The Future Is Bright in Esports

April 21, 2023

The pandemic provided many people opportunities for their first interaction with esports. From virtual Formula One races to Premier League stars competing in FIFA, COVID-19 made the world take notice about competitive game play. This prompted many skeptics to question whether gaming and esports have staying power. The answer is a resounding yes.

Continued Growth

Every emerging industry has peaks and troughs. However, in esports, they sometimes feel more pronounced. The hype around competitive gaming is often disputed by cynics due to the lofty financial forecasts for the sector.

The global video game industry was valued at $195.65 billion USD in 2021, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9% from 2022 to 2030. The main driver of this growth is the constant new developments and technologies in this market. Conglomerates such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consistently develop new gaming systems and games to enhance the user experience and keep up with the constant demand for new products. Content is being consumed at previously unfathomable speeds which can cause massive hits and big misses.

As the Esports Industry Matures, Change Is Imminent

The industry has been unseasonably volatile over the past year. Many people have seen layoffs at organizations like 100 Thieves despite historic hype and strong performances. Other companies have closed their doors permanently without much warning, such as The Guard. While this may seem like a red flag for the gaming industry, it’s actually the sign of a growing and maturing industry. Companies with strong business savvy and unique services can weather any storm.

Mega brands continue to invest serious coin and resources in the space. Trendsetters such as Uber, Mercedes and Amazon have the resources to perform their own due diligence and continue to engage in the space. Investments are being committed more intentionally than ever before and money has gotten smarter as the industry has matured. This is leading to stronger startups and relevant expansion.

Gaming Industry Remains a Prime Space for Investment

The gaming industry remains a prime space for investment and partnership with brands who see value in reaching a major market, and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The aforementioned course correction is, at root, a valuation correction and examination of the esports and gaming product. This is a long-term benefit because vetting while the industry is young will provide long-term sustained growth.

The community of esports and gaming remains strong and unified. It will continue to grow as high school, collegiate and amateur play remains high without any signs of slowing. By 2024, there are expected to be 577.8 million esports viewers, with half of them categorized as esports enthusiasts.

If you are interested in esports investment opportunities or would like to discuss further, please contact KJK’s Esports, Media & Entertainment attorneys Scott Norcross (SAN@kjk.com; 216.736.7264) or Paige Rabatin (PMR@kjk.com; 216.736.7270).