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esports
FIFA 17

Peter Moore: Esports "a real growth factor" in the future

We talked with EA's esports chief in Paris.

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During the first final of the FUT Championship Series in Paris Gamereactor got the chance to speak with EA's Peter Moore, and Moore shed some light on his thoughts towards esports in general, and when asked about how he thought it was evolving, he said:

"I think it's been one of the more exciting developments in the industry in the 18 years that I have been involved in video games. Obviously powered by our need to compete which we always had in games and in particular sport games where, you and I on the couch, playing against each other and then in more recent years online has just exploded, the ability for us to play with anyone, anytime, anywhere. And from that it's been a huge opportunity for Electronic Arts to apply our franchises such as FIFA to competitive gaming. We still got lots of work to do, but I think It's going to be a real growth factor in video games over the next five years."

In terms of esports potential, he sees a lot to be excited about too. "I actually went a year, last November, to San Jose which is not too far from EA's headquarters, on a weekend tournament, the Intel Extreme Masters, and stood in a arena where generally the San Jose sharks play NHL hockey and saw 12,000 screaming fans watching the best players of League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike : GO, and watching what seems to me to be, the atmosphere of a traditional sports event," he said. "And right there and then, even if I couldn't really understand the action on the screen for MOBAS, I've started to learn that, I could see the electricity in the audience. You could look at the fans, you could feel the tension building, just like in traditional sports. And it was at that moment, about a year and a half ago that I really understood what the opportunity was for our industry."

In terms of French esport specifically, we asked whether he thinks it'll last. "Oh I think it will last, absolutely. I mean when you think of the French market I have been blessed to have been involved here for many, many years going back to my Sega days, and I saw how powerful the video game industry market player base is in France, and again when you think of games, like we're here today to see FIFA, and you think about what I know has been a great dedication of French players in esport, I think it's a huge opportunity to continue to build, here, in the French market, with French players, deeper engagement, deeper interest and make it even more mainstream that it currently is. I think that some of the challenges our industry has is that people see games as a little bit of a niche. But as you know we're not, we're mainstream media, we are the choice of media for the generations that are coming up right now, the millenials primarily. And so, from that perspective, anything that adds engagement, deep engagement is a huge plus."

"It's going to be interesting today to see today what happen here, I mean this is a reason that we are here in Paris today (Saturday February 4th), this is our first FIFA major and we chose Paris, we chose to be here, many of the crew, as you can see, has flown over America, we have probably 50 or 60 people here, EA and contractors [...] And there's a reason we came here, it's because It's one of the key market and seeing which French players play well today is going to be interesting."

We also asked whether he thinks all games will be conceived in terms of esports in future. "I don't know all games, I think there are genres, RPG, I don't know a role-playing game, I think of Dragon Age or whatever... I just don't see that, it's very complicated. Mass Effect, maybe, but again Mass Effect is about open world and exploration, but obviously there's action in there, there's combat in there , so there's maybe there, but I think there are certain genres that are for sitting back, either playing with friends, but not aggressively competing against people."

Do you think all games are esports in some way?