Gamification seems to be everywhere. Gaming is a part of every industry, whether it’s business, art, education, or sports. The global esports audience is expected to reach 532million this year. Those living in emerging regions (MENA) are also predicted to grow, going from 83.6 millions in 2021 to 95.5million in 2022.
Post-pandemic, there is much to be learned from industries that have maintained steady growth, especially if we want to draw generation next’s attention because their evolving consumer behaviours and social use of technology are leading the transition to Industry 4.0.
Mobile titles are key to esports growth and live-streaming gamers. Mobile titles will also increase esports revenues by more than 24.9 percent year-on-year, reaching $98.8 million in 2022. Gaming used to be limited to a console and a purchase of a single game. With the advent of the Internet, PC games were created, the multiplayer phase of gaming began and now these games are available at users’ fingertips on their phones. Due to this, the attention span of today’s consumers is around 0.3 seconds, so companies need to stay vigilant to consumer demands to ensure retention. Gaming was quick to adapt. They didn’t wait until sales drop to re-strategize.
New revenue streams
In recent years, the esports industry has enjoyed a large fanbase and audience. Currently, money flows into Esports through media rights and live event ticket sales, merchandise and in-game purchases. However, most of the money comes from sponsorships or advertising. However, due to the millennials’ influence, direct-to-fan business models such as merchandising (physical or digital), and loyalty and educational programmes are helping organisations diversify. NFTs and blockchain technologies, on the flip side, have created new opportunities for monetisation. NFTs, metaverses are being created by businesses from all industries.
Blockchain technology allows direct-to consumer monetisation channels to be opened that were previously untapped or unavailable. Blockchain companies have increased their efforts to reach gamers and esports fans by signing multi-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals. This increases esports’ potential and decreases its dependence on sponsorship revenues. The blockchain games industry has seen exponential growth in the last year, evolving from a largely unknown segment in 2020 to one of 2021’s biggest gaming topics. DappRadar reports that the number of blockchain games has increased by almost 400 over the past year. This growth led to a new game model: play to earn (P2E), which rewards players with cryptocurrencies for playing certain titles. P2E titles have a smaller market than traditional games but are growing rapidly.
Regional governments are also investing heavily in the technological and soft infrastructure needed to support the esports community. From attracting talent to facilitating events – these entities are actively helping esports thrive. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have allocated funds for gaming and other sectors. There is a large portion of the population under 25 so there are many opportunities for youth to join the gaming community and help the market grow.
Mario Pérez is the CEO at MENATech (a company of GGTech Entertainment)