Knowing your game
How electronic game companies use Big Data for retention and monetization
Business white paper
June 2014, Hewlett-Packard Development Company
A recent Boston Globe business article describes 23 year old Steve Serge as a star. Not just because “STAR” is the player name he uses during his online gaming sessions, but also because he’s a celebrity—with hundreds of thousands of fans watching him play live on Twitch.tv, or watching his recorded Team Fortress 2 sessions.1 In the rapidly growing and evolving world of online gaming, there are many more like him, ace gamers with the kind of skill that attracts attention from all over world.
It shouldn’t surprise us that online games have become a spectator sport. Like all forms of game—from football, to poker, to chess—the entertainment afforded by electronic gaming begins at an individual level, frequently expands to team participation, and, as appreciation grows for the skills involved, a game can attract hordes of people who just want to watch.
One name for this aspect of electronic gaming is “eSports.” In October 2013, the Staples Center in Los Angeles sold out within one hour for the popular online game “League of Legends” finals. Move over, LA Lakers.
How big has the electronic game industry2 become? Gartner Group estimates the combined mobile and PC-based game industry will grow to more than $43 billion USD by 2015. Add to that another $68 billion USD for console (Wii, etc.) and handheld video, and Gartner’s market size estimate shoots north of $110 billion USD. While console-based video games will still dominate, the mobile device gaming market is growing fastest, nearly doubling in size during the three years Gartner has kept track.3 Let’s put this market size in perspective with three other very well-established entertainment sectors. In 2012, the worldwide film industry grossed under $35 billion USD at the box office;4 the global sports market—including live venue and broadcast, merchandising, and sponsorship—is estimated at $145 billion USD by 2015;5 and the worldwide haul for pay TV services in 2013. Around $153 billion USD.6
Download White Paper (.PDF):HP_GamingWP_6-24-2014