Participating in eSports, either as gamers or fans, is not just the purview of teens, young adults, and those members of society who prefer to hang out in their parents’ basements.
eSports by the Numbers
According to bigfishgames.com, the average age of gamers is 35 and the percent of households that own a device used for playing video games is 65%! As for gender, as expected the number of male players outpaces the number of female players (but not by as much as you might think): 59% male to 41% female.
Further, a recent report by esportsbettingreport.com shows that esports enthusiasts bring a lot of purchasing power to the table.
“It turns out that esports fans are not typically impoverished male students living in debt and on subsidies from their parents: Forty-three percent of eSports enthusiasts have an annual household income of $75,000 per year or higher — and nearly one third (31 percent) have a household income of $90,000 or higher. There is a large proportion of millennials in the demographic. Sixty-five percent of fans are between the ages of 18-34, but 60 percent are between 25 and 39 . . . and women make up a significant proportion of the fan base, registering 38 percent.”
The growth of the eSports industry bears watching as well:
- According to CNN, the current worldwide eSports audience is estimated to be close to 300 million people and it’s projected to exceed 427 million by 2019.
- As for revenue, eSports has grown from $194 million in 2014 to $463 million in 2016, and is expected to exceed $1 billion in revenues by 2019. Compare that to $10 billion for MLB in 2016, and you’ll see that while esports has some catching up to do, it’s no longer an industry in its infancy.
- Total prize money awarded in 2016 esports tournaments (of which there were 3,877) exceeded $93 million for an average tournament prize pool of more than $24K.
eSports = Big Business
The bottom line is that when it comes to esports, there are a lot of big numbers being tossed around in terms of people, purchasing power, and potential growth. Businesses should take note whether they are directly involved in the industry, such as game and console developers, or only peripherally involved, such as convention centers and hotels.
One place to learn more is at the third Biz eSports Summit this May 18-19 in Los Angeles, where fans, participants, students, startups, developers, publishers, tournament organizers, and virtually anyone else interested in learning more about the esports space will be on hand to hear from industry experts.
Topics to be covered there include monetizing strategies, regulatory updates, diversity and demographics, a look at team owner and player perspectives, e-league strategies and opportunities, and professional player contracts and negotiation must-haves.
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