The global eSports market is expected to grow 43 percent from $325 million in 2015 to $463 million in 2016, according to a 80 page report released by games market researcher Newzoo.
The audience for eSports grew to 131 million Esports Enthusiasts (a growth of 27.7 percent) and another 125 million Occasional Viewers according to the report. As well as this, there is also an increasing amount of investors, and traditional media companies getting involved in the industry.
North America saw the esports market grow by 67.4 percent to $121 million in 2015, and by 2019, esports in the region is expected to grow to $1.1 billion, while North America will solidify their lead in revenue contribution to the industry, Newzoo analyst Pieter van den Heuvel, says Asia is not far behind. “China and Korea together will represent 23 percent of global esports revenues, totaling $106 million in 2016. Audience-wise, the situation is different, with Asia contributing 44 percent of global esports enthusiasts. Growth in this region is, for a large part, fuelled by an explosive uptake in Southeast Asia.”
In a statement to the Inquirer, Peter Warman, CEO at Newzoo said that 2016 will be an important year for eSports.
“The initial buzz will settle down, and the way forward on several key factors, such as regulations, content rights and involvement of traditional media, will become more clear,” Warman said. “The collapse of Major League Gaming (acquired by Activision) was a reminder that this market still has a long road to maturity and we need to be realistic about the opportunities it provides.”
“In that respect, it is in nobody’s interest that current market estimates differ so strongly. Luckily, when zooming in on the highest market estimates of more than $700 million, the difference is explainable by an in-depth look. This estimate only differs in the revenues generated in Asia (Korea in particular) and by taking betting revenues into account,” he added.
According to Newzoo, online advertising is the fastest growing revenue segment within esports, which went up 99.6 percent in 2015 compared to the year before.