Market researcher Newzoo has downgraded its esports revenue forecast for 2020 for the third time this year, saying revenues will likely hit USD 950,3 million.
The revision is only slightly down from the previous forecast of USD 973,9 million, which Newzoo predicted back in July. In April, it had revised its earlier estimate to USD 1,059 billion. And back in February, before the pandemic, the forecast was USD 1,1 billion for 2020 revenues.
In past years, physical venue revenues such as event ticket sales and merchandise were big parts of the revenues for esports. And while digital events produced huge spectator numbers, the revenues associated with the digital events were smaller.
Now Covid-19 has flip-flopped everything, as physical events have been cancelled and digital events are expanding to become more frequent as well as larger in scope.
Newzoo now expects almost no in-person attendance at esports events for the rest of the year as Covid-19 continues to hinder large in-person gatherings.
Newzoo said the pandemic’s negative impact on consumer-brand spending in the space could hurt the growth of both sponsorship and media-rights revenues in the future. The company cautioned that if Covid-19 continues into 2021, the company will be forced to make relevant revisions again.