Konami is currently developing a building in Ginza, downtown Tokyo that is set to be a fully functional eSports center, amongst Japan’s recent push to catch up with the the rest of the world. The building, which will be called Konami Creative Center (KCC Ginza), will be 12 floors high with one underground floor, and is set to finish construction this November, just in time for 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. [Thanks, Kyodo!]
During the brick-laying ceremony held recently, Konami president Kimihiko Higashio stated, “The people who participate in eSports will in the future, stand side by side with those participating in real-life sports like soccer, or even surpass them. Compared to eSports pioneers America and Europe, Japan has still a long way to go. However, looking from another angle, it means Japan has lots of room for growth.”
Situated in downtown Tokyo, KCC Ginza will have the latest sound, video, lighting and communications systems in place for the building’s eSports arena, “eSports Ginza Studio”. Furthermore, KCC Ginza will have staff and instructors offering classes on eSports, in order to help increase the recognition and scope of eSports in Japan. A dedicated shop that will sell eSports equipment and products is also planned to open inside the building.
With the world’s eyes on Tokyo as the Olympics, and especially the Paralympics, marches ever closer, Japan and Konami see this as an opportunity to further their ambitions for eSports. “I want to show the world, from here in Ginza, that the appeal of eSports will not lose to that of real-life sports,” said Higashio.
Konami’s Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2019, the latest in the baseball game series for PS4 and Vita, has also seen an eSports push, despite the game being delayed to a July 18, 2019 release date. Konami has teamed up with Nippon Professional Baseball (the highest authority on baseball in Japan) to organize official tournaments as part of the eBaseball PowerPro Pro League.