More than just a hobby, it is an industry with 2.7 billion customers, or 35% of the world’s population!
E-gaming characterises the electronic gaming industry as a whole and extends from gaming consoles to PC games to mobile games. In 1958, the release of the first video game officially gave birth to E-gaming. The industry is rapidly gaining popularity and players are starting to gather to compete. The first official E-gaming (E-sport) competition was held in 1972 at Stanford University. Nowadays, E-sport events attract not only physical spectators, but also many streamers. These competitions include sports games (FIFA, NBA live), war games (CS, Call of Duty) or any other type of games (League of Legend, Dota 2). It is interesting to note that in 2016, more spectators followed by the League of Legends finals (43 million) as Game 7 of the NBA finals (31 million). The «prize money» of these competitions compete with the most prestigious sports tournaments. For example, the first edition of the Fortnite World Cup offered $3M to its winner. This amount corresponds to what the winner of the Wimbledon Final receives. It is interesting to note that the most important sponsors in E-sport are brands found in conventional sport (Red Bull, Nike, Adidas.). Many discussions are underway to make E-sport an Olympic sport. One of the peculiarities of E-gaming that is not found in conventional games/sports is the possibility to completely change the rules of a video game or to bring new dimensions to it. Think of a sport like football. It is hard to imagine this sport drastically changing overnight. On the other hand, a game like Counter Strike can totally reinvent itself by adding new game modes, new maps, new weapons in order to expand the number of players/spectators while retaining its current fans. In addition to this ability to reinvent itself without limit, E-gaming is a contributory universe and interactivity between players is very developed.
Recent releases of the new Sony (Playstation 5) and Microsoft (Xbox Series X/S) consoles prove that the trend is strong. Indeed, both companies announced that the releases of their latest generation of consoles were the largest ever: Microsoft sold more than one million consoles on the day of the launch while Sony sold 3.4 million in one month.
Containment measures as well as recent technological breakthroughs (Cloud, 5G) have helped boost the popularity of E-gaming. According to some predictions, the e-gaming market is expected to reach a size of $300B by 2025. Thanks to its interactive character and its ability to reinvent itself, E-gaming offers solid prospects for future growth. This theme, which can be approached in a diversified way through a vast value chain, can represent a great investment opportunity.
By M.Azziouni 28-02-2021