Revenues from video game market in the nearest years may be compared with revenues from sports industry. Mobile game audience is growing rapidly and number of professional trainers, world championships with million dollars prize funds and even doping scandals and match-fixing is growing.
Game market volume
According to data from SuperData research company, global game market volume in 2015 is reaching $74,2 billions, and European research company Newzoo believes that world game market volume will grow by 17% and in 2016 it will reach $95,2 billions.
For comparison, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, world sports market revenue in 2015 will be $145,3 billions with annual average growth rate at 3,7%.
And according to estimates by J'son & Partners Consulting analytic company, only in Russia video game market in 2016 will grow by 16%, up to $1,89 billion and will be equal by volume with TV advertisement market.
Most rapidly growing segment of game market - mobile games which grows by 23% yearly at the average due to spread of smartphones and tablets, improvement of their functionality and expansion of 3G and 4G (LTE) network coverage.
At the conference for mobile games developers WNConf 2015 in Saint-Petersburg cofounder of the Russian publisher and mobile games developer Nevosoft presented data about the market.
Every sixth person played mobile games at least one time and it makes more than 1 billion mobile players.
The most significant audience is concentrated in Asian and Pacific region - 740 million mobile players, and it is Android market, besides that access to Google Play is blocked in China. By the end of 2015 mobile games revenue volume will exceed share of console games and will become the largest market segment with volume of $22,3 billion.
World video games market in 2015
Russia is leading by audience size and revenue volume in the Eastern Europe. Amount of mobile gamers in our country[PB1] is 59,5 million, and revenue from mobile games is $1,3 billion.
This situation provides favorable conditions for development [PB2] of the Russian mobile games publishers and developers and it allows them to gain abroad large revenue volumes for the Russian economy over the longer term. For example, Nevosoft earns not only with the Russian audience but also in the USA, Asia and Latin America.
Despite relatively modest market volumes compared to those of mobile games (according to SuperData data, volume of this segment in 2015 is $612 million), cyber sports attracts attention of large audience.
Spectators at cyber sports championship
In August of 2014, Amazon bought gamer video stream service Twitch at $970 million in order to get access to game audience. By that time Twitch accounted for 55 million unique users and 15 billion minutes of video accumulated for 3 years.
Championships in popular games such as Counter-Strike, Warcraft 3, Dota 2, Hearthstone collect spectators throughout the world who pay for right of watching broadcasted matches and form prize fund for players.
For example, prize pool of Dota 2 tournament, The International 2015, which is formed through deductions from the tickets has exceeded $17,6 million already. It is enough for finalist teams just to win one match in order to possess $200 thousands.
It is a considerable amount of money, therefore professional video games players become serious investees. Cybersport organizations invest money in training grounds, equipment, participation in international tournament and salaries to players.
Maintenance of ESports team stands for from $500 thousands to $5 millioin per year depending on number of disciplines in which players participate.
Thus prize money goes not to cyber sportsmen pockets but to company budget for covering of expenses, team development, training of young players and return of investments.
The winners of DotA 2 International championship
Cyber sports coahes training team for tournaments are becoming one of professional sports attribute. WSJ found out that salary of such specialist averages from $30 thousands to $50 thousands per year. Average salary of sports trainers in the USA in 2012 was about $28,4 thousands.
Like with regular sports, high-profile scandals including doping ones have already arisen at eSports arena.
For example, recently ESL (Electronic Sports League) had to state toughening of responsibility for application of forbidden products upon confession of one of Counter-Strike players of application of powerful stimulator enhancing attention, concentration and accelerating mental processes which circulation is forbidden by the Russian legislation.
Sparing match between cyber sportsmen
Online totalizators accepting bets for match results are also common, thus cyber sport has encountered player's bets on themselves and fixed matches.
Also in many cases in the course of qualifying rounds of championships that are held through the Internet teams encounter with aggressive behavior of fans or attempts to influence match results because of bets manifesting in DDoS-attacks of players computers.
After all eSports was recognized also by professional sports journalists. For example, sports.ru portal launched entire column devoted to cyber sports.