The eSports industry shows no signs of cooling off. At least, not any time soon.
In fact, analysts believe eSports could be a major driver of trillion-dollar gaming growth over the next decade. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of interested gamers.
In 2012, gamers spent about 1.3 billion hours watching eSports videos. By 2013, they spent 2.4 billion hours with eSports. By 2019, they spent 6.6 billion hours with eSports.
Two, “the global eSports audience is expected to double from 335 million in 2017 to 646 million by 2023,” as reported by U.S. News & World Report.
Three, Newzoo, projects eSports revenue could hit $1.8 billion by 2022. By 2025, that could be up to $3 billion, according to Research and Markets.
Four, eSports interest is only likely to increase with the introduction of more franchise-style leagues, the centralization of eSports teams, and continued explosive growth in audience size, added analysts at Deloitte.
Even heavyweight gaming companies are jumping on the eSports bandwagon.
For example, Activision Blizzard publishes several eSports games, including Overwatch League and the Call of Duty league. Take Two Interactive’s NBA 2K League is well positioned to turn into one of the most watched eSports leagues in the world.
Electronic Arts announced that one of its biggest eSports franchises, Madden NFL 21 will feature a tournament series called Derwin James vs. The World, where the NFL superstar will face off in game plays against others every week.
In addition, Draftkings Inc. CEO Jason Robins said, “eSports has stuck. It’s been a huge growth area over the last couple months for us and [it’s] hard to say what it will look like once the traditional sports are back, but I think a lot of people are finding it fun,” as quoted by CNBC.
In short, there’s a good deal of interest, and potential growth.
eSports has become a major draw for major brands.
In fact, brands have just begun to take notice of the story. They’re also taking notice of the fact they can get in front of millions of people open to marketing messages that are embedded into the eSports experience through sponsorships, branded videos, in-game integrations, and even traditional advertising, as noted by Marketing Dive.
So far, some of the top brands already capitalizing include Nintendo, Gillette, G Fuel, Universal Music Group, Global Citizen, Twitch, PlayStation, Amazon Studios, Activision Blizzard, Pizza Hut, and Tik Tok, for example.
“If brands are looking for a positive way to interact with a passionate audience, esports is a great avenue for that,” says Brad Silber, Vice President and head of Ogilvy’s Sports Network, as quoted by Ad Monsters. “Over half of esports fans and viewers have a positive attitude about brand involvement within their games. The main reason for that is that esports fans are at the infancy of the landscape. They understand how brands can help grow esports, bring people out and create amazing experiences.”
In addition, consider this.
eSports ad revenue is expected to exceed $200 million this year, according to eMarketer. In 2019, ad revenue increased some 25% to $178.1 million.
That’s exciting, fast -paced growth that’s not showing any signs of slowing.
From here, it’ll be exciting to see how the eSports industry will evolve over the next several years, as millions of gamers and top brands take an interest.