News corporations are keen to jump on the esports & video gaming bandwagon
Most of us will play video games as a kind of entertainment. But an ambitious new project looks to make video gaming platforms a central place where you can read the latest news. The owner of the LA Times newspaper recently made the surprising announcement in a bid to boost flagging sales across the traditional print media news format.
Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong unveiled the plans that could see content from LA Times appearing on many gaming platforms where you may usually go to play and watch video games. It’s as yet unclear as to how Soon-Shiong’s vision will work in practice, but expect to see news feeds hitting everything from a Twitch.tv streaming channel to being embedded in the latest blockbuster gaming release.There will probably be many gamers who will be aghast at the prospect of having their gaming entertainment interrupted by current affairs stories. But the LA Times owner hopes that his ambitious plan will help to create a much less apathetic and better informed generation of young gamers.
It has already been noting how many young people tend to shy away from traditional news channels, and instead favour content published on social media sites. But with concerns about the rise of ‘fake news’ and widely perceived tribalism, it’s hoped that Soon-Shiong’s plan can help gamers stay engaged in current world events.
Soon-Shiong has already made some notable moves in the gaming realm. The businessman made a sizeable investment in the Daybreak Game Company who have already made waves with the H1Z1 battle royale title that was widely seen as being a precursor to the Fortnite gaming phenomenon.
In addition to this, the LA Times owner has also made big steps to help Los Angeles become a new epicentre for esports gaming. The LA Times Center will be a high-tech multi-purpose entertainment space, but it’s thought that esports could soon be a fixture here as Soon-Shiong has already seized control of the PC H1Z1 league.
It remains to be seen whether this will match the success enjoyed by Los Angeles’ other premier esports tournament, the Overwatch League, but it’s sure to add an extra level of interest in the game. Soon-Shiong has already expressed his belief that esports are just like traditional sports, and his offer to provide space at the LA Times Center for the LA Lakers NBA 2K League esports team shows just how serious he is about boosting the profile of esports within the city.
But is Soon-Shiong’s vision to make video games and news content go hand in hand a step too far? The businessman has already found success in all manner of unlikely projects that range from developing cancer drugs to overhauling the public health system. So it remains to be seen whether you will soon get to read the latest political news whilst you watch the best esports teams in action. But it seems that video games are now very hot property amongst leading figures from the business world.