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Capcom states that their 'eSports business generates an insignificant amount of revenue at present,' but is still looking to grow eSports ecosystem

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 8, 2019 at 7:35 p.m. PDT • Comments: 105

It's no secret that many major fighting game development companies are positioning and priming their latest titles to have the best chance possible of thriving in the modern realm of eSports, and a recent statement from Capcom sheds a bit of light on where the Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom developer is in this process.

Amidst the question and answer portion of the company's latest Investor Relation Report update is the inquiry "How much revenue has Capcom earned from eSports in the first quarter, and what should we expect for the next two or three years?" followed by a fairly down to earth answer that seems to line up with where the genre currently sits when it comes to competitive entertainment.

Capcom provides the following answer: The eSports business generates an insignificant amount of revenue at present. Over the next few years, our focus will be on viewership, audience size, and player numbers rather than on monetization, as we are prioritizing growth of the eSports ecosystem. We, therefore, do not have revenue goals that we can share at this time.

This lets both investors and fans know that the lofty proposal laid out back in March is still in early stages, but that the overall goal remains consistent. Here's a quick reminder of the March statement:

"We are taking a long-term view of eSports, and with an eye toward cooperating with local governments and businesses on regional revitalization efforts, are focused on not only two- or three-year, short-term activities, but those that extend five, ten and even twenty years out, in order to promote eSports well into the future."

While the fighting game community has seen continued growth when it comes to eSports, it still cannot yet hold much of a candle to other genres in the same space.

While we were all overjoyed to see more than 200,000 concurrent viewers tune in for EVO 2019 finals, (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set an EVO record with over 279,000 viewers across both Twitch and YouTube) the Fortnite World Cup boasted more than 2.3 million pairs of eyes watching during the solo finals.

The current top dog in eSports also boasted a 30 million dollar prize pool for its finals while largest fighting game event, Capcom Cup 2019, will disperse $250,000 (that number will increase a bit throughout the year via sales of specific DLC content) to the 32 players who qualify for it. The Capcom Pro Tour as a whole will dole out over $600,000 in prizes over the course of the 2019 season.

Capcom's focus on growth without the expectation of immediate monetization is key for this current atmosphere. There's no doubt that fighting genre eSports success is a long-term venture that will take some "spend money to earn money" approaches early on.

At this time Street Fighter 5 remains the company's only real eSports title, though that may be changing soon as, thanks to a sponsorship deal with Amazon, the new Teppen mobile card game has received a tour with almost $500,000 in prizes.

While not a fighting title, the majority of Teppen's roster have appeared in Capcom fighting games. More significantly, potential growth and success in any avenue of Capcom's eSports ventures is good for the fighting game eSports department.

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