Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
The number of U.S. gamers who watch esports has grown 100 percent over two years, according to a national study by market researcher Frank N. Magid Associates.
The study showed that fans are into watching competitive video games such as the online strategy games League of Legends and Dota 2, team shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and card-battler Hearthstone. Esports has been a big phenomenon in Asia for years, but only now is starting to really break out in the West, Magid said. ESPN’s new esports effort this week and Activision Blizzard’s New Year’s acquisition of event organizer Major League Gaming show just how important esports is becoming to some of the biggest media companies in the world.
About 70 percent of Americans ages 8 to 64 say they play video games. Of that group 18 percent have watched esports programming online or attended any events, the survey said. Last year, that number was 12 percent, and in 2013 it was only 9 percent.
In other parts of the world, esports took off earlier and is much bigger. In 2013, 40 percent of the 600 million in China with smartphones said they had attended or viewed esports events.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
“The esports trend is growing rapidly in the U.S. and Europe and is already a big attraction among consumers in Asia”, said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, in a statement.
Other games with already strong or quickly growing audiences are shooters Call of Duty and Halo, online strategy games Smite and Heroes of the Storm, and World of Tanks.
Of the millions of esports viewers and attenders in the U.S., the great majority are male (73 percent) and 18 to 34 years of age (55 percent). Magid interviewed 2,400 consumers in the study, which has a 2 percent margin of error.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties