Games of the Future targeting 3 billion views – organizer

Games of the Future targeting 3 billion views – organizer

The organizer of Kazan’s Games of the Future, which merges traditional sports with gaming, tells media the event is as popular as Wimbledon

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The Games of the Future, which kicked off in the Russian city of Kazan last Wednesday and feature a unique mix of traditional sports and cybersports, have proved as popular as the prestigious Wimbledon tennis tournament, the event organizer, Igor Stolyarov, has told media. He estimated that the competitions have already garnered a billion views online.

The games will conclude on March 3 and are based on the ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) format invented in Russia. In the first-ever iteration of the event, more than 270 teams from 107 countries are pitted against each other in 21 combined disciplines. These include phygital football, hockey, and basketball, where athletes battle it out both on traditional fields, rinks, and courts as well as in computer simulators.

When asked which tournament he could compare the Games of the Future to in terms of viewership, Stolyarov named Wimbledon, explaining that the renowned tennis tournament had gained a billion views in 2023, just like the ongoing competition in Kazan. He noted that this is a particularly impressive result since Wimbledon has some 147 years under its belt, while the phygital games only came into being recently.

However, its organizers are setting themselves yet more ambitious targets, namely to reach 3 billion views, Stolyarov hastened to add.

The potential audience is everyone who accesses the World Wide Web. And the main goal is to get a viewership of 3 billion.

He explained that “success largely depends on being able to create a new content distribution system,” with the Games of the Future having to establish one “practically from scratch.”

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The main task for the organizers was to spread beyond the confines of niche gaming platforms and websites. To do so, the people behind the event “made arrangements with streamers and media groups around the world.”

According to Stolyarov, “there are off-limits regions,” for instance North America and Western Europe, but the organizers have still tapped into massive audiences in China, the UAE, Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

When asked about plans for potential new disciplines, Stolyarov named phygital rugby and golf as likely candidates to make the program for future competitions. Outdoor summer and open water sports could also be included, he added.

Aside from phygital disciplines, the ongoing event also features more traditional cybersports as well as innovative high-tech contests such as drone racing, competitive programming, and robot battles.