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Japan’s esports market grew 9% in 2020


The Japanese esports market grew by 9 percent in 2020 and is set for even more impressive growth in the coming years, according to figures released by the gaming information firm Famitsu.

Japan’s esports market was valued at JPY6.7 billion (US$61.5 million) last year.

Famitsu also estimated that the number esports fans—those who served as spectators for the matches—rose by 42 percent to nearly 6.9 million people.

The projection ahead is for a steeper growth curve, with esports revenues increasing by nearly 30% year-on-year until the middle of the decade.

In 2020, sponsorship fees and advertising expenses accounted for the largest proportion of esports industry revenues, accounting for over 67 percent of the total. However, broadcast rights are a segment that is showing strong growth.

Mainstream businesses and media have been showing more interest in esports of late.

One of the recent stories receiving significant attention is Tokyo Metro’s plan to open a gym facility for esports on May 19 in Tokyo’s Kita Ward in cooperation with with Gecipe Inc., a Japanese company specializing in esports education.

Michael Penn
Michael Penn
Michael Penn is a journalist and scholar based in Tokyo, Japan. As a journalist, he both writes print news articles and produces news videos. On the video side, he has several years of experience doing it all by himself: reporting the stories, shooting the video, and editing the packages. As a scholar, the bulk of his past publications have been about Japan's modern relations with the Islamic world.