E-sports is easily one of the fastest-growing trends in the world at the moment. With the world changing in a number of ways, it’s obvious that streaming-based sports are one of the top growth markets. This is why software developers are becoming so hugely important to the future of e-sports. 

With a new FIFA game released each year, the quality needs to be high, or fans will find a new game to watch, so EA continues to bring in new developers to keep the title at the top of the market. Similarly, Fortnite needs to keep innovating, or fans will get bored, so it means Epic has to make sure there is a constant stream of new developers on board. Is this a positive for e-sports and gaming in general? Or is it just another example of monopolization? We have taken a look at some big-name mergers and what it means for the industry. 

Evolution Gaming and BTG

One of the biggest mergers in recent times is Evolution Gaming acquiring Big Time Gaming. This caused a ripple of shock within the iGaming world for a number of reasons. While there are a lot of high-quality online casinos on the market, they are often ignored when it comes to the world of e-sports. However, what a lot of people don’t understand is that online casinos and sportsbooks are starting to take an interest in e-sports. Mergers between the top software developers in this market could have far-reaching impacts for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that e-sports could be seen as a potential competitor to the existing games that are available. So, with big-name companies merging, this could be a way to create the very best online casino games to make sure players don’t get bored and move away to betting on e-sports. 

Secondly, it could see the developers switching focus and trying to create a successful e-sports game. This is especially relevant with Evolution and BTG because the skills they have are perfect for the e-sports market. With Evolution Gaming specializing in immersive, live video streamed titles and Big Time Gaming dedicated to creating fun and engaging casino games, a partnership between the two could see an altogether new type of e-sports game. 

Of course, at this moment in time, there has been no announcement about what the focus of the new merger will be. With an ever-changing market, though, it would be foolish to rule out the potential for a new type of game to be developed in the near future. The acquisition of BTG follows on from Evolution Gaming taking over NetEnt in 2020, which was one of the biggest ever deals within the iGaming industry. Can we expect to see something special over the next few years? It’s looking likely. 

E-sports Rising

The rise of e-sports has caused the viewership of a number of other sports to take a bit of a hit. While the big names such as NFL and NBA tend to be relatively untouched, smaller sports such as pro wrestling have taken big hits. WWE recorded the lowest ever viewing figures for Monday Night Raw and Friday Smackdown recently. There are obviously a myriad of reasons that this has happened, but e-sports rising in popularity is one of them. This is because the potential viewers of the two cross over quite a lot. Both are aimed at the 12-25 demographic. Wrestling isn’t seen as cool anymore, but e-sports is. It’s led to a lot of the viewers switching over to alternatives. 

A lot of this is because e-sports offers the ability for players to genuinely see themselves in that position. Not everyone has the opportunity to be a pro sports star, but many people can play video games. With Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, FIFA and League of Legends all providing high-quality games in recent times, it means that players are becoming more and more interested in what e-sports could have to offer. The increasing prize money on offer is also a big reason why viewers and players are all starting to sit up and take notice. 

This has also spread out into the software developer world too. Mergers are taking place here where the big names are hoovering up as many innovative developers as possible. This is to make sure they have the best chance of creating the next unique hit on the market. 

EA Acquires Codemasters

Codemasters is a legendary UK-based game development studio. Over the years, it has created the Micro Machines series, Colin McRae Rally and the Dirt series of games. What do these all have in common? They’re all racing games. It’s no secret that EA wants to maintain its position as a market leader and racing games are certainly a sensible choice when it comes to e-sports. 

They have everything that viewers are likely to enjoy – excitement, tension and a high-level display of skills. With EA having dropped the ball a number of times in the past with its racing games, it makes perfect sense for it to acquire Codemasters. 

EA actually has a pretty good pedigree when it comes to racing games. It created the Need for Speed series back in the early 1990s, which was, for a long time, the benchmark for racing games. However, over the years, it has let its standards slip and this has led to a poor critical response for the games. Codemasters has regularly put out high-quality racing games over the last decade. This latest acquisition means that these games can now be released under the EA umbrella. 

With e-sports taking off and EA desperate to stamp itself on this new aspect to the industry, it’s likely that there will be e-sports-friendly racing games released from Codemasters in the near future. This merger could see players given the opportunity to enjoy high-quality racing action on a big stage. The negatives to this deal could see Codemasters’ games burdened with the microtransactions that EA are famous for. It’s important to keep watching to see how this unfolds.