The sports management company that owns the rights to MotoGP will launch an esports championship this year.
Dorna Sport has announced it has teamed up with developer Milestone to create a championship around the upcoming MotoGP17 game (out June 15th). The competition is run in collaboration with PlayStation.
Milestone told GamesIndustry.biz that this is a multi-year project, with a long-term aim to become « the most important racing esport championship ».
The championship will mostly run online, with time trial challenges set to run during and around major races in the real-life sport’s calendar. Those with the fastest times will be invited to the season finale to be held in November, and will be broadcast live by Dorna’s TV partners. Prizes will include a BMW 2401.
« Dorna knows the potential of this, » said Andrea Loiudice, marketing manager at Milestone.
« Some of their sponsors are already involved in esports, such as Red Bull. So I think Dorna probably had input from their sponsors with this, which allowed them to think about the commercial and communication potential of this area.
« So Dorna came to us and said they had a plan. They wanted to put a foot into esports with MotoGP immediately. We said: « Guys, it’s pretty late for the MotoGP17 game. We’ve already started working on it. ». But they said they only wanted to start with something a bit smaller. The idea is that in a few years we can become much bigger. »
The racing genre is not typically a big area for esports, something that Loiudice is all too aware of. However, he feels the involvement of Dorna can help rectify that. He tells us that some of the issues around racing games and esports is that it can be dull to watch and hard to make compelling, but Dorna’s broadcast technology and capabilities can change that. Milestone says it is also working on ways to avoid a situation where races become more one-sided, which can happen often in the video game world as players generally crash more (« The fear of death isn’t there, » he says).