Imax, the preeminent purveyors of giant movie screens, is bringing esports to the silver screen with a newly announced partnership with esports platform Vindex. The partnership aims to create “esports events and experiences exclusively for Imax theatres worldwide,” according to Imax.
Vindex is the brainchild of Major League Gaming (MLG) co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni. Formed last fall, the company labels itself as an “esports infrastructure platform and the world’s largest independent producer of esports content and events.” A new division of Vindex “focused on developing, distributing, and monetizing esports content” called Vindex Studios will be leading the partnership.
Notice the emphasis on development and exclusivity; Imax and Vindex may be trying to make their mark in the streaming wars through the scantily covered ground of esports and the shallow waters of non-cinematic communal screenings.
This partnership is poised to be a big move for the esports world, capitalizing on a growing online fanbase. There’s also potential for Imax to break the mold of utilizing movie theatres for entertainment other than movies, a strategy that’s brought traditional live sports, as well as theatrical productions, concerts, and television events to film screens in the past, but with historically little engagement. The movie screen approach would be offering a more cinematic experience than online platforms, such as Twitch and Microsoft’s Mixer.
As esports streaming branches out from an online presence to television and now to the cinema, the merger of these screens could find a new niche at the movies. With no dates or other details announced involving this partnership, stay tuned for updates.