Esports Heading for 20 Years of Growth Says Newzoo’s Remer Rietkerk
Analytics company Newzoo says esports hit the $1 billion global revenue mark in 2019. Its head of esports, Remer Rietkerk, recently spoke with NPR’s Ari Shapiro about the potential of the esports industry.
Rietkerk was asked if he expected esports to reach the size and scope that traditional sports have reached. “One day,” he answered though he believes traditional sports has had a 100-120-year head start so he says it’s not something, “we should expect to see in the next 20 years.”
The Newzoo executive says he is, however, “bullish” on the future of esports. With more young people watching esports and playing video games, “more young people are aging into the market, and a larger percentage of them are watching esports.” He adds:
“When you consider the fact that esports has only kind of begun to permeate the mainstream in the last five to 10 years, I think you could very reasonably say that you could see 20 years of year-over-year growth in the esports audience from now.”
Rietkerk also says that esports athletes are beginning to become more like traditional athletes as professional esports organizations have “come to realize that even in esports, fitness is actually important.” He adds that esports players “are starting to get into really good shape because they’re aware that being physically fit is also important for their reaction times in the game.”
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He also believes that depth of understanding, teamwork, and communication, are needed in both traditional sports and esports:
“Being able to effectively communicate, to effectively operate as a team – a lot of these skills that you would need in a traditional sport as well carry over completely into esports.”
Newzoo’s projections for the esports market’s value are well cited across the esports industry and press. Esports audiences are rising rapidly and this increase is inspiring brand investment, in turn driving revenue growth.