This is a paid guest post.
Last year, analysts predicted a steady growth of the global gaming market all over the world, fueled by the release of a series of major titles in 2020. Then the pandemic happened, and things have changed. During the first half of this year, a never-before-seen number of people spent more time at home than ever, and many of them do so to this day. This has, of course, had its influence on the gaming market as a whole: out of the time spent at home, gamers of all categories spent more time playing, both as an escape from the stressful reality and a way to keep in touch with friends – virtually. So, between the most popular esports and the upcoming high-profile consoles, let’s take a brief look at the state of the gaming market in the middle of the year (and the pandemic).
According to gaming data specialist Newzoo, the total revenue generated by the gaming market this year will reach $159.3 billion, growing by almost 10% compared to last year.
Mobile remains the most lucrative segment, with smartphone and tablet games generating almost half of the total gaming revenue. Console games maintain their lead ahead of PC (desktop and browser) games, grabbing around a third of the total, helped by the release of some highly successful games on current consoles and the coming of the next-generation ones later in the year.
The most lucrative area is still the Asia-Pacific region, responsible for almost half of the industry’s revenue, followed by the US with a quarter, Europe with 19%, with the rest divided almost equally among South America and the Middle East-Africa region. The Asia-Pacific region has the most players as well: close to 1.5 billion, according to Newzoo, more than half of the entire global gaming community.
Gaming goes social
Gaming has always been a social experience – even more so in our increasingly connected world. Platforms like Steam or Twitch are increasingly becoming fully-fledged social networks and players are seeking out more interactive social experiences – inside video games.
To keep up with the gamers’ demands, an ever-increasing number of “traditional” online services now have something dedicated to gamers, a bit like the case of Amazon and Twitch.
During the lockdown, games have become a go-to way to keep in touch with friends for many gamers around the world.
At the same time, games have also expanded into an area hit hard by the pandemic: music festivals. There were several events – from proms to fully-fledged raves – held inside Minecraft, rapper Travis Scott held a major virtual event called Astronomical inside Fortnite, and Tomorrowland, the world’s biggest EDM festival, was held at a virtual location this year – and it was a huge success.
China – a gaming powerhouse
The Asia-Pacific region has the most gamers and generates the most revenue from video games. The bulk of both comes from China – and so does a lot of development expertise, especially on mobile. Triple-A developers from the West rely on their Chinese partners to bring their desktop experiences to mobile – think Call of Duty, PUBG, and many others.
Tencent, the Chinese media giant, is the biggest gaming company in the world today, responsible for at least some of the highest-grossing games of all time (Arena of Valor, PUBG Mobile, among others), and NetEase, another Chinese company, beats brands like Activision and EA when it comes to market value.
Today, records are being broken both by game revenues and the number of players. More people than ever are relying on games – both desktop/console and mobile games – as their in-home entertainment of choice. And while the number of players is expected to decrease as soon as the lockdowns are loosened, overall, this will be a very good year for the gaming industry. And, considering the big launches still ahead, it will only get better.