Video gaming usage is up 45% in the United States, according to Nielsen. Last weekend, the 2nd most viewed event on FOX Sports was a NASCAR esports race. The virtual racing event had 1.3M viewers, up from 903k viewers the week prior for the first esports race in the series. You can watch the recap here.
This week, Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends, launched a new game called “VALORANT”, which is a direct competitor to Overwatch and CS:GO. The game had over 1.3M concurrent viewers on Twitch alone this week. You can watch the gameplay here.
On Twitter, the second half of March saw gaming conversation volume jump 71% in comparison to the first two weeks. Lastly, Call of Duty:Warzone now has over 50 million players. A chart below shows how this compares to the launch of Apex Legends and Fortnite.
This sector is proving to be quite resilient in these uncertain times for the global economy. I expect these trends to continue.
In video game development, studios spend ~$17B per year on outsourced talent. Rupie is a talent marketplace for game development and is led by a fantastic team in Austin Anderson, Jonathan Tzou, and David Panzarella.
In 2018, Activision Blizzard alone paid out over $183M to outsourced talent. Over 15% of the developers who built Call of Duty, 300 of the ~2000, were outsourced contractors. According to Gamasutra, over 86% of game studios leverage outsourced talent at some point to build their game titles. Over 51% of non-AAA studio budgets go to labor costs and the AAA studios spend about 35% on labor costs. Over 49% of the world’s game developers are based in North America, a market which already accounts for over half of the gig / freelance economy.
In the outsourced talent space, generic talent marketplaces were the first movers and this spawned successful companies like Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal. In recent years, more specialized talent marketplaces by industry have emerged. Examples of this include companies like RigUp (oil and gas), Paro (finance), Mandy (performing arts), and many others. Yet in video gaming, there is no clear market leader addressing this issue.
We believe Rupie will be the marketplace leader who will directly address this $17B market opportunity going forward.
Given the rise of both remote work and video gaming, we fully expect this addressable market segment within game development to increase in the coming years. We believe this will be very positive for Rupie. The Rupie management team has a strong market presence, a proven ability to execute, and are a pleasure to work with.
We are thrilled to be in their corner.