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Read this: Why we're all playing video games

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Why we're all playing video games…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts some newspapers of stop printing the hundred of the media the lockdown is proving to be an absolute goon and that video gaming playing when you're home with your friends online or just watching other people streaming themselves does record participation at the moment kids meeting their mates in Roblox parents are chasing each other in Call of Duty and grandparents well there chilling Animal Crossing already worth more than the music and video industry combined so today.

We then explore where the games industry is heading and why some very clever people are convinced that games like fortnite on just the future of entertainment, but the internet itself.

Let me introduce you to my panel Jason Kingsley as CEO with rebellion of British developer behind games like Sniper Elite franchise Jason welcome back to mediashow.

We had a few months ago.

One of your money side projects the TV and film studios who built and we last met when I was covering your latest virtual reality game in 2016 that is of course an eternity are going industry.

What's the latest houses selling what we've just released zombie army 4 worldwide and it's selling incredibly well and it's also out on Google stadia as well, which is interesting because that's cloud gaming and I think I'm going to talk about that a little bit in the in the future.

That's a really interesting development of delivery of content in games absolutely definitely gonna come to that in a bit, but how's the lockdown the triggered a surge in purchase for you in your other games in general.

Yes absolutely box sales for us, but we sell retail resale box goods via places like Amazon and other online retailers and also digitally on Steam and epic and things like that.

Got better brilliant.

I got some of the country's best gaming journalist with us to help make sense of this extraordinary industry Vic headlights for TechRadar Vic how's the lockdown treating you are games helping you escape.

Yeah, they are giving me a good time to work through the back catalogue of games that I've built up over the past few months and years, so it's Anita Wilson is a journalist with Eurogamer you've got a new podcast that was well.

If you haven't you on BBC sounds called the game that changed my life.

What's on about then conceived from an idea.

We had to bring the sort of Leicester told stories about game development than just how different people experience games to a wider audience so the ideas that you don't really have you play any of the games we talk about to enjoy it because we're really focused on the human stories behind it so we spoke to you know a couple who fell in love online through game we spoke to.

You got a job at NASA through game and you know it's just it's just been kind of Incredible that the breadth of stories that we've managed with that we've managed to unearth Alice alright yesterday afternoon.

You are streaming yourself playing a game.

What was that? Yeah? I stream pretty much every day these days as you say it's a really great time and we feel very lucky that were you able to continue streaming from home yesterday.

We were streaming a Resident Evil 4 at Eurogamer but we've also been streaming Final Fantasy VII remake and a couple of old retro Classics as well, so it's been really nice to actually reach our community on a more regular basis and also with us.

We have Robin Buchanan so Robin is the chief commercial officer of the Excel esports team running tell us about Excel because maybe a bit.

Yes, not too mate, but a lot of people in the space will have heard of it courses League of Legends particularly of recently.

We just signed a Jaden wolfiez Ashman in fortnite is as you saying we see ourselves as the oldest British esports organisations are these the words that were using to describe ourselves? We think that there's value in that in terms of the space that were in so we compete in the European League of Legends championships as well as the what's going to soon become the nlc the Northern League of Legends championships without League of Legends teams and fortnite so very exciting times a busy time for you.

No doubt.

Will it stick with the sports for a bit then sorry sports is the competitive playing a videogame in front of a live audience and in some tournaments with huge amounts of money normally these events take place in big Arenas but the pandemic is of course put paid to that but their booming online with record numbers no Robin you were a senior marketing executive for Adidas

Very recently that's a big leap to make from a very established industry to esports.

What was you thinking about that the proposition of Excel to be honest? I think that when you when you've done.

It works principally in football and of course the tradition of sports is that it grows and commercially those massive opportunity and it remains and I think as things will open up those those opportunities.

Will we go again but the opportunity in itself of Excel and entering into the probably the fastest growing but certainly and the sport that no one had ever heard of when you scratch the surface and discover.

What is absolutely tremendous so speaking with with the founder brothers of Excel as well as the Investment partners that became very very clear what the ambition was under yeah, so so you know it was absolutely perfect timing nose.

Because they can no longer go to these Arenas and play and a missing that yes, of course.

They're missing it but luckily the the industry is very agile and and riot as the title publishers.

They were very quick to turn this around into her into still a competitive environment so our teams have been completing our Academy team has completed remotely for the whole season anyway, so there's not much change there because the live audience end and the eyeballs on this then I driven through that have suffered.

So you know we look forward to of course getting into the space again into the studios and being able to play vs.

Just in front of the screen and could you describe us a bit about how the esports network works we know how the Premier League and the pressure tennis circuit are structured, but has it working in sports.

All is it from what I've discovered the the spread of it is quite different in different titles.

Who are the owners of the equivalent of the FA or FIFA UEFA but the title publishers.

What's that own the rights if you like and you either by into or enter into teams and entertains into the into the space that is very well organised to be honest not every single title of course for that in principle is very well.

That's when that's when entering into the space became in an absolute.

I open as to how how structured how quick evolving the spaces and how quick they are to turn around ideas into execution so very rewarding so far and tell us about the players themselves obviously at the moment.

They're all training separately in their different you know lockdown situations, but normally they come together this isn't there these are well paid professional athletes.

Yes, they are a very well paid a very well and is very well and certainly from an Excel point of view our philosophy is about performance at first and foremost.

We do focus on things like sleep like nutrition and fitness we get them into the gyms regularly throughout the week.

We ever performance coaching Focuses on that were fortunate in.

Gaming houses so whilst remote gaming is obviously on the cars.

They do tend to live with each other at LEC teams currently on summer break, so when they come back there again in Berlin where they can be a very wonderful dynamic and of course like-minded individuals can be very well as other team the team aspect of this is very much very much for front of mind and he was in action last week wasn't playing League of Legends which have already mentioned is actually one of the world's most watched games huge in the east, but a lot of people over this side of the world possibly don't know it.

Let's have a little clip of the events of last week.

He wants to see if you can work out what's going on, but no one's going to take that away and ok on their own teepee.

Play or Sonic wave does a Sunday might not be able to get into the deadly chasing him down ultimate their picks up the kill and now they're training Dragon 2 XL might actually get the first turret on the top side of that.

Ring me sports news new games that haven't played before because it just sounds like complete nonsense that was actually last night wasn't Robin how do you get on to well unfortunately? We we've now been eliminated from the Masters she just pointing however having gone basically.

I'm beating until the final of the of the as it was in the UK or see fantastic experience for the for the boys they doing very very well so despite.

Obviously been eliminated at this stage, but it's been a good season and as we like to see it.

It's very much about moving upwards and onwards and ensuring that the performance philosophy that we just really introduce at 6-months ago were comes into play a little bit more and more prominently really shows how competitive these games are now that was League of Legends it could could you just help us make sense of what we heard that what is this game and can you just so it's quite hard to describe sightseeing and even if you see it can be quite difficult to understand but the basic gist is that it's a mobile game so

Players on each side and aim of the game is to get to the other side of the map to destroy the other teams Nexus so but it's not quite simple as that is a lot of strain ever resolved.

There's some things you could hear their their Transit down drag and stuff like that that people are the teams can do too kind of improve her to improve their experience and it's it takes a while even watching it to pick up quite what is happening.

I went to the world's the last year and it was quite the spectacle.

It is massive, isn't it? Yeah? It's the size of any kind of big sporting event and that one was held in South Korea and you see people dressed up.

It's in it was in a mass of Stadium the they put in all the efforts that you would kind of expect from a big like.

Any sort of any sort of sport is fireworks those performers, so it is really is something that is as on par with any other source put on a great show how much money going into esports with big-name sponsors Robin your team sponsored by BT the appeal is for advertisers.

I think that it's people are slowly starting to realise that esports isn't just like a Kiki fat and it's the same as games generally people don't realise the strategy that goes behind it that a lot of people most anytime actually watching these the sports on Twitch and mixer for example.

So they're starting to realise that those appeal they are and that it's a great way to the kind of appeal to that younger demographic who are now growing up with this being the norm anything about what you'll sort of gaming consumption.

Are you across a Sportage you prefer to?

Play the play the of course yeah, but yes he supports would be esports is its own behemoth, really and I would be more on the side of a nice dream games.

Are you know I run a YouTube channel where we make videos about games when we're not playing them and even seen serious uptick in the amount of people who are consuming gaming content enjoying games and getting getting involved with games and I think a lot of other Industries are taking their cue from gaming as well in the last few days.

I've seen you know the industries in the music Industries using games like Animal Crossing as a way to reach out to new audiences anything for love people.

It's almost like this the sort of very strong suggestion that we all find ourselves in is a way not an excuse but an opportunity to get into something new where I mean gaming I can feel very intimidating if you.

Play the game you know where do you start and I think that now is the opportunity for research for dipping your toes into into what's out there and realising that it doesn't have to be these huge games like the phone Call of Duty and in fortnite and everything else there.

They're games out there for everybody and it needn't be a competitive multiplayer experience there are quiet again.

So enjoy and relax to and say get lost in and so many more places you can actually go to consumer games on there for example.

If you're just wanted to watch someone play YouTube is huge.

Obviously twitch which is owned by Facebook gaming just launched as well and they're all reporting record numbers of you, wasn't there yeah, it's been absolutely fusion.

I think it's been it's been an opportunity for us and your content creators to reach out to their communities and get involved in trying new things as well.

You know as someone before it's a very agile space and you.

Streamers have been set up to work from home for a very long time.

So they find themselves in this unique position where they are kind of ahead of the Pack and as other brands and other sorts of mediums are looking for ways to to continue broadcasting games.

Have a lot that they can teach when they can offer and run the camel in fortnite now course fortnite occupies this very place of being a game that so many people play It's a mass participation game but it's also one of those games that's being watched so much as well.

You've done the equivalent of PSG sign Neymar you've signed one of the world's best players recently before pressure on how you secure that deal can be described as first day.

What fortnite is yes, it's a technical team player or so embarrassed myself with this is obviously the most globally competitive globally probably the most prominent supporters a result of of the World Cup last year, where the

This amount of money work work work not thrown around at work obviously offer to the winners of the game and we're very fortunate to have been able to secure the second place basically in a duo.

Teen Wolf season 2 XL yeah.

I was there last year in New York at the World Cup for interview as he came off the stage and it was incredible hit the atmosphere.

There was under his shock at winning even coming second was palpable and the best thing was speaking to his mum because of course she she told me she admitted the gaming has been something I've been fighting with him for 4 years so tell us a bit about how you manage to send that deal to sign up the Star Player so one of them one of the course focuses of our philosophy is around performance in about basically being being mindful of your environment of your of your teammates how you live how you sleep and so again within the game houses we will order we will organise a beds for them to sleep on they all wear these oura rings in order to track their sleep methods and all this.

This was naturally from outside being being British there's a wonderful play that we know we speak to Jade and he was previously with a with a North American team and he likes you like the lot of stuff behind what it is that we trying to achieve how much do you have to pay and then we'll be asking because we know that he's already wealthy young man almost at the fortnite World Cup but yeah, I won't go into the details of the contract per se but yes, they are there any individual any professional game at the moment can claim command.

Obviously some some some good salaries.

We know that we know that from Call of Duty so it's no different in fortnite that teams.

Sorry that individuals will will join teams to to grow themselves to to focus on on elements that they may not be able to achieve a great opportunity for brand building course that will work on together not just with Will Facebook with without league teams and obviously in the future with other partners that we Join Together with.

Space situation whereby if they win certain things they get up a boost in a pair or is it a six-figure salary 70k salary regardless of her performance as in traditional Sports in individual have a different contract so it's not a like-for-like with with with in games or with any of the title, so they could be performance pieces of screaming in a little bit so a lot of athletes will get into the streaming side of things as well that drives eyeballs to 2xl which is of course a great result for us, but yes if I say they're not leaving badly any of these individuals and you know I wouldn't want to say we frame a contract that stuff and just around the salary.

It's definitely the wider.

Let's talk about daddy industry from the Games Makers point of view Jason Kingsley when you started rebellion the way you made money was very simple people paid upfront fee again.

They got a disc and that.

But now you're competing with games which are completely free to play with talks about fortnite of course.

There's the growing popularity of Call of Duty warzone has the popularity of these free to play games fundamentally changed how you run your business not really no basically what happened.

Is that the market for people playing games the number of people that play games has expanded massively to encompass people that would describe themselves as casual gamers who who might actually place quite a few hours a day, but they wouldn't identifies as a hardcore gamer two people that want to play games all the hardcore Sims like games like Evil Genius one of our friends against the AI or you can play it competitively against other people and those with different segments and it's a little bit like describing tennis.

You know you can play tennis.

Add an extremely competitive level in Wimbledon or we can go down to the local parks when you were allowed to and have a knockabout with some friends and enjoy yourself so I think games in comfort very very group of different types of experience.

So you don't feel that you have to have a foot in the kind of Arena filling side of gaming in order to have a successful franchise and successful business know you can definitely make a make a business as we do those successfully and instead of games which you buy as a finished product for a lump sum of money and spend a few hundred hours that we provide downloadable content for additional levels or additional outfits for the player there are optional and there an app to play the game they want and the one of the things about this sort of Netflix style of the Netflix of gaming whereby you don't actually own the games you pay a subscription.

I know that you mentioned earlier.

The latest game is on Google stadia.

That's that type of proposition, isn't it?

One of the one of the issues is that so many people you need the right kind of hardware to play a game and we have Xbox and PlayStation and PCs and those are the Walled Gardens but they are there any sort of infrastructure and clay between them is sometimes difficult or less seamless and it could be ideally what we want is anywhere on the screen and an internet connection.

We want people to be able to play our games and so streaming games where you don't actually stream the Ustream the the the the screen of the output that the hardware is embedded somewhere else on a big service somewhere throwing out the data that there will be seen on your screen.

So you could play a game that would require very powerful PC to play it but you could play it on your smartphone for example without the same framerate same fidelity, so that's the idea.

It's sort of it takes away.

To have a particular type of electronics under your telly, so when you when you give your game over to something like Google stadia, what what cut do they taken? You know someone's paying per month? They're not buying your game itself.

So how did it work in terms of the money work? How does the money move around? What were exploring different business models there so the way we look at it at the moment.

Is that it's an opportunity to market share.

Obviously Google Play something decent amount of money to have to promote their system.

So there's a business deal done there, but we see it not so much as a way of making money now, but as a way of spreading our brands and the type of games that people are aware of for us.

So we are the Future the company.

We're going for 1330 years now and we don't have anybody else invested in the company its us and Our Stars

Team games and so what we're trying to do is build for the future and so therefore getting involved in technology really early for us.

Is is what we do anyway love technology and storytelling and and competitive stuff early is great and learning about the industry and the way the industry is changing and it's always changes and the game analysis of commentators.

Have you tried out Google stadia? Do you think this is something that's going to be a big thing you've had on life.

You've had PlayStation now and they've always I think it's a great idea and I really hope for that.

They are successfully implemented but again the date does depend on an internet connection and a lot of people I think still it would have to be a solid internet connection at that beginning of may be known as the time especially when when people.

You know there is obviously they can go out and buy physical physical games it certainly would help to have a theory or system.

Whereby you can download that you can play any game at any time, but yeah, I tried I tried to do a briefly but I think that was the right start with some teething issues.

You know personally speaking I like you.

I like I have that have the tap on hand already so I tend to go for for the title, so that I can sort of download and keep but I can absolutely see that is as a you know as an accessibility point for all who don't have the hardware may be at home.

So that some people look at fortnight and see not just the future of gaming bit of the internet itself and the reason they say that is because we're that fortnite turning itself into something much bigger than just a game last year clips of the new Star Wars film premiere inside the game and just a couple of weeks back over 27 million people took part in a virtual concert inside fort.

What US rapper Travis Scott way to be with the theory is that fortnite could become a destination for entertainment full stop the boss of the studio has even said he sees fortnite is a platform in the future.

Not just a game they certainly got the number of The Social Network over there with over 100 billion players.

We haven't had to go for a long time of course but Jason does this worry you know your belly and you've got this independent rebellious spirit and here we have one company potentially dominating and of course we not to mention the fact that 40% of the company is owned by tencent the Chinese giant in my experience all these detect joints are brilliant to work with pretty much all of them and then we have a good relationship with them very fantastic position to be able to

Leverage the money that fortnite is making them in the quality of that title and expand into other areas and that's very very exciting and monopolies always worry me a bit but they can be benevolent as well sometimes.

We have a lot of especially in the games area we have actually a surprisingly large number of benevolent powerhouses Steam and epic PC distributors about actually like we find them very very good to work with and very they embrace your business models and I tried to help you be successful, because it helps them be successful, so I don't find it.

I mean that the global industry here.

I mean the fact whether the Chinese have got a part ownership of Epic is is broadly relevant and speak to Tennyson we sell our games in China as well, and they are usually enthusiastic games players they've been a baby great to work with we work for them as well and it's sort of.

How do you think it is very positive having a global market out there available to us to share the future of you that we could be heading in.

I think we should not lose sight of you.

You are beginning with music and and the culture of gaming is growing and there's no hiding behind that I see no harm in people into a space that they feel comfortable and growing with it and engaging with like-minded and and obviously very open minded and loyal individuals now.

I'm I'm absolutely for the space to grow I think that again in terms of the agility of It Moves at a PACE that lets you know some of the traditional sports or traditional cultures to learn from so absolutely everything to come you're excited by the prospect.

Uno games can get involved in other Industries the better.

I mean it's not going to affect the gaming is so vast and it's such a rich tapestry night with you know the big Blockbuster games, but you've also got any amazing indie titles which are only broadening the scope of things the game and can do and share there.

Is there can be the Instinct to be like oh, maybe the silver bit worrying.

It's Martin Scorsese being like being really against the Marvel films for the cinema right like that.

Yeah, of course if there is a powerhouse there you can feel threatened by it but I really only see it is potentially good.

It would be a problem if everyone just assumed all gaming was fortnite and fortnite was all gaming but that simply isn't the case gaming is broader and more exciting this ever been trying all the time and we can talk about this for hours on Friday so we got time for Andrea is back next week.

My thanks to all of our guests today.

It could be for Wilson Robert mccammon, and Jason Kingsley thanks also to do.

Engineer today and thanks to you for having.

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