E-sports, played or closely watched by some 380 million people worldwide, are approaching a $1-billion turnover. In Turkey, the total annual turnover of the gaming industry, which has a user base of around 31 million people, is approaching $774 million, according to a report in the Habertürk newspaper.
Moreover, e-sports, whose revenue is expected to approach $2 billion with players exceeding 700 million by 2024, may even be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Many countries are said to have already started forming e-sports clubs and national teams.
Besides changing people's lifestyles around the world over the past 20 years, internet and mobile technologies have led to numerous new sectors with one surpassing them all: The digital gaming industry.
The gaming sector, which once only appealed to kids, has recently experienced a revolution in terms of both players and game developers.
Turkey is to ready to join the e-sports bandwagon. Daily Sabah recently reported that the government plans to promote the sector by increasing the number of licensed professionals and facilities, potentially creating employment opportunities for 100,000 gamers.
Currently, Turkey's e-sports scene boasts at least 15,000 amateur teams and 100,000 gamers with some of these e-athletes making up to TL 200,000 ($52,786) annually.
Taking the huge interest in gaming, especially among young people, into account, the Youth and Sports Ministry conducted a series of studies and is planning to make some important decisions to promote e-sports in Turkey.
As part of the plan, the government will offer financial support to local developers and gaming teams. It will also encourage investors to invest in teams and clubs and ask universities to offer e-sports scholarships.
It also plans to establish e-sports playgrounds and training centers to nurture professional athletes and increase the number of licensed players from 4,000 to over 100,000. Likewise, national teams will be formed by picking the best gamers in each category and genre. The ministry plans to promote tourism through e-sports by holding world-class events and tournaments in Turkey.
The gaming sector continues to grow with its billion-dollar turnover. With this rapid growth, specialization in the sector has also begun. The digital gaming world has already been divided into gaming that is played over devices and "e-sports" where professional teams face off.
Just like the real world, the digital gaming market continues to progress in Turkey, as well. According to Newzoo's figures, the total number of players in Turkey has reached 31 million, while turnover in the sector stood at $774 million.
With the said figures, Turkey's gaming market ranks 18th in the world. One of the interesting statistics for Turkey is that 44 percent of the game-playing audience consists of women, which shows that the industry addresses both genders in a similar way, doubling its potential.
In Turkey, e-sports teams of major sports clubs like Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş have already demonstrated their talent in different games, including League of Legends (LOL), Counter Strike, Starcraft, Dota 2 and FIFA.
The gaming industry is expected to expand with recently introduced artificial intelligence and virtual glasses. E-sports have become so popular that they may even be included in the 2024 Tokyo Olympics.
The figures continue to soar as the economic impact of the gaming industry, played by amateurs on PCs, consoles and mobile devices, has reached $138 billion worldwide.
According to the research company Newzoo, the revenue generated by games played on mobile devices has reached $70 billion, an annual increase of 25.5 percent. Thus, 51 percent of the revenue of the global gaming sector came from mobile use.
The industry seems to have no intention of slowing down. According to the latest research, the sectorial turnover is expected to reach $152 billion and $166 billion in 2019 and 2020, respectively, while mobile use in the overall gaming market is expected to exceed $94 billion by 2020.