#401 Where is our eESPN?

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament with a record  is just starting up and even I am excited to tune in and see what all the hubbub is all about. Between that Riot’s weekly seasonal split streams on Twitch I have to ask: where is our eESPN channel or at least a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of video games?

I made the eESPN joke a few times before (Be MOP #261, #276, and #356) but now I think of it more as a serious possibility rather than a silly joke based on wordplay.

I talked about the potential of some gaming streams to become full-time sports broadcasters, like how Riot has been positioning themselves for the limelight for the past few seasons with their personal stream filled with community created skits, Question and Answer segments with the professionals, highlight reels, Table talks with the professionals and analysis, and the personalities (Be MOP #276).

While I have not followed Dota 2 streams to know what they are doing for providing entertainment during and between matches but I do know and have seen the immense popularity of the Dota 2 documentary and fundraising for the main prize/jackpot.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

 

With Twitch’s constant concurrent viewers numbers and the level of interaction in the Twitch Chat, the games respective forums and ,  it is easy to prove that there is a substantial amount of interested demographic. With the year’s Fifa world cup ESPN has proved that they can get Americans to validate the sport of soccer and still getting them excited to watch a sport tournament where the American team was not expected to win.

It is not like there is not enough content to fill a 24 hours cable station, we have; League of Legends, Dota 2, Infinite Crisis, all of the other A.R.T.S, StarCraft II, both of Pokemon’s virtual and card game matches, Melee and Smash Bros tournaments, Speed Runners, Magic the Gathering (ESPN already has precedent on broadcasting this sport), plus all of the news programs that could be created about the latest news/predictions/gossip about these different esports and upcoming tournaments.

I would wager to say there is more than enough games to showcase for 24hrs content, a constantly updating website, AND a special, consolidated, twitch stream.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

 

The only problem would be is licensing these games for public viewing, the personalities that are currently paid by these companies, and getting these multibillion dollar, global internet gaming companies (that are all competing with each other) to play nice and fair in order to get this eESPN network to properly blossom.

I think we might have found the reason why  eESPN has not happened yet, but that does not means it should not happen.

 

But I want to bump the question back to you:

What do you think of a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of esports? Would you regularly tune in to watch broadcasted tournament on a TV cable network, even if it was not a esport that you regularly follow? Or, and most importantly of all, would you rather stick to each company’s own Twitch channel on your computer?

Leave a comment down below I am interested in what other people think about this idea.

 


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#400 How Far We’ve Come

Today is a big milestone for me, this Monday is the 400th Be MOP post! What makes this milestone truly impressive is that it is the 400th Be MOP post without skipping a beat on my Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule that I have set in place with my first post that I made two and a half years ago. This means I wrote through all of my college finals, every sick day, every snowstorm that caused a blackout, and everything that happened to me in my Post-college life.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

 

I have mentioned this before but the Be MOP blog was the result of a winter time walk down main street of my college town, the week before my Juniors finals, and experiencing an early Quarter-life crisis when I realized that I was just a Political Science student, with no minor, soon to go out to the world in just a few short years.

To top it off were people out there who were just a little bit older than me making a living from playing and writing videogames, a job option that was very appealing to me, and I was no where close to being on that track for that sort of career path. Although looking back I was already making some money from writing about videogames, it was just too inconsistent for my liking.

I was actually waiting for WoWinsiders next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that i could publish these thoughts by myself.

I was actually waiting for WoW Insider’s next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that I could publish these thoughts by myself.

 

When I first started BeMOP.wordpress.com so long ago I had no idea that it would last for this long, even during my transition from experiencing burnout from World of Warcraft to writing about PC and general gaming events.

And because of little blog I have:

  • dramatically honed my writing abilities
  • 200+ WordPress followers
  • a Twitter account and now it has grown to 500+ followers
  • the confidence to add ‘blogging’ to my resume. (the same resume that I submitted to get my current post-college job)
  • started a Twitch Stream and soon after got accepted in the Streamer Partnership Program from Infinite Crisis.
This one email made my week

This one email made my week

 

For today I just want to say, ‘Thank you’ to everyone who ever stopped by or left comments on this site, swung by my Twitch Stream, follow me on Twitter and even enduring through every single political inspired posts about videogames, literally none of this could be possible without you guys and I thank all of you because of this. It really makes my days and helps motivate me to push through the days when I was hit over the head with writing block and I have the days when I do not want write about anything.

To anyone who is still hesitant about starting or continuing their blogging/streaming experience, start now and just keep going. You might not always pump out your best quality works all the time but you will eventually improve day by day, week by week. Even if you do not get noticed right away, it is better to start building a background of quality content that you can pull up any time to prove you have a solid history of writing or producing content rather than waiting to come up with the perfect way get famous with your debut.

 


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#399 Happy Fourth of July!

Hello everyone, I just want to make this post to wish everyone in the United States a happy fourth of July! May your Fourth be full of your favorite cookout foods, barbecues, parades and fireworks. If you have any time left I hope you guys find time to play some of your favorite games with political undertones over the weekend.

 

That's right I had to dig through my WoW folder to find some fitting Midsummer Fire Festival screenshots for this post

That’s right I had to dig through my WoW folder to find some fitting Midsummer Fire Festival screenshots for this post

 

To all my non-American readers out there my apologies, but take solace in the fact my Twitch Stream will be broadcasting at the at it’s regularly scheduled time so you can still get your fill of Be MOP, and my next blog post will have a very special message for all of you.

 

And I got cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out all this weekend.

And I got a handful of cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out to the lucky few all this weekend.

 

Enjoy your weekend and I will catch you guys back here Monday for the 400th Be MOP blog post!


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#398 Games from my Backlog for the month of July

Well it was bound to happen, not once during the past month I played either of the two games I assigned myself to play through for the month of June. For those who are new  to this website “Games from my Backlog” is a long running program was created to help me work through my mammoth gaming backlog by setting aside two or three game titles a month to exclusively work through, not to complete or finished but to play enough to experience what to game has for me and to see if I wanted to play through it more of that game or genera. Last month I was suppose to play Gotham City Impostors: Free To Play and  La-Mulana and I had absolutely no interest in either games.

I think it was because I did not want these games in the first place, a problem I was touching on in last month’s Games from my Backlog post. Both of these games were bought as consolation prizes, either paying for it because it was a part of the Humble WB Games Bundle as was the case for Gotham Impostors or as was the case with La-Mulana, the game was 90% and I was already heading towards the checkout page with a handful of games.

 honestly I cant count how many of these were bought because they were bundled with other, more appealing, games

honestly I cant count how many of these games were bought because they were bundled with other, more appealing, games

 

To use my mother’s favorite Hugh Prather quote,”If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire is not to write” and I did not need to take four weeks to realize that my reluctance to play these games meant I did not want to play either of these games. There was such a lack of motivation that I could not find the motivation to start up the client for one match, even for the sake of the project and the idea of streaming these matched for one of my scheduled Twitch times. It was so bad that I even completely forgot to even change the Be MOP side banner from the month before.

oops. My Bad

Oops….. My Bad

 

This month is going to be different, we just got finished recovering from the week-long Steam Summer Sales extravaganza, I now have some recently bought games that I want to play. That’s why I am choosing LEGO Batman 2, a Lego game that is all about the Dark Knight and the Bat-gang fighting the clown prince of crime and Ducktales: Remastered, a High Definition remake of a classic platformer that I never got to play from my childhood, as my two games for the month of July.

 

Be sure to check back here at the start of August to see if I can break my unmotivated gaming streak.

 


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#397 The Post-Steam Summer Sale Damage Report

It is over, it’s finally over, the Steam Summer sales have ended, the virtual summer camp have closed their doors and everyone has gone home, back to normal gaming life with at least something special and a possibly a lighter wallet for some at the end of the week.

...and people like me have walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

…and people like me also walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

 

While we are all readjusting to the idea of a full priced game, I thought I would take this time to go through my haul and catalog exactly what games I bought and show how much USD I paid versus how much I would have paid if they were not on sale:

 

Tiny Brains: 1.99/9.99

Rush Bros.: .99/9.99

Walking Dead Season 2: 6.24/24.99

Risk of Rain: 4.99/9.99

DuckTales: Remastered : 4.99/14.99

Battleblock Theater (2 pack) : 6.24/24.99

The Wolf Among Us: 8.49/24.99

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: 4.99/19.99

LEGO Batman 2: 4.99/19.99

Spec Ops: The Line 5.99/29.99

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons: 2.99/14.99

Dark Souls: 4.99/19.99

Resident Evil 4: 11.99/19.99

Reus: 2.49/9.99

Transistor Soundtrack Pack: 22.50/29.99

 

Now if I did my math correctly I ended up spending $114.06 on 15 new games over the course of one week. If you are my mother that might seem like a lot but for the cost of $114.06 I received the gaming value equivalent of about $284.85 which is on average, 40% off everything that I was going to eventually buy anyways

On top of the incredible deal, it was also worth it because now I have a replenished and updated gaming library with games I want to play, rather than reluctantly playing games that I have ended up owning as consolation prizes from Humble Bundles. Something you will see  me talk more about in Wednesday’s blog post.

 


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#396 Buying Games vs Buying Game Time

Two things happened in the fast world of videogames that caught my eye that I want to discuss. Recently both EA and Sony announced and started rolling out their plans to sell American/Western players game time subscriptions to their recent AAA games

 

 

This is nothing new, in the Asian gaming market this method is a popular way of paying for their MMO subscription Blizzard has already have this option available for the Eastern World of Warcraft Players.

The question is now, “Can this new payment option of paying for hours instead of the right for a game work in the west?”

 

For the sake of keeping this blog post related to videogames and steering away from an American Studies term paper, I am going to not talk too much about the mentality and/or philosophy of American purchasing habit but I will say that the American dream is owning a white picket fenced house.

For today I just want to talk about the viability for the game time pass can comfortably work in the PC and Consoles on this side of the world.

 

Could this work on PCs?

This is very tough to say, just like the Asian Market I could say that it could be more efficient (money wise) to paid subscription MMOs I would say that if we are not already in the mists of the F2P + microtransaction MMOg trend it could stand a better chance.

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League, and every other ARTS/Moba game

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League of Legends, and every other ARTS/Moba game

 

But as we saw with EA advertisement, there are plans to sell game time for AAA multiplayer game titles, like Titanfall. At this point this could be successful if we did not have the likes of Steam Sales. While we do not legally own the games titles on Steam we do have unlimited game time forever, that we all got for pennies on the dollar.

 

I very much doubt that Steam will adopt this renting games per hour payment method for their non-MMO multiplayer games, unless huge lobbyists from the Activision, Ubisoft, and other game companies. Until then I think game time passes are going to only expand on the EA/Origin exclusives, which might benefit them in the long run by giving the company a different edge over steam in the free online market.

 

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

 

But PC is not the only platform for gaming, so lets take a look at consoles.

 

Can this work on Consoles?

This is a strong possibility for a new payment option for the consoles. I, and everyone else, have said it before but this console generation is built around a constant internet connection and with that the game time passes could be implemented with ease. Especially with the (unwanted) push to an always online connection, with that connection there would be an easy way for companies accurately keep track on how much time you bought for a game and a up to the minute statues on how much time you have left.

Especially with the multiple multiplayer games that comes out yearly for the console library with the Xbox One and PS4, This could act as a nice sample for players to get a legit hands on feel for the games they might be hesitant buying. In the old days, what I just described was called a ‘demo’.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (when ever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (whenever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

 

With the early introduction of this payment plans I am hesitant about it simply because it is new in the West and we already have a certain mindset and we have another popular MMO payment option, by supporting F2P PC games through microtransactions.

As I said, it could provide a nice legit sample of the gameplay of the newest AAA console games but there might be a need to keep an eye on the price of renting vs the price of going out and buying a secondhand copy of the game somewhere else.

 

I will say that it is always nice to have a variety of ways to consume videogames to lower the barrier to entry for everyone, whether it be playing on PC, consoles, smart phones, or how you play those games or different payment plans. The problem with companies becoming early adopters for new plans is that it is far too soon to know if this plan will fail or usher in a new trend of gaming.

 


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#395 The Bipartisan Lego Company

Monday’s Steam Summer Daily Sales had it’s scheduled update and with that The Lego series went on sale for the amazing price cut of 75% off. With that I was able to pick up two items that have been on my wishlist for quite a while.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steal, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steel, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

 

As I was hitting the ‘purchase for myself’ button I came to the realization that I was just about to buy both a Marvel and DC comics licensed game that was created and produced by the same third party game developer team. Which blew my mind.

It seems that in today’s gaming industry world, that third party companies are forced to side with one game company over the other. In the past of years we have seen the company pairings of Sony’s PlayStation for Taco Bell, we have seen multiple promotions for Mountain Dew and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and One and we have even seen Nintendo making Mario Spaghettios with Campbells.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mnt Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mtn Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

 

Even with Third Party game developers have seen the exclusive deals with one of the big three console companies, the most obvious is the deals Sony has with gaming companies (Ubisoft) providing special and unique downloadable content for the PlayStation version of the game.

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin's Creed comunity because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin’s Creed community because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

 

And During my years at PAX East over the multiple and multiple game developers panels everyone there constantly talk about how gaming retail companies like Best Buy, GameStop, and even Walmart goes up to these developers demanding/begging to be given an exclusive DLC, special editions of the game, or physical giveaway with the game’s launch.

With the exclusive nature of promotional gaming world, it feels a bit like some the most diverse version of national politics. Creating a atmosphere where people who subscribes to one party or belief are expected to constantly and exclusively side with that one side for the rest of their careers.

With all of of the exclusiveness deals and contracts going on it is surprising and refreshing to see a company work across the aisle to get the two major competing media companies to licence almost all of their creative universe and images to create a 3rd party game.

Something that is a bit more awe inspiring than that is how the Lego games have been able to grab other big name film licensees like, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Harry Potter saga and LucasArts’s Indiana Jones and Star Wars series.

 

When Lego approced DC and then Marvel it didn't hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

When Lego approached DC and then Marvel it didn’t hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

 

 


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