Until now the Esports industry has been dominated by first-person shooter and multi-player battle arena games. However, the emphasis on violence in these games presents problems for parents and corporate sponsors alike, which is why organizers for the 2024 Paris Olympics are considering adding Esports as a medal event, but not including violent games. This creates an opportunity for a different type of video game, Esports-racing, to take pole position in the Esports sector.

World’s Fastest Gamer thrusts Esports-racing into the spotlight

One recent example of how Esports-racing games can dovetail with the needs and requirements of sponsors is the World’s Fastest Gamer competition, a joint initiative of IDEAS+CARS and McLaren that is property of Toronto's Millenial Esports. The recently wrapped competition, in which more than 25,000 entrants competed to bag the greatest job in Esports — joining the McLaren F1 team as an official simulator driver — was a roaring success.

In total, 26,166 entrants raced 1,355,425,792 metres in the quest to be the best. In the process, the competition drew more than 10 million online views, bringing increased awareness to the Esports-racing sector, while introducing a host of new fans to Formula 1.

“World’s Fastest Gamer massively exceeded expectations, both in terms of the interest we’ve had from the industry and the level of views and engagement of our content,” says IDEAS+CARS founder, Darren Cox. “The competition has done a magnificent job of promoting racing interests to the gaming community and vice versa.”

Another factor working in favour of Esports-racing’s quest to become the go-to type of game in Esports is how easily racing games translate to a mobile format. According to the Newzoo 2017 Global Games Market Report, total mobile gaming revenue is expected to increase from the current level of $38.6 billion to $64.9 billion in the year 2020, making it a key element of future growth.

Eden Games at the forefront of Esports-racing revolution

At the forefront of the ongoing Esports-racing explosion is France-based Eden Games, a hugely successful ‘franchise creating’ game developer with strong market presence and licensing expertise. Building on demonstrated success with console-based racing games such as V-Rally and Test Drive Unlimited, Eden recently moved into mobile gaming with the 2016 release of Gear.Club.

In less than a year, Gear.Club has received more than 6.5 million downloads — a figure made all the more remarkable as it has been achieved with almost no marketing budget. Gear.Club also played a leading role in World’s Fastest Gamer as the competition’s chosen mobile gaming platform. Gear.Club achieved more than 600,000 downloads during the World’s Fastest Gamer qualifying period, with entrants clocking almost 1,000,000 miles in the race to find the fastest competitor.
“Gear.Club was chosen as the mobile platform to give ‘everyman’ gamers the chance to compete for a coveted Formula 1 test driver role,” says Darren Cox. “Not only did huge numbers of new players download the game, they spent record breaking amounts of time trying to win this unique competition.”

Not content to take over the mobile Esports-racing space, Eden Games recently made Gear.Club Unlimited available for the Nintendo Switch, with versions for Microsoft X-Box and Sony PlayStation also in the works. The success of Gear.Club brought Eden Games to the attention of Toronto-based Millennial Esports, which is expected to close a deal to secure controlling interest in the French video game developer by the end of this year.

“The success we have enjoyed with Gear.Club, both in terms of total downloads and the lead role the game played during the qualifying period for World’s Fastest Gamer demonstrates the potential for growth that exists within the Esports-racing space,” says Eden Games co-founder, David Nadal. “The next step, and the goal of our partnership with Millennial Esports, is to create and execute a first-to-market global racing tournament experience.”

Looking at the numbers and positive feedback generated by Gear.Club, nobody should be surprised if League of Legends and Dota 2 are usurped by racing video games in terms if popularity amongst the global Esports audience in years to come.