Conference 2012, Mark Reed said that structured competitive gaming was a great way to keep players interested in a title for the long-term, and helped them get more out of a title beyond a standard single or multiplayer experience.

"It cannot be about selling the game anymore, it cannot be about one blockbuster weekend," he stated.

"If you are looking at monetising the user for the following weeks and beyond, you must offer them more."

He added: "Consumer demands in games have changed – This is transcending into games that you cannot ignore the statistics of. Gamers between 18-to-60 are not satisfied with what they can get out of their games."

Reed went on to compare the number of users currently playing League of Legends with those playing Modern Warfare 3 and using Xbox Live. He stressed however that while League of Legends was one of the top eSports games around, talking about the most successful titles only represented a small proportion of the market.

League of Legends, which was released in October 2009, currently has 12 million peak daily users, while Modern Warfare 3, released in November last year, has 3.3m. Peak concurrent League of Legends users meanwhile currently stands at three million, while MW3 has 1.4m.

He also compared the number of League of Legends subscribers after three years, which stands at 23m, with the number of Xbox Live subsribers, which has amassed 40 million in eight years.

Reed also provided tips on creating the ideal ecosystem to make a successful eSports title, and suggested developers should look at making sure there are enough dedicated servers, sufficient gameplay balance, ranking systems, spectator modes while also giving users the opportunity to produce ‘frag’ movies – which he claimed currently represents 10 per cent of YouTube traffic.

He also suggested that developers should make it easier for users to tweak game balance themselves, so that competitive players can play with a strict set of rules that suits their needs.

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