The eSports industry is developing rapidly. If earlier this area used to be mostly a hobby for teenagers, now computer games and various game tournaments are a worldwide phenomenon. Let’s consider the progress eSports has achieved over the past few years.
eSports: From the Very Beginning
eSports is a computer games competition, during which players achieve certain goals, perform tasks and missions in the modeled game space.
Russia became the first country to officially recognize eSports as a sport. This happened on July 25, 2001.
Later, other countries including the United States, South Korea, Malaysia, etc. followed the example of the Russian Federation. The pioneer in this industry was the game Doom 2 in the late 1990s. Users had the opportunity to play it on the local network and that gave a big boost to the development of eSports.
The very first official eSports organization known as The Cyberathlete Professional League was established in 1997 in the United States. The first large-scale eSports tournament called World Cyber Games (WCG) was held in Asia.
Now there are many eSports organizations around the world: Empire, Vega Squadron, Virtus.pro, etc. The strongest players take part in the largest tournaments in various games such as CS:GO, DOTA 2, World of Tanks, HearthStone, etc.
But what made eSports so popular in just a few years? To understand that, we need to refer to the statistics of game-producing companies. How do the leading manufacturers create a market-driven product and what are the most popular games among the customers?
Qualitative data is a structural element for providing accurate market information on digital games and interactive media. We will try to analyze the factors that influence the eSports development.
How to Increase Releases
Downloadable Content for Game Console Increases the Game’s Lifespan
Full-game digital downloads are a current standard. Therefore, manufacturers use downloadable content and microtransactions to significantly increase the lifespan of their games. Studying how much the update of downloadable content affects the profit can tell a lot about how to maximize the releases of a particular game.
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Engagement is a New Metric
Earnings and downloads are important, but the monetization indicator is the best way to measure the game’s popularity. You need to evaluate KPIs, such as ARPMAU, in order to determine the strengths of different games. For example: while League of Legends has the biggest profit, income from the World of Tanks’ average player is 2 times higher.
Mass Mobile Games
Mobile games have become a fundamental pillar of the industry. Every month, it is necessary to analyze top games’ profits, as well as key performance indicators, such as conversion rate and ARPPU, which tell us about the status of the game and how unique game mechanics influence the audience.
Gaming Video Content Is a New Kind of Media
Currently, eSports development reached new heights. People are not just playing games – now they are watching them. Video game content, such as live broadcasts and video recording, has created a much wider audience than many professional sporting events. Understanding of this audience allows you to enter a large, crowded market.
New Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the most fiercely debated topic in the technology world. But what is its potential and how to make money on it? In-depth analysis of this new platform helps manufacturers to better understand a dynamic developing industry.
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eSports Comes Out on Top
The global eSports market development continues to evolve. Being focused on the markets of Asia, Europe and North America, this business offers incredible opportunities for publishers, brands and other representatives of the industry.
Genre preferences often change and depend on the platforms, audiences, and markets. By working with details and features, developers have the ability to determine what to focus on, so that it would not turn out that users simply play “collect three in a row” type games for avid players.
Game Mechanics Development
Different customers want different things, even if they are playing the same game. By exploring the MMO players’ donation preferences, you can help developers to improve in-game options for users in different markets, thereby greatly improving their conversion and results.
New Mobile Market
The mobile gaming market is incredibly large and continues to grow. New markets such as India have tremendous potential for eSports development, but consumers in these countries are very different. Developers need to understand real-time conditions, so they can create a game plan that makes sense.
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Importance of Differences
Even customers who seem to be the same at first glance are to some extent different from each other. Exploring the world of gaming video content, you can see that the percentage of using different devices among streamers and viewers is different. This is strategic information for a hardware manufacturer who needs to develop new products for this growing segment.
No one will buy a device that he has never heard of before. Virtual reality has come a long way, but consumer awareness is surprisingly low. For the manufacturer, knowing the market needs and determining the device with the greatest potential would guarantee that the product will find its customer after the release.
Audience Involved in eSports
Previously, men between the ages of 18 and 24 preferred to watch TV. The development of eSports has changed everything. Sunday football changed to Saturday's League of Legends game.
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Due to the market oversaturation and a huge amount of content, an end-user has to be torn between different areas. It is important to properly build optimization when releasing any product so as not to impose updates which no one pays attention to. It is worse when players invest money in something else.
Attracting a user is one thing, but keeping him is a completely different one. As CPI costs continue to rise, retaining players becomes a necessity.
Understanding what to expect in each individual market is extremely important for a business plan and comparative analysis. For example, in China you will not receive the same results as in Japan.
Where the Market Is Shifting
The new entertainment market has shifted as to where to look for customers. 16% of millions of gaming video content viewers in the United States do not have cable television.
Data and ideas play an important role, but they are only part of the success. The eSports market development is particularly rapid, and it is necessary to carefully monitor the market trends in order to keep up with them.
The key findings are the following:
- The vast majority of VR users will be gamers.
- The most successful games (such as League of Legends and Clash of Clans) are those that provide both short and long game sessions – and these are the ones the players return to more often.
- Online games for a large number of players do not displace offline games since some players do not want to play with strangers. The same principle applies to VR, so developers such as AltspaceVR provide players with the opportunity to choose how they will virtually communicate with strangers if they want to.
- It is not enough just to transfer a successful 2D game to VR: the most exciting VR games are those that use unique mechanics designed specifically for VR, for example, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.
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Keeping up with the smallest changes in dynamic industries is difficult, but extremely important. eSports development analysts always keep abreast of events.
Local companies profit from long-standing eSports enthusiasm in South and South-West Asia.
The interest in eSports in South and South-West Asia is growing rapidly, and the region continues to increase its annual share of the Asian fast-growing market. However, due to the fact that the average income is relatively low, the local eSports market is unlikely to surpass the United States in the near future.
Local television companies invest huge money in platforms dedicated to eSports content. For example, the Philippine TV5 created GGnetwork, and the Malaysian provider Astro – eGG, around-the-clock eSports channel.
As mentioned earlier, AI was successfully applied in StarCraft II. As a result, almost all human players were defeated,