Electronic Arts recently announced the launch of their new division, focused entirely on esports. Within weeks, Activision, who had already launched its own esports department, announced they were acquiring MLG, one of the key brands in competitive gaming.
Back in 2008, while I was working at Xbox, I insisted emphatically that watching people play videogames was never going to take off. "If you're in front of a PC," I reasoned "you might as well just play the game yourself!" I never considered that people would be drawn in by the raw talent and dedication of pro players.
Akamai has been deeply embedded in the games industry for over a dozen years, and we've grown along with it. In a funny way, the games industry is converging around our core competencies. We've always delivered high quality streaming video all over the world, including esports, and we've always delivered giant software downloads as fast as we could push the tech to go. Now, we're doing both for the same companies, which is new.
Like EA, Activision, Microsoft and Sony are also investing in live streaming and esports. Software giants are getting into the broadcast game. It's an exciting time for us, and we're thrilled to see what's next.