Quake Champions, the upcoming shooter from Id Software and Bethesda, is reviving a series that was known for its multiplayer madness back in the nineties, with titles like Quake III, and when we recently spoke to studio director Tim Willits about the game at PAX East we asked what the strategy was in terms of how this fits into esports.
"Well for us, we do have a leg up because we're Quake," Willits said, "and a lot of the old-time esports fans love playing Quake, they love it, so we can come to the table with that legitimacy and for us, creating the game types that people like, talking to our pro players... we've already had two closed-door sessions where pro players have come in and gave us feedback - we've actually made significant changes to one game mode based on their feedback. And then improving our spectator support, so people can easily follow the game, they can watch the game. But then, you're right, a lot of it is community-based, but if we give the community the tools that they need to really make the game grow, and make it spectator-friendly, and competitive, then I think we've got a good chance."
We also asked whether there was a particular game mode that they're considering suitable for esports. "Well, one great thing about Quake, which is missing in the first person esports world now, is one versus one, the title match, the best guy versus the other best guy, you know, or girl," he responded. "So that is one spot that we fit so nicely into. And then of course our team games are obviously quite fun, but we can really have that monopoly on that title match, one versus one game mode."
We asked a bit more about team-based modes, and Willits elaborated. "So, historically, a lot of our pro Quake players played in a team, and they also compete in the one versus one," he explained, "and some of the best Quake matches are one versus one. [Last] year, at QuakeCon, we had our Quake Live finals, and it went nine overtimes, you know, between the best US player and the best Russian player - it was awesome. It was like Rocky IV, it was ridiculous. So yeah, that's one niche we can really grab a hold of. But we also have the team games, but you'd find 1v1 guys playing on teams."
Do you think the one versus one market is a good niche to aim for in esports?