Each year, video game releases are some of the most highly anticipated of any entertainment sector. Developers spend years tinkering with projects, then nailing down gameplay elements, narrative, design, dialogue, side quests, and more. This is particularly relevant for RPG games, which involve role-player elements and often include open-world features.
One notable breakout success of 2021 is the newly released New World from Amazon’s Orange County-based game developing group. Released on September 28, 2021, the game has quickly surpassed previous projects from the corporation, including 2018’s Dragon’s Lair and 2019’s The Grand Tour Game.
On the game’s first day of release, it nabbed over 700,000 concurrent players on Steam, which allows gamers to play without downloading to their device. As an MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game), New World features an ‘open’ virtual setting in which remote players interact with one another throughout the game.
New World’s early success has many looking to the future. Other MMORPGs have proved popular in the realm of eSports, including World of Warcraft and certain Final Fantasy installations. Incorporation into an official eSports league will be New World’s next challenge, as the most popular video games are the fulcrum of massive international competitions.
Video games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends regularly feature some of the biggest payouts in eSports, with prize money in the millions (for the winning team alone). However, New World’s setup may not be immediately conducive for a competition, as players seek to be dominant in the long haul rather than complete missions or acquire certain objects, as is required in other eSports like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Challenges in eSports for a B2P MMORPG PSW
New World is a buy-to-play game, which means users can only play after they’ve purchased the full package. As mentioned above, New World is also an MMORPG. Despite the game’s success, this has already created massive issues for players, as servers on platforms like Steam struggle to meet demands.
So far, New World has only been outperformed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which also relies on the Steam platform. The Steam platform allows users to stream a video game rather than download it. This is particularly relevant for New World, as the MMORPG is also a PSW. PSW stands for persistent state world.
This means that Steam hosts a never-ending New World setting, where players from remote locations around the world are constantly interacting with one another. Players simply log on and jump back into the action, where they’ll find the world around them differently than how it last appeared because it’s constantly ‘live’.
Once again, this poses unique challenges for New World in the realm of competition. How can players win a tournament when the game isn’t designed to be won at all?
A Glance at World of Warcraft
As mentioned above, World of Warcraft (WoW) closely resembles the type of virtual world supported in New World. As one of the most popular video games in existence, WoW gamers and fans have consistently pushed for a viable eSports league that would rival others like the League of Legends World Championship or The International.
Blizzard, the gaming developer behind WoW, is still looking at how to best harness the success of its game in the eSports realm. The group hosts two major competitions, Arena World Championship for a player vs. player format and Mythic Dungeons International for a player vs. everyone format.
Others are still evolving, including the World First Race and World First Castle Nathria competitions. Looking ahead, it’s only a matter of time before gamers and Amazon opt for a New World tournament of some sort.
However, it’s not likely to happen this year, as Amazon is still struggling to add servers that can handle the number of concurrent gamers playing online. When gamers have sufficient interest and Amazon has increased in digital infrastructure, WoW formats will serve as models for potential eSports competition structure. Though likely delayed, Amazon has enough resources to create a state-of-the-art global tournament.