As US video game revenue outstrips the box office, when will we see more gaming IPs in LBE? Where are the Fortnite coasters and FNAF dark rides?

Video game revenue broke records last year, with sales hitting $43.4 billion according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and The NPD Group – an 18% increase on 2017.

Software sales were up 18%, fuelled by big hits including Red Dead Redemption 2 (the year’s top selling game), and Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Hardware sales were up 15%, with the Nintendo Switch surpassing the PlayStation 4 as the best-selling console.

eSports’ rapid growth

We’re seeing the rise of attractions based around eSports – such as stadiums and FEC games rooms. But where are the gaming IPs in LBE?

Goldman Sachs released a report suggesting that eSports will be as popular as the NFL, as video gaming moves into the mainstream with a projected 300 million viewers by 2022.

Fortnite, the battle royale game that was released in 2017, has become a cultural phenomenon attracting over 100 million players. Licensing.biz reports that the game has generated more digital revenue than any other game in history, generating over $2.4 billion last year.

Epic Games have announced the first Fortnite World Cup will take place in 2019 and offered $100 million in prize pool for the first year, representing nearly the entire eSports prize pool last year. Fortnite earns more annually than any major console or PC games. The game had a peak of 3.4 million concurrent users as of February this year, according to an Epic Games spokesperson.

Blooloop recently spoke with industry experts Professor Andy Miah and Brian Mirakian about the growth of eSports and what this will mean for the visitor experience.

Where are the gaming IPs in LBE?

Last August, a miniature Fortnite theme park constructed by Epic Games caught the attention of gamers at Germany’s Gamescom. But this was a pop up for the expo rather than a commercial venture.

And the smash hit horror franchise of games, Five Nights at Freddies, has been licensed by Sally Corporation for dark rides. A movie has also long been rumoured which may bring the IP into the mainstream.

Ubisoft has been quick to the market with a number of attractions based on its popular IPs.

LAI Games have applied the successful Raving Rabbids IP to coin-op with with Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride.

Meanwhile Triotech launched the Rabbids Team Battle experience at IAAPA 2018 alongside the Assassin’s Creed version of their VR Maze.

With gaming revenues on the up, location based entertainment venues are likely to increasingly look to gaming IPs to appeal to millennials and Gen Z.

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