Sorts Business: Japan eyes $2.6bn benefits from 5-year esports strategy

Japan Government is planning an ambitious expansion of the domestic esports industry through cooperation with the private sector to help revitalize local economies and increase social participation of people with disabilities. The move is aimed at realizing an annual economic benefits of $2.6 billion in five years

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will work together with companies in the gaming industry and legal experts to draw up guidelines for promoting the country’s esports industry, which lacks expertise in organizing large tournaments and dealing with legal issues such as intellectual property of game developers, Japanese news agency Kyodo has  quoted a source as saying.

Through such collaborative efforts, the ministry expects that ticket sales to spectators of tournaments, fees for online viewing and advertising revenue, along with economic effects on local economies from hosting such events and companies supplying related equipment, would amount to at least 285 billion yen ($2.6 bn) in 2025.

According to marketing research and news service company BCN Inc., the size of Japan’s esports market is expected to grow from 6.1 billion yen in 2019 to 15.3 billion yen in 2023, propelled by the greater use of 5G telecommunication services and more game title providers entering the market. Its data consist of advertising revenue which accounts for about 75 percent of the market, licensing fees, media rights, ticket sales, prize money and merchandise sales.

There have been attempts at a local level in Japan to use esports for its health and social benefits.