Home / EA Sports FC / Interactive Entertainment: The Convergence of Sports and Gaming
Image: Unsplash.com

Interactive Entertainment: The Convergence of Sports and Gaming

Interactive entertainment has evolved remarkably over the centuries, tracing its roots from ancient leisure activities to the sophisticated digital experiences of today. We can look to the origins of the roulette wheel in 18th Century France, or even further back to gambling games played by the lower classes of ancient Rome. Still, much of the time, these games were separate from another age-old entertainment medium – that of sports.

Today, the lines between playing sports and engaging in interactive games have blurred. Both forms of entertainment can be enjoyed separately in their physical forms, but online, they increasingly intersect to enhance user experience and meet evolving player demands.

Technological Integration in Sports and Gaming

Sports betting has been a popular part of the fan experience since long before the first video game console was even conceived. While it’s never been as popular and accessible as it is today, betting continues to expand into games of chance. The prime example comes from one of the most well-known names in the industry.

As detailed by the bet365 Bingo review, the extensive range of digital and randomised game of bingo and its associated slots is just one of the services offered by the brand. Countless sports betting and casinos services, per the review, are available on the platform to create a total online gambling platform, rather than purely sports-focussed betting site.

These kinds of melding of all forms of iGaming into one seem to have bolstered the industry significantly. The online gambling market (iGaming market) eclipsed $63.5 billion in value in 2022 and was set to see a CAGR of 11.3 per cent, as this Yahoo! Finance report explains. Each seems to be popular with the other and help the other. It’s why remote bingo in the UK totalled over £173 million GGY in 2021/22, helped by the £2.3 billion GGY of remote betting.

From Traditional Sports Games to eSports

In 2008, very much a soft and user-friendly version of what is now the staple game mode of Ultimate Team came to EA Sports’ best-selling game. It didn’t take the company long to recognise its popularity and potential as more connecting consoles to the internet became more mainstream. Now termed “extra content sales,” the loot boxes predominantly within Ultimate Team made Electronic Arts $4.3 billion in 2023.

Across the gaming industry, the games of chance look to generate some $15 billion in revenue each year. Given that the contents are digital – thus, incredibly cheap to produce – and generally can’t be redeemed for cash again, loot boxes make a lot of sense for companies looking to make more from their products. This is, of course, despite these products costing $70 in the first place, with content then locked within randomised loot boxes.

By 2025, loot boxes alone will generate a $20 billion chunk of the industry despite just five per cent of all gamers (around 230 million) paying in to them. While the five per cent would suggest that loot boxes are niche, they’re clearly popular, what with the 230 million users, as detailed by GamesIndustry.biz. Then, you look to the popular eSport Counter-Strike. The skins market, which leans on loot boxes, makes the developers around $1 billion in 2023.

Games of chance have become synonymous with both digital sports betting and sports video games – be they just online competitive or fully-fledged eSports. Given the increased revenues as a result of these integrations, the likes of loot boxes in video games or all-encompassing iGaming platforms don’t look to be going anywhere.

About Duncan Simpson

Avatar photo
A random American that loves to play FIFA and occasionally write a few words about the series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.