Let’s explore this……
The worlds of gaming and esports will have (and already are having) a huge effect on traditional sports. If you aren’t sure about this, then I believe sport is already taking more from esports than the other way around as they are more advanced when it comes to
· Live streaming platforms
· Utilising digital content to connect with fans
· Adapting to new technologies
Therefore, I look to the world of gaming/esports to see what will impact sport down the road.
Reading the latest Newzoo report on “Trends to Watch for 2022” several things caught my eye. The full report is at the bottom:
1. There were 3bn gamers in 2021 – that’s not far off 50% of every person alive. It’s an absolutely enormous number
2. 50% of players say they go to online worlds to socialise: 80% say they intend to in the future. Whatever your beliefs this is another seismic change in human behaviour. Extrapolating the stats (dangerous I know but it gives context) then up to 2.5bn people are likely to socialise online this year. There’s a huge clue for traditional sport of they want to engage their fans
3. Gender: 41% of all gaming players are female. If you strip out some of the Metaverse games such as Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite then the stat reverses to 53% female. Now, this is taken from data in the US and Europe but however much slippage we can argue from not including Asia, Africa, South America it is still reasonably gender neutral. This is not what I understood from my year working with NSE (National Student Esports) but is a hugely encouraging statistic with regards to any brand/rights holder/sport wanting to engage in this space
Conclusion: Simple really. Sport needs to understand that the lines are merging between esports, gaming and traditional sport and therefore what is happening in the gaming space will push through into sport. The gaming movement is enormous and growing, more people want to spend even more time online and the gender bias is reasonably balanced. If you work in traditional sport you would be blind, mad, foolish not to be trying to understand how this can positively impact your job and your bottom line.