I need to pay attention to numbers in upcoming events. Had an idea spark up and following it is going to be a ton of annoying work.
— Brad Carr (@bcarr) July 2, 2013
The larger idea that prompted the above tweet is the following: is the viewership to players ratio for any given game a factor in esports marketing ventures?
I’d like to take a look at the numbers game, so to speak, behind esports events and broadcasts. What is coveted ‘critical mass’ behind the explosive growth and inevitable decline of a game’s viewership?
I want to try to understand this particular train of thought because I’m not sure there are many marketing perspectives from the video game industry’s side of esports. Perhaps that’s why Valve hid Dota 2 behind the beta invite wall for so long? Maybe that’s why Activision could throw a million dollars at Call of Duty one year and not do the same the next year? What gave Blizzard the idea that its much smaller scene could support the reformation of its World Championship Series events against its competitor’s League Championship Series? Why did Shootmania never ascend to replace Quake?
As with anything esports-related, the scope of the initial questions that has prompted me to look into things as simple as numbers has outgrown its initial goals over time. Of course, this also means taking the time to actually sit down and watch these events, something that I really haven’t done lately. Which series of events for each game should I start with? This is the crazy question I’ll have to answer first, really.
Maybe it’ll get me excited about esports again.