At least I was up front about it. That’s more than VentureBeat can say.
I’m sure that a countable portion of the readership here wonders why my blood starts to boil anytime ‘more normal’ publications wade into esports waters. Which is fair, I suppose; any press is good press, right?
This isn’t simply idle optimistic conjecture, to be left to the unknowable vagaries of private financials and plenty of unpredictable variables. It’s pure, uncut, weapons-grade bullshit.
I tweeted that this statement was DELUSIONAL shortly after I saw it hit my esports timeline. That’s what it is! Projecting a healthy bit of overconfidence in the capabilities of your venture is one thing, but a cursory search about the NHL’s position should quickly sober up any rational, thinking person about to utter something of this magnitude.
And leave it to Midway, of all folks, to point out the following:
Despite being just on the other side of one of the more ridiculous labor disputes in modern professional sports, the NHL only took a revenue hit of twenty-five percent despite playing a season that was half the normal length.
Yup, still lookin pretty healthy.
So what would it take for this to not be bullshit? Well, starting from last year’s SEC filings and the most recent mention of their revenue that I can find, MLG would need to grow one hundred times over in three years, starting from the height of their Starcraft II boom-time.
That’s just not happening by selling stream passes, and running through ad inventory on those unwilling to pony up; particularly not up against a proven sports model that has a consistent physical presence across North America.
Looks like I’m not the only localization nutjob anymore.
But that’s not the point here. The point here is to continue this post’s Midway-link streak, correctly describing this behavior as serial, and calling out a complicit press. Just float some outlandish goal marker, and let the conveyor-belt tech and gaming press run with it. After all, they’re not going to fact-check it, or post their findings even if they did, because look-how-tech-is-changing-everything-dot-dot-dot-again fantasy generates more pageviews than reality.
And the reality is that leagues should bring some actual numbers – not in tidy little hype infographics about pageviews or streaming hours or unique viewers, but revenue and costs in a currency – or just shut up.