In a few years gaming will thrive with eSports
September 05, 2017 3:10 AM
by Robert Turner
I learn so much from my teenage son Jaden. He loves to show me YouTube videos when I get home from work every night, and this weekend he wanted to show me some about eSports championships. I asked him why he doesn’t become a professional gamer, and he said, “Dad, those guys are very good. It would take a lot of money and time.”
That conversation was the inspiration for this article. When looking at the future of eSports and the gambling industry, the future looks bright, but it will take a few years to develop and mature.
Millions of dollars to create the infrastructure will be needed. Building everything from small arenas to high speed internet service is very expensive. It may take years to recover the cost or even make a profit from the gambling portion. This is another potential revenue stream of millions of dollars for casinos.
So what is eSports?
eSports is competitive video gaming done on many devices from PCs to gaming consoles. Most teenagers play video games recreationally, and compared to other forms of entertainment it is not that expensive.
I have three teenagers, and if they go to a movie or on a date, that could easily cost $60 to $100. I prefer to buy them a new game that provides hours of safe entertainment. But there are other players who take it to another level.
Advanced players can enter tournaments either for free or, just like poker players, pay an entry fee. Pro league sponsored events draw professional players and thousands of fans buying tickets with a price tag of $100.
New movie theaters are installing Google fiber and other super fast internet services to host interaction play for fans and professional leagues. In South Korea the gaming palaces are a big business. Some of the best video game players in the world hail from South Korea.
eSports is a world-wide, billion dollar business with a double digit growth rate. According to SuperData Reserve’s report on eSports, “Ads and sponsorship accounted for 74% of revenue, which is slight concern given eSports’ reliance on advertisers. Nonetheless, there is still room for ad spend here to grow, as more legacy brands and marketers become accustomed to this growing medium. Meanwhile, direct revenue is also on the rise this year.”
You may not know names like Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (I didn’t), but the age group of 12 to 30 sure know about them.
I have spent hundreds of dollars on games like Call Of Duty and Destiny for my kids. I like how competitive and computer saavy my teenagers are, and it is comforting to know they are just in the room next-door.
The video game industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world. According to an article in VentureBeat, the worldwide game industry in 2016 hit $91 billion, and it will continue to grow. But most importantly, advertisers see gamers as a new generation of consumers to market to.
The casino industry must wake up to the importance of appealing to this new demographic.
Nevada has a great opportunity and took the lead on regulatory framework. I hope other states follow. The future looks bright for eSports; it’s time traditional businesses such as casinos find a way to tap into this new market, or they will become dinosaurs in this new hi-tech world.