Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Invests to Boost e-Sports

Microsoft Campus
The Visitor’s Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) wishes to boost the appeal of its Halo game franchise amid professional gamers. Subsequently this year the organization will debut the first Halo World Championship an esports contest with prize money being one million dollars. Microsoft made the announcement at the Gamescom conference.

The prize money is the biggest for a Halo tournament. Halo 5: Guardians is set to release on October 27 and will be the latest installment of the Halo franchise.

Halo 5: Guardians will showcase interstellar combat. It has stunningly realistic graphics and multiplayer capabilities. The Halo series has grossed more than $3.5 billion in worldwide sales. Microsoft the company behind the game cannot rest on its laurels. Other big game franchises such as Call of Duty have left the Halo series behind. Hence Microsoft is concentrating on the lucrative market of competitive video games specifically the elite gamers.

The competitive video game world is also known as e-sports. The latter was long not a priority for game makers. However the scenario is fast changing. E-sports events fill big stadiums and millions of viewers are glued to live video of competitions.

Presently for Microsoft and other game creators’ e-sports is a channel to extend a game’s reach to a very dedicated bunch of gamers. As a result Microsoft declared on Tuesday that its Halo contest will have cumulatively $1 million as winner’s prize money.

Partly the enthusiasm of companies is because of the money flowing into e-sports. Revenue from corporate sponsorships, e-sport events, tickets and other channels are anticipated to rise by 30% to over $250 million in 2015, as per Newzoo a prominent market research firm.

Globally there are over 113 million e-sports fans. In their eyes e-sports competitors are icons. They are a huge revenue generating opportunity for game makers such as Microsoft. Popularity among eSports professionals as well as their fans could keep Halo 5 in the spotlight long after launch.

Sources: nytimes, cnet