The global video game market is forecast to generate 94.2 billion EUR in 2018 and around 134.3 billion EUR in 2022. Revenue from gaming software sales is expected to exceed the 100 billion EUR mark in 2019.
This especially robust growth (9.3% a year, on average, up to 2022) can be attributed to three factors: a very strong mobile gaming sector in Asia, the deepening ubiquity of digital sales for home console games and the development of virtual and augmented reality games.
Mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets: the sector’s top earner
Of all the gaming segments, mobile gaming is both the highest earner and fully digital. It is set to generate 43.6 billion EUR by the end of 2018, of which 78.5% from revenue earned on smartphone games. Thanks to its popularity in emerging countries, notably in Asia, this segment will continue to grow, reaching 60.7 billion EUR in 2022.
The computer game market is still growing, albeit at a slower pace (+3.1% on average a year between 2018 and 2022). It is having to compete with the more accessible smartphone market which, like computers, also includes social and casual games.
Console gaming taking a decisive step towards digitisation
The console games market is being shaped by the launch of online shops for selling AAA games electronically. With close to 95% of console gamers now connected to the web, the time had come for console makers and their partners to make the move to digital. Up until this eighth generation of home consoles, AAA games were only available to download from the console makers’ own online stores (PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop and Xbox Marketplace) and could only be purchased on physical media (Blu-ray) in retail shops. But physical retail outlets will see their share of video games sales decrease gradually over time. Game publishers are also taking advantage of this shift to develop a Game-as-a-Service strategy that allows them to rethink a game’s life cycle, which is now potentially longer, not least because production continues during the game’s life span.