Jess Colwill, February 15, 2017

Esports Economy Forecast To Reach Nearly $700 Million In 2017

A new report suggests that the esports market will continue to grow at an exponential rate, expanding by 41% this year to reach a new value of $696 million USD.

The 2017 Global Esport Market Report, commissioned by NewZoo, suggests that all areas of the market are on track to achieve impressive growth in Advertising, Sponsorship, Merchandise & Tickets, and Game Publisher Fees.

Media Rights is the real growth area for esports in 2017 according to this forecast, with the analysts expecting it to balloon by 81.5%. This follows on the back of some record-setting deals in 2016 such as the agreement between Riot Games and MLBAM to broadcast League of Legends.

NewZoo estimates that the amount of money each esports enthusiast contributes to this overall economy will grow from its current share of $3.64 to $5.20 by 2020. This number remains unfortunately low compared to the amount that traditional sports fans contribute, upwards of $50 on average in 2015 across the mainstream sports sector.

The global audience for esports is expected to reach 385 million people this year, split fairly evenly between 191 million committed “enthusiasts” and 194 million “occasional” viewers. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for an overwhelming percentage of these viewers, with 51% of all esports fans coming from there.

The NewZoo report makes special mention of esports betting, suggesting that “three years ago, a traditional betting company stated that esports was already its seventh-biggest sport worldwide in terms of betting volume, positioning it above golf and tennis, for instance.

“With most big betting companies already embracing esports betting on a global scale, it’s possible that esports betting alone is larger than the esports economy itself.”

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.