Video Game News & Discussion 2.0


eSports is where all the gaming money will be eventually. It’s worth more to invest in that than any single-player experience for most companies.


It’s funny that you say that, because literally in my post above, I say I disagree with this general opinion.

I don’t think eSports will ever be as big or as profitable as a lot of people think it will be. I don’t think it will ever draw the audience or make the amounts of money that people seem to think is always on the horizon.

Personally, I think companies investing in eSports at the expense of single-player experiences are making a huge mistake and are just following a fad.


eSports is already enormous. Like anime and many other things, it already has the numbers and audience size, it just doesn’t receive proportional attention from the major media companies. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not big. It actually means that those mainstream media companies are the ones in trouble because the huge young audience that watches eSports is not watching them. And when old people die, they will also die.

The Super Bowl in 2018 averaged 103.4 million viewers.

The League of Legend World Championships 2018

Averaged about 47 million viewers, so almost half a Super Bowl. Did it get almost half a Super Bowls worth of recognition by non-nerd media? Not even close. Probably got about as much attention as a college hockey game.


Single-player experiences can’t make enough money for wall street without post-launch monetization models. No one cares about a game that gets sold once: the margins are better elsewhere.

I’m talking purely from the investment perspective. It’s not a matter of whether they can make money: it’s how much money over how long a period of time for how much investment.

Studios with plenty of cash or other means of satisfying investors can make these kinds of games. But investment is all about margins and multiples.

The Street sees eSports as the only real long-term multiple.


To some degree, I agree with you.

League of Legends is huge. But that’s just one game. I don’t think the success of LoL represents the future of eSports generally, or that other games will be as big.

While the Super Bowl is certainly huge, there’s more to just professional sports than just the NFL and the Super Bowl. I doubt we’re going to see many other eSports games being able to replicate even half of LoL’s success, the same way we have the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, World Cup, etc.

LoL is an aberration, a fluke, a one-off. I don’t think its success can be replicated or monetized the same way for other games.


I agree 100% with you that single-player experiences can’t make enough money for Wall street, and as a result, the investment capital is pushing developers to make multiplayer games instead.

I just don’t think that Wall Street and other investors will see the return on their investment that they’d like, and will eventually take their money and put it somewhere else. As I noted above, everyone sees the success of LoL and all the money its making and thinks that they can replicate that. I don’t think they can. A perfect example of this are MMORPGs.

After WoW came out, it seemed like everyone and their brother was trying to make an MMORPG to capitalize on the sheer amounts of money that Blizzard was making. Very few companies managed to come even close, and look at the state of MMORPGs today… most of them are free to play. WoW is a shadow of itself, and there are very few subscription-based MMOs left. The market is mostly dominated by one game that’s stagnating and slowly bleeding subscribers. The MMORPG genre is dying, at least the subscription model version of it. If you had told people that even 5 years ago, they probably wouldn’t have believed you.

I think the same thing is going to happen with eSports. It’s going to get a lot of attention in the next couple of years, LoL is going to make heaps of money, very few, if any games are going to be able to replicate that level of success or come even close, eSports never fully realize its potential, and then it fizzles out and some other new genre rises to prominence.


You’re taking a very US-centric view. The US market is probably the least important long-term esports market.


You’re right, I am, but the games that are going to be popular in non-US markets aren’t going to be made by the traditional videogame companies we think of. They’re going to be dominated by Chinese companies making games for Chinese players. Activision, EA, etc. will never be that popular in those countries. Trying to chase eSports money to appeal to those gamers seems like a fool’s errand to me.


Thinking it like that, subscriptio mmos have always been dead. I don’t think there ever was a time where there were lots of well doing subscription mmos going on at the same time. So it just makes sense that the genre has evolved into working with other monetazation models and even and overall the genre is going strong.


Yes, but I think that genre is representative of the whole system.

In today’s world, there is actually very little competition in markets. There’s usually the clear market leader that’s dominant, and everyone else is just running around fighting over scraps.


All these companies completely dominate their fields. LoL dominates eSports and will continue to just suck up all the money. I just don’t see other games becoming even close as big as LoL. I think the very term “eSports” is a misnomer. It’s not a “sport,” it’s just one game making gobs of money, for the most part. Everyone else trying to replicate that success will fall short.


LoL is the biggest, but it’s not an outlier. 100k+ people are watching GDQ right now during the off hours. Ninja, the Twitch streamer, has about 50k average viewers. Average simultaneous viewers on Counter-Strike championships are 800kish. Nationally televised NBA games get a few million total views. These things are not far off in terms of actual audience. But NBA results are on every newspaper and TV station, and GDQ is not anywhere.


But that’s exactly my point. GDQ will never get the media attention that NBA games get. It will never get the ratings or the advertiser dollars. It will always be a niche thing. As a result, it will never get NBA money.


It’s not a niche thing. It has a comparably huge audience to real sports. Just like there are YouTube channels with bigger audiences than sitcoms on actual TV. Just like there are webcomics with more readers than newspaper comics, and manga with more readers than Batman.

The attention from the media establishment is disproportionate to the audience for the things it covers. The newspaper covers the local sports because its owned by the local TV station which airs those games. Even if there is an eSports event in town that has a bigger draw.

Madison Square Garden hypes the fuck out of every time Billy Joel comes to play there, meanwhile Phish comes to sell the place out for four nights and they hardly say anything about it.

Recognition or attention from mainstream media isn’t an indicator of success or failure. The audience size is the indicator, and eSports are already a success, and are growing. The failure is the media itself that will collapse as its audience dies and the people who are still alive are not their customers.


Gotcha. Thought you were a bit closer to Attleboro, given that you talked about Emerald Square. Then again Foxboro isn’t all that far from Attleboro, though.


For the record, here’s an esport with about half the numbers of League

It’s not scraps, League is closer to 30-40% of the pie


Of course it’s a niche thing. Pretty much everyone has heard of basketball and the NBA, even if they don’t watch it. Pretty much the entire planet, with some exceptions, know or at least have heard of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James.

While there might be a big audience for GDQ, outside of that audience, practically no one knows what it is. No one has heard of it. Even if you don’t watch Basketball, you still see Lebron James in commercials, in the news, etc. I don’t think there will ever be an eSports star who will have comparable fame to Lebron James, or even less famous sports stars. If you went up to a random person in pretty much anywhere in the US, in Europe, in China, Japan, and asked them if they know who Lebron James is, they’ll probably be able to tell you. Can you say the same thing about GDQ? Not even all my nerdy friends know what it is.

Just because you’re aware of something doesn’t mean that it’s widely known. This forum is a bubble and a self-selecting group of people. On this forum, sure, people know what GDQ is. But even here, I’ve never watched it, I have no idea who the people who participate in it are, and unless I’m on this forum, I never would have encountered it.


Ask random people on the street who pew die pie is.

Based on results, we can see that he’s not that big a deal and his viewership numbers are very small.

Nobody knows who he is compared to like brad pitt or whoever.


Speaking of Pew Die Pie, as if we needed more evidence to know what kind of asshole he (and his fans, depending on who specifically was responsible for this) is:


Ask people not on a street. Ask children in a school or ask nerds in their basements. They will all know who stupid ass Pew Die Pie is. Their numbers are vast.


That is exactly my point.

His viewership numbers may be huge, but outside of the niche world of YouTube videogame personalities, no one knows who he is. He’s famous in a super specific area.

Pew die pie will never be as famous as Brad Pitt or any A List movie star. He will never have crossover appeal or fame, even if he wasn’t an asshole.

eSports will never be hugely popular in the US, or really outside of China and South Korea.

In that article you posted about The International, while overall, the final was watched by 15 million people, “checking the western statistics for the average amount of viewers, as well as hours watched. TI7 had — on average — 400,000 viewers, while TI8 had roughly 500,000 viewers.”

I have no idea who makes up that 500,000 viewers, but compare that to the 2018 NCAA Championship Game, a college sport, and a purely regional (as in only USA-based) game: 16.5 million viewers, and that was a 23% drop from 2017.

Comparatively, 44.5 million people watched the 2018 World Cup final just on the BBC.

Overall, over 3.6 billion people, over half the world’s population, watched the 2018 World Cup.