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  More Than 70 Million People Watch eSports Worldwide
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04/03/2014
 


[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

NEW YORK / AMSTERDAM – 2 April -  eSports are a rapidly growing industry with viewership growing almost eight-fold in the last four years, according to digital games research firms SuperData Research and Newzoo. This global surge is particularly fueled by the ongoing explosive uptake in Western markets. The two leading games research firms are today releasing insights into this market, with SuperData’s April Digital Games Market Trends Brief highlighting the growing opportunity for games and advertisers in the eSports space, and Newzoo’s latest free report Sizing and Profiling eSports’ Popularity showing how many Western gamers are getting involved as viewers or participants. Both companies estimate the total viewership of eSports to have surpassed 70 million in 2013, doubling year-over-year. Almost half of those viewers, 31.4 million, come from the United States where males account for 70% of frequent viewers and participants.

The reports find that U.S. viewers are dedicated viewers, watching eSports an average of 19 times a month for over two hours at a time. SuperData and Newzoo jointly view the increasing popularity of free-to-play games like League of Legends, which garnered 32 million viewers for its Season 3 World Championship last October, to be a major factor in the sector’s growth and a point of opportunity for large advertisers to connect with young, affluent males. Research results also prove that eSports enthusiasts represent the big spenders, not only on PC and console games but also on smartphones and tablets.

·         SuperData’s eSports Digital Games Market Trends Brief

·         Newzoo: Sizing & Profiling eSports’ Popularity in the West

Of eSports’ growing success, SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen said, “Large companies like Riot Games, Valve, Wargaming and Ubisoft are placing bets on the growing success of eSports worldwide. And with the booming popularity of streaming services like Twitch, ESL and MLG, it is becoming easier than ever for gamers to connect with other players and form communities that culminate in competitive gaming.”

The SuperData eSports Brief investigates the growth of the overall worldwide eSports market in addition to taking a granular look at U.S. viewers and their viewing patterns. The lion share of U.S. viewers are males between 21 and 34 years old, giving advertisers a unique opportunity to access the elusive demographic. Key conclusions from the report include:

?        Worldwide viewership has doubled in the last year, reaching more than 70 million viewers

?        Prize pools are likewise increasing, hitting $25 million in 2013 as Dota2 competition The International offered a record-breaking $2.87 million in prize money.

?        Publishers and major consumer brands alike are experimenting with eSports in order to connect with affluent young males, which account for more than 3/4 of U.S. eSports viewership.

Newzoo’s report features high-level results from recent nation-wide consumer research in the US and key EU countries. It profiles 31.4M US and 16.3M West-European eSports viewers.  The report distinguishes different groups of eSports enthusiasts based on viewing behavior and level of active participation. Key take-aways include:

?        40% of eSports viewers can be seen as truly engaged eSports enthusiasts, participating in amateur championships and/or watching eSports content regularly. The other 60% illustrates the direct potential for continued growth of the eSports market.

?        eSports enthusiasts carry the biggest game wallets with 22% of them being big spenders compared to 8% for all gamers.

?        Contrary to expectation, eSports enthusiasts are more likely than the average gamer to be married, 52% versus 39%, and have a full-time job, 71% versus 50%.

Peter Warman, Newzoo CEO, on the relationship between free-to-play and eSports,

“Long established in Asia, eSports and free-to-play, have now broken out of their niche and into Western markets. Does this prove there is a direct relationship between the two phenomena? At Newzoo, we believe so. Time spend and engagement have become equally important KPIs as money spend, and that is essentially what eSports delivers”.

SuperData and Newzoo have teamed up to demonstrate the growing importance of eSports in the gaming world. SuperData will be presenting joint findings on May 27, 2014 at the Ottawa International Games Conference. The two firms continue to work together to generate accurate market-level estimates and insights that will better assist clients in evaluating performance and potential points of opportunities in digital gaming.

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About SuperData Research: SuperData Research is a leading provider of market intelligence on free-to-play and digital games. By collecting behavioral data directly from publishers and developers, SuperData has created a proprietary panel of 4.2 million paying online gamers in order to identify key trends, establish revenue estimates, and analyze market changes for popular online games, including MMOs, mobile, and social games.

About Newzoo: Newzoo is an innovative global market research firm focused solely on games. The company provides its clients with a mix of primary consumer research, transactional data and financial analysis across all continents, screens and business models. Newzoo’s clients include Valve, King, SEGA, Wargaming, EA, Nvidia, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.