#Orlando may want to take a deeper dive into competitive video game tournaments, a spectator sport that’s drawing more fans than some pro teams.
Esports already surpassed both Major League Baseball and National Hockey League viewership. And by 2022, it may be on par with the National Football League, with more than 300 million viewers worldwide, an April report by New York-based investment firm Goldman Sachs Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Amsterdam-based market research firm NewZoo LLC showed.
That growth is helping the industry boom. Last year, esports’ global revenue was $655 million. It’s projected to hit $906 million by year’s end and $1.6 million by 2021.
On the home front, Orlando last year hosted its first Call of Duty World League Championship — considered the Super Bowl of video game events — at the Amway Center. The event attracted thousands of attendees and showed off Orlando as a viable place for future esports tournaments, said Central #Florida Sports Commission CEO Jason Siegel.
Esports events also can be a springboard for Redwood City, Calif.-based video game-making giant Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq: EA).
The firm saw huge engagement and growth in its Madden League — based on the franchise Madden series that’s produced at its Orlando studio, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said during the firm’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2018 earnings call in May. “We have an entire competitive gaming group pushing to grow that and really think about its ongoing evolution.”
- 2016: 160M, 121M
- 2017: 192M, 143M
- 2018: 215M, 165M
- 2021: 307M, 250M
A breakdown of 2018 enthusiasts by country
- Asia-Pacific: 53%
- European Union: 18%
- North America: 15%
- Rest of the world: 14%
By the numbers
- 2018 total spending worldwide
- Percentage of consumer spending on games from China
- The estimated amount of mobile games will generate in 2018
Global games market forecast per segment toward 2021
(listed by year for smartphones, tablets, consoles, browser PCs, boxed/downloaded PCs)
- 2017: 36%, 10%, 27%, 4%, 23%; $121B total
- 2018: 41%, 10% 25%, 3%, 21%; $137B total
- 2019: 44%, 10%, 24%, 2%, 20%; $151B total
- 2020: 47%, 10%, 22%, 2%, 19%; $165B total
- 2021: 49%, 10%, 22%, 1%, 18%; $180B total