What was once a little known online activity for a few enthusiasts of multiplayer online games is now a multi-million dollar industry which is predicted by experts in-the-know to grow a whopping 25% this year reaching over $178 million USD. This revenue boom is expected to continue at least into 2020 where it could surpass 200 million USD.
Those that stand to benefit from this growth include:
- game developers,
- live venues,
- streaming platforms,
- TV networks,
The revenue from eSports mainly comes from:
- media rights deals,
- ticket sales,
Much of the eSports growth is due to the increasing audiences which is expected to grow 18% this year to about 30 million. According to some, the viewership will reach 50 million by year 2023. And it’s getting easier and easier to join the global audience as the livestreaming of the multiplayer games can be seen on sites like Twitch and YouTube. Plus, there are live venues that show the games on a large screen such as Madison Square Garden in NYC and Key Arena in Seattle.
In case you’re wondering, this trend is not just in the U.S., it’s very much alive in Europe and Asia, especially in S. Korea and China. All this is quite remarkable considering that only a few years ago, advertisers wouldn’t even consider reaching out to kids playing online games against each other.
Over the years, online games have become more and more a personal experience. Another way to express oneself with armor, choice of weapons, and choice of many male or female avatars. In a nutshell, you can control your appearance in the game and that makes the whole game more fun. Now, a computer software company called Modulate, co-founded by Mike Pappas and Carter Huffman is introducing voice skins, which will basically change the way you sound in the game.
Modulate uses neural networks and machine learning in order to allow a user to customize their voice. You could choose a voice sounding like the opposite gender, or maybe your favorite celebrity. So, if the skin you happen to be wearing is of something menacing or makes your avatar look intimidating you might change your voice skin to Darth Vader.
On the other hand, for those players that are somewhat self-conscious about the sound of their natural voice, Modulate’s voice skin could let them have a better game experience.
Of course, all of this is still in Modulate’s pilot program where they are testing with certain chat platforms and new games. Other features they want to add would be such things as changing your accent. This feature could give a British accent to an American player or a Texas drawl to a British player.
World of Tanks is a PvP (player versus player) and MMO (massively multiplayer online game) developed by Wargaming. The title gives away the game play, but the historical accuracy in the game is amazing. It’s all about the armoured combat vehicles of WW2 and you will see tanks from various countries, such as:
- and the Soviet Union
You will not only see them, you will test them yourself by driving them and operating their heavy guns in the game’s combat sessions. Although World of Tanks is PvP, you will belong to a squad of tanks or other armoured combat vehicles and you will need to work as a team in other to have any advantage in the vicious tank battles.
As of December 2013, the game has 75 million registered players worldwide and a 1.1 million peak concurrent players!
World of Tanks is so much fun that it’s been spun off to several variations including:
- the Xbox 360 named: World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition,
- there is also a PlayStation 4 version,
- Mobile users have World of Tanks Blitz,
- a board game titled World of Tanks Rush,
- a collectable card game titled World of Tanks: Generals.