eNET video game and e-sport research 2022
Summarizing the recent survey, it can be seen that, similarly to international trends, the popularity of domestic e-sports is increasing.
22. 06. 2022.
The number of people playing e-sports games, whether they are casual gamers or more serious competitors, is growing year by year, and this growth has not been slowed by the termination of restrictions due to covid, according to the latest eNET research. According to our survey of April 2022, the spending of the Hungarian e-sports base reached HUF 65 billion in the past year, to which the growth of the solvent layer and the rise in prices also contributed.
According to our nationally representative video games research, 56% of the adult population is used to playing video games. Out of these millions of gamers, 730,000 play e-sports games (such as LoL, PuBG, CS: GO), either on an ad hoc basis or more seriously. This so-called e-sports base also generates a significant market, as their spending has reached HUF 65 billion in the past year, according to our e-sports research. This may seem like a lot, but when breaking down into a monthly level, it usually costs only HUF 7,500 per person, which includes buying a CS: GO mug for example. In addition to the obvious purchases of video games and hardware, revenue also comes from game subscriptions, in-game spending, and the purchase of goods related to games. Besides the growing trend of recent years, a greater share of the base with own earnings (48% in 2021 and 61% in 2022) forecast a further increase in turnover.
Anyone who plays sports knows well what an experience it is to compete with others, especially if one manages to win. Well, even among e-athletes, the love of competing comes first when asked about the main motivations that encourage competitive playing. Another important motivating factor is the possibility of development and getting to know or pushing their own borders. What is more, half of the contestants said they see an opportunity to make money with e-sports.
In terms of the platforms used for e-sports, the PC continues to lead the way, but technological developments and the expansion of subscription options may reorganize this aspect of e-sports over time. In the second place, a tie can be recognized between laptops, consoles, and smartphones, the latter two growing in proportion from year to year. The increase in the solvency of gamers is also playing a role in the fact that more and more people are investing in a game console, that unlike a phone, PC or laptop, is only suitable for gaming. Here, the PlayStation (PS) has the largest market share, with 64% of console owners having some form of PS model, but Xbox models are close in second place (54%). PCs are used by many not only for gaming but also for consuming video content related to e-sports (75%), and a similar proportion use smartphones for this purpose (72%).
Like all semiconductor products, the hardware market has been negatively affected by the shortage of raw materials and the origination inconveniences, with three-quarters of customers experiencing the resulting disruptions. In addition to the shortage of goods, the increase in prices was also significant during the period under review, with four out of ten customers stating that they did not buy any desired hardware due to higher prices. Due to the pandemic, 26% of those playing e-sports games started playing more, 24% spent more time watching e-sports-related videos and broadcasts, and 31% tried some new games. This change proved to be lasting, not declining back to previous levels with the end of closures.
The popularity of some games is proving to be life-giving, while real success games can sustain the interest of the e-sports community for a long time. LOL, which has been ranked first on the popularity list for a few years now, has been the best this year, with PuBG coming in second, gaining the popularity of CS: GO. VALORANT, which appeared as a comet a couple of years ago, has improved another place this year, making it now the fourth most popular game.
Purchasing games on physical media, such as DVDs and Blu-rays, has declined, and the convenience of purely digital solutions means the present and future of e-sports. As part of this, the rise of cloud-based technologies in e-sports is also dynamic: more than a third of those playing e-sports games have already tried this solution and are equally open to trying it out in the near future. The competition between service platforms is extremely fierce, which is due, among other things, to the “winner takes it all” phenomenon typical of software solutions. Among domestic gamers, the “Geeforce Now” platform is the best known and has been tried by most, but Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia and PlayStation Now are also competing to become the domestic market leaders.
It remains a divisive question whether competitive video gaming can be considered a sport. In addition to the nearly 100,000 growth in the consumer base, the fact that e-sports has already got the attention of the International Olympic Committee and the inclusion of e-sports in the Olympic program is a good example of the growing importance of e-sports. Such a decision would decide the “whether e-sport is a sport” issue. Another frequently cited argument in favor of apostrophizing e-sport as a “real” sport is that a competition is extremely exhausting mentally, which can only be done with the right concentration if a gamer is in good physical condition. According to the research, 70% of the consumer base plays sports in their free time. Most people tend to do to some form of endurance sport (running, swimming, cycling), but many go to the gym, while football is also popular.
In summary similarly to international trends, the popularity of domestic e-sports is increasing. The trends that have emerged since 2016 have been amplified by the coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturers are also trying to exploit the potential of the market in several areas, and this healthy market competition will also benefit consumers, those who play e-sports games, as a result of which e-sports may attract even wider interest.
eNET video game and e-sports research
Since 2016, eNET has been conducting two surveys on the subject each year: a video game survey representative of the Hungarian population aged between 18 to 65 by gender, age and region, and an e-sports survey involving gamers 16 years of age or older. The 2022 research was conducted in April, with 1,002 participants in the video game research and 1,339 in e-sports research. The collaborating partners of the research are Esport1 and Esportmilla.
Source of images: eNET video game and e-sports research
Author: Dorottya Vass, eNET’s senior researcher and analyst colleague