It’s interesting that the conglomerate didn’t decide to roll with EA eSports, EA Sports eSports or something cheeky like EAsPorts (I’m so sorry). Either way, EA’s expanding their eSports reach — and they’ve picked a fairly prominent executive to head up the division.
The news was announced by EA chief executive Andrew Wilson, and the division will be headed up by the company’s chief operating officer, Peter Moore. Wilson nominated FIFA, Madden, NFL and Battlefield as four titles in announcing the news on the company’s website, although the division will not be limited to running events for just those franchises.
Called the Competitive Gaming Division, the unit will concentrate on community building, “highly engaging competitive experiences” with EA titles, and developing “live events and broadcasting that bring the spectacle of competition to millions of people around the world”.
The last part is perhaps the most intriguing. eSports is making a significant effort to expand its presence across traditional broadcast channels, with ESPN, the Turner Legaue, Red Bull and others exploring various options for televising video game competitions.
Australia has enjoyed an expansion of competitive gaming on broadcast channels of its own this year, with FOX Sports broadcasting the Crown Invitational Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament and FIFA 15 earlier this year.
Another element of intrigue will be the potential changes this could have for the Battlefield franchise. The first-person shooter has always been attuned to some level of competitive play, but a variety of elements — the player counts, map sizes, spectator functions, and the game’s poor launch in 2013 — have always prevented it from enjoying the same success in eSports as Call of Duty or Counter-Strike.