In this segment, we discuss the announcement of a new “esports gym” in Tokyo and what that could mean for the Japanese gaming scene.
The Business Of Esports brings you news, debates, and all the information you need to know about the gaming sector, the world’s fastest-growing market. With Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi leading the charge, and a variety of special guests, BoE TV is the only place to find insider information on the esports industry!
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Paul Dawalibi 46:05
Let’s talk about Japan. Maybe one of William’s favorite gaming subjects here. The headline here Japan is opening its first ever eSports gym in Tokyo, where people can book three hour slots at PCs and pay for coaching from professional gamers. It says similar spaces have opened in Singapore and South Korea. And this is the first one in Japan, it will be known as eSports gym. There’s members monthly memberships at $50 you can pay 25 bucks an hour, it here’s my question to you guys is the esports gym term, a total misnomer here? do you guys feel that it’s a little bit disingenuous to call this an Esports gym? When this seems to be more just of a land center? Does anyone else feel this way? Or I don’t know. Do you guys feel this is a true first?
Lindsay Poss 47:21
I totally thought it was gonna be like playing games and losing weight not at all like actually improving upon eSports totally hoodwinked by the name of it.
Paul Dawalibi 47:32
Yeah, you would think Lindsey right. This would have been all about gamer fitness, like but you know, specific to like gamer like, like, like William joked on the podcast, like finger strength, you know, like, this sort of just be a bunch of machines
Lindsay Poss 47:46
that I thought it was like you play games to lose weight. Like I thought it was Oh, interesting. Like, yeah, I thought it was like,
William Collis 47:53
apparently this is an extremely malleable term that people can invest a lot of emotional.
Jeff Cohen 48:02
There’s also, I mean, the fact that they’re calling it eSports gym. It’s not it. This is an Esports gym. It’s that is the name, like maybe it’s a translation or something. But like, the terrible name like, I don’t know,
Paul Dawalibi 48:15
like other than the name. Cool, but it’s just a land center. Right? How is this different from a helix? Or, you know, like, there’s
Jeff Cohen 48:22
coaching? Yeah, I guess more seems less targeted at community and like social and tournaments and like, way more of like, you know, you go there with your coach and you pull again and you’re better. I that’s the perception I have as
Paul Dawalibi 48:39
well. You know, we’ve often talked on the podcast about Japan being a little bit behind on the esports curve. Is this you know, like
William Collis 48:48
Paul Dawalibi 48:49
I does this move the needle for you at all or?
William Collis 48:51
No, I mean, I I have massive concerns about Japan’s adoption and eSports they’re just there there are so many reasons why they should be such a powerhouse country but they’re not really a strong global factor. You know, you don’t really see like it’s just there’s a lot that needs to change domestically there. And this feels to me like a product for a more mature market right like a more mature and you know, the things that sort of work in Japan are like Monster Hunter cafes, right? where people can like get together and have a coffee and play Monster Hunter right? They tend to be more of these sort of social post work experiences not like this this this feels to me a little miss targeted would be my my opinion on it. I don’t know. I mean, maybe I’m out of the loop. Maybe Japanese eSports has come a long way since the last time I looked at the market more seriously, but I don’t think so. And I I think this is the sort of product that would make a lot more sense in like your Korea, but in in Japan, I feels early to me. Um, that being said, Japan has a great history of you know, trying interesting things right like they’ve innovated a lot of stuff in the space. And we’ve actually had a couple news announcements of sort of these. I don’t want to call them gimmicks, but kind of like, you know, new spins on an on an old on an old model and eSports coming out in Japan over the last year on the podcast. So let’s add this to the list and hope one of them works because it would be great for Japan to be leading a big innovation in the space.
Paul Dawalibi 50:22
It Carlito brings up I think a good point, which is I prefer the term performance Institute just like what the UFC has, I think that would have been a much more accurate name here, right? I think, at least it’s much clearer what they’re actually doing. Because Lindsey now that you’ve put this in my head eSports gym like a place where you could go like play beat Sabre and lose weight to me that that’s like eSports gym.
William Collis 50:43
So nobody went to what I actually The other thing I had thought, which was this was like a giant poking on collaboration with like the gym trainers. And that was like my biggest hope. Like, I thought, I was like, that would be so awesome. If it’s like rock gym and thoroughly in city and like, I was like, sign me up. It’s like the ultimate like, you know, it’s like the ultimate theme park basically.
Jeff Cohen 51:08
made progress on eSports eSports dojo, Lindsay, what do you think?
Unknown Speaker 51:15
William Collis 51:17
Jeff, the dojo Cohen.
Lindsay Poss 51:20
I just had so many more hopes in like that I read Japan opening and eSports gym. I mean, there’s so many other directions that could have gone. That would have been fun. Also required a lot more money. Sorry. But a little bit of a letdown.
Paul Dawalibi 51:37
I missed this one. It’s 500 says I mean, I pay 50 bucks an hour for golf lessons. Yeah, I don’t think I think the pricing here was out of whack. Right? They had like monthly memberships at 50 bucks a month, like the pricing totally seems in line. And like before double like, it’s more just Is there a market for this in Japan? A and B? The name is just confusing in terms of what you actually get there. By the way, Jeff, for you. I missed this comment from Josh and I think it was when I had double. How is it not Jeff the process CO and you even have a built in tagline trust the process? It’s pretty
Jeff Cohen 52:15
good. It does. Also, it’s the PS the profit the professor the process. The boss poss.
Paul Dawalibi 52:24
It’s in the running. It’s in the running, it’s in the running. Chris says Japan is quietly making moves in Japan, c. j. Xu, which is the Japan eSports union. Yeah. I think, Chris that we’ve seen like occasional news stories and efforts out to Japan and there’s, you know, the government has committed to doing more there. I still think it holds true that they are behind countries, obviously behind countries like Korea, but in general have not have not welcomed eSports with open arms in the same way as other countries in the region. Even though there is tremendous gaming culture there. That’s the that’s kind of the interesting, dynamic. Guys, let’s move on. Would you pay for an Esports? gym? Lindsay, would you buy a membership here?
Lindsay Poss 53:17
That might be the only way I get over my mortal fear of playing games that I’m bad at.