Competitive video gaming or more popularly known as “Esports” has taken the world by storm. With increasing viewership and popularity among the younger generations, it is estimated that the global market revenue of the gaming industry will reach as high as $152.1 Bn in 2019, with Western Europe as the third-largest consumer group. For quite a long time, Esports has been considered a niche market, but with astronomical figures such as these, it is without a doubt that Esports has finally broken into the mainstream.
In Europe alone, Esports is reported to have earned €240 million or $267.81 million in US dollars. Global consultancy company, Deloitte, has recently released a report that the European Esports market is forecasted to reach 105 million people by 2020 and with steady growth, it is all set to rake in €670 million by 2023 with an annual growth rate of 23%.
The rise in popularity of online video games has gained traction from both endemic and non-endemic brands resulting in an increase in revenue from sponsorships, advertising, merchandise sales, media rights, and online streaming. In fact, 60% of the estimated overall earnings are expected to come from sponsorships and advertising media.
With growing demand and audience for Esports, even multinational brands such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Pringles, Audi, and Kia Motors have gotten onboard the trend as they pledge sponsorship to professional teams and Esports tournaments such as the League of Legends European Championship and the European Gaming League.
On the contrary, mainstream media has yet to catch up with the booming Esports industry. But for large non-endemic brands that have recognized the need to shift their advertising and marketing budget to the growing electronic sports gaming scene, they would be more likely able to position themselves better in the global Esports market.
Germany leading the European Esports scene
Germany is a key market for a number of reasons. First, Germany is actually the fifth largest market of video games accounting for 44.3 million players and $4.7 billion in games revenue accounting for 29% of the overall European gaming market, according to a study by GamingScan. And this doesn’t stop there because according to Deloitte, the German eSports space has a massive growth rate of 21% and it is estimated to reach €180 million by 2023. Again, remember that these figures are only estimates for the German market alone.
Second, Germany has become a hotbed of talented gamers, developers, and significant tournaments. A reasonable number of leagues, event organizers and professional teams such as SK Gaming and the world’s oldest and largest Esports company, ESL, are both located in Germany. Having said that, Germany is host to a lot of various international leagues and competitions that draw in thousands to millions of spectators worldwide. As a matter of fact, two of the most famous tournaments that Germany is a host today are the League of Legends World Championships and the ESL One Dota 2 Tournament.
Consequently, Germany is home to a myriad of video game developers such as Ubisoft Blue Byte, Ubisoft Berlin, Crytek, InnoGames, Gameforge, and Deep Silver. All of which have produced high-grossing game titles such as Assassin’s Creed Identity, Elex, The Surge, the Far Cry Series, and the FIFA Manager Series.
Lastly, the German government is willing to open its doors to welcome professional gamers from all over the world to live and participate in local Esports events and competitions. If the draft will be passed as a law, this will aid foreign Esports athletes to hasten visa applications and speed up permanent residency permits. This effort is believed to bolster and promote the local Esports scene.
Overall, the European Esports market has irrefutably a vast opportunity for growth and further development and apparently, Germany is at the forefront of it all. Especially with improvements in visa regulations, Germany will be setting the direction of the European gaming industry.