eSports is big, big business. While there’s still a grand ol’ debate over whether or not eSports can even be considered a sport – but there’s no deny the impact that competitive videogaming has had. It’s become a multi-million dollar industry, with a 134 million-strong viewership that generates $612 million in revenue.
That’s according to the lovely chaps at Superdata, who’ve put together some pretty big numbers regarding the eSports industry. As you’d expect – being the frontrunners where eSports are concerned – the largest slice of the pie belongs to Asians, who grab $374 million of the global share. The West is slowly catching up though. As it stands, North America accounts for $143 million, Europe for $73 million and the rest of the world much less with $24 million. Africa? Roughly nothing. But hey! We’re trying, right?
“North America and Europe have recently seen a tremendous rise in the number of people who watch eSports online and attend live tournaments,” Superdata says. “Popular digital game titles like DotA 2 and League of Legends enjoy a massive audience that regularly watches or participates in competitions. The emergence of competitive gaming presents publishers with a new avenue to extend the user experience and allows brands to engage a generation of consumers that spend little time with traditional forms of entertainment.”
eSports is big – and will only continue to grow – though as it stands now, eSports is more of a marketing and awareness driver than one of pure profit.
You can read the report here, but here are the important points, in handy-dandy bullet-point form:
- Korea and China continue to dominate $612M global eSports market. The ongoing investment in N. America and Europe by digital-only publishers drives overall growth and audience expansion.
- The global eSports audience is 134 million strong and growing. Investment in innovative business models, platforms and derivative businesses further spurs growth in competitive gaming.
- Competitive gaming is a marketing strategy, not a revenue driver. In addition to traditional marketing efforts, organizing events and streaming content improves awareness and retention.
- Thirteen percent (13%) of live-stream viewers watch eSports. Almost half of eSports viewers in the U.S. use Twitch.tv, the world’s largest live streaming site for game content. Roughly half of eSports viewers participate in some type of competitive gaming, mostly online through platforms.
- Corporate sponsorships total $111 million in North America (2015E). Brand owners and advertisers are expected to adapt to emergent forms of entertainment, which will grow sponsorship deals across the segment.
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Last Updated: May 7, 2015