Olivia R. March 20, 2019
Electronic Arts has announced a new esports broadcast studio located within its Redwood City headquarters.
“This is a big statement that EA is committed to being a broadcast media content creation company. This is a monumental moment,” said Todd Sitrin, senior vice president of the competitive gaming division at EA.
The game developer’s multimillion-dollar investment stands as a further commitment to esports, supporting its own titles like Madden NFL 19. On March 15, the EA Broadcast Center hosted its inaugural event with the Madden NFL 19 Challenge. The live competition had 16 teams playing for a $190,000 prize pool.
The Madden NFL 19 Championship Series is EA’s longest-running Madden competition, but it never had a homebase until now.
The new studio is split between a stage, an audience seating area, and a players lounge. Designed like a modern loft, the high tech studio has 60 screens and monitors, 200 light fixtures, and a shoutcaster desk that seats up to four people. That area has its own built-in monitors as well. The control room was designed to host digital broadcasts on channels like ESPN.
“The studio has a focus on running competitions, but it also will have all of the other show content, like analyst shows, lifestyle profiles - the things you see around traditional sports,” Sitrin said.
According to Sitrin, EA feels that an increase in content quality and quantity are paramount to the company becoming a leader in competitive gaming. EA also plans to rent the studio out to tournament organizers for other esports, as the space was created to be adaptable and easily transformed depending on an event's needs.
“I’ve done this for 20 years and this is the coolest studio I’ve ever been in,” said EA’s head of broadcast Joe Lynch.