Retailers Game and Sports Direct aren't usually names you expect to go together, but as reported by Reuters, Game Digital has announced that it plans to open gaming areas in some stores as part of a collaborative arrangement, with Sports Direct buying a 50% stake in the intellectual property rights of the Belong Gaming Zones.
These Belong zones are already available, providing gaming PCs, PS4, and Xbox consoles to players who visit, as well as top games and regular events for fans to engage with. 19 of the zones are in operation already, and Game's Chief Executive Martyn Gibbs is hopeful about the crossover.
"We look forward to collaborating with Sports Direct to increase the availability and scale of Belong and to capitalise on the increasing overlap between sports and esports fans by bringing this unique experience to a wider consumer base," he said.
Game also added that Sports Direct will provide loan facilities of up to £55 million to make new venues for the arenas, as well as to develop the tournament management system, so it seems like both parties are taking these 'esports' zones very seriously. Do you think this could be a good way to increase esports exposure to casual audiences?