Competitive gaming is a global phenomenon that emanated in Asia where it has experienced strong growth and success for many years. It finally broke into the Western market, proving, along with virtual reality, to be one of the most popular trends of 2015. NA and Europe have recently seen a tremendous rise in the number of people who watch eSports online and attend real-life tournaments. And according to SuperData Report, the global eSports market is worth $748M and will reach $1.9B by 2018E.
Consequently, we see incredible growth in massive prizes at the largest tournaments. DOTA 2’s prize pool for The International 2015 was over $18M!
eSports is a tough arena to enter and the daunting truth is that you don’t make an eSports game; eSports picks you. Nevertheless, you can still design your game with competitive gameplay in mind, keeping the balance of making a game playable and able-to-master by amateur players, while making it challenging for professionals to climb the skill ladder.
It’s important to understand that competitive gaming is more a marketing strategy and needs to be incorporated into your game design in early stages.
Here are some of the insights from the SuperData eSports Market Brief:
eSports is a key marketing vehicle and revenue driver, as the market reaches 188.3 million viewers.
It’s a huge market that goes beyond the pure gameplay experience and attracting investments for innovation in business models and platforms.
It creates super engaging content that is watched by millions. It is the growing number of spectators from around the globe who constitute the driving force, move horizons and go beyond the pure gameplay experience, thereby enabling the capability to capitalize on other revenue streams.
Corporate sponsorships are estimated to total $578.6 million in 2015.
Mainstream brands (CocaCola, Red Bull, HBO, etc.) are eager to engage a generation of consumers who spend little time with traditional forms of entertainment (e.g. TV).
eSports expand into mobile with games Hearthstone and VainGlory.
The booming mobile games market moves into eSports, attracting more hardcore and casual players alike.
The world of eSports is set to grow in the coming years as more publishers and developers become involved in hopes of getting a piece of wealth pie the industry is offering. And even though it’s eSports picking you rather than you choosing eSports, there’s a lot you can do to design your game with eSports in mind, ensuring you are prepared when the moment arrives.