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Game is the world's largest entertainment industry

Trends for the gaming industry

The gaming industry is today the largest entertainment industry in the world with more than 3 billion gamers globally and close to half of them are estimated to be women. The booming is partly explained by the smartphone that made gaming an entertainment for people on the move. Consumers will spend $185 billion on games this year, more than half on mobile games. These are the numbers for the global game development community that meets this week in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference to discuss everything from gaming trends to how to make a career as a game developer. 

Mobile games accounted for more than half of the global gaming market in 2020, with $86.1 billion in revenue. The global sales of smartphones and tablets may have been instrumental for the growth of gaming but the PC and console market is enormous and swiftly evolving, says gaming data firm Newzoo that published a research report in connection with the global congress. 

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PC and console revenues reached $92.3 billion in 2022, but that was a decline of 2.2% year-on-year, most probably explained by the fact that in 2021, more people were locked up at home because of the pandemic.

Other highlights from the Newzoo report:

  • Average playtime dropped by -23% across Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation from 2021 to 2022, signaling a return to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Games development and release trends: With the pandemic as a contributing factor, many companies delayed their major title releases from 2022 to at least 2023. These delays significantly impacted playtime and spending, though 2023 now has a packed release schedule, including huge games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of a Kingdom
  • Essential business model trends: More AAA and AA publishers are pivoting their main franchises to service-based and subscription models. In the coming years, companies are expected to opt for fewer new releases and focus on extending the lifespan of existing franchises, especially with the success of titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, and ROBLOX.  
  • Gaming and the surrounding media ecosystem: While remakes and remasters drove up engagement for older game IPs, 2022 was an inflection point for transmedia strategies. The HBO adaptation of The Last of Us was, of course, a major hit and an accelerant for the games, but it was by no means the only example. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the anime based on the controversial title, drastically boosted the franchise’s popularity.  
  • Detailed PC & console gamer demographic and persona analysis: In the last six months, two out of three gamers played on a PC or console and 72% of PC and/or console players used at least two platforms. The market also became more equitable in 2022, with women gamers accounting for 40% of the total PC and console player base.  
  • How different types of gamers are playing and spending: In the past six months, 66% of PC and/or console players spent money on video games.
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Marketing and research firm Statista estimates that Video Games will attract 3.04 billion users by 2027. Revenue in the Video Games segment is projected to reach US$ 365.60 billion in 2023.

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 7.17%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$ 482.30 billion by 2027.
  • In the Video Games segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 3.04bn users by 2027.
  • User penetration will be 34.5% in 2023 and is expected to hit 38.3% by 2027.
  • The largest segment is Mobile Games with a market volume of US$ 315.90 billion in 2023.
  • In global comparison, most revenue will be generated in China.
  • The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the Video Games segment is projected to amount to US$ 137.80 in 2023.
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