Japan is expanding esports to boost the economy through 2025

E-Zone Hotel

Japan is launching an economic plan to expand its esports industry with the private sector, in a bid to generate $2.6bn (¥285bn) in economic benefits annually by 2025.

According to The Japan Times, the Japanese government plans to expand the country’s esports industry with the private sector to help revitalise regional economies.

The government also hopes to increase social participation by people with disabilities.

Esports is a global multi-billion dollar industry. It is growing in popularity and is set to challenge the NFL with a predicted 300 million viewers by 2022.

Japan to increase social participation in esports

The global esports market is estimated to be worth ¥100 billion ($0.9 billion), with growth in the United States, China and Europe.

However, competitive gaming is not as popular as a sports event in Japan, and the video game market is dominated by single-player games for smartphones and consoles.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will work with companies and legal experts to draw up guidelines for promoting the esports industry in Japan.

The country currently lacks expertise in organising large tournaments and dealing with intellectual property (IP) rights and other legal issues related to game developers.

Revenue generated from ticket sales, online viewing

As a result, the ministry expects esports to generate at least ¥285bn in economic benefits for regional economies from ticket sales, online viewing fees and advertising revenue.

Economic benefits will also come from tournament hosting and corporate equipment supply by 2025.

According to marketing research and news service company BCN Inc, Japan’s esports market is expected to grow from ¥6.1 billion in 2019 to ¥15.3 billion in 2023.

Recent esports developments include the world’s first dedicated esports racing arena in Miami and a $50 million esports and entertainment venue in the Philadelphia Sports Complex.

In July, Sanya also revealed plans for an esports theme park with a total investment of $682 million. Meanwhile, a hotel dedicated to esports is opening in Japan.