The advances in gaming technology have brought new-found attention to the industry. Recently, a new trend called e-sports has gained exponential traffic. E-sports are the competitive playing and viewing of video games through either streaming platforms, live venues, or a mixture of both like traditional sport matches. Believe it or not, there are even over 30 colleges and universities in the United States that offer scholarships for competitive gamers and have formed their own school team like UC Irvine.
According to data from Newzoo, e-sports is set to be a billion-dollar industry in the year 2019. In 2017, revenues from e-sports rolled in at $655 million and is anticipated to rise to $905 million this year. With that being said, the billion-dollar mark is not too far away. The industry has brought in millions of viewers, and has even made some individual ‘athletes’ millions of dollars.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) has seen extraordinary growth in their Overwatch League efforts, which is a competitive league for the popular Overwatch game. The league has brought in millions of viewers, most notably the Inaugural Season: Stage 4 which brought in 68 million total views on Twitch.
Besides their Overwatch game, Activision also has the release of their new Call of Duty game which is set to release in under 2 weeks. The company’s main competitor Electronic Entertainment (NASDAQ:EA) was also set to release their Battlefield V game, but had to delay their release. EA released a beta version of the Battlefield V game which obviously did not sit well with players as the company is planning some major work for the gameplay. In the software industry, especially gaming, deadline are absolutely crucial to meet as EA has now put themselves a month behind as consequence.
Activision Blizzard shares have grown nearly 20% since late-August, while Electronic Arts Inc. has fallen nearly 10%.
Activision’s new Call of Duty is designed to keep up with the current gaming trends. One of the most popular game types right now is the battle royal style, which some investors say is causing the rise in stocks like Turtle Beach as their equipment is more desirable for the game type. The new Call of Duty will have its own battle royal mode which they have already tested through their open beta last month. Will Activision see the ‘battle royal’ effect upon release of their new game? Or will other companies like Turtle Beach gain some more traction off the ‘battle royal’ effect?
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