Esports is expected to become a $200 billion enterprise by 2023, Ben Simmons has joined FaZe Clan, Epic Games is hitting the road with the Hummer EV, and Fall Guys is dominating.
A $200 Billion Industry
Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Following 9% growth in the first quarter of 2020, the video game industry is forecast to finish the year with 9.3% improvement and projected revenues of $159.3 billion. Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report also says the industry will become a $200 billion enterprise by 2023.
COVID-19-related lockdowns were cited as a major driver for mobile games’ 13.3% growth to $77.2 billion in revenue. However, just 38% of the 2.6 billion mobile gamers pay for games. Mobile games’ lower barrier to entry and exit leave it most susceptible to correction once lockdown measures are lifted.
Half of gaming consumer spending comes from China and the U.S., but growth is driven by areas like Latin American and Asia-Pacific nations. It’s more than just consumers, too. The U.S. Army is using video games as a recruitment tool now that physical meetings are nearly impossible.
With lockdowns holding back the Army’s goal of 70,000 recruits in its fiscal year – which ends in September – the service is falling back on the full-time Army Esports Team. The team has helped generate 13,000 leads in the first half of the year, mostly through interaction on Twitch streams. Along with helping the Army recruit, Twitch is leading the way in a growing esports job market, which offers a slew of jobs with six-figure salaries. Esports Industry job postings grew 43% in the first three months of 2020.
Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons dreamed about joining the esports organization FaZe Clan, so he bought a piece of it. After his new investment, Simmons is now a brand ambassador with the in-game tag of “FaZe Simmo.”
His investment comes during an ongoing Series B funding round. Valued at $240 million, FaZe Clan is the fourth-most valuable esports team, according to Forbes. It closed a $40 million funding round in April led by music mogul Jimmy Iovine and mobile e-commerce platform NTWRK.
Simmons, born in Australia, said he wants to help broaden the international appeal of FaZe Clan. Simmons streamed Call of Duty: Warzone on Twitch during the coronavirus hiatus, and also competed in a tournament alongside other athletes like Paul George and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Other Athlete FaZe Clan Investors:
— New Orleans Pelicans’ Josh Hart
— Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard
— Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray
Powering Your Esports Strategy
Activision Blizzard is arguably one of the world’s most successful video game companies. The organization owns a suite of the top entertainment franchises, including the epic video games Overwatch ®, World of Warcraft®, Candy Crush®, and Heroes of the Storm®.
iX.co was asked to migrate the Overwatch league sites from an outdated platform to a new modern Content Management System CMS (content management system).
Epic Games is hitting the road with the Hummer EV. Unreal Engine — which is the game engine for Fortnite — will power the interface for GMC’s all-electric Hummer that is set to be unveiled on Oct. 20.
A piece of the integration of Unreal Engine into cars is “based on a prediction that autonomous vehicles will one day make the act of driving less important than the activities you can do in the car.” An example presented includes games exclusive to an automaker’s user.
In August, Epic Games was valued at $17.4 billion following a $1.78 billion fundraise, which included a $250 million investment from Sony. The company is also in a legal battle against Apple’s App store rules — the trial will begin next summer.
Riot Games announced it’s closing its office in Sydney, and shutting down the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League for “not meeting goals.”
Activision Blizzard is closing its French office.
There’s a new video game taking the industry by storm: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. The cartoonish battle royale game has become the No. 1 most-downloaded game on PlayStation Plus and sold more than 7 million copies on PC. Now it’s reportedly headed to Xbox.
Fall Guys, released by U.K.-based indie studio Mediatonic on Aug. 4, is priced at $19.99. Its second season — with a medieval theme — will be released in October.
Fall Guys is similar in play to Mario Party and has also become a hit to watch. It was among the most-watched games on Twitch in August.
Fall Guys By The Numbers:
— 7 million copies sold on PC.
— Most-downloaded PS Plus game (PlayStation doesn’t release specific numbers).
— 1.2 million Twitter followers.
— 182,000 average viewers on Twitch the week of Aug. 11.