As the world enters its first summer with social distance, the game industry and its community have banded together to ensure that those stuck at home can play and watch games, old and new, for the inevitable future.
Digital Trade Shows
Since cancellation E3, one of the largest industrial trade shows, in early March, various conventions and companies had followed and canceled their events completely or decided to host this summer’s online event.
Tokyo Game Show and Game Developers Conference (GDCare among the many events that have shifted digitally in connection with the pandemic, with the last to take place in August and the first with a date to be decided.
New Game + Expo, an exhibition of 40 titles from various Japanese and North American publishers such as Sega of America and SNK Corporation, will be screened on Twitch on June 23.
Independent and intermediate studios, including Paradox Interactive and Rebellion, plan to show off their titles during Collective Guerrilla, an event hosted by Kinda Funny co-founder Greg Miller from 6 to 8 June.
Larger publishers will launch their latest titles at new digital events, such as Summer Game Fest (SGF), an event organized by executive producer Game Awards and host Geoff Keighley that will take place throughout the summer.
Bethesda, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts (EA) and Projekt Red CD including among publishers who will be part of SGF, which will end with a digital rendition of Gamescom, annual convention in Cologne, Germany, on August 24.
Microsoft plans to hold monthly events as part of SGF as well, showing more details about the specifications and first-party games for the next generation console, Xbox Series X.
Nintendo, which annually displays their latest titles in June, are expected to postpone their showcase until the end of the year because of how the current state of emergency in Japan has forced more employees to work from home.
Members of the industry and the gaming community have made various efforts to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19.
Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, and Twitch are some of the companies that partnered through #PlayApartTogether campaign, which aims to emphasize the importance of social relations during a pandemic.
These companies have included World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic protection methods in their games and services to tell their users how to stay safe and productive while in exile themselves.
Virtual first time Stay at home slam took place on Facebook Gaming on May 3, with star athletes and celebrities working together and competing with each other at Mario Tennis Aces to donate $ 1 million to their chosen charity.
American tennis player Taylor Fritz and personality Tik Tok Addison Rae beat Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori and DJ Steve Aoki to win the tournament, giving their top prize to No Kid Hungry campaign.
All event players receive a $ 25,000 donation to their chosen charity.
Game Over Fast, a series of charity video game marathons, was held Help Corona Do It Quickly, a three-day sprint festival to raise funds for humanitarian aid organizations Direct Help, from April 17-19 at Twitch.
The event was able to raise $ 400,000 in less than 60 hours, with organizers saying it marked a new high for their side event efforts.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Reborn Realm the players gather in the game on April 11 to commemorate a player known as Ferne Le’roy, who recently died of COVID-19.
Players from all over the world come to pay homage to Le’roy by spending an hour traveling across the virtual world in his memory.
Ndemic Creations, the studio behind the apocalyptic simulation game Plague Inc, made a split contribution of $ 250,000 to the Epidemic Preparedness Coalition Initiative (CEPI) and the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
In collaboration with WHO and WHO Global Outbreak Response and Warning Network, the studio is creating a new game mode for Plague Inc. which will allow players to save the world from a deadly pandemic, not the other way around.
“Eight years ago, I never imagined the real world would resemble the Plague Inc. game or that so many players would use Plague Inc. to help them get through a real pandemic,” said James Vaughan, creator of Plague Inc. .
Because of the rules and practices of social distance adopted by the pandemic, traditional sports leagues have decided to postpone playing the league for an indefinite time.
However, the shutdown does not apply to the professional gaming and esports industry, which has seen an exponential jump in viewership in the first quarter of 2020.
Twitch, the leading streaming service at the scene, reportedly saw an estimate 23 percent increase in viewers in March, reached high numbers of all time for hours watched and played with the average audience together.
While the esports scene develops before the plague, with a live tournament for Riot’s “League of Legends“And Activision Blizzard”Overwatch“Selling large-scale venues around the world, has become increasingly prevalent in recent months with tournaments shifting to virtual means.
Despite the setbacks and cancellations of live events, which provide teams with the majority of their income, competitive leagues have switched to online games entirely, with the Supervision League (OWL) and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) both keep trying.
With organizations, players and creators developing direct links to potential customers, businesses take advantage of it long term partnership in the industry.
McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Nestle are among the companies that have sponsored teams at OWL, while others have invested in a growing number of professional athletes joining the digital landscape.
Shifting Traditional Sports Online
Various traditional sports companies have shifted to a virtual environment to keep their fans entertained and busy during the pandemic.
More than a dozen National Hockey League (NHL) teams, including the New Jersey Devils, have teamed up with “NHL 20” EA Sports to present simulation games on the eve of the match scheduled for fans during the pandemic.
With the help of the content and marketing team, Satan can treat these games like everyone else.
Three times the Stanley Cup winning team can ask Matt Loughlin, his radio announcer, to comment on the game, which he has sponsored events from M & Ms, PSE & G, Investors Bank and RWJBarnabas Health throughout, and held post-game interviews with players about their virtual performance.
The Washington Capitals are another team that has integrated “NHL 20” entering their season, became the first club to build and broadcast broadcasts centered around simulation games on their regional sports network, NBC Sports Washington.
Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals came face to face with hockey legend Wayne Gretsky at “NHL 20” in mid-April to raise funds for relief efforts related to COVID-19.
That infighting, which has more than 300,000 viewers on Twitch, eventually raised more than $ 40,000, with half going to Edmonton Food Bank and the other half to MSE Foundation’s Feeding the Frontlines fund.
The National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) joins Fox Sports and the iRacing simulation program to create the eNASCAR iRacing ProRational Invasion Series, the first virtual race to be held broadcast live on television on the Fox network.
Racing, which features a stock car racing organization driver and official, takes place every Sunday from the end of March to the beginning of May.
NASCAR returns to physical racing with a a series of seven races in mid to late May, with three at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina and four at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, the latter also holding the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is also virtually adapting to the times, in collaboration with 2K game developers and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), forming NBA 2K Player Tournament, which makes Kevin Durant, Trae Young and other players compete with each other in “NBA 2K20.”
Devin Booker from the Phoenix Suns win the tournament, which aired on ESPN from 3 to 11 April, had the right to brag and a $ 100,000 donation to the charity he chose.
On the other hand, the NBA itself plans restarting the 2020 season at ESPN’s Wide World of Disney Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, at the end of July.
What’s next for sports
As a result of the reduction in traditional sporting events due to coronavirus, people have started to question whether the world will have many major sporting events after the vaccine is publicly available.
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, expressed this concern about the post-coronavirus world in Indonesia a letter to the Olympic Movement on April 29.
“Clear [about this world]However, it is possible that none of us will be able to sustain every initiative or event that we planned before this crisis struck, “he said. “We also have to consider what social distance means for our relationship with e-sports.”
Bach later quoted a recent IOC statement, urging stakeholders not only to consider how to manage the virtual rendering of their sport but also to look at working with game publishers.
This statement sided with the many successes that the industry had seen during the pandemic could very well see the beginning of a new era of sports history: who would see the stadium replaced by pixels on a television screen.
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