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Volume 7 No. 149


Any momentum toward esports joining the Olympics was stunted yesterday after a high-level IOC group issued a statement saying a "discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature." The statement cited several “uncertainties” that make it difficult to bring video games into the Olympics, including the games industry’s fragmentation/competition, for-profit status and rapid technological evolution. It also repeated the IOC belief that “some egames are not compatible with the Olympic values,” referring to violence. However, the statement did make an exception for video games that directly simulate existing sports, such as EA Sports’ FIFA title, encouraging international sport federations to further study the potential benefit of cooperation with those games.

The statement was included in a communique of the annual Olympic Summit. Attendees included IOC President Thomas Bach, IOC Exec Board VP Anita DeFrantz and USOC Chair Larry Probst, who previously served as Electronic Arts CEO.