League of Legends to be streamed on BBC Three
A big step has been taken towards esports becoming part of mainstream media in the UK yesterday, as BBC Three announced plans to livestream the League Of Legends Quarter Finals online.
The game, which has become one of the most prominent and played games in the world, has over 27 million players daily and over 70 million hours of championships watched by fans last year worldwide.
BBC Three will be teaming up with BBC Sport to cover the event, held in the Wembley Arena. The format will much like previous livestreams done by the BBC in the past when covering live sport or music events. Viewers will see both live and pre-recorded videos of the event as well as social commentary, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin. Coverage will show both player and fan interviews presented by Julie Hardy with esports experts Leigh ‘Derman’ Smith and James ‘Stress’ O’Leary.
BBC Three’s Damian Kavanagh has described covering the event will be “an exciting way to cover something millions of young Brits love”. The live event will be starting on Thursday October 15th.
Voice actors approve a possible strike
There’s been a lot of news in the games industry lately relating to SAG-AFTRA and fair treatment of voice actors. The screen actors guild, recently held a vote which would allow for the the union leaders to authorise a strike in future if necessary.
The vote, approved by 96.5% of those voting, doesn’t mean the certainty of an imminent strike, however, this has been described by the online publication deadline as “a powerful bargaining chip” in their bid to gain improved rights as employees.
The current labour agreement that those represented by SAG-AFTRA are working under are considered outdated from the 1990’s and their requests are “standard for most performers in the entertainment industry” according to The Daily Byte, a YouTube news show featured on the channel Polaris.
The demands, such as transparency with projects the actors will be working on and performance bonuses are some of the few changes that are being asked of employers. This would effectively mean the voice actors would receive a royalty every time the game they feature in reaches a certain sales figure. A full list of their requests can be found at sagaftra.org.
The strike vote comes after failed negotiations in June and could cause a complete halt to games production featuring a vocal cast. Companies affected by a strike would include big companies such as EA games, Disney, Activision and Warner Brothers.
GAME Stores in the UK to Open Steam Section
The UK retailer, GAME, has in begun to embrace the PC market more and more in recent years and has announced that it will be creating a Steam section in it’s stores.
This new direction from GAME is likely due to Steam’s recent foray into the hardware sector of games design, with the release of the Steam Controller and various Steam Machines, which will both be available to purchase in the new section of the store. Other items to be sold will include a Steam Link and prepaid Steam cards.
Prior to this announcement the only way to purchase the controller or a Steam Machine was to pre-purchase one online through the Steam store. This recent development will likely be easier for some families who are not yet as computer savvy and may be fearful of buying online.
GAME has now become Steam’s official physical retailer for all current Steam Hardware products. However, Steam products being available in the UK store is not a new concept, the shop has stocked prepaid cards and download codes for Steam since 2012.
The new sections will be coming to stores by November 10th to coincide with launch of the Steam Controller, Steam Link and Steam Machines.