The world of real-time strategies (RTS) just got a bit more competitive. As we’ve seen throughout the past year, the strategy genre has exploded in popularity, and many more games are on the way. While the strategy scene hasn’t seen the same level of growth as other genres, like shooters or MMOs, it still draws a lot of interest from gamers around the world. For those looking to join the competitive community, how can they best go about finding an RTS team, playing in tournaments, and ultimately, marketing their game? Let’s explore.
The Popularity of Real-Time Strategies
Though the strategy genre has always existed, it wasn’t until recently that the majority of gamers became interested in playing games on their phones or computers that use the real-time strategy (RTS) genre. The strategy game genre grew in popularity during the 2010s, largely thanks to players feeling empowered and capable of creating winning strategies on their own instead of relying on random factors or unfair game mechanics. Also, as many strategy games require a lot of thinking and focus, which some people find easier to do on the move, commuting and working on their laptops became popular during this time. Many games in the strategy genre use a turn-based system, where one player turns a page (“book”) per round, and the other players take their turns simultaneously. This could explain why the strategy genre saw a bit of a peak in 2019, with the majority of significant releases happening in the last half of the year.
The first step to entering the competition is to register your organization with the International Real-Time Strategy Association (IRTSEA). As the name would suggest, this is a non-profit organization that runs competitions for real-time strategy gamers around the world. While there are many benefits to becoming a member of IRTSEA, the main draw is the opportunity to play in some of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments. These are some of the best players in the world, battling it out in amazing games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and more. Now, more than ever, gamers have the tools to compete professionally and take their games to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just want to find a team to play with, you can register for the IRTSEA tournaments and take part in the global competition.
Even if you’re not looking to compete, you can still take part in the many tournaments for free. Just make sure you’ve got an active Steam account so that you can download the necessary software to play. Once you’ve got your registration done, you’ll see a list of upcoming tournaments, and you can choose which ones you want to play in. Keep an eye out for major events, like the annual World Championships, which usually take place in November. These are the biggest and most prestigious tournaments, where the best players in the world come together to battle it out in glorious 5on5 games. Though a lot of work, the experience of competing in a huge tournament is unforgettable.
Marketing & Public Relations
Once you’ve got your registration done, you can start planning your marketing strategy. Just make sure you’ve got a good one. One of the best ways to grab people’s attention is with a good PR campaign, which can do wonders for increasing your game’s exposure and getting more people interested in your product. Many successful companies, like Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft, put in a lot of time and effort into their public relations efforts, and it certainly pays off. Just make sure you work with a reputable agency or firm that can bring in the right kind of coverage. Once you’ve got your PR campaign in place, you can start seeing results. It’s always important to keep in mind that your game likely isn’t going to be released for several months – if not longer – so try and make sure that your PR campaign is going to generate as much interest as possible, when the time for release arrives.
The State of Esports
Even if you’ve never done so, you’ve most likely heard of esports, short for ‘esports competitions’. They’re a form of competitive gaming, where players use video games to compete against one another. While esports were around before the dawn of time, they really took off in popularity during the 2010s. Some of the biggest and most influential competitions, like the Overwatch League and the European League of Legends Championship, started using esports to great success, drawing huge audiences and creating many memorable moments.
More and more gamers around the world are getting into esports, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the top-tier competitions. Though many consider esports to be a competitive ‘sport’, that’s definitely not the case. The main attraction of these competitions is the ability for gamers to hone their skills and prove themselves against the best in the world. Though there are also a lot of prizes involved, it’s never the main draw. Even pro-gamers from the likes of Team Liquid and Cloud 9 admit that winning isn’t the primary goal – it’s about being able to prove yourself against the best competition available.
The Future of Gaming
One of the things that differentiates the future of gaming from the past is the speed with which it changes. Just a few years ago, being the owner of a PC wasn’t even a possibility for the majority of gamers. Though there were many successful PC-based games during the 2010s, like Hearthstone and Counter-Strike, owning a PC wasn’t a given. Today, though, gaming has grown exponentially, with many people seeing it as a necessary part of everyday life. Mobile phones have also had a significant impact on the gaming world, with many people spending more time on their phones than their PCs. Though mobile phones were initially seen as a replacement for laptops, it’s now more common to see them as a complementary device to a PC, used for games and online searches.
The industry is also changing, with many big brands trying to get in on the action. The majority of the big-name game developers are now putting out mobile games, wanting to make the most of the new platforms and reach as many people as possible. Though it’s still a popular option among gamers, creating a traditional PC or console game any longer is a risky investment and can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. As the industry changes, so does marketing – new platforms and technologies emerge, challenging long-held assumptions and opening up new ways of communicating and engaging with users. The future of gaming is truly exciting.