The esports business is closing in on $1 billion dollars, even if growth isn’t expanding quite as fast as it once did.
Research firm SuperData released a new report today stating that the global esports market is worth $892 million. SuperData expects it to reach $1.23 billion by 2019. It also predicts that esports viewership will hit 214 million in 2016 and grow to over 303 million by 2019. However, growth in the market is slowing.
“Iincreased investment in esports by publishers will help push revenues in the category past $1 billion next year, but slow growth overall will present stiff competition for them in a limited market moving forward,” according to SuperData.
Esports is transitioning from becoming an emerging market to an established one, so the slowing of growth isn’t a surprise. However, the scene will need to keep viewers engaged and attract new eyes if it wants to continue to thrive.
The multiplayer online battle arena League of Legends is the most popular esports game. It earned $737 million in revenue from January to May 2016. Call of Duty: Black Ops III was in second with $328 million, while EA’s FIFA Soccer was in third with $256 million. SuperData expects Blizzard’s new team-based shooter, Overwatch, to be the next big esports game. It earned $269 million in May, the month it launched.
Asia is the largest market for esports, valued at $328 million this year. North America is second at $275 million, while Europe is third at $269 million. Eighty-five percent of esports viewers in the U.S. are male, and 61 percent are under the age of 25.
Esports earn 26 percent of that $892 from direct sources like ticket sales and betting. That is up 36 percent from the same period last year. The majority of revenue for epsorts comes from sponsorships and advertising.
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