Japan opens biggest esports park to level up competitive gaming

inquirer.net -- Apr 21

Japan’s largest esports park opened on Wednesday, with proponents hoping it will help transform the country behind video game classics such as Super Mario and Zelda into a champion that can take on China in competitive gaming.

“Japan’s esports market is growing but still distant compared to overseas. We hope to close the gap,” said Yasuo Hara, President of Tokyo Esports Gate, which developed the Red Tokyo Tower attraction.

Set across three floors at the base of the landmark Tokyo Tower, the park offers space for esports competition along with the latest motor racing, virtual reality and games simulators.

Japanese gamers have been slow to jump into esports, favoring home-grown role-playing console (RPG) games such as “Final Fantasy” and “Dragon Quest” and mobile titles such as “Monster Strike”.

Nintendo has a loyal fanbase in Japan for its Switch device even as Sony and Microsoft battle it out in Western markets with next-generation consoles.

The Kyoto-based firm has launched major multiplayer hits “Splatoon” and “Smash Bros.” but is less active in promoting competitive gaming than firms such as Riot Games, which is owned by China’s Tencent.