The esports industry has seen amazing growth in recent years. In the US alone there are 29.6 million esports viewers per month: that’s like all the Australians (and then some) tune in to watch competitive video games – a far cry from what was considered a geek activity just a few decades ago.
With benefits comes revenue – esports is now a multi-billion dollar global industry. The gaming market is worth $145 billion in the United States, making it the largest sector in the entire entertainment industry. On the competitive gaming side, projected revenue in the esports segment is set to range from $1 billion (AU$1.3 billion) to $3 billion (AU$4.1 billion).
In Australia, esports revenue is expected to grow to $16 million by 2025 – and it looks like the Gold Coast will boast a big chunk of that pie. Earlier this year, luxury car and racing giants Ferrari signed a multi-year collaboration deal with simulation company Gold Coast Next Level Racing, with the company set to supply simulators to Ferrari to help train esports racers.
Hess Gah, founder of Next Level Racing, told ABC he was “humbled” by the partnership. “Ferrari is the world’s most famous motorsport and racing company, and supplying them with our products is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“Our cockpits are already in Maranello in Italy, at Ferrari’s facility. They are already using them for training and global esports competitions.”
This deal, and others like it, is part of a push to host more esports in Queensland in the run-up to the 2032 Olympics which will be officially held in Brisbane, but a number of events will be held on the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate believes that by the time the Olympics come to his city, esports will already be an Olympic sport.
“I am confident that esports will feature strongly in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics,” he said. “In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some esports competitions attracted as much spectator interest as other traditional Olympic sports.”
Mr. Tate emphasized that his city wants a share of the global esports activity, “and we’re currently talking with a range of operators about how we can achieve that,” he said.
“In July of this year, I met with the CEO of the World Esports Federation during Mayoral’s assignment to Birmingham. Details from that discussion should remain confidential for the time being, but I can confirm that the Gold Coast name is in front of key decision-makers in this industry. .”
“What has impressed the Esports Federation is how well our city has managed the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as our telecommunications and fiber optic capabilities, which should allow world-class competitions to take place.”
With Gold Coast-based simulation company Ryan Aerospace recently winning a major contract from the US Air Force, and the growing popularity of the Gold Coast Esports Cup, Mr Tate’s optimism seems well justified.