League of Legends, StarCraft II, Dota 2 and Heroes of Newerth are all exclusive PC games.
Tonight will see 11,000 spectators descend on the Staples Centre in Los Angeles to watch the League of Legends World Championship event. Gaming as a professional sport has been around since 1997 and has enjoyed mass popularity in Asia for years. But the phenomenon is breaking out of niche status in the United States and Europe as well, attracting millions of game enthusiast followers. Sudden mass uptake over the past year has made game video streams the fastest growing content on the Web and fueled the growth of YouTube, Twitch and Azubu.
While US and European media continue to focus their attention on the next gen console battle between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, PC gaming is leading the industry in eSports and video content, as well as in number of gamers on a global scale with around 900 million players. New research from video game firm Newzoo finds that games played on the computer screen gross more revenues worldwide than games played on TV: $27.6 billion or 39% versus $25.4 billion or 36%. The PC platform continues to shape trends and lead innovation in the industry in terms of game genres, free-to-play business models and now eSports and video content. The new consoles Xbox One and PS4 will provide integrated functionalities, allowing console gamers to follow the path originally carved out by PC gaming. Console-based eSports leagues do exist, but not on the same scale as the PC franchises such as Starcraft, Dota2, World of Tanks and League of Legends.
Facts and figures on PC Gaming, eSports and game video content
Games played on a PC will generate $27.6 billion this year, 39% of the total games market. This includes money spent on casual websites and social networks. Without these “casual” segments, the global PC/MMO market is worth $21 billion. Approximately 40% of the 900 million PC/MMO gamers worldwide spend money on, or rather within, these games.
This year, American gamers account for $4. billionn in spending on PC MMO games or 20.3% of the global PC/MMO market. The Asia-Pacific region represents $11 billion or 52.6% of the PC pie.
Of all PC MMO gamers worldwide, 19% or 230 million can be called an enthusiast or core gamer, based on a combination of variables such as time, spending behavior and genre preferences. This group of consumers is largely responsible for the growth of eSports and game video content.
Over 100 million Americans play PC MMO games, almost two thirds of all gamers. Twenty one percent or 23 million of these gamers can be considered to be enthusiast or core gamers. Using the same variables for console gamers leads to a number of 24.1 million Americans. There is an enormous overlap between these two groups: 18.7 million gamers can be considered both console as PC MMO game enthusiasts.
Game video community website Twitch saw its unique viewer audience grow from 3.2 million per month in June 2011 to over 45 million in August this year.
Early this year, Youtube reported that time spent viewing gaming content more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, making it the fastest growing content category. Almost half, 47%, was spent on content generated by consumers.
The largest international eSports league, the ESL, reports that 33 million hours have already been spent this year watching their eSports video content, up almost 100% since last year. Over 750,000 gamers visited ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters Series 7 events.
Global prize money for the bigger eSports events will be over $12 million this year, four times higher than in 2010. An increasing number of non-gaming companies are jumping on the opportunity to become partners of eSports events, including RedBull, Logitech and Plantronics.
The worlds’ largest payment service provider for games, GlobalCollect, reported that the fastest growing countries from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 in terms of online payments for PC MMO games were Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, each with over 100% growth.
PC Gaming has always been a focus of Newzoo’s global and local research, including PC downloadable games and MMO games. The current development in the market call for an overview of trends and data on this segment, as well as insight into the growth of eSports and game-related video content. Newzoo’s upcoming free trend report, titled PC Gaming, Power to the People, will do just that. The report will also feature insights and data from several contributors, including Twitch, Youtube, Turtle Entertainment / Electronic Sports League (ESL), Intel and Wargaming. GlobalCollect contributes content and is exclusive sponsor of the free report that will be published on Monday the 14th of October and discussed during two public webinars on the 16th and 17th of October.