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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : April 06, 2016


eSports prime arenas for games marketers

New data on the gaming industry shows the influence that eSports has on purchase decisions, and how the games being played influence eSports viewing.

by Helen Leggatt

XBox head executive, Phil Spencer, believes that eSports could become as popular, if not more, than NFL or Major League Baseball. Talking at the recent Halo World Championships, Spencer commented "I think there's no cap to what eSports can become".

What are eSports? In a nutshell, they are organized videogaming competitions, increasingly between professional players and teams. The games usually played are first person shooters or multi-player online battle arena, but the scope is expanding as popularity increases.

A study by Frank N. Magid Associates last year found that, of the nearly 70% of Americans between the ages of 8 to 64 that play videogames, 18% have watched eSports online or attended a live event, a growth rate of 100% compared to 2013.

New research from The NPD Group contains some good news for games marketers. Their survey of 1,722* people in February of this year found that more than two-thirds (69%) of eSports viewers have purchased a game after watching it being played in an eSports event.

However, the reverse is also true with two-thirds of those watching eSports already playing the game they are watching. In fact, the report suggests that eSports viewers watch an event based not on the prize money or the size of a tournament, but on which games they enjoy the most.

"eSports may have seemed like a niche phenomenon in the past, but it has clearly taken off with strong activity and engagement with consumers," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "This is positive for the gaming industry on multiple levels, not only bringing excitement from the events themselves, but also from a marketing standpoint as consumers learn and can then potentially spend on games featured at eSports events."

*4,029 gamers were surveyed. 1,772 qualified as recent eSports competition or streaming gameplay viewers.

Adam Ziaja / Shutterstock.com






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Tags: esports, gaming, marketing, trends, video game








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