Video Game Industry Strives in Pandemic
All video game-related revenues — software and hardware — posted the best results in more than a decade, with the stay-at-home lockdown remaining a major factor in the sector’s rise in the second quarter.
The global video game industry is thriving, despite the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus. With the practice of social distancing reducing consumer and business activity to a minimum, gaming offers an engaging distraction for people at home looking for social interaction, and initial data shows huge growth in playing time and sales since the lock-downs began.
According to a recent report by Newzoo senior market analyst Tom Wijman, the global gaming market will generate $159.3 billion in revenue in 2020. That would be 9.3 percent year-over-year growth. What’s more, Newzoo projects the industry to surpass $200 billion in revenue in 2023.
In contrast, Disney’s earnings fell by more than 50 percent and the company took a $1.4 billion loss last quarter. The movie industry as a whole has lost close to $10 billion thus far in 2020 according to multiple analyses as the shutdown hammers other sectors of the entertainment and leisure industries.
In his analysis, Wijman did add the caveat that “the launch of the next-generation consoles toward the end of the year is also a key contributing factor.”
The biggest growth is in mobile gaming, with many internet cafes closed during the pandemic and the accessibility to mobile devices growing. According to Wijman, mobile gaming will account for $77.2 billion in revenue in 2020, an increase of 13.3 percent from 2019.
Of the 2.7 billion total gamers projected to play in 2020, 2.6 billion will play on mobile devices. However, only 38 percent will pay to play games on mobile, according to the analysis.
The only sector within the gaming industry expected to lose revenue is in browser-based gaming. According to Wijman, growth is typically far slower in the PC-based gaming world, as the most popular games have been around for anywhere from three years to more than a decade. Plus web-based games have experienced some delays from COVID-19.