This Saturday will see 15,000 spectators descend on the Staples Centre in LA to watch the League of Legends World Championship Final Event. Gaming as a professional sport has been around for a long time and has enjoyed mass popularity in Asia for years. Now the phenomenon is breaking out of niche status in the West as well, attracting millions of game enthusiast followers. Sudden mass uptake over the past year has made game videostreams the fastest growing content on the web, including YouTube and specialized destinations like Twitch, who raised $20 million this week to support its explosive growth and global expansion.
While Western press focus their attention on the nextgen console battle between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, PC Gaming is leading the industry in eSports and video content as well as in number of gamers on a global scale with around 900 million players. From a screen perspective, games played on the computer screen also gross more revenues than games played on TV: $27.6bn or 39% versus $25.4bn or 36%. Worldwide that is. The PC platform continuous to shape trends and lead innovation in the industry in terms of game genres, free-to-play business models and now… eSports and video content. The new consoles Xbox One and PS4 will provide integrated functionalities allowing console gamers to follow the path originally carved out by PC gaming. Console-based eSports leagues do exist but not on the same scale as the PC franchises such as Starcraft, Dota2, World of Tanks and League of Legends.
Games played on a PC will generate $27.6bn this year, 39% of the total games market. This includes money spent on casual websites and social networks. Without these “casual” segments, the global PC/MMO market is worth $21.0bn. Approximately 40% of the 900 million PC/MMO gamers worldwide spends money on, or rather within, these games.
- This year, American gamers account for $4.3bn in spending on PC/MMO games or 20.3% of the global PC/MMO market. The Asia-Pacific region represents $11.0bn or 52.6% of the PC pie.
- Of all PC/MMO gamers worldwide, 19% or 230 million can be called an enthousiast or core gamers, based on a combination of variables such as time, spending behavior and genre preferences. This group of consumers is largely responsible for the growth of eSports and game video content.
- Over 100 million Americans play PC/MMO games, almost two thirds of all gamers. 21% or 23 million of these gamers can be considered to be enthousiast or core gamers. Using the same variables for console gamers leads to a number of 24.1 million Americans. There is an enormous overlap between these two groups: 18.7 million gamers can be considered both console as PC/MMO game enthousiasts.
- Game video community website Twitch saw its unique viewer audience grow from 3.2 million per month in June 2011 to over 44 million in August this year.
- Early this year, Youtube reported that time spent viewing gaming content more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, making it the fastest growing content category. Almost half, 47%, was spent on content generated by consumers.
- The largest international eSports league, the ESL, reports that 33 million hours have already been spent this year watching their eSports video content, up almost 100% since last year. Over 750,000 gamers visited ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters Series 7 events.
- Global prize money for the bigger eSports events will be over $12 million this year, four times higher than in 2010. An increasing number of non-gaming companies are jumping on the opportunity to become partners of eSports events, including RedBull, Logitech and Plantronics.
- The worlds’ largest payment service provider for games, GlobalCollect, reported that the fastest growing countries from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 in terms of online payments for PC/MMO games were Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, each with over 100% growth.
Thank you Newzoo for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of eTeknix.