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eSports and Livestreaming Buoy PC Gaming (hopesandfears.com) 74

An anonymous reader writes: PC gaming seems to have fended off the threat from consoles, and it's due in no small part to livestreaming services and eSports. The PC gaming hardware industry is undergoing a resurgence, contrary to the predictions of even five years ago. The community that has sprung up around livestreaming self-promotes far better than any individual gaming company could hope. It's gotten to the point where developers are starting to think about the "streamability" of their game as they're building it. "There are plenty of things to avoid when building a game for livestreaming as well—specifically, anything that slows down the action. ... A good streaming game can't waste too much time in confusing menus or with difficult setup, either." One of the big questions now is whether VR technology will fit into this growing niche. A spectator mode that uses VR could be as much of a killer app as a great VR game.
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eSports and Livestreaming Buoy PC Gaming

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I interviewed for a "Competitive" QA position at a AAA developer recently, and they were very interested in live-streaming expertise going into it. They were specifically looking to make this game an 'esport' from the ground up. It seemed as if they were trying to capitalize on a growing trend, instead of making a great multiplayer game. An indication of the direction the AAA gaming industry is headed, I suppose.

    • when superficial things like this are on the top of the list of must haves in a game, it really does hurt the end product.
      • by ADRA ( 37398 )

        There's nothing superficial about esports. I played DOTA 2 singly because I learned to play from streamers / pro leagues. Valve would've be a lot less rich if they hadn't embraced the gaming audiences in pro/semi-pro DOTA2 leagues. The game is great, but it takes stupidly large amounts of time to get 'good' at. It could never grow to the level that it has if it wasn't for a very good Esports format (inherited largely from DOTA1, but improved and streamlined) and a dedicated series of streamers that make the

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          Personally, I'd rather watch people play than walk through tutorial missions for the first N hours of the game, but to each is own.

          To each his own indeed.

          Personally I'd rather gouge my eyes out than watch some Rando play a game I just bought, or was about to buy. Between the spoilers and having every decision you get to make already analysed by someone else would completely rob me of any desire to even play the game.

          (And yes, tutorial missions are ass too unless they are optional.)

          And streamers irritate me on multiple levels. Lets say I dominate at some game or other, do the poor saps thrown up against me in casual play really deserve

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I don't play games, haven't since Fallout 2 - I blame it on my buying Fallout Tactics as I've never really played a game since, and I've watched a few gaming sessions on Twitch. I didn't really enjoy it. On the other hand, back home, I've a an XBox One that I've never actually played a single game on - I've only held the controllers to do setup. I have friends that game and I enjoy watching them. I like watching someone play role playing games but they're right in the room.

            I doubt that makes much sense to a

    • Wow real QA that is big some places don't do a good job with that. I know one place (withheld) that makes (withheld) and there software testing part of seems to be let the end users be the testers and they seem have the release now (some times with features that is not complete at the time) update later idea.

      I think they do some testing but may be lacking the out of box thinking type of QA testing. In gaming you just don't the TOP players to be your testers and you also need people that are more of a QA tes

  • Because when I'm up late at night "working" in my office, I'm often really fragging noobs. This way the wife and kids stay asleep...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    > A good streaming game can't waste too much time in confusing menus or with difficult setup
    Lies. A good game will be enjoyable to watch streaming.
    It might not get millions of viewers, but I still enjoy factorio, dwarf fortress, and EU4 streams.

    • by n0w4k ( 3643913 )

      It might not get millions of viewers, but I still enjoy factorio, dwarf fortress, and EU4 streams.

      I also play and watch EU4 from time to time. And it can be a really slow game. But it's up to the player to make it enjoyable to watch. Nothing beats a 5 min long deliberations which idea group goes next and why, while the game itself sits paused.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In an effort to capture a wider audiences the consoles became very risk averse and bland. Anything remotely interesting or new now happens in the PC space.

    Indy games, esports, streaming are all very community driven. Consoles are anything but community oriented because you have to be very "hands off" with a community or you'll choke it to death. Consoles are about controlled environments and communities don't work there.

    • Consoles suck in many ways long term pc guy / gamer.

      Lack of mods

      Lack of / limited user maps

      To many things censored

    • Indy games, esports, streaming are all very community driven.

      And all 3 of those things exist on consoles. Where did you come from 1985?

      Consoles are about controlled environments and communities don't work there.

      They don't? Who says? Someone needs to tell Gamefaqs. Console gamers have been forming their own communities for years. Speedrunners, console MMO players, fighting game players, whatever.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:10PM (#50805955)

    PC gaming does not need to be propped up and it never has needed it. Consoles are still limited special-purpose devices that do not do most things a PC or do them badly. PCs can not only be gaming machines, they are still general-purpose computers with general-purpose OSes. And they can be much more powerful than consoles, just as desired by the owner. They have a far better user interface. And the time where consoles have been programmed to fit the raw hardware are long over. It does make sense these days to develop for Console and PC at the same time. It can also make sense to develop PC-only to get around the limitations consoles have and always will have. But it makes no sense at all with regards to technology to develop console-only.

    The nature of the PC appeals to enough people that PC gaming will stay around until some really fundamental change (not what the press calls "fundamental" these days, but a real game-changer), and consoles will not be what replaces the PC.

    • PCs are general purpose, but who buys an expensive desktop with a graphics card any besides a gamer? Gaming computers are essentially specialized devices that happen to be able to do Windows. They don't run Office or browse the web any better than a cheap laptop, and they're loud, expensive, and bulky.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        PCs are general purpose, but who buys an expensive desktop with a graphics card any besides a gamer? Gaming computers are essentially specialized devices that happen to be able to do Windows. They don't run Office or browse the web any better than a cheap laptop, and they're loud, expensive, and bulky.

        Apparently you're about 10 or 15 years out of date. You can build a PC for $300 that has better performance than both the xbox one and PS4. There's no need to build a "specialized PC" for only gaming, oh and if by loud you mean about 38DB or less, and bulky as in it's smaller than an overnight bag. I suppose.

        • Yeah right. Please post the parts list for that $300 gaming PC. Include $100 for Windows. You'd need at least $500, and that doesn't include the cost of one's time.

          • Why Windows? PS4 doesn't run Windows, and neither do all gaming rigs.
            • Well if that PC wants to play WoW, ESO, or Fallout 4, or Dragon Age inquisition, or Star Wars Battlefront or Diablo 3, or antything other than some indies/kickstarter titles..it has to be running Windows.

              And don't tell me as a PC Masterrace type that you're INTENTIONALLY going to cripple the graphics by running them under the DX9 equivalent that is WINE. You KNOW that the "Master Race" types don't run anything other than Wndows

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            Sure there ya go. Oh and you can get Windows for about $15, legally. [reddit.com] I should have said $400, but it's close enough, since the price of PC hardware has been going up the last 5 months or so. Not much, but enough to make a difference.

            Sorry, you wanted something else? Even at $400 it's enough to bury both consoles into the ground. And most sales for both consoles start at $399, maybe with one game if you're lucky. Where as you could start up on a PC with an internet connection and find a few thousand a

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Well, mine is not "loud, expensive or bulky". It has significant speed advantages. It runs a lot more than a web-browser or Office. You would not know, because you obviously are talking out of your backside.

        • And a cheap laptop runs a lot more than Office or a browser, too. My point is that graphics cards and the like are not particularly useful for people who want to use a PC for normal purposes.

      • Yes, my PC is expensive. It's probably $2K if you buy all components now, maybe more.
        Yes, it's bulky.
        No, it's not noisy at all. It only becomes slightly noisy (meaning "you can hear it") when playing GPU-intensive games. The upcoming watercooling GPU upgrade will take care of that as well. When browsing or encoding, it's so silent that the noisiest things in the room are the mouse click sounds and my farts.
        But my 4 VMs, my generous internal storage space (7 TB), my ability to use 2x 1920x1200 monitors and w

    • How I love slashdot, first we have guys like you who say:

      Consoles are still limited special-purpose devices that do not do most things a PC or do them badly Consoles are still limited special-purpose devices that do not do most things a PC or do them badly. PCs can not only be gaming machines, they are still general-purpose computers with general-purpose OSes.

      Then we have other guys who say things like:

      "The average user is too stupid to maintain a general purpose Windows computer, they are better off using tablets, iDevices, and locked down Linux boxes."

      Windows, is a general purpose OS, it is NOT designed for gaming. While you "can" game on it, that doesn't mean you "should" Sure, a Windows machine can run Office, Adobefoo or even Bonzi Buddy and a PS4 can't, but that's partly the point. The PS4 doesn't

      • My PC as deployed as a HTPC/Steam Machine is exceptional even using Win 10 as the OS. (i use it because the machine holds no sensitive data). I dont expect it to do my taxes or serve files. I dont have to worry about casual infection because i generally dont surf the web on it. If i do its on VERY trusted sites. It is for all practical purposes a 'console' that boots into Steam Big Picture Mode. The main difference being i can drop back to the desktop if i need to do some work under the hood. Its spends 99%
        • I suppose you could argue that PC = microcomputer, not mainframe but i think in this context you are just being disingenuous.

          Why yes, a PC IS a microcomputer, not a mainframe. Space War, Hunt the Wumpus or Willy Higinbothams Tennis for Two is not PC gaming. Electronic Gaming yes, but not PC Gaming. I define PC gaming as being in the "home" and being "mass market"

          I also don't count any gaming on an Altair or other S-100 bus machine to be PC gaming, those were hobbyist toys for bearded engineers with money to burn on a new playtoy. Not machines for the masses.

          Now gaming on the Apple II, Commodore PET/CBM/VIC or TRS 80 Model...no

    • The pundits are morons. There's simply no polite way to say it, and they've been wrong so many times about the "death" of various markets, it's ridiculous. How many failed predictions of doomed platforms do I have to recount? Let's reminisce...

      I'm sure we can all remember the "PC gaming is dying" hype of the last... what... several decade now? It's about as much as a meme as "Year of Linux on the Desktop". Does anyone also remember in the middle of the last console generation how some pundits thought t

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Indeed. These morons also completely overlook that much old tech does not go away, but gets used in addition to new tech. Like paper does not look to ever become obsolete, just used less for some applications. Or the blackboard. When I want to sketch something, I use paper or a modernized version of the blackboard, named a whiteboard. Forget any and all "tablet" applications for that, too bad image, too bad UI, slow, need backup, etc. Paper and the whiteboard are almost perfect and no electronic thing will

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine a skater game where you get points from your spectators when they like your tricks (they get an "applause" button to click or something). Where the spectators are represented in-world as some sort of camera drone that you can grab, throw, etc. Make it competitive, and let you steal your competitor's spectator drones and force them to cheer for you instead.

  • by blue9steel ( 2758287 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:38PM (#50806079)
    Streaming and eSports have little to do with it, the resurgence is due to the broad availability of games at reasonable prices from services like Steam & GOG.
    • I think it can be both. Also that PC hardware is viable longer (if you don't buy something shitty to start with) than it used to be and also probably longer than the life cycle of current consoles that want you to re-buy your entire library of games every few years while billing you for online play which is free on PC (still has the cost for the net connection but that's the same for the console). There are also a shit ton of decent indie games, I regularly check indiegala/indieroyale/groupees/bundlestars/h

  • Judging by the reaction of my dog when she watches me play video games, I really don't get livestreaming video games. I do a speed run through Shadow of Mordor and she's over there on her back, sleeping and passing wind.

    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
      True. At the same time, I don't understand football and baseball fans, either, nor NASCAR, golf, and even fishing tournaments are broadcast.
      • At the same time, I don't understand football and baseball fans, either, nor NASCAR, golf, and even fishing tournaments are broadcast.

        I don't care for fishing tournaments on TV, but the old-fashioned fishing show, where it was two guys in a boat talking quietly about baits and lures and waiting for something to bite were some of my favorite television of all time. I don't know why I found it so relaxing. They used to come on Saturday and Sunday mornings about 5-6 am and I'd go down to the sofa and turn on

        • World of Virgil Ward? Just something about that show.

          [quote]Quiet, unexcited voices and pictures of open spaces. A goal that is always out of view. Very zen-like.

          And I neither golf nor fish.[/quote]

          Have you played some of the more casual golf games? Something like Hot Shots Golf? I'm not a golfer either but after playing a demo of what was it... #3 I was like "Hey, I like this, it's relaxing and fun" Zen-like. Don't know if there's a PC equivalent to the HSG series.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      That depends in part on to what extent the publishers are willing to allow streaming of their copyrighted games [arstechnica.com].

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        That's why Turner is working in conjunction with Valve, not just arbitrarily deciding to broadcast the game. Besides, I don't think Super Smash Brothers would fill an arena the way CS:GO and League of Legends does, but that's just me (for the record, I wouldn't pay to see any of it).
      • As the Article shows, Nintendo allowed the streaming. As you've been told before the ONLY publisher that doesn't really get streaming or online gaming in general is Nintendo. Everybody else is on board. So it's NOT a problem.

        • the ONLY publisher that doesn't really get streaming or online gaming in general is Nintendo

          The article I linked also mentions Capcom, and another article mentions Activision Blizzard [wikipedia.org].

          • The article I linked also mentions Capcom

            I just opened up a new tab, went to twitch and am watching a Ultra SF IV stream.

            another article mentions Activision Blizzard.

            And now I'm watching a stream of Diablo UEE. Didn't you notice the dates in that article and that it was talking about streaming pro tournaments in Korea in 2008? Your reading comprehension is faulty because of the axes you like to grind. You only see the things that reinforce your axes.

            As I've said before, when you get some idea or outdated information stuck in your head you just don't let go. Stop being such a parroting r

            • My point is that copyright law gives video game publishers the power to set restrictive policies. Your point appears to be that most relevant publishers have not chosen to assert restrictive policies, and that their policies can change and have changed. But they can change in both directions.

              It turns out Blizzard has a video policy [blizzard.com] that as of today grants essentially blanket noncommercial rights and specifies when a "content use license" must be negotiated. But it doesn't give any examples of how much such

              • My point is that copyright law gives video game publishers the power to set restrictive policies.

                Yes, their sandbox, their rules.

                But to me, the "sports" ecosystem includes broadcasting the events on subscription or ad-supported television. A blanket noncommercial license does not cover such commercial use. So I'm still confused as to how much an organizer of a video game tournament shown on TV should expect to have to pay for a nonexclusive license to stream each event or what other conditions a promoter will be expected to follow.

                That is NOT your concern. It is the concern of the professionals in broadcasting since if an esport was to be broadcast on "regular tv" and not just the internet, professionals would be involved not just some internet fanboys who want to do a tournament. There would be production companies and contracts and lawyers.

                Again....Not...Your....Concern. Why the hell you let issues like this distract you is beyond me.

                • by tepples ( 727027 )

                  if an esport was to be broadcast on "regular tv" and not just the internet, professionals would be involved

                  As I understand Blizzard's policy document, if you're running a subscription stream over the Internet or even including ads over the Internet (other than through YouTube, Twitch, Blip, Own3d, or Ustream), you still need to negotiate a license.

                  Not...Your....Concern.

                  "First they came..."

                  • if you're running a subscription stream over the Internet(other than through YouTube, Twitch, Blip, Own3d, or Ustream), you still need to negotiate a license.

                    And who does that? Really, who does that?

                    "First they came..."

                    You did NOT go there. Totally not comparable! Apples and oranges. This is why I sometimes have uncharitable thoughts about autistic spectrum people. And sometimes think that they should be forbidden from using the internet. You simply don't understand WHY you shouldn't use such comparisons.

                    Now you're probably thinking: "I do not understand the feelings of neurotypicals, and why he is upset/annoyed with me for comparing publishers rules about streaming with Nazi

                    • And who [places ads on a stream of a Blizzard game other than through Blizzard's approved streaming providers]? Really, who does that?

                      Nobody I'm aware of, because it would infringe Blizzard's copyright. Perhaps you meant "Really, what reason would there be to do that even if a license to do so were available?"

                      Apples and oranges.

                      I'll rephrase without unfortunate implications.

                      It is possible to discuss who is harmed by a particular policy even if one's own day job is not directly harmed. For example:

                      • If Blizzard and other publishers place limits on through which providers one is allowed to perform their games, and these lists of publishers don't have a well-kno

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