We have completed half of the year 2017, and so far we have had many exciting developments in the esports sector. The International DOTA 2 tournament was one of the most striking organizations. The biggest prize in DOTA 2, which is the world’s largest e-sports tournament, was $ 20,770,000 this year. The winner of the tournament (Chinese Wings Gaming team) won a total of $ 9.140,000. In other words, every member of the team earned approximately $ 1.9 million. The sector grew by 41.3% compared to 2016. This is an incredible rate, and no other industry has experienced such growth. In the first six months of 2017, the size of the e-sports sector reached $ 300 million. Analysts expect total revenue will be close to $ 600 million before the end of the year. If the pace of growth continues, it will become a $ 1.5 billion industry in 2020.
This Is a Big Industry
This situation gained the attention of large companies too. One of the most profitable industries at the moment is the e-sports sector. Only the value of the media rights is 95 million dollars. (In 2020, it is expected to reach half a billion dollars.) In other words, global brands and intellectual properties are increasingly taking place in the esports industry. The figures are impressive: Every e-sports fan spends an average of $ 5.2. It is estimated that there are over 200 million fans worldwide. No other kind of sport has this mass of followers. (You can visit https://www.gg.bet for details.) The number of followers is expected to reach 286 million by 2020. This is a very high rate: The e-sports followers are growing almost 36% every year. 71% of the fans are male and between 21-35 years old. However, the interest of women in this sector is increasing too.
So, what kind of developments do we expect until the end of 2017? According to estimates by industry professionals, we can list these developments as follows:
- Focus on Churners. Have you heard the phrase “churner” before? It is used for players who take a break after starting a game. These types of players play without interruption for a certain period of time and then stop playing for a few months. E-sports companies have been setting their strategies according to beginners and the professionals, until now. However, the research shows that 18% of the churners can be convinced to return to the game much sooner. In other words, it is possible to shorten the duration of the break. Since these types of players prefer to buy items to compensate for their lost time, they are one of the main income sources of developers. In 2017 and over the next few years, we will see new strategies and campaigns for churner players.
- More Intellectual Property. As we mentioned above, high-profit rates attract the attention of all companies. Surveys show that the players love games that include characters and heroes they are already familiar with. For example, Hearthstone gained popularity very quickly for this reason. (You can visit https://gg.bet/en/hearthstone for details.) For this reason, we will start to see well-known intellectual properties much more often in both current and newly developed games. We saw the latest example of this in “FormulaE” game. Played at the same time as the Formula 1 races, it became popular in a very short time. According to gossips, global brands such as Disney, Universal Studios, and Marvel are also preparing to enter the sector.
- Mobile Gamers Are Important. There is a generation that grew only by playing mobile games: They never played games on the computer or used the consoles. This generation prefers to play games only with mobile phones and tablet PCs. This generation of “mobile-only” players represents the future of the industry, as they can play anywhere and anytime. In other words, game developer companies are gradually beginning to focus on games that run on mobile platforms. By the end of 2017 and in the years to come, we will see a much larger number of mobile e-sports games.
- Ecosystem Integrations. Twitch is at the forefront of companies conducting the integration work. E-sports games are now being developed with the ability to support social media and live broadcast platforms. You do not have to use an external program. Twitch Prime is one of those cases. If you broadcast the game you play, you gain access to special levels, achievements and even new game modes. The goal is to create a complete ecosystem for players and provide all the features they’ll ever need without leaving the game. This also changes the process of developing games. We will soon begin to see e-sports games with features like “Twitch Exclusive”. As a matter of fact, Amazon Game Studios is working on similar systems too.
No Major Tournaments until the End of the Year
There are no other major tournaments to be organized by the end of 2017. Local events and competitions will continue, but we have come to the end of the organizations that award million dollar prizes. Likewise, there is no new AAA game we expect to be released by the end of the year. However, there are many games planned for publication in 2018.
Finally, let’s talk about an interesting report published in Newzoo.com: E-sports betting industry is much bigger than predicted. According to estimates, the betting sector is now more than half a billion dollars in size. In other words, the betting industry is bigger than e-sports sector itself. At present, most of the big companies do not enter this sector, so the exact figures are unknown. However, we can say that these large numbers will soon be of interest to them. In other words, the e-sports betting sector will grow rapidly in the coming years.