Guest Post by Alex Himmel
As the esports industry continues to expand and improve it's becoming packed with different types of games and leagues - such that it seems like there's something for just about everybody. From combat and shooter games, to real-time strategy, to sports experiences, most major genres are covered at least to some extent. Even so though, there's really a handful of games that dominates the business (and the discussion around it), making it difficult for some other popular types of games to break through.
These are four genres and styles of gaming in particular that - we hope - gain a bigger place in esports moving forward.
Virtual reality's many uses have finally begun to influence society pretty broadly. Yet modern VR more or less began as a gaming platform, and despite a few growing pains it's finally produced some excellent gaming experiences. And there's no end to the potential thrills the world of eSports could see from certain applications. With screens for the audiences to see what the players are experiencing, as well as visibility of the gamer in real life, fans could enjoy the whole picture, no matter what game was being played. Naturally this is something that's already being explored lightly, but really what we're talking about is a particular eSports game or two taking off. For example, there are already several decent VR boxing games Can you imagine the excitement of a full VR boxing circuit within the eSports community?
The excitement of wagers and gambling has always drawn an audience, and spectators can watch professional poker on TV even now. Generally, digital casino gaming has strayed towards the arcade and slot games we see from Canadian and European providers online - which tend to involve less in the way of multiplayer activity or competitive potential. However, it's not as if there aren't still millions of online poker allayers around the world. Between that, the existing market for card-based strategy games (think: Hearthstone), and the fact that poker tournaments are already making forays into esports venues (as happened in Las Vegas last year), we'd like to see more attention devoted to this classic game. Perhaps if a developer got game just right, keeping the bones of the game but infusing enough visual and audio excitement to appeal to a broad audience, digital poker could become a hit in the industry.
3/CIVILIZATION BUILDING GAMES
Real-time strategy games like Sid Meier's Civilization or Age of Empires aren't that big in the esports world, but they have a lot of potential. In fact, the latter has even been discussed as a possible “next big esport”. The immense possibilities in these games mean there would always something for the spectators to watch, from each technological advancements to upgrades to the cities and towns. There would be a fun suspense factor as people waited to see which player gained the advantage and how - particularly if competitions were drawn out over time.
4/MOBILE PUZZLE GAMES
Given there massive popularity, it's somewhat surprising mobile puzzle games haven't found a significant in with esports yet. But hit could be really exciting to watch players and teams try to beat each other through complex levels of ever-increasing difficulty. Games like Monument Valley and Hitman GO are just a couple examples of the games that could be used, complete with their moving staircases, platforms, pillars, and other fun obstacles.
Any or all of the above would be awesome additions to the expanding esports universe.
Guest Post by Alex Himmel