The time of eSports is now! In early February, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a new partnership with Take Two, the developer of popular sports franchise, NBA 2K to create a gaming competition known as the NBA 2K eLeague. This deal is expected to be great for the gaming industry and even better for diversity in the virtual sports world. Co-Founder and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Morhaime sat down to chat with PC Gamer about the opportunity eSports has given to the company’s franchises and how NBA2K will be the latest success in diversity and eGaming.
PC: Both StarCraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm have pro players that aren’t men—Faye in Heroes of the Storm, Scarlett in StarCraft. Diversity is and will be a problem in esports for a long time—do you feel like these games do more than others to improve diversity in esports?
MM: Yeah, I think this is an ongoing challenge that we have—to make the ecosystem more welcoming to non-male participants. I think it’s something the games industry in general has been struggling with. It started off really predominantly male and hopefully we’re gradually evolving over time to be more mixed and more diverse, but this is a topic that is very important to us at Blizzard and to a lot of other folks within the industry. I think it really starts from creating an environment that is welcoming and tolerant.