Middle East is steadily moving towards value driving consumption, with increased focus on local development. Middle East is moving towards improved age and gender parity among online gamers. The majority will continue to play on mobile devices in 2021 but the PRO gamers prefer to play in large screens primarily PC. The smartphone give a massive push to gamers for going PC towards their competency, career and pride.
THE GROWTH BY MULTIPLE FACTORS
With the development of comprehensive local expertise and influx of fresh funds, role of local companies is evolving from being a service provider to end-to-end game developers. This trend is expected to become bigger in future; with companies developing enhanced content customized to local market preferences. These local theme and language based games are expected to positively impact the consumption patterns in near future.
Global giants see big gaming play in India. Global internet giants Google, Microsoft and several others are coming together to chase the highly lucrative gaming market in Middle East by various forms which will advocate, catalyse and facilitate the growth and capability building of the gaming industry in India.
A GROWING GLOBAL AUDIENCE
- With users engaging for 51 minutes daily, video gaming is now more engaging than any social media outlet (Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram). It’s a top engagement digital platform globally.
- In 2017, the audience of esports will reach a total of roughly 385 million people globally.
- In 2016, The League of Legends Championship sold out the 15,000-seat Los Angeles’ Staples Center in twelve minutes, and The International Dota 2 Championship sold out the 40,000-seat World Cup Stadium in Seoul while drawing an online audience of 27 million. Earlier this year, the Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Poland drew 173,000 fans over two weekends.
- Total prize money in 2016 reached $93 million, up from $61 million in 2015 and a far cry from $5 million in 2010. The prize pool of the 2016 The International Dota 2 Championship was $20.8 million, an amount representing nearly double the payout of The Masters golf tournament.
A TOP-TIER TALENT POOL
- To rise through the ranks, players develop their skills through extensive, competitive play. Some even train up to 14 hours a day to hone quick reflexes and multi-tasking abilities.
- Successful pro gamers can earn six figure salaries or even millions in a year. Top players often start professionally around age 16 or 17, and then tend to retire around age 24.
Becoming a top esports player is no simple achievement. To rise through the ranks, players specialize in a specific game, developing their skills through extensive, competitive play. Some even train up to 14 hours a day to hone quick reflexes and multi-tasking abilities. Talented players primarily have two options in pursuing their esports careers:
- Streaming: Gamers who livestream themselves as they play video games are referred to as “streamers.” This is typically done in casual play. While streaming can be incredibly profitable, many streamers have to decide whether they want to stream for a living or try and play professionally and run the risk of making less money. With that said, not all streamers have the skill to play professionally. Instead, some simply have “streaming personalities” that viewers find entertaining to follow, donate to, and subscribe to. This can create impressive revenue streams for the most successful. For example, the most popular YouTube channel in the world belongs to a video game streamer who goes by the name of “PewDiePie.” He has such a polarizing style that viewers often find him either “highly delightful or incredibly annoying,” and currently has close to 57 million YouTube subscribers. In 2015, he reportedly made $7.4 million.
- Playing Professionally: The few who rise to the professional level compete in tournaments all around the world against the best teams. During the journey, they usually build up a fan base for themselves as well as for the teams and organizations they play for (analogous to Lebron James having a following whether he’s at the Heat or the Cavaliers). Successful pro gamers can earn six figure salaries or even millions. Top players often start professionally around age 16 or 17, and then tend to retire around age 24. Of course, there is variation across different games and publishers, but esports professionals generally start and end their careers much earlier than the average professional athlete. Retired esports professionals may opt tostream themselves, coach esports teams, start their own team, work for publishers, or finish their involvement with esports.
Fans are deeply engaged: Fans are already averaging 100 minutes per session spectating. Interestingly, only about half of viewers actually play the video game they are watching. Furthermore, 60% of esports fans are willing to travel to see their favorite games, tournaments, and players.
Fans are young digital natives: Research indicates that 65% of fans are between the ages of 18-34, and, while the fan base does skew male, 38% of esports fans are women. Among American male millennials (age 21 to 35), esports is just as popular as baseball or ice hockey, with 22% watching it. In North America, the most popular sport in the region, football, is only 2x as popular as esports among male millennials. For male viewers between the ages of 36 and 50, football is only 3x as popular.