The biggest eSports league in the world, ESL, has released a white label development toolkit called ESL Matchmaking.
The tool, to be first used in UK indie developer R8 Games’ upcoming anti-gravity racer, Formula Fusion, will allow competitive-grade ranked multiplayer matchmaking. The game, hailed as a spiritual successor to the WipEout series - after last year’s closure of Sony Liverpool studios - is set to release on Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2016.
“Indie development has grown in leaps and bounds, continuing to be an area of amazing video game innovation in terms of content, game play and overall creativity,” said Arne Peters, Vice President of ESL Technology. “ESL recognizes the potential of indie games and we believe the ESL Matchmaking toolkit will help level the playing field for indies. While many indie titles are ideally suited for competitive play from a design perspective, sadly that aspect isn’t always an initial priority. Our ESL Matchmaking toolkit makes it quite easy for indie developers to deliver world-class support for competitive gaming without distracting them from their core competency of making amazingly creative games.”
The toolkit itself is a platform-independent application programming interface (API) already in use in ESL’s online tournaments for games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the FIFA series. The plug-and-play design of the API allows developers to integrate a powerful matchmaking tool into their own games without dedicating years to tweaking their own system. It also puts a strong marker on the intentions of R8, and the potential of other small-team titles to enter the competitive gaming world.
“Teaming up with eSports professionals from the world of ESL is a big deal for us. It clearly communicates our ambitions to be the next big thing in anti-gravity racing,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of R8 Games. “ESL Matchmaking will not only fuel the best possible online multiplayer experiences for our fans, but it will also help us focus our resources on game design, development and balancing. We are truly excited about this opportunity and the potential that offering industry-leading eSports support brings.”
The ESL Technology team will showcase the capabilities of the ESL Matchmaking tool at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) from March 2nd through 6th, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.