Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike recently announced that Tokyo will be getting a new “Tokyo Governor’s Cup eSport Games” in 2019.
The 2019 fiscal budget has set aside ¥50 million to hold the two-day event which will help promote the capital’s video game and anime industries.
Koike told reporters:
“Esports involves many different industries and the event will be an opportunity (for companies) to get some publicity.”
According to research firm Newzoo, the esports industry has a global market worth of $906 million, and revenues are expected to cross the $1-billion mark in 2019.
However, even with the presence of established video game companies like Nintendo, Sony, Capcom and Konami, Japan has been lagging behind her global counterparts in esports development.
Archaic laws that were once used to curb unlawful sales promotions had placed a limit on the amount offered at esports tournaments as prize pools. Things would change for the better last year, with the formation of the Japan Esports Union (JESU).
By providing infrastructure to support players, develop talents and sanction matches, the JESU aims to develop the esports scene to be competitive with the rest of the world.
Tasked with issuing professional licenses to gamers, the JESU has so far issued licenses to more than 100 people for game titles like Street Fighter V Arcade Edition and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.
Furthermore, the Japanese Consumer Affairs Agency has permitted esports tournaments to have large prize pools on the condition that contestants be classified as “professional gamers”. This has been a big step forward for the esports industry in Japan.
Details on the date and venue for the Tokyo Governor’s Cup Games are yet to be determined.