Over the past four decades, playing video games has gone from an adolescent pastime to a global business and a burgeoning world of competition, becoming more popular than baseball, basketball and football among men age 18 to 25. According to the NewZoo 2018 Global eSports Market Report, there are currently 165 million eSports enthusiasts around the globe and another 215 million occasional viewers. To put that into perspective, the record for a Super Bowl-viewing audience is 114 million people.
The real estate of eSports:
Watching video games isn’t just an at-home experience for fans – increasingly large-scale events are setting live attendance records, and dedicated eSports arenas are popping up around the world. Certain types of real estate locations with higher vacancies, such as the following, may serve as landing spots for venues to watch, participate in and/or practice eSports:
- Malls with retail vacancies could look to eSports to fill vacancies and draw young shoppers.
- Older suburban office locations near major cities could utilize eSports as a repositioning strategy, as could retail locations with big box stores that are closing some or all of their locations.
- Theme parks have space, technology and capital to create environments where players experience games in very interactive ways, integrating eSports with virtual reality.
- Hotels can also benefit from eSports locations as an amenity and demand driver, as has been the case around the Blizzard Arena LA and the eSports Arena Las Vegas, the latter of which is situated inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
All things considered, one could imagine the local eSports arena in all its different variations filling a physical and cultural space similar to arcades of the 1970s and 1980s.
This article was featured in The Edge, Cushman & Wakefield’s global magazine.