You’ve undoubtedly heard about the infamous “World of Tanks” at least once. The free-to-play tanks shooter is now one of the largest multiplayer games around the globe. Yet and after spending more than $32 million dollars on holding competitive events, Wargaming still has no clear idea on Esports.
In a talk at the Casual Connect Europe conference in Amsterdam last week, Wargaming esports chief Mohamed Fadl spoke about how the company is still trying to get a grasp over the competitive gaming scene.
“We invested $32 million just into the top level of our esports initiative — not even on the whole infrastructure,” Fadl said. “We spent $10 million the first year in 2012. We started to stream it out and said, ‘Guys, are you happy with esports?’ But we realized quite quickly that we were far from [figuring it out] because we had no idea what esports is.”
World of Warplanes and World of Warships developer is only one of the many companies that are new to the competitive scene, and they’re all trying to figure out what exactly makes a company a successful Esports firm.
To help with that matter, Wargaming partnered with esports organizer ESL. That company improved the quality of the World of Tanks streams and the live events. ESL also helped get a better idea of what its audience wanted from competitive broadcasts.
“We have a financially strong audience, but a lot of them don’t know what esports is,” said Fadl. “They are older gentlemen. They’re not spending all their time on Twitch. This posed an interesting challenge because we didn’t know how — or if — we should be appealing to them with esports.”
Fadil continued to speak more about his company’s efforts in expanding World of Tanks and attracting its hardcore audience to Esports. Worth mentioning that the increasingly view rate is coming from younger generation who spends all of their time on Twitch without understanding the game, but the entertainment factor of it.
“If you [promote esports] to your audience, your most hardcore players will be interested,” said Fadl. “But the big audience on Twitch that has no clue about World of Tanks, they get enjoyment from the entertainment factor. This is my biggest advice. Focus on that.”
“We don’t make money from selling tickets,” said Fadl. “We don’t monetize there. We monetize through the player journey. We give content that is created and digested by everyone.”
World of Tanks is available on PC, consoles and mobile phones for free.