Officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry are calling for support for the eSports industry, one of the few that have continued to thrive despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
eSports refers generally to video game competitions participated in usually by professional gamers.
According to the YCP Solidiance, there are over 43 million active gamers in the Philippines. The number has been increasing by 12.9 percent yearly since 2017.
The most popular game is the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends, which had 2.65 million active users daily as of April 2019.
Other popular games are PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG), Tekken 7, DOTA 2, and League of Legends.
YCP Solidiance, which conducted a study on how eSports can gain mainstream success, cited three factors that could drive development of this sector: competition, production value and accessibility.
“All three key drivers highlight the need for coordination and substantial effort for the online game industry in the Philippines to resolve its challenges and gain mainstream success,” the company said.
Felix Taguiam, Cebu Chamber president, described the video game industry as a “beneficial force” for the economy.
He vowed to nurture eSports talent in Cebu and help develop the industry further.
“We, in the business sector, the CCCI shall look into ways to proactively cultivate and leverage the eSports talents in Cebu,” he said during the forum on the video game industry on Oct. 4, 2021 as part of the Cebu Creative Entertainment Week.
“Yet, we also have to seek initiatives on how precisely can we materialize our vision for the industry for it to also become a sustainable entrepreneurial investment opportunity,” he added.
Michael Cubos, Cebu Chamber vice president VP for Cebu Business Mobilization, cited the need for the business community to “provide a holistic approach to the development of eSports.”
“We need to seek support from our government as well as the academe to make the industry sustainable. Just like in other creative entertainment sectors, we all have a crucial role to play,” he said in the same forum.
He said that along with the Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Cebu Chamber will nurture the growth and development of eSports as part of the creative entertainment industry in Cebu.
The chamber is also actively promoting game development, video game services and video games IP development, among others. (Ventures Cebu)