Ever since its commercial birth in the 50’s as a technological oddity at a science fair, gaming has grown into one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world. 1 out of 3 people in the global population played video games in 2017. That’s 2.5 billion people spending $82 billion on games, generating a $106.5 billion industry revenue.
In its 70-year-old history, the industry witnessed 8 generations of gaming that redefined the experience, the environment and the reward model. The past 10 years, however, have counted for a series of turning points for both game companies and players.
With Apple Store taking the market by storm in 2008, the Freemium model that followed shortly after, and the AR and VR technologies that are now shifting the gaming experience, the marketplace quickly became the land of a gold rush for gaming companies and developers alike. One way or another, they have always had their share – which cannot be said of gamers.
How eSports is booming
Gamers have always been the driving force behind the big profits in the industry. Yet, they have not not been financially compensated for expanding the gaming community. Nor have they been fairly rewarded for helping gaming companies market their products.
For the past 6 years however, the eSports industry has been addressing this sore point, creating an ecosystem that recognizes excellence and dutifully rewards it. Only years ago, eSports was a mere community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty or League of Legends. Since 2012, the number of organized video gaming events or tournaments has increased considerably at regional and international levels. Suffice to mention the League of Legends title, which in 2017 reached a 100-million player base from 67 million players in 2015.
What is more, the easy accessibility of eSports has been attracting audiences of all kinds. In 2016, the number of eSports enthusiasts and occasional viewers totaled 323 million. Certainly, media has played a key role in this, regardless of its interest to capitalize on this growing trend. In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the leading live streaming platform for online gaming broadcasts. YouTube is also supporting the live streaming gaming community with its dedicated YouTube Gaming channel.
Esports has validated gaming as a career choice for talented players. With competitions like the League of Legends World Championship, Dota 2 and Call of Duty offering million-dollar prize pools, players started to win big and sign lucrative sponsorship deals. Among the leading players known to the industry is German player Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi, who earned $3.48 million throughout his recorded eSports gaming career.
On the other hand, more and more emerging eSports platforms are focusing not only on enhancing the gaming experience through disruptive technologies like blockchain and AI, but also on encouraging isolated players to join the communities and cash in for their gaming talents.
The future of eSports
The growing phenomenon of eSports keeps gathering steam, generating revenue and attracting investors. In 2017, eSports was valued at $695 million, but recent reports forecast that by 2020 it will become a $1.5 billion opportunity, growing exponentially. However, just like any industry in its formative years, eSports is facing a lot of challenges. And what better way to find out what they’re all about than from eSports ambassadors?
On July 11 starting 7 PM, in an exclusive talk show called The Future of Esports, three inspiring global eSports ambassadors will take the stage at QUALITANCE headquarters and tackle these challenges.
- Roderick Alemania, CEO of eSports platform ReadyUp, former VP of Business Development at IGN
- Johnathan Fatal1ty Wendel, first full-time professional eSports player & 12 times FPS World Champion
- Carter Lipscomb, video games industry investor & advisor, former Director of Publisher Relations at Sony (PlayStation)
If you haven’t joined our FB event for this LIVE stream, you can still do it here. The talk show will shed light on what the future holds for eSports companies, players and communities. Here’s what you’ll find out straight from the source:
- The challenges of emerging eSports platforms
- New levels of engagement and monetization for players
- The evolution and dynamics of eSports
- Emerging technologies that enhance the gaming experience and increase the player rewards
- Innovative ways to support eSports communities worldwide and locally
This 60-minute talk show, which is part of our FUTURE HORIZONS series, will also be streamed on Twitch, so bookmark our blog as we’ll be back with updates.