Alongside an 8.9% drop in the S&P 500 this week, the city of San Francisco declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus. This caused many companies in gaming to cancel their attendance at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in SF (March 16-20). This list included companies like Sony, Microsoft, Facebook, Unity, Epic Games, Blizzard, EA, and more.
As a result of these cancelations, GDC has now been canceled. It is one of the most significant conferences for the gaming industry each year. This follows the cancelation of other major gatherings such as the Mobile World Congress (Spain), the Geneva Motor Show (Switzerland), and Facebook’s own F8 developer conference.
In the United States, the consumer has spent a consistent 5.2 hours (312 minutes) per day on leisure. It has only varied by ~13 minutes (4.1%) since 2004. Of the 5.2 hours, gaming is now 28 minutes per day (9%), in third place behind Socializing & Communicating (35 min, 11.2%) and Watching TV (2.8 hours, 53%).
Given that the consumer is not spending more or less time on leisure per day, it’s clear that leisure time is a zero-sum game. As people spend less time on Netflix (one-way media) and more time gaming (two-way media), I expect gaming to quickly gain a larger share of the consumer’s leisure time.
Global esports revenue surpassed $1B in 2019 as the market continuously expands. With this expansion came a massive hiring spree, especially within software development. Overall, the esports market hired 8,330 full-time workers in 2019, up 118% from 3,821 in 2018.
According to Hitmarker, “the total number of software engineering jobs in esports grew an astounding 234.49%, from 616 in 2018 to 1,940 in 2019.” The top five sectors were Software Engineering, Marketing, Design, Operations, and Sales. When looking at the total picture, $1B in revenue, 433M viewers, and jobs doubling y/y, the future looks bright for esports.
We also thought it was worth noting that the two largest geographical locations to hire in 2019 were the United States and Remote. Contrary to the global games market, in which China generates the most revenue, North America is actually the largest revenue driver for esports (37%).