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Would you consider video games as a sport like football, basketball or hockey? Would you attend a video game tournament if you heard that there was one? Well, this has been a debate that has been going on for a while.
The debate is simply a reflection of a fascinating revolution that is taking place every day. Esports have become so popular that tickets to world championships have in recent years sold out within an hour.
The esports industry will be undoubtedly worth billions by 2020. The most captivating thing about esports is how they began, as simple video games. Let us delve into the journey that has made video games esports:
- Video game equipment – 1947, with of course very primitive graphics
- 1958 – Simple virtual games like table tennis
- The 1960s to 1972 – Home competition – thanks to game consoles.
- Gaming moved to the arcades. All this time, though, video games were never part of the public spotlight.
- 1980 – Tournaments based on fighting games would spring up from time to time.
- The dial-up modem – players can now compare scores and share strategies.
This was when video games began to evolve into esports.
- 2000 – Faster internet, first video game ever was aired on Korean TV.
- Video game consoles with internet connections – competition with opponents around the world.
- MOBAs- video games where you control one character with special abilities that make him a hero.
- 2002- Formation of Major League Gaming (MLG) – promotes video games a sport –
Video games aired on TV
- Twitch – gamers could stream themselves and other gamers would comment or even heckle them.
Video games have indeed become a sport with people paying to watch games by salaried teams. An even more enthralling thing is the current interest in esports by marketers.
Esports in marketing
While they do not exactly call it esports, the concept they use, called gamification borrows largely from esports. Gamification could be simply defined as using the mechanics and thinking involved in gaming to engage audiences and solve problems.
Gaming involves pleasure, engagement, and reward, notions that are at the core of marketing. Marketers use it to drive engagement, sharing, adoption, loyalty and of course sales. Customers are able to connect emotionally with a brand, ultimately becoming loyal to it.
Better still, tracking ROI becomes easier, as it involves particular user activity and behavior.
Benefits of Gamification in marketing
Gamification serves to motivate customers, as aforementioned, gamification helps to build brand loyalty. It is a good way to provide customers with incentives.
The incentives help to motivate customer behavior. If the marketers want customers to buy their products, for instance, they can use gamification to provide incentives as they make purchases.
Esports have taken the world by storm. It is not only a multi-billion dollar industry, but it is beginning to influence other industries like marketing. What’s next for the esports industry?
Guest Post: Marcus is the community and content manager at computerplanet.co.uk who design and build custom gaming PC’s, CAD workstations and desktop computers.