StarCraft II has always been a game that’s revolved around its dedicated and tight-knit eSports community, and with the game’s upcoming expansion, Heart of the Swarm, developer Blizzard plans to bring the game’s competitive side to an even wider audience.
Speaking to Forbes in a recent interview, StarCraft II producer Chris Sigaty explained that one of the primary goals behind Heart of the Swarm was to make StarCraft II a more interesting and accessible spectator sport. High-level competitive play is essentially the life-blood of this major strategy game, and Blizzard wants to make sure that even casual audiences can understand and enjoy StarCraft competitions and tournaments.
“We’re doing a lot of subtle things that will help viewers understand what’s going on when they watch [the game],” Sigaty said. The game will include an updated spectator interface that will let tournament organizers and broadcasters customize their StarCraft viewing experience to their liking. With this added spectator functionality, Blizzard believes competitive matches will be more accessible for everyone, including those who have never actually played the game.
This accessibility is especially important for a game like StarCraft, as competitive play drives the game’s community in both Asia and North America. Typically, the competitive viewership has been comprised primarily of other dedicated StarCraft fans, but Blizzard is convinced that the eSports community can have a more universal appeal if the games become easier to watch.
“The best way to break out is continuing to make people want to share eSports and make the game easier to describe when it’s on [a] BarCraft, or if it was on TV and you find it by flipping through the channels,” Sigaty said.
He believes that a much larger potential audience is just waiting to be turned on to eSports, and with its updated spectator features, Heart of the Swarm is Blizzard’s latest attempt at bringing those newcomers in.
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