E-sports is still a burgeoning market as far as growth and profitability is concerned, but one thing they don’t seem to have to worry about much is viewer engagement. According to a new market research report from Newzoo, 76% of sporting fans say that e-sports eats into their viewing habits of other sports such as football, hockey, baseball and basketball.
GamesIndustry.biz did a quick breakdown of the numbers, revealing that 22% of millennials between 21 and 35 years of age watch e-sports competitions, making it about on par in popularity to baseball and hockey.
According to Pieter van de Heuvel, the head of the e-sports at Newzoo, stated that…
“The huge interest in eSports from sports celebrities, clubs, media companies, and brands alike illustrate how games are leading the media and entertainment business towards a new future that has more in common with games than not.”
This follows a series of other reports indicating that e-sports is growing quite steadily, and research organizations like NewZoo and SuperData are pegging the industry to be worth billions a few years from now. More specifically, Technavio reported that by 2020 e-sports would be worth $46.61 billion.
This all comes amid big corporate sponsors and organizations attempting to step in and control the market. Money-movers behind the NFL, MLB and NBA have recently become involved with e-sports, buying up some of the bigger and more popular teams. In the meantime, the ESL has begun cracking down on what they see as unsavory practices following a string of drug and gambling scandals happening within e-sports.
Essentially, as more people begin to show interest in e-sports and as the market grows, it appears as if the corporate powers that be want to dip their thumbs in the pie so that they can control the expanding interests of the market and shape the future of competitive gaming. You can check out the full report on more millennials getting into e-sports while forfeiting their viewing time of traditional sports by checking out the Newzoo website.