Ford Europe Creates 'Fordzilla' eSport Teams

Ford Europe Creates 'Fordzilla' eSport Teams

As if you needed more proof that eSports is growing all over the world, one carmaker is joining the frenzy. At Gamescom 2019, which was held this past weekend at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, Ford of Europe announced that it is recruiting national 'Fordzilla' teams for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK--as well as a European team comprised of the star players from each national team.

"We at Ford have a racing pedigree that others can only envy. Now is the time to take that know-how and apply it to the world of esports--capturing the imagination of a new generation of virtual racing drivers, inspiring them to take a ride in one of our Ford Performance vehicles," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. According to Ford, for 2019, the global eSports market is expected to generate up to USD1.1 billion in revenue--up 26.7 per cent year-on-year--with audience reach climbing to 453.8 million, made up of 201.2 million eSports enthusiasts and 252.6 million occasional viewers. And contrary to the stereotype, the average gamer is reportedly in their early thirties. Intrigued by synergies between gaming and mobility, Ford supposedly wants to see how it could help shape the way in which everyone gets about in the future--whether "as commuters, as passengers in autonomous vehicles, or simply enjoying the thrill of performance." "The distinction between real and virtual worlds is blurring. Gaming is now a part of mainstream culture. Top gamers challenge professional race drivers in real life and many of our day-to-day activities are 'gamified,' from using fitness apps to collecting loyalty points for a free coffee," said Amko Leenarts, director, Design, Ford of Europe. "Harnessing the passion and expertise of the gaming community will help evolve our thinking around what future journeys will look like--something that we are all committed to and really excited about." Among the games that Fordzilla will compete on is the award-winning "Forza Motorsport 7," developed by Microsoft Game Studios' Turn 10 Studios. "We are pleased to see 'Forza Motorsport' continuing to be the game of choice for big brands like Ford as they launch esports initiatives," said Justin Osmer, senior manager of Partnership Development at Turn 10 Studios, the creators of Forza Motorsport. "With millions of fans playing 'Forza' games, we've seen significant growth in the numbers who want to compete, or simply spectate, in eSports and it's great to see a long-standing partner like Ford Motor Company bringing even more opportunities to participate."

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