According to IDC Data, the global online gaming industry saw its revenue surge by 20% to $180 billion in 2020 thanks to the global crowd and movement restrictions. While other industries such as the tourism industry are losing hundreds of millions and might not fully recover for several years, the gaming industry earned more money as people looked for ways to entertain themselves while stuck at home. Experts estimate that come to the end of 2021, the industry will be worth around $190 billion, and there will be 2.8 billion gamers in the world.
Reasons for This Huge Growth
Apart from people looking for means of entertainment while in lockdown, there are a few other factors that have led to such a huge growth in the gaming industry. One such factor is the rise of mobile gaming, the popularity of Fortnite, and next-gen consoles by Microsoft and Sony. However, the biggest contributor to the increase in online gaming revenue is the eSports sector, which has been one of the biggest economic successes in recent times.
Over the last ten years, the eSports audience around the world has grown by double figures every year. In 2019, it was estimated at 458.3 million, and it was originally estimated that in 2020 this figure rose by 11.7% and hit 495 million. However, Newzoo later adjusted these estimates claiming that lockdowns had led to higher viewership. Therefore, it is probably safe for us to say that the global audience for online gaming passed 500 million in 2020 and that at some stage in 2021 it was past the 550 million mark. Newzoo has estimated that by 2023 the figure will reach 646 million.
Plenty to Choose From
League of Legends, at the moment, is the world’s most popular eSport. Research has shown that viewing hours for the League of Legends World Championship increased to 139 million in 2020, but other games have also enjoyed a lot more popularity. Games such as Overwatch, CS:GO, DOTA 2, Rainbow 6, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Rocket League, Fortnite, PUBG, Hearthstone, and Honor of Kings have all become very popular. Sport-themed eSports such as NBA 2K and FIFA are also extremely popular among eSports fans.
eSports fans love to watch these games as they are highly entertaining, but the entertainment levels can be increased quite dramatically by placing bets on a match. As well as plenty of games, there are also plenty of different markets that eSports fans can bet on such as the match-winner, the player or team to get the first kill, the number of maps a team will win, and so on. Obviously, if you want to start betting on any eSports, you need to register with a bookie.
There are so any bookmakers available nowadays to be bet on eSports, that it can be quite tricky to find the best one. When we are looking for the best betting site to bet on eSports, we pay a visit to betinireland.ie as they have eSport betting experts that anyone would do well to pay attention to. If they inform you of a brilliant site for betting on eSports, then you would be wise to listen to them.
In 2021, the eSports industry is estimated to generate a revenue of $1.1 billion, and half of this revenue will be from sponsors. The rest will come from publisher fees, media rights, tickets, merchandise, and streaming. However, this figure does not include the large cash sums that those companies that publish the most popular games will make. For instance, the aforementioned League of Legends generated $1.75 billion during 2020. However, it was beaten by Honor of Kings, which is made by the same company and generated $2.45 billion in 2020. So, this gives a clear indication as to just how much money such companies rake in every year.
Streaming Platforms Are Flourishing
YouTube and Twitch also rake in significant revenue by broadcasting different eSports events. In 2016, it was estimated that Twitch was worth around $20 billion, and it is safe to say that it has grown a lot since then. In an attempt to compete with Twitch, YouTube spent a staggering $160 million for the rights to stream eSports events and leagues by Activision Blizzard in 2020.
Then there is a whole industry that features celebrity streamers, many of who play competitively as a means to boost their own profiles. The leading players have earned huge 8-figure streaming contracts with YouTube and Twitch. Furthermore, players often get large wages and have the chance to earn massive prizes.
Put all of this together and you get a good idea as to the economic contribution eSports has. It is already a multibillion-dollar industry, and it will definitely grow in 2021 as vaccines for Covid-19 are handed out, making it possible once again to have live eSports events. Additionally, there are bound to be some new and fascinating games that hit the eSport market at some point this year.
Predictions for 2021
How are eSports going to develop in 2021? With the number of spectators set to fly past 550 million and with revenues set to continue on their upward trajectory, plenty of analysts are sure of continued success for the eSport world in 2021. Newzoo feels that 2021 is going to be the year where mobile eSports reach the top. The eSports world used to be dominated by PCs, but in 2020 games such as Garena Free Fire and PUBG Mobile started to earn higher viewer numbers than PC titles such as Dota 2 and CS:GO.
This trend is expected to continue in 2021 as appetites for mobile eSports increase in South and Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America. Newzoo also feels that eSports franchises are going to become more sophisticated from commercial perspectives, and that go beyond the competitive gaming world and enter into the world of pop culture. This has been the case with 100Thieves, which has Drake as a co-owner. Newzoo is anticipating that there will be many other franchises that will decide to sign high-profile creators.
They feel that traditional sports will begin to imitate eSports, and the boundaries between the two will be blurred. Moreover, different eSport communities will come together for political events, concerts, and live shows as the sector gets more and more influential.