All posts by jacrossm

The Free-to-Play Model, and Game Economics

This last article I found is unlike the others in that its focus is less on esports and more on games in general. It still applies to my topic and contains useful information about game economy. League of Legends is a Free-to-Play game, and has it’s own in-client store where you can purchase accessories for use in-game. The thing that Riot does right with League however that other companies butcher, is that League of Legends is not a “Pay-to-Win” game. The accessories you buy have no effect on the outcome of the game, and it is possible to be the rank 1 player in the game without spending a single dollar at the store. The largest form of income from the game’s store is in cosmetics, that is, the “skins” you can buy that change your character’s in-game appearance. The more fearsome or detailed the skin, the higher the price. The part that might surprise you though is the amount of money this game actually makes without forcing you to spend anything. As an esport model, free games will always attract more players, and just like you can pick up a soccer ball and play right away with friends, so too can you download League of Legends and play right away with friends. I will definitely include a section of my final paper on this business model and its success, especially in the face of subscription-based online games like World of Warcraft.

A Look at Game Aesthetics: MOBA

After searching for a while for an article that might examine the overall aesthetics of the genre I will be discussing, the MOBA, I finally found one, and it even goes into detail about League of Legends, my example game. This paper from the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that “MOBAs present a rare study of the ‘rhetoric of the imaginary’ in play theory applied to popular game design.” It also asserts that, “The genre’s reification in commercial forms such as League show how the attitudes of distributed design projects manifest themselves as values of play.” This information will be especially useful to me when I describe how the MOBA works, how it is tailored for esports and competition, and how League of Legends specifically adds unique elements of the game that add to the overall experience of playing.

League of Legends and the Sentimental Education of Esports

This thesis written by a scholar of Georgia State University is a highly detailed 96 page thesis which seeks to “understand the relationship between e-sports and the ideology of neoliberal economics,” by examining the game League of Legends. Obviously this thesis contains way more information than I’ll need in a 2,000 word research paper, however there are a ton of useful details that I could use, as well as numerous citations I can look at to find a more narrowed down view of the subject. I do expect to be citing this thesis in my own paper, if for nothing more than a brief look at the ideologies mentioned throughout then text.

Hinnant, Neal C., “Practicing Work, Perfecting Play: League of Legends and the Sentimental Education of E-Sports.” Thesis, Georgia State University, 2013.

Success Factors for Esport Games

With the thousands of video games currently released, only a select few are capable of attaining the esport title. Even fewer garner the attention of the biggest esports such as League of Legends, Starcraft II, or DOTA 2. This article seeks out the answer for why that is by researching what these esport games have in common, and what other games that are not accepted as esports lack. The spectrum of games compared is spread across six different games, which include the most popular ones such as: Starcraft 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Halo 4, Super Street Fighter IV, League of Legends, and FIFA ’12. Six games with five unique genres are compared to show similarities or differences in gameplay, viewer focus, and whether or not the game has an active esports developer. These games are then compared against games such as Minecraft, Civilization V, and Diablo III, to see if any pattern exists to reveal why these games dont take off as esports. Certainly an interesting read and useful for my paper.

Evolution of the Gaming Experience

This particular article talks about a broad evolution of gaming from singleplayer and local multiplayer, to online multiplayer, to spectator entertainment through the use of IPTV, to esport. It asks questions such as:

“How has the rise of live online video broadcasting affected the growth of the eSports industry?”

“How has live online video broadcasting affected how video game players interact socially with their community?”

“Why do viewers tune into live streams?”

and attempts to find answers for them in its own research. All three of these questions are integral to my own research and answering them will be important to my paper. I recall a post made by professor Reid about geek culture in which he stated that geeks and gamers used to be known as social pariahs, but now have evolved into something different. I very much agree with his assertion, and I hope to also prove the social aspect of gaming and esports in my paper as well, with the help of this and other articles.

Comparison of eSports and Traditional Sports Consumption Motives

This study comes from two researchers at Ball State University and Xavier University. It says it has “explored 14
motivational factors affecting the time spent on eSports gaming. ” The proposed purpose of the study was to find out if the markets of esports and traditional sports are two distinct markets or if there are similarities between the two that compliment one another. The study does show some correlations between the two markets, which can imply esports as sustainable a scene as traditional sports. This news is very positive for esports and furthers my own study of the relevancy of gaming as a sporting event. A study like this is useful in my own research and I will no doubt include this information in my own paper.