Electronic Arts is throwing its hat even further into the eSports arena by announcing a competitive gaming division.
The announcement was made Thursday in a blog post by CEO Andrew Wilson, who indicated the group will allow “global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more.”
Another company putting more chips down on eSports isn’t news on its own (Activision announced something similar in October), but what is interesting is that Wilson also announced COO Peter Moore will be leaving his current job at the end of the current fiscal year to become the executive vice president and chief competition officer for the new division.
“There is no one better in our industry to lead this new effort than Peter,” Wilson said. “He was an early pioneer in championing competitive gaming programs, such as the FIFA Interactive World Cup and the EA SPORTS Challenge Series, and Peter’s personal passions for the player experience, sports and competition, make him a tremendous leader for this new division.”
eSports is not unfamiliar to EA. Players of “FIFA” have been competing in the “FIFA” Interactive World Cup, ESL One will host a championship with “Battlefield 4” and “Madden NFL” Live Challenge is returning.
The big question here is whether the company will tailor more of their successful franchises with eSports in mind (a trend that is happening more and more) or if they will create an entirely new IP from the ground up that can be a CGD launchpad.
If that is the case, they’ll have to play the ever-difficult see-saw of making a game accessible and providing the professional tier gamers what they want and need to fully adopt it.