Skillshot Media, Emory University launch esports research initiative

Hi-Rez Studios subsidiary Skillshot Media has teamed up with the Marketing Analytics Center at Emory University, Atlanta to “study consumer behaviour and fandom” in esports.

Dubbed the Esports Fandom Research Initiative, the venture will “apply cutting edge analytics techniques” to study how watching esports fosters interest in consumers.

Skillshot Media Emery University

This partnership will offer both access and data for numerous PhD students, allowing them to better explore the passive consumption of esports and how that produces active engagement with games. The results are then said to be applied to “identify, understand, and utilise” the growth in business opportunities that the esports industry is providing.

The initial projects the Esports Fandom Research Initiative will undertake are ‘Investigating the Interplay between Watching and Participation’ and Investing Consumer Behaviour in the Video Gaming Industry’.

Todd Harris, President of Skillshot Media & Co-founder of Hi-Rez Studios discussed the venture: “Most leading game publishers now have an intuition that an esports ecosystem supports higher player engagement and perhaps even higher in-game monetization. We certainly share this hypothesis and are excited to test it more rigorously. We’ll be supporting this experienced Emory research team to better quantify the relationship between watching esports and playing esports, which should help inform publishers and other partners on their esports investment and expected return.”

Skillshot Media was formed in May as an offshoot of Hi-Rez Studios’ esports efforts. At the time of the announcement, 35 people were working for the tournament operator and production company in a new production studio. Hi-Rez has also launched other subsidiaries, including Titan Forge Games, Evil Mojo Games, and Heroic Leap Games to manage its esports titles.

Esports Insider says: Skillshot Media has been operating for some months now and this partnership that it has something to offer other companies now. Esports’ rapid growth is evident – looking at revenue projections alone show that – so exploring the effects of competitive gaming and the potential business opportunities created from it seems like a worthy cause of research.

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