Earlier in November, Newzoo released an updated forecast for the games market, expecting it to reach US$174.9 billion in revenues, US$15.6 billion higher than the previous forecast made in June, a 19.6% growth year-over-year. Tom Wijman, a senior market analyst for Newzoo, details in this article how the financial results released to the public so far in 2020 have paved the way for a clearer picture of what the end result can look like, and what those updated results are trending towards as we inch closer to the end of this unique year.
Global Games Market Breakdown
Console and mobile gaming revenues are most boosted by the pandemic, but when it comes to regions, the impact is spread relatively equally.
In line with previous forecasts, China and the U.S. still represent 49% of the world’s games market in terms of consumer-generated revenues:
Revenue forecasts impacted all streams
- PC games will generate $37.4 billion in 2020, up from the previous forecast of $36.9 billion.
- Games on mobile will generate $86.3 billion in 2020, up from the previous forecast of $77.2 billion.
- Games on console will generate $51.2 billion in 2020, up from the previous forecast of $45.2 billion.
Mobile gaming is both the largest segment by revenue and growth. Mobile’s low barrier to entry—as well as the widespread availability of smartphones—make it an ideal place to start gaming for newer players across all regions.
Console, with the new forecast of $51.2 billion, is perhaps most affected. Console’s growth of +21.0% year on year is more than double the growth that was previously forecast.
Following the usual trend prior to new generation releases, console revenues are expected to be lower in anticipation of the launch of the incoming next-generation consoles. But the pandemic has resulted in the opposite.
Console’s unprecedented growth is attributed to the accessibility of consoles, whose plug-and-play nature, marketing budgets, and retail presence give it an edge compared to PC gaming—for new and returning players alike.
Console game revenues for publicly listed companies grew nearly +30% in H1 2020, reporting more than +20% year-on-year growth in every major region. The console market is largely in the hands of publicly listed companies.
Could we soon be seeing our first US$200 billion year?
The increased engagement and revenues resulting from the pandemic will ripple into next year and beyond.
Now, the forecast is that the games market will to grow to $217.9 billion by 2023, representing a strong +9.4% CAGR between 2018 and 2023. This is up from the previous forecast of $200.8 billion.
Based on engagement metrics of the past months, you can see that consumers are continuing to engage with gaming more than they did before the pandemic—even in markets where lockdown measures have long been lifted.
The first half-year of 2020 saw a peak in growth for the market. While some consumers may play less after the pandemic ends, all signs point to a significant chunk of revenue growth and engagement being permanent.