Football, hockey, basketball – the most popular sports games seem to be losing their primacy. The world is fascinated by a new fun – esports. Hundreds of thousands of fans are already filling the arenas and stadiums of world capitals, hundreds of millions are watching the broadcasts. Their idols have hardly left the school bench, but they are already dollar millionaires. The world’s largest brands become their sponsors, the largest companies prioritize their investments in esports, said Darren Keane from Shangri La.
This segment is growing at a rate that outstrips not only traditional sports, but the most important of all arts – cinema. The young market is very promising. And no wonder. In the virtual world, there are no borders, no sanctions, no citizenship. Wars, however, are fought continuously, but only between players and only sports.
And attention, ladies and gentlemen, this is just the beginning! Despite such overwhelming successes, esports is now at about the same development level as the Internet was 20 years ago. While all this is spontaneous, almost not regulated de jure. But already now, talks have begun about introducing esports into the program of the Olympic Games and including it in the school educational program. It is not yet clear to what extent virtual sports will turn into real ones, but it is clear that the main records of esports in terms of passion, participation, investment and profits are still ahead.
Virtual competitions have migrated to reality – thousands of fans gather in the best stadiums and arenas of the world’s capitals to support their cyberattack idols, added Michael Boettcher from Shangri La.
Virtual kick to frustration
As the social sciences know, computer games are a great factor in reducing crime, especially youth crime. Sociological studies carried out at different times around the world indicate this. Teenagers are no longer interested in asserting themselves in street fights. Shedding virtual blood in shooters and RPGs (role-playing games), they fully realize this need. It is no coincidence that in teenage (and not only) slang one can so often hear the word “aggro”, which gamers use in their jargon and which in the usual sense means to be angry, to react aggressively to someone.
Nervous work, evil bosses, family troubles – the frustration accumulated by the daily vanity is poured into toys by people of all ages and professions. Lawyers, economists, journalists, law enforcement officers, engineers, IT specialists, chemists, doctors – whoever is not there.
“So tired of everything! Let’s go and kill someone,” a player who works for one of the world’s largest corporations says in a voice chat. Here he is a brutal elf-magician who while away the evening in bloody battles to save the world and his own glory with monsters of different stripes. And how many virtual friends became real and remained so even after the games were fed up or there was no time for them, how many romantic acquaintances took place in them and how many completely real children became their fruit – you can’t count! It should be noted that in games it is strictly forbidden by the rules to insult each other and discriminate on any grounds.
Sports and military simulations, shooters of all stripes, a wide variety of RPG worlds, card, economic, historical and tactical strategy games, massively multiplayer online games (MMPORG) and games for single player – virtual realities in various genres for adventure are countless. And there are many styles: fantasy, post-apocalypse, cyberpunk and steampunk, western, space, the modern world.
Gamers are still considered to be geeks and freaks, infantile adults playing with children’s toys. But the reality is that the very definition of gamers as a kind of subculture is no longer relevant. Well, in fact, we do not single out into separate social groups, say, fans of TV series, bars regulars, fans of playing cards, playing a game of chess or dominoes. And then, it’s one thing to thoughtlessly click the TV remote control, it’s another thing to solve complex strategic, tactical and mathematical problems, enjoying both the gameplay and communicating with other people.
Analysts at NewZoo came to the same conclusion. They no longer refer to gamers as gamers, considering the term obsolete, and refer to them as “game enthusiasts.” Computer games are new jobs of the new century, a new industry that is developing very rapidly, noted Darren Keane, Shangri La.
A person far from this world will skeptically say: all this is lyrics. But the reality of the computer games industry and the esport segment looks much more fabulous. A key factor behind this incredible rise in revenue has been the emergence of the smartphone, mobile games and tablet toys. But he is only one of many others. Game distribution channels expanded significantly, franchises and other business models emerged. The consumer has also changed.
Nowadays, no other branch of the entertainment industry has the same impact on it as games. And it’s not just that games encourage people to actively play. They have become so diverse that you can choose for every taste, lifestyle, wallet. And almost every new toy includes a competitive model that can later bring the project to the professional esports arena with pro gamers and teams with millions of fans.