Brendan Sinclair’s gamesindustry.biz article ‘eSports market to hit $696 million this year’ confirms the exponential growth of eSports, predicting a continued rise in the eSports economy with figures predicted to rise by 41.3% in 2017 from an estimated $493 million in 2016. By 2020 Newzoo (providers of market intelligence covering the global games, esports, and mobile markets) predict that the eSports market will reach $1.5 Billion. You can read Sinclair’s analysis in full here.
The huge sums of money coming into eSports, from brands, games companies, and audiences, have significant implications for the nature of video games as play. Tom Brock (a member of this network) explores some of these implications in his article ‘Roger Caillois and eSports: On the Problems of Treating Play as Work.’ Recently published in Games and Culture, in a special issue on Caillois’ work, the article extends Caillois’ sociology of games to eSports to warn against turning play into work, presenting a critical account of the impact that electronic sports has on human psychology. You can read this article in full here: Tom Brock, ‘Roger Caillois and eSports; On the Problems of Treating Play as Work,’ Games and Culture. There’s a pre-print version of the article here for those without access to Games and Culture.
Tom has also recently published on the ways in which players derive satisfaction and motivation from the more negative aspects of video gameplay, particularly failure and loss. You can read this article in full here: Tom Brock, ‘Videogame Consumption: The Apophatic Dimension,’ The Journal of Consumer Culture. There’s a pre-print version of the article here.