Many will argue that the fastest growing sport in this world right now, isn't even a sport at all.
The growth of esports is staggering and has continued to rise exponentially over the last 5 years. The number of investments in esports doubled in 2018. That's reflected in the total dollars invested, which were up to $4.5 billion in 2018 from just $490 million the year before, a staggering year over year growth rate of 837%, per Deloitte.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic, which changed the nature of esports viewership. The lines between esports, livestreaming, and even influencer marketing have become blurred. The pandemic led to viewing spikes across all livestreaming platforms. People were required to spend time at home during the lockdown and so turned to livestreaming to wile away their time. While the eSports market faced challenges during this time, it also saw considerable growth and expanded into markets where there had previously been little activity. However, the industry suffered from the cancellation of many in-person events, and some international events had to be replaced by regional competitions.
Games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty Warzone, Valorant and Apex Legends are just some of the games that millions of gamers across the world both play and watch at an extremely high level, which has benefitted the video game content creators to gain a plethora of followers and subscribers. A win for the independent creators everywhere.
Now one of the major video game companies is taking a step forward into new technology.
As Epic Games pushes further into the metaverse, it’s strengthening ties with giants in digital entertainment and toys. The “Fortnite” maker raised $2 billion, split evenly between Sony and Kirkbi, owner of The Lego Group. The new funding bumped Epic’s valuation to $31.5 billion. Epic was previously valued at $28.7 billion from a $1 billion funding round in April 2021, which included $200 million from Sony, who took a 1.4% stake.
While the most obvious link between Epic and the PlayStation producer is gaming, Sony could also collaborate on scripted content.
Epic also several executives from Lucasfilm, and its Unreal Engine game development technology is also used by Hollywood studios. This led many to believe the company could they be looking to start an entertainment division as well.
If you're interested in more eSports and gaming content, let me know in the comments below, as I have been mulling some interviews with some of the top gamers and content creators in the game.