Wikinews interviews Ritchie Lai of NBA Asia about the gaming industry

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Event Director of NBA Asia Ritchie Lai (left) was interviewed by Wikinews Reporter Rico Shen.
Image: Rico Shen.

Sporting games are more popular with younger gamers and sporting people with a conjunction from two industries, between sporting and gaming. Although games from the NBA series are not the official games of the World Cyber Games, but with fashions of the NBA, and PC gaming population having a stable scale, the NBA game series attracted not only basketball and game fans but also sporting and gaming media world-wide, and its market was progressively expanded from America and Europe to Asia and other countries.

With those issues in mind, Wikinews Reporter Rico Shen briefly interviewed Event Director of NBA Asia Corporation Ritchie Lai about the sports gaming market developments at the NBA 2K8 Asia Championship Taiwan Qualifier.


((Rico Shen)) Nice to visit this gaming competition by NBA Asia. After I received and read the official press release, I'm really surprised that Japan was not selected as the qualifier stage of the NBA 2K8 Asia Championship Tournament, but Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea were. I know that Japan is one of the great gaming countries of the world, why didn't NBA Asia consider not to select this country and instead select Korea?

Ritchie Lai: Generally, Japan is a notable gaming country, but due to some factors on market share, sponsorships, and gaming population in Japan, we finally decided to give up this plan even though we tried to enter the sport gaming market into Japan.

NBA City, a good example from the gaming and sporting industry.
Image: Gamerscore Blog.

((RS)) As of some facts on the Gamerscore Blog, famous in Europe and America, several cyber-gaming competitions are often held in many divisions from Europe and America.

Ritchie: You got the point. Because the notability of NBA and the prosperous of the gaming population and market in Europe and America, some of the game stores were risen up with conjunction of the sporting industry.

((RS)) It's a good idea with a conjunction between the gaming and sporting industries. I remembered that a sports game had to be named as the official game of the World Cyber Games since 2001, and during some gaming expositions like G-star in South Korea and Tokyo Game Show in Japan, show organizers often held a large-scale cyber-gaming competition which included PC games and console games for gamers from several countries world-wide. As of some good examples, would the NBA consider to cooperate with some show organizers about holding a gaming championship during a game exposition?

Ritchie: Lots of expositions have their regulations for participated companies so that some expos may not arrange the cyber-gaming competition during the expo. If we [the NBA] also consider factors on sponsoring, market share, background and the nature of gaming companies, it must be complexed. But this marketing style is a good idea for us to improve notabilities for companies from sporting, exposition, and gaming industries. We may consider to try this style in the future.

((RS)) Nice, thanks. It's really rare and special for the public because the NBA often held activity on sports but sometimes on gaming competitions especially in Taiwan.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.