Greek mythology says that the Olympics grew started as a way to keep baby Zeus from crying. For centuries, the Olympic games have been a showcase of the physically fit. Events like gymnastics, wrestling and shot put show the strength of body and mind. Games like curling show the importance of broom handling. Whatever the sport, the main thing has always been that the people in the event aren’t just sitting in front of a TV.
That may all be changing very soon.
This year, the Asian Games – a precursor to the Olympics – will be including a number of video games as part of the events. The games to be included in the Asian Games are League of Legends, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor. Depending on how things go at the Asian Games, eSports may find it’s way to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
While this is great news for companies like Activision, the choice to include eSports has stirred up some controversy. Olympic athletes think that adding eSports goes against the purpose of the Olympics. There has been a long-standing rule that mental or mechanical-driven activities were not permitted as sports, keeping out popular events like car-racing. And while that may be the rule of the land today, there’s another rule that the Olympic Committee may be thinking about – without viewers, there is no Olympics.
The global viewership for the Olympics has been falling for years, with the average age of the audience edging towards 50. The Committee is trying to find something that will catch the attention of a younger audience. Could that something be eSports? The marketing tracking company Newzoo believes that by next year eSports will have a global viewership of 427 million people, with revenues over a billion dollars. To give you an idea of just how big that audience is – that is over four times the amount of people who watch the Superbowl.
With the need to bring in a younger audience to keep the Olympics going into the future, eSports may just be the best answer. So if you want your kid to be an Olympic champion, but they can’t pull off a Korbut Flip no matter how much they practice, maybe it’s time to put down the talcum powder and pick up the controller?
You can follow High Score on…