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It's depressing that Amazon paid four times as much for this business as Bezos did for the Washington Post.



27 million people watched the League of Legends world championship[1] which is on par (or better) than MLB & NBA championships. It's pretty clear eSports is going to be huge. Having the biggest streaming site/brand will be valuable and doesn't seem crazy in that perspective.

[1] http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/page/instantawesome-leagueof...


That's a high single-event number. Do the numbers sustain across the year? MLB and NBA have over 100 events per year (considering all the days games as one daily "event")


While some people stay with a game/genre/gaming forever I notice a lot of people "age out" and can't even invest the time to keep up with watching esports (much less playing the games they're watching). I wonder if, assuming my observation is the norm, that will impact numbers as society has less children.


People age out but those that age out don't have the attitude of "old people", which in this case is "why would people watch this" and "this is a waste of time". (not trying to generalize older people but i think you guys know what type of people I'm talking about) Slowly esports and will become more and more mainstream (probably not completely mainstream but I can't predict the future) and more and more people will watch it.

Also, for the people that age out it seems like 3 more people join. Search viewership growth for games like League of Legends, Dota2, and CSGO and you will see that watching videogames is serious business.


Mm, League has events maybe 20 or so weeks of the year (matches mainly on weekends), for probably 8 of those we see very high numbers. But Twitch also hosts other stuff - SC2, Hearthstone, and CS:GO also draw large crowds. Dota 2 also, but Valve does have their own streaming platform for that.


The numbers on valves own streaming platform for dota are usually 10% or less of the numbers on twitch for major events.

If you include people watching in the client itself it is a bit closer but still Twitch would be double or more.


Clearly this is a long game play.


It's a $250M business globally according to a research firm that focuses on the eSports industry:

http://www.newzoo.com/insights/esports-in-2015-engagement-gr...

That's tiny. If you took a pitch for an eSports startup to a VC with that total market size they'd laugh you out of the office...

So while the 27 million viewers sounds impressive and shows up in the pitch deck of every eSports startup, it's not translating to significant revenue (yet).


>27 million people watched the League of Legends world championship[1] which is on par (or better) than MLB & NBA championships.

That's part of what's depressing.


Why would that be depressing?


Well, for people upholding certain cultural values like me, which are not exactly too far-fetched, it's pretty obvious why an era where people watch live gaming in droves is depressing when contrasted with the decline of journalism.

I'd rather there was a citizenry that read the Washington Post more than watching others play video games (or NFL or whatever) more. Maybe people would have a better handle of politics, and the economy and what's going on around them.


> Well, for people upholding certain cultural values like me, which are not exactly too far-fetched, it's pretty obvious why an era where people watch live gaming in droves is depressing when contrasted with the decline of journalism

I think you're just getting old - and I don't mean it in an insulting way. You can be certain that the Greatest Generation weren't pleased with how the baby boomers were not "upholding certain cultural values" when they were listening to Rock n' Roll instead of "real music"[1]: and yet now Rock n' Roll has it's own cultural cachet. Culture is dynamic. I do empathize with you, but complaining that the younger generation is losing values is an old, old phenomenon.

1. http://rock103.iheart.com/pages/twisted/banned/


How much do you read the Washington Post? Personally, I wouldn't put it on a pedestal.

Take this example from a quick Google search (admittedly it's a partisan source) http://www.thenation.com/article/eleven-years-how-washington...

Personally, as a DC native now living far away, I think a citizenry reading WaPo seems like a frightening bunch of conformists. Yes I am aware of what they did in the 70s. Different paper now.


The two aren't mutually exclusive. Humans have pursued leisure for probably as long as there have been humans.


Sure, but that's in theory. In practice we have tons of uninformed people -- which one can see not just in personal encounters but in all kinds of polls and research --, and a heavy increase in shallow entertainment.


Maybe somebody will come up with an esport that incorporates current events that is also entertaining enough for a lot of people to watch.


If people only watch/read stuff because it's "entertaining", that's already a loss to culture and democracy.

Especially since entertaining gets all the more Huxley-an and Kardashian standards all the time.


That's implying that it hasn't always been like that. The masses are usually looking for things to enjoy themselves with, it's not like a century ago people were more well-informed about what was happened.


>That's implying that it hasn't always been like that.

I don't ascribe to the "culture is always the same constant thing quality-wise, nothing ever changes but fashions" viewpoint.

From all I've read from others and experienced personally, I see that even if that well-informed culture in the past only concerned/involved like 5% of the people, the equivalent 5% is worse off today.

At least in my country, along with the usual entertainment stuff, 20 or 30 years ago we had several excellent newspapers with big circulations. Editorial standards now are at an all time low -- and even worse for the internet outlets that replaced them.

Same with TV -- the quality of TV product has shrank considerably, from high brow movies and talk shows to the equivalent of Oprah or reality TV.

TV news for example, started with a couple of presenters giving an overview of current events in a somber tone and well written copy, and it has since the late nineties turned into the equivalent of a Geraldo show, with "dramatic" music, overdone titles, and the hosts having guests in PIP windows arguing at each other.


If you see inefficiency in the awareness of citizens. Do something about it. Disrupt. Clearly the Washington Post is not catching enough consumers.


I don't hold the idea that it's the news sources fault. Even with all the crap on mainstream media, there are more than enough excellent sources (including free) and a lower than ever barrier to access them.

So, I consider it like I would consider a lack of caring of the environment, or for helping people in the streets, or inversely, an increase in racism etc: as the fault of the people not caring -- not of others that failed to convince them to care.

The #1 thing for a citizen is personal responsibility.


It's better to have ways that work with human dopaminergic feedback system instead of hoping for good-will and perseverence of the few gems of society. We are flawed as biological creatures. Our motivations are few and far. Good tech should warrant use onto itself. Good governmental systems should warrant good use onto its citizens. And good news/media/information systems should warrant good knowledge and information and affinity for that - upon its users.


American tournaments vs. world tournaments.

A better comparison would be the World Cup.


Content creation vs content distribution.

While both companies operate in a thin margin environment, content creation is not easily scalable but content distribution is.

Also, shrinking market vs growing market.

Besides, value to society and value to investors don't always go hand in hand.


Twitch also fits in great with Amazon's overall strategy of distribution across all verticals - from retail and Prime Movies/Music, to cloud services and esports.


I think its validation that the old ways of media are coming to an end.

Count how many TV News programs make reference to what they found on social media?


I would guess that the cost of running Twitch is much less than 1/4 of the cost of running Washington Post. You have a few servers and a handful of programmers vs. hundreds of reporters.


You have Kyle and Brody, just send them a pizza and they get the servers back up! Radical, brahhh, pizza ninja turtle programming! Make sure to send brody extra pepperoni for his sacrifices.

[EDIT] In case anyone doesn't get the reference: http://justinkan.com/three-stories




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