Electronic Arts and Zixi Develop Tools for the Future of eSports at Madden 21 Bowl
Posted May 11, 2021
Electronic Arts and Zixi to Showcase Better Ways to Play During, Now and in the Future
While 2020 and 2021 professional athletics seasons were and have been far from traditional, broadcasters, streamers, gamers, and viewers alike alike found opportunities within the booming eSports entertainment market in new and exciting ways – despite the limitations of geography, latency, flexibility, speed, and quality. Highlighted in this recent article from Sports Video Group, Zixi and Electronic Arts worked together for the virtual EA Madden 21 to provide exceptional experience for broadcasters, players and fans alike – regardless of location.
Expertly Navigating Remote Production Challenges for Madden Bowl with Zixi
Electronic Arts (EA) successfully wrapped up its global Madden tournament on May 5th where 24 Madden competitors steaming in a variety of game modes, an event which presented new and exciting challenges for the EA broadcast team and resulted in several new features in the broadcast. The most notable of these logistical challenges being the seamless transition of 43 EA broadcast-crew members, on-air talent and competitors who continued to operate and stream remotely from their homes as they have done since the pandemic began.
To meet the challenges of remote production and enhance their event experience, EA provided custom player kits deployed to competitors’ homes, and relied on Zixi to develop a suite of tools for content acquisition and delivery.
For the best available broadcast-quality result on the market, EA relied on Zixi’s SDVP for low latency, high quality gameplay transmission, an essential requirement for online gaming and live events where peak performance is key to the Quality of Experience.
With Zixi’s ultra-low latency video delivery over all IP, content providers can truly replicate the TV experience while leveraging a more economical transport method. Zixi provides the ability to transport live MPEG-2, H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, and JPEG 2000 video at ultra-low latency, making the internet viable for global content transport across distances, ideal for live sports and event streaming, gaming and gambling, or real-time video communication.
Quick to Meet Customer’s Existing and Future Needs to Provide a Broadcast QoE for eSports
Royce Dickerson, Executive Producer, Madden Competitive Gaming Content and Programming, EA, described the process of working with Zixi on this event: “We delivered a list of requests, and our partners at Zixi sprang into action and rose to the challenge,” says Dickerson. “With a custom-built suite of applications, we have significantly increased our flexibility and quality while simultaneously decreasing transmission time.”
Since the start of the pandemic one year ago, EA’s production team in Redwood City, CA has implemented stable, flexible and fully remote workflows that allow their broadcast team to evolve its infrastructure in 2021 and beyond. Zixi’s software-defined video platform supports a reliable, flexible infrastructure that can adapt based on the needs of its customers.
In the article, Dickerson acknowledges that machine learning solutions can help their team better understand and improve their live video workflows. Better analytics tools can mean an opportunity to learn from past productions and forecast how companies can better utilize resources in future production endeavors – ultimately to create a more engaging, fluid viewer experience. To see how Zixi’s users are leveraging AI / ML to improve time to resolution, increase visibility, customize alerting and and strengthen root cause analysis, view our Intelligent Data Platform to learn more.