The eSports gaming industry is growing at a massive pace. What many don’t know is that about half of eSports players are female. We’ve covered this before, with our interview with Hearthstone player Rumay Hafu Wang, and we continue our coverage with an interview with TV exec and entrepreneur Gayle Dickie.
Gayle just launched last month an online channel called Gamer World News that’s completely devoted to video game news and in-depth stories and features two female hosts who co-host a segment called “Girls of the Game.”
Lets find out more about this growing industry!
Hi Gayle, before we get into the topic at hand, tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a California girl, started as a paralegal in the music business. I set a world record for bent knee sit ups in 1980 (13,104 in 12 hours on ABC-TV) and my life changed dramatically. I became what’s known today as an ambassador for Nautilus Sports Medical Industries and trained the Olympic Australian swim team in mind control in 1981.
I came back to the US and worked for heads of studios (Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Studios) and then became a TV syndicator selling domestic television series and movies and first-run shows in the top 100 markets in the US. I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of television shows and produced films from $1 million to $10 million. One of the more memorable was finding “DragonBall Z” and syndicating (‘selling’) that in the US. I had an eye for good story and quality of story driven entertainment.
Five years ago I saw the push on the digital content side for all the various platforms that we are most familiar with today. And I loved the idea of gamers having their own news, information and entertainment. I see it as the future for sure.
How has eSports grown over the past five years?
Great question. It’s important to keep in mind that eSports is the professional competitive side of video game competitions. It’s really 1% of the total games market but it’s the fastest growing business in recent history.
Five years ago, the top games were Counter Strike, Halo 3, Starcraft2 and WarCraft3. Now we have moved to more team-oriented games like League of Legends, Dota2, and Overwatch, although people like to debate the Overwatch FPS (first person shooter vs. multiplayer online battle arena) and now especially, we’ve all undoubtedly witnessed the phenomenon of Fortnite. The most recent announcement was $1 Billion dollars in in-game purchases which is astounding.
eSports is now in over 1100 colleges and universities in North America with multiple teams and leagues. High schools are catching up which is very exciting for all the gamers who have grown up with a console or pc game as early as 3 or 4. That means some high school seniors have already been gaming for 14-15 years!
Five years ago the eSports revenues were some $194 million at the end of 2014. That’s when they really just started measuring eSports. Now It’s a bona fide business with estimated $906 million this year and an overall $180.1 billion for the global market with major sponsors, advertisers, game publishers, media rights going to ESPN and tickets and merchandise both online and in stadium competitions.
We are working on a new project to allow high school gamers the ability to get ranked and to turn pro but more about that in the coming months on www.gamerworldnews.com.
What impact have females gamers had on eSports thus far?
Female gamers are almost half of the global game population. They’re being recognized more and more in the global market. They are taking a stand that they can play all the genres of games in play today. They are getting recruited professionally. I found one of the first girl gamers to get an eSports scholarship to play Overwatch!
I believe girl gamers have gone through significant changes with so much banter about bias and bullying around the world, so this year in particular, we are seeing more recognition given to girls who play professionally and competitively than in any prior year. There are great girl gamers on Twitch playing a variety of games from League of Legends to Witcher3 and StreetfighterV. We strive to find girl gamers and do profiles on them and push their brands to continue to fight any stigma that might arise with our “Girls of the Game” channel.
Encouraging more girls to get involved in pro eSports needs to start young where we can further guarantee and inspire the spirit of competition and community.
What do you predict their impact will be in the near future?
I think in the next few years, we will see more eSports scholarships for girls and see more and more girls go pro and be involved behind the scenes as game developers, marketers, social media managers, analysts, promoters and hosts. There will be a further development of the entire economics for eSports and it will definitely bring more female players and global competition.
What would you say the major differences are between male and female gamers?
Probably the major difference is the platforms on which they play games. Both like mobile almost equally with a slight edge for females and yet more males play on PC and console. However, I think it is rapidly changing and equaling out. FPS are slightly more popular for males and I think the RTS and story driven are really of interest to female gamers.
How is sports gambling changing eSports?
It’s going to change it immensely. Esports will undoubtedly have real time betting at exhibitions and online (it has already begun) and I think it will bring millions more into the sport. The biggest challenge betting on eSports has is the regulations and security that needs to be put in place just as with traditional sports.
One important difference from traditional sports leagues vs. eSports leagues is the owners are in the power position when it comes to eSports and the traditional sports leagues/teams are controlled by the owner of the franchises. So eSports owners have all the control. And eSports betting on TV and various platforms available will bring even more money to the sport.
Tell me about Gamer World News.
Gamer World News is the future ESPN and CNN global news, information and entertainment platform for eSports, competitive and casual gamers offering the latest technology in video storytelling and news. We do news in quick ‘potato-chip’ style segments and offer 13 channels of content. We launched late April 2018 to a flurry of media attention.
We are available at www.gamerworldnews.com, (www.gwne.com), Roku, AppleTV, AndroidTV and AmazonFire, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitch. We’re coming soon to mobile and android. We are in discussions to partner with many recognizable entertainment savvy companies. We have had over 25 news stories and radio interviews in less than 90 days and will soon be featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Fortune Magazine, and have a strategic relationship with ‘Eyez.gg’ where we can syndicate our content to potentially 1 billion eyeballs over the course of the next few years.
And we are getting ready to reach out to middle school and high school players in the US and Canada for an exciting new project so stay tuned.
What do you feel is the most exciting recent development in eSports?
Probably the significant audience growth and monies related to Fortnite. It’s a global phenomenon and I personally know kids from the age of 7 to 70 who have enjoyed playing the game –or let’s say ‘attempting to stay alive’ in the game! And I have to say the attention that the video game world in general is getting from around the world is a welcome indicator of things to come.
What’s the biggest misconception about eSports or gamers in general?
I still think people have a hard time believing the 42% of the global games market are spectators who love to watch eSports. It’s no different than 40 years ago when ESPN started showing traditional sports. It’s fun and even exciting to watch. And we are slowly moving away from the idea it’s that nerdy kid in a basement shut off from the world.
Anything else we should know?