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World Series of Video Games Cancelled

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the everybody-can-go-home dept.

Games 42

Goobergunch writes "The official site for the World Series of Videogames is now indicating that the WSVG, including planned events in Los Angeles, London and Sweden, has been cancelled. The WSVG included competitions for Guitar Hero II, Quake 4, World of Warcraft Arena, as well as Counter-Strike and Warcraft III. From the announcement: 'The continuing challenges of securing adequate revenues to sustain the production of the WSVG's large scale events and television programming, in a very crowded field of competitive gaming leagues, has prompted us to re-evaluate our direction as an organization. Unfortunately, the decision is to cancel the remainder of the WSVG season, as we shift our focus solely to growing our online advertising network of websites, which currently reach seven million users each month. '"

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I feel a disturbance in the force (5, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591901)

As if thousand of gamers who sucked at sports cried out and where then silenced

a thousand? (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592679)

I'm guessing it's a lot less than a thousand given that it was canceled due to lack of interest.. even here on slashdot it's only got like 15 comments.

Re:a thousand? (1)

Pancake Bandit (987571) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593105)

Um, I've never heard of the "World Series of Video Games" before, which I think is more the issue. My friends and I compete in the CAL (cyberathlete amateur league).

Re:I feel a disturbance in the force (2, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593061)

On the other side of this, we are seeing an interesting new breed of athlete...particularly football. The Madden Football generation is playing now, and with its fairly complex play-calling ability, what we are going to find is there may actually arise some Gen-X coaches who...ahem...know how to handle clock management. LOTS of football players are learning how to be more intelligent about the game through video games, and it gives coaches an interesting way to simulate plays and game situations.

Re:I feel a disturbance in the force (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20598441)

Plus they're all desensitized to the violence so we'll be seeing harder hits and more injuries, which will undoubtedly increase television ratings!

Re:I feel a disturbance in the force (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20602611)

I look forward to the day when I hear Madden on TV yelling "Boom! HEADSHOT!"

uh... first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20591907)

and noticing the odd lack of first posts... no one really cares!

Not to be a troll but... (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20591909)

I kinda give this a "Ah, who cares" vote.

Not in the fashion of "Why is this on Slashdot!!??!?oneone!!" but more of a "watching people play video games is boring" way.

The great thing about video games is that, for the most part, I can wake up at 4 AM and still get my game on. I don't need to go someplace or find people to play them with.

Organized team sports are interesting to the public because it involves the swilling of beer and a bunch of guys out on a field doing something as teams. I'd be hard pressed to get enough people together to play a legal game of baseball or football. Luckily with video games I don't need to worry about it.

And even with a large group of skilled professional athletes there really isn't too much of a thrill in watching someone else play anyway.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (1)

realthing02 (1084767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592015)

I agree with most of what you say, but i do take great interest in collegiate and professional sports. Now, when the WSVG has a fantasy league and i can get the number one pick, we might have some more fan buy-in. until then, yeah, I'll play sitting on my couch.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (4, Funny)

umbra_dweller (797279) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592279)

And as always must be pointed out when people bring up this argument, one need look no further than South Korea to prove that it is possible if you can find the right audience. There are entire channels devoted to single games - people even show up to watch those tournaments live! Once I was passing by one of the matches being filmed in a mall plaza - there were dozens of people straining to watch the computer screens over the gamers shoulders. I doubt it could achieve that level of mass-appeal in the U.S., but I think there is a sizable subset of the population that could become interested.

Besides, you can still hang out, swill beer and even make bets on the outcome of a Starcraft match. I've seen it done.

Not to be a troll but...Cultured. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20592489)

"And as always must be pointed out when people bring up this argument, one need look no further than South Korea to prove that it is possible if you can find the right audience."

Is it really a "right audience" issue? Or is it simple cultural differences?

Re:Not to be a troll but... (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593259)

Besides, you can still hang out, swill beer and even make bets on the outcome of a Starcraft match. I've seen it done.

I know there is a CounterStrike mod that allows eliminated players to bet on the outcome of a match using in-game funds.

But as a drinking game? My idea is to use it as a handicap and not a punishment. Let the survivors of the winning team drink a drink or two to help level the playing field. I think it would have some interesting results.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608519)

We used to play Virtua Tennis on the Dreamcast with shots. If you won a game (as in game/set/match), you took a shot of whatever we had. I remember one epic 5-set match with Bailey's and amaretto...

I miss college.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (1)

tieTYT (989034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594699)

I think most of America is like you but there are some gamers, like me, that want to be the best at a specific game. Take the fighting game, marvel vs capcom 2. This game is extremely popular in America today, and it came out 7 years ago. If you want to become one of the best at this game, watching a match between two of the best players is not only extremely entertaining, but also educational.

But, I don't play this game and I barely understand it myself (even though I'm very good at some other fighting games). To me it's a bunch of seizure inducing attacks and 75% of the time I can't figure out which character belongs to who. So I totally agree with you, there's just too high of a barrier of entry to even understand what you're looking at. Then once you have that, you have to also want to become one of the best at the game to even be interested in watching someone else play. I think the demographic is too small to be very successful.

On the other hand, I hear that Evo http://www.evo2k.com/ [evo2k.com] is profitable every year (the biggest fighting game tournament in America), and they only have one sponsor: Toyota.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (1)

antic (29198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597375)

"...but more of a "watching people play video games is boring" way."

I caught a couple of episodes on YouTube recently of some kinda Halo 2 MLG thingy - very yank and ESPN-style, but I found watching some of the tactics anything but boring personally.

Re:Not to be a troll but... (1)

Dreetje (672686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20600345)

And even with a large group of skilled professional athletes there really isn't too much of a thrill in watching someone else play anyway.


I am in doubt about this. There are all sorts of sports which attract people to watch at. Why do people like to watch a football or soccer (where I come from) and don't like to watch a 5vs5 counterstrike? Or if you bring it closer to non-action sports, like chess, there's still alot of people genuinely interested in watching the game (although perhaps in a faster replay ;)).

I myself just recently got into Warcraft III and I must say there's a lot to say about tournaments with this game. It's faster then chess, and definitely more strategic and thus more fun to watch. Which can also be proven by websites like wcreplays.com which host numerous of matches from top players (and others). However I am sure there's just gamers interested in watching these. However I think the same goes for outdoor sports. You like to watch something, because you also like doing it, but you are interested in seeing someone do it better or more beautiful then you do. You like to watch the sport, because you want your team to win. I don't see why that would be different in e-sports.

However, I do think there are a lot of organizations trying to become the "e-sports" organization. There's so many tournaments and different leagues it's hardly noticeable when one goes away.

My prediction is, with the popularity of games still growing, the popularity of e-sports will become more common as well. It certainly has potential.

Watched the first episode. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592011)

It was pretty boring when I watched it after recording it on my VCR (yes, old school). I don't think this type of show would work for U.S. compared to South Korean where it is popular. Maybe there should be an online version, not for TV. There is a Command & Conquer Battlecast [commandconquer3.com] online. Sort of cool, but not great.

Re:Watched the first episode. (1)

roadkill_cr (1155149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592407)

FYI, it was online. You could watch the games streamed live during the events, and afterwards they put up lots of videos you could view any time.

Re:Watched the first episode. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592569)

Was it the same compiled hour (probably 42 minutes) episode shown on CBS (TV)?

Re:Watched the first episode. (1)

roadkill_cr (1155149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593503)

No. CBS and WSVG (strangely) seemed to have two different video crews... I'm a little confused by it all. In terms of watching the actual performances and matches, I think WSVG's footage was far superior. I mainly paid attention to the Guitar Hero competition (since I competed in it) and CBS had to cut out a great deal of each song shown. WSVG is largely uncut. Also, if you search YouTube for "WSVG" you'll find tons and tons of video, as they didn't seem to care at all if you filmed while there.

Re:Watched the first episode. (2)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594161)

It was pretty boring when I watched it after recording it on my VCR (yes, old school). I don't think this type of show would work for U.S. compared to South Korean where it is popular.

There are a number of different but related problems:

  • Most sports are boring if you know nothing about them.
  • The average American still thinks videogames are either stuff like pong or terrorist training tools
  • Many computer games are more complicated than most real world sports, making it harder to appreciate the subtleties (and even with stuff like football that has a rulebook that's 3000 pages, those rules are often just as much about making the game *look* right for spectators as about having it feel right for the player)
  • to circumvent those problems mainstream coverage is oversimplifying which doesn't get them more average viewers but turns off the enthusiasts.

On a positive note, there's youtube. Watch the MSL final (with excellent commentary by Klazart) here [youtube.com] . A really great match over 5 games that had both great rushes and macro-heavy games.

I don't know whether it would impress anyone who doesn't know anything about starcraft but football broadcasts also don't explain what a blitz is every time one occurs. Even if you don't understand the terms at first, you will still get a feeling for the depth and flow of the game and you'll either learn the terminology over time, or the sport will simply bore you but that's a problem that's not really unique to esports.

IMHO watching baseball is like watching grass grow but the networks don't try to "fix" that by aiming their shows at 6yr olds because that would only lose them lots of existing fans. Soccer tried stuff like that in the US btw. No draws, clock stopping every time there's a foul and of course the all-glitz NY Cosmos. It was a disaster. Despite Beckham, it seems they've learned they're lesson, they try to stay true to the game and cater to soccer fans, instead of trying to wow otherwise disinterested people with fluff.

Taking your viewers and your topic seriously is the key to growing your audience.

This just in... (1, Funny)

minvaren (854254) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592039)

from the "money coming in good, money going out bad" department.

I was just getting used to watcing it on TV (2, Interesting)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592047)

Been watching WSVG events on GamePlay HD [gameplayhd.com] . I especially enjoy watching the Warcraft 3 games. I think WSVG could have grown more on TV, but they can't exactly count on advertising revenue from television to make back the $$$ they invest on the location, hardware, technical staff, and production costs...what a shame.

Actually, it was quite entertaining... (4, Interesting)

voidstin (51561) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592077)

I caught an episode about a month ago. The guitar hero battles were really entertaining. For me, it hold the same allure as watching tennis. "holy crap, I can't believe they did that". I think it's harder to see teh expertise of the players in some of the other games though, and consequently it's less engaging. Hopefully, they be reborn as a video podcast of the events..

Here's a link to somene ripping on "Jordan". If you've tried that song, watch in awe...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-XNmJ58Y1c [youtube.com]

Re:Actually, it was quite entertaining... (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592459)

That's definitely impressive. I don't understand why anyone would bother to get that good with the pretend guitar rather than the real guitar, but impressive nonetheless. And slightly disturbing.

Re:Actually, it was quite entertaining... (1)

bbcisdabomb (863966) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593741)

Well, if you've been on Slashdot any time in the past year, you'd know that the argument sums up to: It's a hell of a lot cheaper, It's much less of a time investment, and it's not nearly as much work. I'm pretty good at Guitar Hero, and I can tell you that I don't play the guitar. I have no want to play. I enjoy the game, though, because they are TWO SEPARATE THINGS!

Re:Actually, it was quite entertaining... (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595883)

Yes, I can appreciate the difference between being 'pretty good' at guitar hero and knowing how to play a guitar. But having watched a bit of the clip in the GGP it looks as though the guy is 'obsessively good', and given that amount of work and talent I imagine that he could manage the real thing without too much trouble. Perhaps he already has! And I wish him joy and good fortune in the pursuit of whatever guitar-based hobbies he enjoys. I just find it rather odd.

Different Model for Revenue (5, Interesting)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592291)

Why not make it more like the World Series of Poker tour where people show up at a venue and pay a fee that goes towards the total pot and the profit or the organization and they sell the TV rights to some cable network and or go halves on the ad revenue.

Re:Different Model for Revenue (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594241)

Because people who are good at video games generally don't have money.

Re:Different Model for Revenue (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596093)

Lan tournies all have fees. If you are really too poor to afford an entry fee you can do a satallite tourny or get a sponsor.

In other words.... (1, Troll)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592415)

Our ratings sucked and we didn't make any money. gg.

Re:In other words.... (2, Funny)

egyptiankarim (765774) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592443)

But I was all ready to kick butt at Super Mario with my Power Glove!

The main problem: It sucked. (5, Insightful)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 7 years ago | (#20592613)

This should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone. The WSVG was insultingly dumbed-down and content-free ("Wow! Was that an ice block?!?"). I'm a semi-serious WoW player, and my friends and I all found their arena coverage to be completely devoid of any meaningful content. I realize that their aim was to attract a wider range of viewers, but "normal people" don't give a rat's ass about competitive videogaming (and probably never will in the US), and people who do care would probably prefer coverage and analysis from people who have actually played the games before.

Just look at the judging methodology for the Guitar Hero competition: ten points each for style, technical correctness and difficulty, each determined by a single judge. Two of the three judges were D-list celebrities who had probably never even played Guitar Hero. The extensive statistics provided by the game after each song were completely ignored in the decision process. The whole thing was structured much more like an episode of Nickelodeon GUTS than a serious competition designed to determine the best player.

The 2:1 commercial-to-programming ratio couldn't have helped, either.

In short, the whole thing was a commercially oversaturated, content-starved mess; I'd like back the hour of my life that I spent watching it, and no one will be the least bit sad to see it go.

Thats the last straw. I'm moving to South Korea (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593017)

I'm like x% serious.

WHY do people keep tagging things as "games" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593589)

It has it's own fucking section on Slashdot. You don't need to use it as a tag. You don't see every scientific story getting tagged with "Science", so why do it for games? WTF people?

Does anyone... (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594089)

..remember some "blockade runner" video game(a dedicated, enclosed cabinet) that had a show that people competed on? I think the Sci fi chanel had it many moons ago. It was some game I've never seen in my life before, with a show built around it. The contestants were quite possibly the most annoying nerds you've ever seen. The game I believe was sci-fi themed, with ships running past each other or something. Either way, it was horrible.

Still more shows... (1)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594821)

There are still more shows out there that pit people against each other in popular games, so this isn't a huge loss.

Also, you can always just watch that old 80s movie, "The Wizard".

more ads (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594981)

as we shift our focus solely to growing our online advertising network of websites

YESSS!!1!11!1!!

Wrong Distribution (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 7 years ago | (#20594985)

A "World Series of Video Games" should not be broadcast on TV but on the Internet and on console closed system distribution *coughXBLcough*. I found the "Guitar Hero 2" events kind of entertaining but I found myself watching them more from the stream on the web page and only because it popped up on a message board that someone they knew was playing.

In summary, TV was the wrong way to go. They should go for Internet, advertise on the gaming web sites, provide streams from Youtube or roll their own stream. I don't think there are enough people out in TV to watch but there are probably enough surfing around to watch.

TV is Wrong Distribution - except MTV (1)

voidstin (51561) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595229)

Well, I can see one scenario where TV makes a lot of sense - MTV. They own Guitar Hero. And given that the expansion pack went multi-platinum, and Rock Band is about to ship with oodles of DLC, wouldn't it make sense to have the competition as a big ad for downloadable content? MTV started out as a big ad for music, why not continue that? how about a Guitar Hero reality show - The Ultimate Fighter mixed with American Idol but for guitar hero?

I'd love to watch two guitar hero masters try out songs they've never played before...

Link about Guitare Hero DLC...
http://www.joystiq.com/2007/09/11/guitar-hero-ii-dlc-goes-multi-platinum/ [joystiq.com]

Thank god they cancelled it (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597235)

More time for me to play WoW.

Duh! (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 7 years ago | (#20601411)

I'm not surprised at all. Video games are not a sport, and should not be approached as a sport, or promoted as a sport.

Rather, countless Slashdot articles have taught me that video games are actually a form of art. And perhaps the finest form of art, at that!

And who wants to see a sports league of what amounts to a Fine Art?

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