The global video game market will exceed $200 billion in 2022

Last week, our customers had access to our latest estimates and forecasts for the gaming market, including our new numbers for 2022. In this article, we will present some high-level data and conclusions from the report update on the global Video Games market.

As the world begins to reopen, the gaming market has proven resilient. Revenue continues to grow in 2022 and will reach $203.1 billion through consumer spending (+5.4% YoY), which is a new record.

The number of global players will also witness a breakthrough this year, as it will cross the three billion barrier to reach 3.09 billion players by the end of the year.

Note: Based on our in-depth analysis of the financial results of over 140 publicly traded gaming companies (for calendar year 2021), we now estimate that the gaming market generated $192.7 billion in 2021, up +7.6% year-over-year.

Game revenue by region: the United States ranked first again

Before we zoom in on our predictions for the 2022 gaming market for mobile, PC, and console, we wanted to highlight some notable regional developments.

In terms of gaming revenue through consumer spending, the US ($50.5 billion) will generate more than China ($50.2 billion) in 2022.

The overreach makes sense, as the Chinese government has cracked down on gambling in China, restricting new game releases and playing time for young people in the country. The market is starting to show the impact of these regulatory pressures.

However, Asia Pacific remains the largest region in terms of revenue by a significant margin:

You see, only emerging regions are posting double-digit growth. However, the more mature regions of Europe and North America are also showing strong growth, thanks to the performance of PC in the first market and console in the second.

Mobile will still be more profitable than these two segments combined in 2022.

Mobile gaming revenue will also take a big step

Annual mobile gaming revenue will exceed $100 billion for the first time in 2022, growing +5.1% year-over-year to $103.5 billion.

While mobile will still show growth, its annual rise is much lower than the growth numbers for 2020 and 2021, as 2022 could not sustain the pandemic-driven growth of previous years. This means that the mobile market share will decrease by one percentage point this year (from 52% in 2021 to 51%).

To that end, more mature mobile markets will show little year-over-year growth in 2022: +2.8% in China and +1.1% in Japan, for example. These mature markets rely on new game releases and improved monetization strategies to increase their revenue, where player growth is minimal.

Releases in China are limited due to government regulations. And while new releases like Apex Legends Mobile (particularly in Japan) and Diablo Immortal will help drive revenue growth globally, user acquisition will remain a huge challenge.

Privacy rule changes like IDFA removal[1] It makes acquiring and targeting players on mobile devices more difficult. While Apple’s subscription changes are more extreme than Google’s, most publishers budget UA[2] Combined (not a separate budget for iOS and Android), so user acquisition is affected across the board.

Asia Pacific remains gaming’s largest region in terms of absolute revenue (by a large margin), but China, Japan, and Korea all record low single-digit growth annually. So where does mobile growth come from?

Emerging markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia will be the main contributor to mobile growth in 2022, thanks to:

  • Increase access to games and devices (smartphones)
  • Infrastructure and mobile internet improvements
  • More flexible and accessible payment options.

Console will be the main growth driver in the video game market in 2022

From the advent of mobile devices to the dawn of cloud gaming, experts and analysts have long predicted “ death condolence As it stands, the console is still alive and vibrant, as we’ve always said.

Global gaming market by segment with annual growth rates

Despite ongoing supply chain constraints, console games will generate $56.9 billion in 2022, an increase of 8.4% year over year. This growth will be driven by:

  • Massive launches by builders like Horizon Forbidden West, Pokémon Legends Arceus, Gran Turismo, God of War Ragnarok, Xbox’s Starfield, and the rest of the upcoming H2 lineup.
  • Releases from premium editions from third-party publishers like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (perhaps the most anticipated Call of Duty title in years), Elden Ring, and annual sports releases.
  • Consoles’ increased performance and excitement around live games like Fortnite, GTA Online and Call of Duty Warzone.
  • The growth in the installed base of next-generation consoles will increase consumer spending on software (consumers want to play games with their new console).
  • Overhauling Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription strategy, which introduces new levels of subscriptions and cloud gaming, to replace the faltering PlayStation Now service.

PC will also show growth, but less than console and mobile

PC game revenue will grow slightly slower than console revenue, but it will still show a 1.9% increase to $41.0 billion in 2022.

Like console, revenue growth from games”He lives“(Game as a Service), new games such as Elden Ring and Modern Warfare 2, will contribute the most to growth.

However, the growth of PCs is still less than that of the console, as the PC has:

  • Fewer high-end exclusives (like Horizon Forbidden West and Pokémon Arceus Legends bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, which a PC can’t capture).
  • No subscription dominates the ecosystem like PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, or Nintendo Switch Online (PC has Game Pass, but it’s not tightly tied to the ecosystem).
  • Fewer software related to new hardware, although some consumers will buy new games to test new GPUs and other components, but not to the same degree as buying a new console.

As in previous years, browser gaming will decline as more players switch playing time and spending to mobile, and with developers also prioritizing the development of mobile screens.

Although some mobile developers offer browser-based versions to make their games accessible to their most loyal fans, this is not enough to offset the migration of players from browser to mobile.

Meanwhile, revenue from downloaded PC games and funds will grow +3.2% year-over-year to $38.7 billion, primarily driven by larger Western markets and emerging markets in other regions.

We attribute much of the gaming market growth in Europe (+6.3%) to the above-average PC market; However, the region’s growth potential has been somewhat limited by the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.

Note that the PC market in China will decline slightly year-on-year, a decline that will accelerate around 2024 and is a direct result of the government’s repressive policy towards video games. This brings us to the future prospects of the gaming market.

What does the future hold for the global gaming market revenue?

The gaming market will continue to grow in the following years, reaching $222.6 billion in 2024, at a compound annual growth rate[3] By +5.6% (2020 to 2024):

Global video game market forecast to 2024

The future is bright, on mobile, PC, and console.

On the mobile front, talented studios will continue to adapt to new privacy standards, while boosting the market by:

  • Live Services and Mixed Monetization Innovations (in classic and casual game genres)
  • Companies native to consoles and PCs are bringing their franchises to mobile to boost their growth and revenue streams, including this year’s Apex Legends Mobile and Diablo Immortal.
  • Mobile games are becoming more complex and immersive, attracting traditional players and increasing revenue

On the PC and console fronts, the development of subscription services along with the full-priced versions will give players more ways to play and consume. Of course, the titlesgame as a servicePostponing Call of Duty Warzone 2 until 2023 will help keep players engaged.

Simply put, the market is huge and innovative, and it can’t help but grow and innovate more.

We are very excited to witness, analyze and forecast these developments along with the subscribers of this Global Gaming Market report.

Want our numbers, developments, and ideas before anyone else? Ask us! We will be glad to help you.

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