VIDEO GAMES AND ESPORTS: THE RISE OF “GAMING” IN LATIN AMERICA
Latin America is already the third place in the world with the most “gamers”. This is how games and electronic sports are conquering millions of users in the region and generating billions of dollars a year.
In recent years, video games and electronic sports, also known as eSports, have experienced an unprecedented boom in Latin America, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue each year.
With a large number of players and fans, the region has become a very important market for the industry: the third place in the world with the most players, according to Newzoo.
Various studies show that players in Latin America have specific preferences and behaviors that have shaped the “gamer” market and attracted the attention of developers and companies around the world.
This growth in the Gaming and eSports sector in Latin America has increased, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, at which time according to the report “Google for Games / Newzoo, Beyond 2021: Where does gaming go next? Latin American games market and consumer research report”, a greater consumption of online entertainment developed: in total, there were 4% of new players in the region and 17% of returning players.
Of course, they have their own peculiarities. According to the report “Digital payments connecting businesses and people in rising economies. An overview of online commerce in Latin America and Africa”, while the average spending on video games globally reaches 68 dollars, in the case of Latin America it is reduced to 28.
And it is that, according to the Newzoo study, more than 70% of the “gamers” in the region play free video games or “free-to-play” (or “F2P”), since the purchase of games (especially “online”) and the price is considered high; although microtransactions are becoming more popular.
In addition, according to this analysis, Latin America is expected to have an audience of more than 325 million players by the year 2024, which represents an increase of 20% in less than 5 years.
And, according to the same source, they will also have more than 122 million viewers for that year. An audience that, according to the newspaper El País, is mainly between 12 and 35 years old, which is why they are already beginning to talk about “native gamers” and not just “digital natives”.
As can be deduced from the report, the countries most fond of online games and video game services in the cloud (or “Cloud Gaming”) are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
Because, according to Newsweek, the video game sector in Latin America has experienced remarkable growth. In 2022 alone, these markets generated revenues of $1.3 billion, $1.2 billion, and $354 million in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile respectively.
In fact, Mexico ranks first in the Latin American region and twelfth in the world in terms of number of players: 5.8 million users. According to Newzoo, 45% of them prefer the “F2P” format.
But according to a HyperX survey, when asked about the money that users in Latin America invest monthly in video games, 68.1% of those surveyed stated that it was less than 20 dollars, while 27.5% invest between 20 and 50 dollars. . For their part, 4.4% of those surveyed said they spent more than $50 a month.
According to the study, 79.4% currently make in-game purchases for the following purposes: 46.7% do so to unlock content, 24.7% buy to take advantage of a promotion, 13.8% spend to play with friends and 9.3% to compete against others, while 5.4% pay to move faster.
VERY SOCIAL HOBBY.
Furthermore, 85% of those surveyed by HyperX spend their spare time gaming. 31.5% of them play for more than 9 hours a day, 52% play between 3 and 9 hours, while 20.6% play for between 6 and 9 hours and 16.5% play from 1 to 3 hours a day.
The main reasons for gambling are varied, with 49.3% of those interviewed playing to relax, 26.1% to compete, 14.8% to earn achievements, 1% to have fun and 0.6% to share with your friends.
However, on a social level, 76.5% of those surveyed in the HyperX study prefer to play video games with friends, while 19.1% prefer to play alone and only 4.3% choose to play with strangers.
These “gamers” are mainly between 18 and 44 years old: 33% of them are between 25 and 34, while the 18 to 24 and 25 to 44 age groups each have 24%. In addition, there is less and less difference between men and women.
The game genre chosen by those surveyed in Latin America is the “shooter” (shooting games), with 53.6% of users preferring it. It is followed by the “Battle Royale” (fights for survival all against all) with 13.6%. Adventure video games are next with 10.9%, then racing games with 4.5% and finally role-playing games with 4.3%.
Some of the most popular games in the region are “Fortnite” (15.7%), “League of Legends” (12.6%), “Counter Strike” (6.6%), “Valorant” (5.2 %) “Call of Duty: Warzone” (3.6%) and “Minecraft” (2.6%). Therefore, the tournaments and competitions of these video games are the ones that have the most audience.
FROM PASSION TO PROFESSION.
But, in addition, the motivation is not only in leisure consumption. According to the survey carried out by HyperX, 79.6% of “gamers” expressed their desire to enter the world of eSports. Of these, 78.5% aspire to become a professional player, 7.1% to found their own team and 4.9% to play the role of coach.
And it is that, according to the report of the Association of Video Game Developers of Latin America (ADVA), video games are experiencing a constant increase in Latin America, becoming one of the main forms of entertainment and digital leisure.
In addition, according to the HyperX study, when asked about their relationship with the world of video games, 73.3% of Latin American respondents consider themselves gamers. To a lesser extent, 3.5% define themselves as content creators and 1.4% as viewers. On the other hand, 21% consider themselves a combination of the previous options.
Because of course, consuming “gamer” content is becoming more common, with 63.7% of those surveyed doing so. Regarding consumption preferences, 54.5% choose streaming, while 21.4% prefer tutorial content for playing games and 17.8% opt for humorous gaming videos.
Regarding the preferred platforms for content consumption, Twitch is the most popular platform, with 54.6% of respondents preferring it, followed by YouTube with 29.6% and Facebook with 12.1%.
Thus, with an ever-growing audience, professional aspirations among young people, and the support of important companies and brands; it seems that the future of “gaming” in Latin America will continue with its brilliant growth.
By Nora Cifuentes.
EFE / Reports