It's been an amazing past few years for the competitive gaming community, because it seems like there's a new article published every other day that shines new light on eSports. And sure enough, one recent headline in particular caught my attention, and it spells even more good news for those of us who love throwing down against one another in gaming.
Apparently one of the biggest theatre chains in North America, Cineplex, has spent millions of dollars to bring eSports into its venues.
The company shelled out $10 million to purchase World Gaming's operational assets, which means truly awesome things for professional gamers residing in Canada. Why? Because they'll be able to compete against each other on the big screen in theatres across the nation, that's why.
And even though this is only a development for the Canadian pros out there, it has the potential to mean big things across the entire community. If Cineplex is willing to invest in what we're doing, surely other chains across the globe (and here in the UK, hopefully!) will do the same at some point in the near future.
It'll just need to make some money, of course, but that shouldn't be too difficult given how popular eSports has become and continues to be. Not only that, but some companies are already seeing increased revenue thanks to competitive gaming.
Both Activision Blizzard and NVIDIA, which publish games and create gaming hardware, respectively, have benefitted. This makes sense, of course, as Activision Blizzard is behind the ridiculous cash cows known as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and many others. As for NVIDIA, well, you probably have one of their graphics cards in your gaming rig.
Other companies have had their luck go up, too, particularly one that's in its own corner of the marketplace: online gaming.
Now, traditional gamers may not recognise this arena as similar to their own, but think of it this way: what's more competitive than putting your own money on the line? Well, apparently plenty of people are doing it, because one of the bigger gaming groups, Gala Coral, is reporting strong numbers. Their bingo site, which you can view here, is doing exceptionally well, particularly with its mobile division that has seen an 82%t increase over last year's numbers.
It's crazy to think about where our community came from in the early-to-mid 1990s, when gamers were seen as unfortunate stereotypes who didn't like to socialise, play with others, etc. Now, gaming is easily one of the biggest industries, thanks in part to the always-growing behemoth that is competitive gaming.
And just think: if it's this huge right now, how much bigger can it possibly get? Whatever happens, it's safe to say I can't wait to see where it goes, and I (and my rig) will be ready.