Not every game is suited to spectators, and they don’t get much less friendly than the clouds of heroes and chaotic magic spells of your average MMO PvP. The Old Republic isn’t likely to become an e-sport platform when it launches, but could it develop into a new kind of gladatorial arena over time?
“Absolutely,” says Bioware’s lead designer, Gabe Amatangelo. “Some of the elements that are missing in MMOs to make them into e-sport are visuals that translate an ability from a spectators point of view. That’s why you’ll see things like the Alderan warzone, specifically set up such that it is all visually translatable. And our combat is very visceral. You don’t need to look to know if ‘Parry’ scrolled over a guy’s head, you’ll see the guy physically parry. So we have a great place for it, and it’s something I would love to do. A couple of years from now, hopefully we’ll be there with it.”
For a possible vision of things to come, check out this Huttball trailer, where lightsabres clash and grenades fly in the name of entertaining a load of evil fat slugs. It features acid pits, spike traps, and according to the wiki, “Defensive play seems to primarily be violent attacks against anyone not on your team.” Got to be a better spectator sport than the World Series of Pazaak, anyway.