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Activision buys MLG; hopes of expanding eSports appeal

Major League Gaming is one of the most popular and well known eSports organizations in existence and Activision is hoping it gets even bigger — acquiring it for $46 million over the weekend.

The deal gives Activision “substantially all of the Company’s liabilities” according to the esportobserver.com. The growth of eSports is one of the safest bets of the progression of gaming and Activision and its investors clearly see that with this purchase. MLG is well constructed, branded, and has excellent opportunity to flourish with an even greater cash cow behind it.

MLG will grow exponentially more with Activision at the helm.

eSports currently have an estimated 100 million viewers worldwide with countries like South Korea and China already showcasing gaming on TV. (Even the U.S. has had some minor exposure on ESPN 3.) Activision is predicting that number to increase massively over the next two years — estimating over 300 million viewers by 2017.

CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, looks forward to what they will now be able to do for eSports — most notably to create the “ESPN” of eSports.

“Our acquisition of Major League Gaming’s business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG’s ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform – including its live streaming capabilities – strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming.

One of the most important notes from the press release is the increase gamers and MLG fans should expect to see in the quality and variety of sponsorships and advertisements. Higher quality bidders on ad screen time will be perhaps the biggest aid to helping MLG reach higher profits.

“With over 100 million unique viewers, the esports audience is estimated to be bigger than audiences for many professional sports leagues. Creating premium content for these audiences will provide significant opportunities in ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships, licensing and merchandising.”

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Self-sustained World of Warcraft subscriptions? In-game currency now valid currency for buying subcriptions

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For its 11-year lifespan World of Warcraft has positioned itself as a steady and prominent icon in modern gaming. Now, the game’s developers at Blizzard are implementing a new system that could help keep more players playing.

The system follows the similar model of Eve Online’s Plex program. It allows players who may have the time to play, but struggle money-wise to focus greater efforts on the game to support their playing through the in-game economy.

Tokens in the game world can be purchased with real money and then sold again via the auction house with each token representing 30 days of subscription. For those that have stored up large quantities of gold they can now take some reward for their time invested.

“The WoW Token feature gives players on both sides of the equation a secure and straightforward way to make that exchange. It opens up a new kind of payment option for World of Warcraft players, and we hope that it will also help lead to fewer account compromises and a better game experience overall.” – Blizzard Blog Post

Though “gold-farming” had been an issue for quite some time, Blizzard effectively battles this by giving what those farming the gold want. They can now purchase tokens to sell in the game world while also supporting the current player base.