Multiplay UK: The untold story of the biggest british games company you’ve never heard of

Known in the games industry as “the best company you’ve never heard of”, in this exclusive interview, founder and managing director Craig Fletcher shares his insight in to where the company has come from - and where he sees it going, and what role it will play in the games industry over the coming years.

Multiplay i Series

Multiplay i Series: The Glastonbury of Gaming

How it was founded

The roots of Multiplay go back to the early 90s when I was basically just, I was 15 years old actually and I was just at school and I was getting onto the internet for the first time. Well it wasn’t really the internet back then cause the web had only just been developed and I was on Compusurf, when you dialled up you didn’t really go to an ISP you went to somewhere like Compusurf and I got onto this action games forum on Compusurf where people were dialling up, arranging to dial up and play each other at Doom 2 and Decent and I heard about a little event they were holding called a Net Meet up on a US air force base in Banbury so we went a long and networked up PCs and it literally was Decent 2, Doom 2 and EF2000, those were the only games you could play on LAN that were any good. I thought why don’t we do this because I was running a league for Doom 2 players to dial up each other. There were like 80, 90 people in this league and it was expensive in those days, you had to do modem minute streams of 28k modems, ISDN wasn’t common place, there was no broadband of any description and I went let’s do it so hotel IBIS in Southampton, 20 people, BNC network cabling, it was a lot harder technically to do a LAN in those days than it is now and it went from there really. We did our first one in what was that 93, 94 and then it just like grew and it just grew and it grew and grew. Then in 2002 we branched out into the online side which is now the biggest part of our business by a long way launching our own online hosting services for games and all that sort of stuff. But it just literally was organic, there has never been any investment taken, we have not been beholden to anybody else, it’s all been reinvestment over many years. I mean I was studying medicine for 4 years while I was still running Multiplay on the side. There are some comedy stories of me doing a clinical exam, flying down to Luton, going to Swindon, setting up the event, flying back to Edinburgh, sitting a clinical exam in the morning, somehow passing, getting back to the event and running the event for the weekend and then going back. It was just crazy so something had to, I ended up just leaving after the end of my 4th year and doing this full time and that was like over 10 years ago now so it’s kind of all gone from there and here we at a really big event.

How does Multiplay UK make money? “92×1500= lol profit”

Nowadays there’s effectively two divisions to the company. There’s the event side, which is what you are seeing here and there’s the online business. The event side, two main ways of making money, the consumer side, ticket sales through the door and on the commercial side sponsorship/exhibition. So companies who want to get their product or service or game in front of the key influences in the games community. I mean the guys we’ve got here are the people loads of people turn to. They are asked by 20+ people what motherboard do I buy, I want a PC what do I get, what games are good. They really are the key influencers, a lot of buzz words but that one really is true. So as I said ticket sales and the commercial revenue are by far the main ways we make our money from these events. A lot of people seem to think, the classic one on forums you’ll see on certain in sites is 92×1500= lol profit is exactly how it comes out it’s like you must be making £150,000 by taking this much from ticket sales. They forget the VAT, the forget these events cost huge amount of money for rental and all the staff to set it up etc so it’s quite funny having that sort of perception. Wherein reality a lot of people really actually find our ticket £92 for 4 days including camping is like what? What else can you do for a whole weekend for that? Try going to a football game and having change from £100 for an hour and a half. The online side is actually about 4 times the size of our events business now. That is primarily business to consumer hosting of game servers. So if you want to play CSS and you need a virtual astroturf pitch to play on you’ll come to a company like us to do it for you. Minecraft is a really big one for us at the moment. We own our own networking in 3 European locations and we’re in 22 worldwide locations for all the hosting now so it’s all over. In the last 2 years it’s just gone nuts we’ve expanded a lot, I’ve really pushed our international expansion. But there is also a big part of our online business which is business to business so we host games, we host commercial services, for example we host EA forums in the UK, we host Autoclub Revolution which is a game from eTechnics. We host the entire platform for the game. We do a lot of consultancy and hosting like that behind the scenes as well working closely with the games companies to get the games right for launch. A lot of even the same studios often make the same mistakes twice. Like they will get something right for a particular battlefield game but then break it again for the next one and so we help try and stop that happening. We get sent pre- test builds and we give consultancy advice, test the servers beforehand etc so those are the main areas.

Is Minefold a competitor?

With regards to Minefold it’s a very interesting idea. The subscription based game servers is something that we’ve been looking at for some time actually, it’s something I wanted to do about 5 years ago. Not necessarily from the way they’re going at it just purely from a clan management point of view, why does one person have to be the guy collecting all the money from everyone and then he has to pay us and he has to chase everyone up so we thought why don’t we just make it a subscription. In fact BarrysWorld did this back in the day, if any of you remember BarrysWorld, they had it that you could subscribe to their service for like a £10 a month, you’d get access to all their game servers and then you’d get so many credits towards a game server. So it’s not a new idea, I wouldn’t even claim credit to it because those guys came up with it first but they’re no longer around so it’s something we wanted to try and do. So instead of 20 people having to contribute to 1 person why not have 20 people take a £5, £10 subscription a month and the game server is free and for the subscription they get access to all the other services. The project we had this under was actually announced at M Festival in 2008 it was called Multiplay Connect but unfortunately with the whole recession that happened after that we had to focus purely on our key areas and it kinda went on the back burner but it’s now started to come off of the back burner. Where I think Minefold does well is in accessing the new players, the total newbs that are coming into the market, the Mums, the Dads, the kids that just don’t know how to run game servers and they make it easy in that regard. However I’d argue that we already do make it easy and certainly with our new control panel, it’s going to have wizards, a very basic mode that is you don’t have to worry about what mods you install or what configuration there’s going to be things in there that make it easy. It already is simplified a lot but we know we can make it a lot more simplified. When we looked at it, you’ve got Minefold that sit at the very bottom of the sort of experience level then you’ve got us overlapping a big at the top going up to at the very top of it VMs and people who run their own dedicated servers and want to run it all themselves anyway. We can do all of that but it’s just box shifting at that point, there’s no service you’re adding, you’re just going here’s a Jules Eon, go have fun. So it’s interesting hearing them claiming that the model is broken. Obviously their going to say that cause their a new business with VC backed and they’ve got to prove themselves. I really don’t think they’ll disrupt the current infrastructure though, I mean we’re just one of many and we have 22 thousand servers so the market already is big of people who are using it and I think certainly with a game like Minecraft the sky’s the limit but we’ll see, we’ll see how it goes. Time will tell. We’re certainly not going to stop innovating.

Multiplay i Series

What are the biggest challenges facing Multiplay UK?

There’s a number of issues. Dedicated servers is very much PC. Console gamers have only just started to be able to access them and what’s happening its that’s being done in house by the game publishers so there’s going to be a lack of choice. The problem is you’ve got console gamers that have never known any better than a peer to peer hosted game. They’ve had to live with host advantage since the very beginning. They’ve never had anything, they’ve never seen the light of how good the experience can be if you have a centrally host dedicated server on premium band with good hardware then everyone’s on a level playing field. PC gamers have had that since the very beginning, I mean things like Call of Duty started on PC, they weren’t console titles, Call of Duty was PC. Now you see that title as pretty much Xbox only in reality, there’s still good numbers on PC but they don’t do dedicated servers and when they did they didn’t have rankings so they might as well have not bothered doing dedicated servers but they don’t need to because they shift however many million copies anyway so. But that’s the challenge is that you’ve got companies that have forgotten or don’t actually really care about dedicated servers anymore. You’ve got issues with companies just not understanding, it’s often something that’s left till the last minute, it’s like oh yea we should put multiplayer in and you get basically a badly executed one and there’s a very limited window when a game launches for it to develop a multiplayer community. If it doesn’t do it chances are it never will and we’ve seen that on a number of titles where we’ve launched and we’ve thrown a load of servers up and because there’s been serious issues with the game like you can’t have reserve slots, there’s no spectator mode. There’s titles where for example there’s been bugs that have just made it unplayable or they’ve made decisions about how the game is run that people just get frustrated and leave. We say this whenever we come into any developer or publisher we’ll say this at the beginning. We’ll help you get it so you’ve got it right, you’ve got the right features, you’ve made sure it’s ready for hosting because a lot of games, dedicated servers get released where for example you can’t run more than one server on the box and it’s like well that’s no good for us cause suddenly your customers have got to pay £150, £200 a month where you should be getting 20, 30, 40 upwards servers on that bit of hardware. People have said what’s gonna happen is more and more people get faster broadband but in reality you’re always going to want to have a centrally hosted location that’s good for everyone not just for the individuals.

Thoughts on OnLive

I remain unconvinced. I’m convinced for certain types of games for example strategy games, puzzle games, all that, dead easy, perfect, why not. However for first person a server might be a thousand miles away from you and could be 150, 200 milliseconds plus, we’re going back to the early 90s when we had to use modems to talk to each other. I don’t see how it’s playable. It’s not just the network latency it’s the fact that you’re pushing the video and the control traffic over it as well. I mean I’ve seen it a few times but the only times I’ve seen it has been in a LAN environment which isn’t a realistic representation of the real world. I mean I think it’s got a lot of potential for the casual market for games that aren’t latency sensitive but for any latency sensitive games I just don’t see how it could possibly replicate a client running and communication on a server.

What’s special about physical LAN event like i45

People have this impression of gamers that their anti-social. They sit at home huddled in an anorak over their PC never seeing daylight where in fact the reality is very different, they are very social people, in fact games in themselves open social barriers, they don’t create them. Some of these people maybe they were too clever in school or something like that and they never found their way in how “normal” people, in adverted commas, would do but they have opened a lot of social boundaries. I often use the analogy of when off-licences first started to become more prevalent in the UK people thought it would kill the pub trade, it was like no one will ever go out, that’s it you’re going to destroy the industry blah blah blah, did it? No because ultimately yes you can sit at home own your own in front of the TV or something or you could go to the pub with all your friends. One is a much more socially engaging, has much more atmosphere, I mean humans crave interaction and that’s real life interaction as much as you can replicate in a game for example. So this is an ideal opportunity for likeminded gamers or people who share a common interest to get together under one roof and you just have to walk into that hall and feel the atmosphere to know why people come here, why people take days off work, spend hundreds of pounds on hotels and all this that and the other. It’s a holiday for them in many regards. I mean no matter how fast your lines at home get it’s not going to be sitting next to your friends while you all play through the same game together and are really getting into it, get past this last level come one guys or we’re winning this tournament common, one more round and we’re in the next round all this. The enthusiasm is just electric out there and I don’t think that will ever be replicated.

“The best company you’ve never heard of”

We’ve been called best company you’ve never heard of in the games industry. We don’t get taken seriously enough by the industry and that’s the thing they don’t realise what they’ve got here. It’s like lifting the lid of the ant farm, they go oooh I didn’t realise this was here oh my God.

Is LAN Gaming in decline?

LAN decline, well I’d challenge that certainly from our perspective because yes we saw a couple of years of stagnation, some of that enforced simply by the restrictions of the venue. We couldn’t physically get any more people into Newbury Racecourse that was it, 1600 was it and then the year we moved our August event away from it we go to nearly 2,500 here so that’s not an industry in decline. We’ve seen year on year our attendances, with the exception of 2009 and 2010 which were the difficult recessional years but only in a commercial sense not in a consumer sense, we saw either our numbers stay static or grow. So that’s not true but the LAN café scene I don’t think ever really got off in this country. I mean there were a few attempts to do it. For some reason we just didn’t take to it as people. We just didn’t want to go and spend money on an @ café down the road. Maybe it’s because it’s too close. Here people travel to be with people they’ve met online from all over the country where as going to a local internet café you are literally getting the service that you have in your home in many ways. Maybe they never really managed to capture the social scene, maybe it needed tournaments, maybe it needed more integration between all the centres and to work together. Theirs always been a lot of antagonism between various organisations in the past in the UK, be it LAN organisers, be it LAN café centres. A lot of rivalry. Unfortunately sometimes people need to work together and realise they need to put across those difference to grow the scene as a whole and it’s very hard when you’ve got a lot of egos hitting each other. Certainly from an events point of view here we don’t see that ever declining at this rate, we see it growing. We want to grow, we want to see 3000 people here in 3 months’ time with PCs and consoles and then another 6000/7000 just coming to see the show through the day.

What are your thoughts on on Gamerbase and LAN Centres

I can certainly see the benefits. Honestly I told Dom this. When I first saw it I thought is that going to work? You’re putting a gamerbase inside a HMV store, that’s expensive real estate. How’s it gonna pay back the return on that investment but it seems to work, certainly the numbers I’ve been told. Big increases in sales on stores that have those built in. I mean its brilliant for the games industry, it’s great to see companies like that taking it seriously. I just think we need to find why does the UK not have a PC bang on every corner like Korea does. It’s probably something to do with the mindset and even now there is a taboo around gaming. Even though it’s now an acceptable activity for you and a few mates to do on a Friday night instead of going out on the town it’s still not quite accepted as much as it is say in Korea. It’s still got a little bit of stigma attached to it in that you’re a bit of a geek or you’re a saddo or something like that when you go and do these things. I think it’s a cultural thing really is the only thing I can put it down to that’s left after you’ve screwed everything else.

Multiplay i Series

“The Glastonbury of Gaming” and future Multiplay events – what are your expansion plans?

The key focus for us over recent years has been not necessarily to expand in size but also scope. Don’t just be the biggest LAN but look at making it a much more wholesome experience. Have lots more for people to do on the social side, have lots more tournaments, have a lot more interactive engagement in the exhibition. Just giving people a reason to come here because people who come here even just as a day pass go I never realised these events existed, I would have been coming years ago if I’d known they had and there’s a lot to see and do. So yes we want to grow, our target is 3000 BYOC plus 7000 attendees at the next LAN as in day visitors and footfall throughout the weekend. We want to grow the exhibitions, we want to grow the tournaments, we want to grow the social side, we want literally turn it into what we got coined many years ago by another journalist as the Glastonbury of gaming, we literally want to turn it into that. Glastonbury isn’t just about music, there’s a lot more that goes on at Glasto than just that. That’s just the perception of it. Ultimately we’ll always have the core of a really big LAN where everyone just comes to play games for the whole weekend and have fun with their friends but we want to make a lot more around the outside of it so if you do just come as a day visitor there’s a lot more still for you to do. You don’t just sit there and watch your friend play games you can go and join in the pub quiz or you can go and try out all the new games in the exhibition or you can go on a 4×4 race around outside or you know whatever there’s a lot of opportunity to expand.

What was Multiplay M festival?

M festival was our attempt to launch a consumer gaming show, actually a festival really is a better word for it. To open it up to the mass market, to open it up to for example to families and we got a lot of families that came to the first one. A lot of outdoor activities as well as indoor activities, focussing on the gaming inside, just giving a real fun family day out but with the key concept of everything being around games. Not just games on computer but games like archery and 4×4 racing, other entertainment you can do as well. It went really well, it was expensive for us, we spent a lot of money making that first one happen. We got a lot of uptake from the commercial customers, we did a massive exhibition. It broke the LAN record at the time for the number of attendees but ultimately we did that and then 2 months later the whole world destroyed itself with the financial crisis and suddenly all the companies budgets were being cut by ¾ and nobody had any money to spend, they were focusing everything and it was like well ok. An event like that relies very heavily on commercial money to make it viable and if that’s not there we have to really cut our cloth to suit just to live off ticket prices effectively. That’s pretty much what we did for 2 years we lived off and made the events around the consumer revenue because the commercial revenue just wasn’t there or was very limited to what it was before. Getting back to that definitely, not called M Festival as the Insomnia festival is now that and we saw lots more children at the exhibition today, a lot more families, we’d love to see more of that because gaming isn’t this arch nemesis of good society as people seem to call it. We get a lot of bad press, I think we lost the argument that gaming was good about 10 years ago. Everyone has visions of people playing Call of Duty then going out and killing people cause those are really close aren’t they. Anyone who has fired a real gun will tell you how close it isn’t to Call of Duty. It’s just getting people to realise that gaming is a really positive aspect to everything, it brings people together, it provides good quality entertainment, it’s not all just about shooting people there’s lots of other types. Look at Minecraft, it’s a very nonviolent, well it can be violent if you play against the zombies and what have you but you can turn all that off and just pretend you’re playing with sand on the beach like you were when you were a kid. There’s so much more to it but we get a lot of bad press.

Thoughts on Eurogamer, GAMEFest and consumer events?

Interesting you mention Eurogamer is a company, we do talk to them, we do talk about what we could do for example as a LAN, how would that work? It’s difficult because once you go inside the M25 it’s difficult to do what we do here because where does everyone stay? How do they get their PCs to the event? Public transport with your PC and monitor or console? Not going to work. 24hr access has kind of become the norm for these events as well and that is just a nightmare to do in London. They have definitely done a lot of good for awareness of the games industry. We lost our tradeshow, many years ago. We actually ran the biggest stand for Samsung when we doing World Cyber Games back in, what year was that, 2004 when there was the last ECTS. Now ECTS used to be the show in Europe, it used to be huge. It used to take over all of Earls Court but it just died and since then there never really was a show to replace it. We thought we would have a go with M Festival but that didn’t pan out but certainly a company like Eurogamer with the amount of media clout they have and the power they have in the industry to make the publishers come, make all these other companies attend means they can really pull it all together and give a great consumer experience which just helps us all really. The more and more people introduced to gaming and multiplayer gaming, it helps everyone. GAME Fest was interesting. I don’t know if this one is going to happen this year with what’s happened with GAME on the high street but we need more events. I mean the UK at 60 million people and we had like 1 or 2 events and we had none for years.

What does it take to run an event like i45?

I get this a lot, people say I mean how hard is it to run an event? I say come work one and see what goes into it. Oh no come work one the six months beforehand when you’re planning it. They are extremely expensive high risk activities to undertake, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. I mean these venues are not cheap, the amount of planning that has to go into it, just getting people to sign up to a new event is hard. We struggle to get people to come to these events and convince them still now, even though we’re an event that’s been running for over 10 years. They’re not the money spinners that people think of them. They take an awful lot of hard work, disproportionately so. I often say to other people that there’s other things we could be doing and making a lot more money. I mean we do make money out of them, certainly to keep our staff going in between the events but I think that’s the reason why is because they are very front loaded both in terms of investment and in terms of effort to get an event off the ground and a lot of them don’t last more than one year. So what you need and what has happened is you need people with existing powerful relationships with the companies involved to say you need to be at this event and they will be and also to reach a massive audience. Like the Gadget Show, guaranteed to get tens of thousands of people cause of the audience of the show. That makes perfect sense that they go and do a live event because there’s a lot less risk rather than Jo Blogs on the street going I’m going to run an event now how the hell am I going to let people know about it without spending a quarter of a million pounds on marketing.

What was StratLAN?

StratLAN for us really is the throwback to the LANs of old where we began. It’s much more focused around social gaming, there’s a few more drinks involved but it’s basically the hard core of the hard core is the way to describe the attendance. We get to play games at StatLAN. Yea we’re running the event but once it’s all set up it pretty much runs itself in many ways and it’s a great social. We run BBQ’s, we do all sorts. If anything it’s almost before half the staff go to StratLAN just to let their hair down and have a good time. It’s just a small local LAN. There are lots of those around, people just don’t hear about them, there’s loads of little LANs in Scout huts and little venues all the way round the country, people just don’t hear. We support a load of them, help them, we let them post in our forum and say I’m doing a LAN in Devon in this town, who wants to come? We need more of that. It’s quite funny in places like Manchester. I don’t know of any decent sized LAN in Manchester, it just doesn’t happen. It’s because it takes a lot of effort. The guys I know who do it, you need to be dedicated, you need to be prepared to put a lot of your own time. Even to run a 50 player event it takes a lot of time to organise, if you’ve never done it before especially. I often help out guys and say look this is what you need to do, this is all the kit you need to buy to do it. You can do a 50 player LAN quite cheaply, you don’t need much kit to do it but there is a lot of organisation, people don’t realise.

What will it take for eSports to become mainstream?

We’ve got a lot of barriers to get through both in terms of public perceptions but also player behaviour frankly to get through for that. There are a lot of us striving to make the industry more professional but we’re facing a bit of an uphill struggle with some of what people have been allowed to get away with in the past like just fair play and good conduct during tournaments. Some of the language we’ve had. I was talking to our lead Modern Warfare 3 admin for example and he was telling me that one of the teams from his site which is over 18 was thoroughly beaten by another team that was visiting here and said oh sorry lads you were just too good for us, good luck in the rest of the tournament and got literally back some pretty bad abuse and it’s like that’s not professional conduct and as long as that is going on. And they said that’s how we are and that’s we’re allowed to do that at other events and we said no, you do that again and you’re out because that sort of behaviour has to be stamped down on if this is to be taken seriously, if sponsors are to take eSports seriously as a professional entity that’s worthy of sponsorship. So public perception, whilst that’s going on you’re never going to change public perception. So sites that do it need to be more professional, the coverage needs to be more professional, it’s great to see guys like you coming a long and starting to take an interest and we need good quality journalism, we need good quality players, we need good quality tournaments, all of that is the mix that’s needed to take it forward otherwise it’s never going to get off the ground. Public perception is changing, I may paint a bit of a dim picture there of what’s going on. Some good press would be nice from people to see some of the good stories, some of the good life stories of people who have for example come from nowhere and realised they are good at Halo or they’re good at Call of Duty or whatever and suddenly they’re flying to Los Angeles to compete in a world final and it’s really positive. We’ve got a lot of work to do, people need to work together, their needs to be a consistent push to do this whole professionalism and we as an industry just need to grow up

Does eSports need a governing body?

There’s an argument that that’s going to happen anyway or is going to need to happen at some point. It’s how it comes to pass and how it is accepted. There’s been attempts at it in the past that have been very badly handled that have been more land grabs than attempts to unify the industry and that’s never gonna get consensus. Especially if it’s an out and out commercial attempt from the start it’s never going to work. It needs the key players to come together and find some commonality if it’s needed. There’s an argument that it isn’t really needed that it will happen organically or will evolve that way anyway. One organisation will become big enough that they can call themselves. Like you have in the US, you don’t have a governing body in reality but the MLG is clearly the people people look too for the governing body for Xbox games, console games and stuff as the market leader, it might go that way. Do we need FA equivalent of for eSports. Theirs an argument you do, cause you need players to have consequences if they don’t behave. One tournament tolerates one behaviour, another doesn’t. There’s no consistency about rule sets. There’s been problems with how do you punish people for bringing an industry into disrepute if there’s no way, fractions against them. We are talking, as a group with UKIE, what used to be called ELSPA, basically the trade body for the interactive industry. There’s an eSport working group and we’re trying to see how we can do it, will it work. Even if it’s just as basic as a two or three page charter about this is how eSports needs to be we’re all going to agree to work on this. Cause you might not get everyone to agree, well you probably won’t get every to agree or agreeing to be governed by it at this stage. I think it’s something that will naturally happen. It needs to grow up a bit that will probably be one of the processes that will happen along the way

Is PC Gaming dead?

I think the media is basically spouting utter nonsense based on inaccurate or incomplete date. Pretty simple, it’s ridiculous. It’s a comment that’s been going round for ages. The reason is retail games are easy to measure, they’re easy to say how much was sold, how much money was being taken. Digital downloads have only recently, I mean we’re literally talking the last few months, started to have a chart or started to have any idea of how big that actually was. So when we’re looking at the declining shelve space in GAME for PC games in the UK people going oh it’s dying, it’s just moving to another media. We were moving on ahead of what’s happening. There’s talk of the next console from Microsoft or Sony not having a CD drive, being digital for example. I think it’s rubbish people were looking at the stats and they were seeing an iceberg effect, almost a sinking iceberg, as in less and less was being retail and more and more was going digital. I mean when you say that Steam has more active accounts than Xbox Live how is PC gaming dead. Just that one quote and they are not the only platform, there’s lots more.

Whats the outlook for eSports in the future?

Well I mean we’re certainly working very hard to spread the gospel of eSports, we’re doing a lot of investment into the high quality tournaments, high quality coverage. We’ve put the most money in out of anyone over many years into eSports in the UK and we’re continuing to do so. We’re trying to strike partnerships with some of the bigger organizations across the world to make sure the UK is represented, has stops for all the various big tournaments. We also support it with the growth of online, developing the communities, that sort of stuff. I think there is a bright future. We’ve had a few false starts with eSports where there’s suddenly been lots of money going in and it all fissles out and dies because it was done badly or people didn’t get paid or it was brought into disrepute. I think this time a few games have made the difference that have given us a fighting chance to really take this mainstream now. Starcraft, League of Legends being the two big ones. Just the viewership numbers are what’s given that impetus that people can’t ignore. You cannot ignore 20 million views of a live stream over a weekend, it’s getting up to 100 million, it’s getting up to almost Superbowl figures! I mean that just can’t be ignored anymore, brushed under the rug as a fad or just something geeks get up to. I mean it’s entirely measurable, it’s not based on an average generated from 6000 households. We know this many people viewed this stream, this is where they’re from, this is how many at peak, it’s exact, it’s a marketers dream basically.

Who else do you look up to in eSports?

The commentators have a lot to answer for in a good way. Good quality individuals that really bring good personality to eSport. I mean Day9 being the obvious one, he’s done worlds for that and he’s been followed by loads of people like Cynical Brit and obviously the guys in the Corey Korenic Plot and Tasteless Artosis all those guys have done really well. Teams like Team Dignitas, exceptional, I know that I’m a little bit bias there because we work very closely with them but they’ve always been about professionalism, doing it right, etc like that. Companies, I tend to look across the pond to people across the pond like to people like MLG, like IGN, like in Korea the GSL as how things can be done right. So I mean I think that’s the sort of people you’d point as things going well at the moment.