CHIBA, Japan — Although Japan is the home of game giants like Nintendo, Sony and Bandai Namco, massive game fans as well as individual star game players, it’s surprisingly behind the rest of the world in esports.
But with talk that elite computer gaming may become an official Olympic sport, Japan is determined to catch up.
Game Party Japan 2018, at Makuhari, in a Tokyo suburb, began Saturday and continues through Sunday as the first esports event after Japan Esports Union, or JESU, was set up this month to promote esports, issue licenses to players and standardize rules.
Esports has become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, a sign that mainstream recognition is growing. According to game-market researcher Newzoo, global esports fans are estimated to number 500 million people by 2020.