Newzoo's Peter Warman on why the future of gaming is spectators, not players

Why eSports matters

Newzoo's Peter Warman on why the future of gaming is spectators, not players

"It will impact every one of you and every business."

So said Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, as he opened his talk on how eSports are shaping the future of gaming, if not all media.

He began with his conclusion, saying that while there is a large audience of players out there, there's an even bigger audience of viewers who will watch other people play without playing themselves.

A whole new world

These viewers, as Warman said, are a "new opportunity of revenues", moreso than anyone simply playing the game could be.

This audience is currently around 200 million strong, with 115 million calling themselves "enthusiasts" who watch a lot of eSports and play them too, with the rest simply watching infrequently and not playing.

Warman said that while live shows draw in a young, male crowd, the wider audience is "more balanced", with almost a third of viewers being female, and a large percent of viewers being over 35.

The revenue streams are currently around $325 million, made from merchandise, tickets, sponsorships, and so on, and this is predicted to grow to $1072 million by 2019.

It could be better

These revenues are relatively small when considered on a per person basis, at around $3.50, which attracts more people compared to the expensive physical sports, which can cost anywhere between $15-60 per person a year in the US.

Above - Peter Warman giving a similar talk at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2016

"On average 56% of people don't spend anything on a mobile game", but on eSports games specifically, this number drops to 26%, as the players are more willing to pay money towards the games.

"If you want it to be really big, we need a higher frequency of events," advised Warman, adding that a larger diversity of genre is also required to attract more people.

He also advised that eSports needs better regulations and control of rights, as well as better representation across more traditional media.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.