The CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment, Frank Ng, told investors a few days ago that the company is trying to adopt a more asset-light approach to tackle the esports market. And he was referring to the HyperX Esports Arena at MGM’s Luxor, operated by his company. The basic plan is to find a business partner that would allow AEE to run an esports venue without being required to purchase the property itself.
Esports Venues as a Method of Helping Shopping Malls
In June, Allied Esports Entertainment announced a partnership with a subsidiary of SPG (Simon Property Group), a commercial real estate firm that specializes in operating shopping malls. At the time, SPG agreed to purchase 5 million dollars of stock and to team up with AEE to construct esports venues within its properties.
Going into the future, Frank Ng believes that in order to stay relevant and retain customers in an age that’s shifting towards online purchases, shopping malls will look to enhance their offer and create a better experience for people. And since the esports industry is rapidly growing, it’s more and more obvious that it might be a great idea for shopping centers to provide the youth with esports arenas.
Esports Industry Statistics
According to Newzoo, the global esports market is expected to surpass the $1 billion revenue mark this year, achieving a growth of 27% compared to last year. At the same time, the global esports audience is expected to surpass 450 million in 2019, an increase of 15% compared to 2018.
As we near the end of another decade, we can clearly conclude that esports is now an established market. And not only is it here to stay, it’s probably here to slowly but surely reach the same level of fame as traditional sports. Given that the new generations spend more time playing video games than playing outdoors, it’s only a matter of time until a lot of industries will start to incorporate electronic sports into their strategy.
Las Vegas and Its Goal to Become an Esports Center
In recent years, Las Vegas, the city where MGM’s Luxor is located, has experienced a substantial drop in revenues from traditional gambling activities. And in order to adapt to the situation, new income streams had to be created. One of them is esports. And since we’re talking about Las Vegas, esports betting is also going to be included. So far, this side of esports has been growing slower in Sin City than people had expected, in part because bettors need to be at least 21 in order to be allowed to gamble.
If it wants to attract a younger demographic, Vegas will have to heavily invest in competitive gaming infrastructure and seek to become one of the esports capitals of the world, a place that tournament organizers can regard as an excellent option for any major event. At the start of September, a conference took place in Vegas precisely with this goal in mind. And in the coming years, big things are expected from Sin City in terms of catching up with the rest of the esports world.
Image courtesy of HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas / SPG