E-sport accounts for three quarters of the video games market
Expert material by Dorottya Vass, video game and eSports researcher at eNET Internet Research and Consulting Ltd.
09. 01. 2023.
The market of video games is estimated to be worth HUF 85 billion in 2022 and is likely to reach HUF 100 billion in 2023. Hardware and video game purchases, in-game spending, subscriptions, and gift purchases all contribute to this growth. For the sixth year now, eNET has been monitoring the demand for video games, including eSport games, with the latest results.
Video gaming has a wide base in our country, since it has been a stable leisure activity for 3.5 million people among the adult Hungarian population for years, and at the same time it has a huge economic market. According to our 2022 research, the annual revenue of the video game market will reach HUF 85 billion.
In terms of numbers, the eSports base lags behind the video game crowd: while video gamers include everyone who plays on their phone or computer, even if only offline, the eSports base includes 730,000 gamers who are playing with such video games that organize competitions as well (e.g. CS:GO, LoL). However, their willingness to spend money is much higher, and three-quarters of the entire video game market is corresponding to those who are playing eSport games.
The video game market − which includes the eSports market − has been growing by 20-30% a year since 2017. Even if we assume a more cautious growth of 20% by 2023 due to the current economic uncertainty, Hungarians spending could still reach the magical HUF 100 billion, of which approximately HUF 75 billion will be credited to the eSports base.
But what do we spend so much on?
Hardware purchases account for the largest part of the video game market – nearly HUF 30 billion annually. 95% of this comes from eSport gamers, which is not surprising, since casual games run on almost any smartphone and do not require a higher resolution monitor or a special mouse.
The role of video game purchases in the cash flow of the market is also emphasized: HUF 26.3 billion, 67% of which was spent by the eSports base in 2022.
However, the purchase of games are less and less tied to physical devices. Whereas in the past, most games were most easily available in a handheld case on some kind of physical carrier, the new trend, which is likely to become dominant, is now subscription-based purchasing, instead of the full-fledged purchase. With a subscription, game products are – similar to most software solutions – increasingly becoming a service, which generates a continuous source of income for game developers with periodic updates and innovations. The size of this segment of the market can be estimated at HUF 13.7 billion this year.
In-game spending also exceeded HUF 10 billion in 2022, 85% of which is attributable to eSports game players. The business potential in this area is practically limitless: just like the metaverse, where millions of dollars can be exchanged for virtual assets.
Souvenirs account for the smallest piece of the video game market, with less than 10% share. In terms of its annual volume, however, it is still not negligible, as Hungarians spend nearly HUF 5 billion on mugs, T-shirts and other products related to games.
The eSport gamer is the hardcore gamer
It is worth paying attention to those who play eSports games, because for them, gaming means much more than just a hobby, filling in the blanks: they are more likely and willing to spend larger amounts on it than others. Who are they, how much purchasing power do they have, why, what and how much do they play, what are their motivations, what do they do that is related to eSports, but not games? The key findings of eNET’s eSports research are summarised in this article.
eNET video game and eSports research
Since 2016, eNET has conducted two surveys a year on this topic: a video game survey representative of the domestic population aged 18-65 by gender, age and region, and an eSports survey of gamers aged 16 and over. The surveys of 2022 were conducted in April with Esport1 and Esportmilla as research partners.