Video games are a fun way to  pass the time. But brushing them off as kids’ toys means you’re missing out on incredible business opportunities. Video games and online gaming have more to offer than just entertainment.

The video game industry is a veritable data giant worth more than $100 billion last year alone. With an industry this big, there are countless untouched opportunities. With the rise of online gaming and streaming, there’s a non-stop wave of infinite data. All that data is very, very precious. Video games are popular already, but there gamer population is growing.Smart phone apps are a regular part of  our day, and mobile game apps are a big part of our entertainment. Things like eSports, competitive online gaming, is on par with major sports events, drawing in viewers and fans. eSports alone has grown into a multi million dollar industry slated for further growth and business opportunities. Despite the amazing profitability, there’s room to grow.

 

A Growing Audience

The gaming community is made of 1.2 billion people worldwide. That’s a whole lot of data from men, women, and children of almost all ages. Think about all the possible cross-marketing data subsets there are to find. We already know how valuable user data is, so think about how explosively valuable applied data would be. It’s not just video games companies that can benefit from their gamers. Think about millions of viewers seeing your ad or product on the screen. Or finding a niche market that can be utilized for your business. There’s no shortage of data and few collaborations beyond the obvious. Like most digital data, all that user data remains untouched. A deep analysis of this data can reveal brand new insights for business.

League of Legends Worlds (Photo by Redbull)

In 2013, the League of Legends Championship filled the Staples Center and drew 27 million viewers online, about 2 million more than all the TV viewers for the last round of the Masters. And that’s just one competition. Gaming competitions and conventions happen all over the world, drawing millions of viewers and participants. You’ll find all kinds of game content that might seem ridiculous but go viral or create trends (remember Flappy Bird?). Some of it’s unpredictable, but there’s no limit to what can happen. Who ever thought people would watch other people play games? With the rise of live-streaming platform Twitch, popular gamers make money and have strong a influence over viewers. Think about it, the gaming community and revenue is so big that Epic Games prepared $100 million for competition prize money (now might be a good time to start playing Fortnite).

 

Business Opportunities with Video Games

Advertising in eSports is growing and it’s largely untapped. For sponsors, advertisers, and video game companies, the eSports audience are potential customers just waiting to engage. Some big name companies, like Red Bull and Mountain Dew, have already begun to sponsor leagues and teams, much like they would sporting events and athletes (which many gamers are also fans of). Gamer fans can be just about anyone, even famous chefs. And it’s an easy opportunity to be a part of a relevant, growing market beyond advertising. Fans have created life outside of gaming with cosplay, panels, videos, merchandise, and more. It’s all game centric, but they delve into different industries. Think about the tech support and computer parts that go into building someone’s personal game station. Or textiles and craft supplies that cosplayers need. Food services and tech companies frequently partner with events to feed the hungry audience. And a webcam doesn’t always cut it when your streaming for donations. Even a clean energy suppliers and wall decals can get in on the action.

A data set of neurons built with an interactive game and thousands of gamers. (Photo: Alex Norton, Eyewire)

Marketing and advertising aren’t the only areas businesses take part of. You might even find a completely new way to use video games, like helping medical patients recover, teaching medical professionals, and even delaying dementia in the elderly. Video games continue to evolve with new stories, designs, and coding that change the industry. There are always new discoveries to make, like new strides in AI or VR, and other technology. No doubt there are connections between different industries that haven’t been made before, but it won’t happen if you don’t analyze the data. Don’t miss out the opportunities, explore video games and the endless possibilities for business.

Maybe video games aren’t your thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the industry. See what the data uncovers.

 

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