Japanese publisher Konami, known for titles such are Pro Evolution Soccer and the Metal Gear series is establishing a new Tokyo base for its esports activities. The new site will include a central esports arena, as well as shops selling gaming peripherals, offices, and even classrooms for dedicated esports lessons.
The building itself will be located in Tokyo’s Ginza district, a prominent high-end shopping area and hub of consumer activity. The twelve storey site will be equipped with the latest and greatest production equipment, including state of the art sound, video, lighting and communications systems. Konami aims for the construction to be completed by the end of 2019, just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On the new opportunity, Konami President Kimihiko Higashio commented that “the people who participate in esports will in the future, stand side by side with those participating in real-life sports like soccer, or even surpass them. Compared to esports pioneers America and Europe, Japan has still a long way to go. However, looking from another angle, it means Japan has lots of room for growth. I want to show the world, from here in Ginza, that the appeal of esports will not lose to that of real-life sports.”
This new development comes as Japan continues to ramp up its investment in esports following the success of the ‘Japan vs. Asia’s finest’ Challenge Cup this January. The tournament saw teams compete in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, as well as other titles including CS:GO, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7.
Esports Insider says: Japanese esports appears to be very keen to catch up to it’s international and regional counterparts. With the country’s esports market growing to ¥4.8 billion (~£33 million) in value by the end of 2018, it is only a drop in the ocean of our billion dollar industry. Japan does, however, have all the prerequisites you would look for in a growing esports market, so it will be interesting to see what parties and organisations make their way into the scene in the future.