Gaming Peripheral Market Grows Again in 2019: Headset Revenues Are Slightly Down, But Growth is Coming
The global gaming peripheral market is bigger than ever, reaching $4.1 billion in 2019 (+2.1% year-on-year growth). This growth is slower than growth in previous years, which can be mostly attributed to headset revenues (console and PC), which have decreased compared to 2018. In this article, we will delve into the situation further. We’ll then use our Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker to shine the spotlight on Fortnite gamers. The tracker covers active PC and console gamers (age 10–50).
On first impression, the slight reduction in headset revenues looks alarming, especially when looking at the sales data. Upon closer inspection, the slight revenue decrease makes sense and is nothing to worry about. There are a number of explanations:
- The meteoric rise of battle royale in 2018 led to unprecedented year-on-year growth in global peripheral revenues (+33.7% overall, +44.6% for console headsets, and +39.9% for PC headsets).
- Many of these new battle royale gamers bought low-end peripherals in one fell swoop, so their next higher-end peripheral purchases will likely happen in 2020 and beyond (more on this later).
- The reduction in console headset revenues can also — in part — be explained by the imminent next-generation games consoles. Many consumers are waiting for information about peripheral backward compatibility before making a purchase.
The battle royale phenomenon quickly shook up the entire gaming peripheral ecosystem back in 2018, leading many peripheral companies to quickly rethink their strategies to target this influx of new gamers.
As you’ll see in this article, the Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker is the perfect toolkit for any (game) peripheral company to stay on top of these trends and align their strategy accordingly.
Gaming Peripheral Market Data: More than Half of Fortnite Gamers Are Looking for a New Headset
Fortnite became a worldwide phenomenon last year, permeating the mainstream media and creating a large pool of new Game Enthusiasts. The game’s success trickled into peripheral revenues, which enjoyed a massive spike. This happened because:
- Headsets can help Fortnite players hear their competitors’ footsteps, making it easier to locate the enemy, and aid in-team communication.
- Many people play Fortnite on PC, and these gamers’ performance is also enhanced by gaming keyboards, mice, and peripherals.
- Plenty of Fortnite gamers watch game streams and esports — content that features sponsorships and ads from peripheral companies, contributing to revenues.
Using our Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker, we explored the motivations and purchasing intent of Fortnite gamers — those who played Fortnite in the last three months — focusing on five Western markets, the U.S., U.K, Germany, France, and Sweden. Impressively, 38% of all gamers covered in the study are Fortnite gamers.
Almost three-quarters of the Fortnite gamers currently own a gaming headset (vs 51% of all gamers researched), while 53% of Fortnite gamers intend to buy a headset soon (vs. 40% of all gamers).
While most of these gamers bought budget headsets originally, they have upped their budget for their next headset purchases. Around 55% of Fortnite gamers are now looking to buy a mid-tier headset or above (A budget of $100+).
Compared to all gamers, a higher share of Fortnite gamers are also intending to buy a gaming mouse (51% vs. 38% of all gamers), gaming keyboard (48% vs. 36%), gaming surface (45% vs. 33%), and gaming controller (51% vs. 40%). The full Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker includes consumers’ budgets for these devices.
We expect that these peripheral purchases will happen in 2020 and beyond, increasing headset revenues back above those generated in 2018. Needless to say, this presents a massive opportunity for gaming peripheral companies.
Shining the Spotlight on Lapsed Fortnite Gamers and Their Higher Peripheral Budgets
Of course, not every gamer who played Fortnite at the start of the year still plays. It is only natural that players churn from one game to another. Many of the new gamers Fortnite brought into the market have moved on to other titles. And this has major implications for the peripheral market, too, which is exactly why we’re also briefly exploring lapsed Fortnite gamers (those who played Fortnite six months ago, but haven’t played in the past three months).
Interestingly, 79% of lapsed Fortnite gamers now play Call of Duty, while 74% play Grand Theft Auto. On average, they are likelier to have a slightly higher yearly peripheral budget than current Fortnite gamers and are less likely to hold on to the same peripherals for the same period. Lapsed Fortnite gamers are also likelier to be looking to buy gaming headsets, keyboards, and mice.
With the full tracker, you can slice and dice the peripheral and gaming habits of gamers (all gamers and players of specific franchises) based on more than 200 variables.
What Drives Fortnite Gamers’ Peripheral Purchases? How Can Companies Use Gaming Peripheral Data to Find These Players?
Knowing gamers’ purchasing intent is just one piece of the puzzle for gaming peripheral companies. Equally important is knowing how to reach and target these gamers. Luckily, the Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker also covers the main drivers behind gamers’ peripheral choices, as well as the social networks and chat apps they use.
More than a quarter of Fortnite gamers state that the following as a main driver of their gaming peripheral decisions:
- Good reviews of the product by a consumer on a website (26%);
- Recommendations from friends or family (25%), which makes sense given the teamwork-focused gameplay of Fortnite’s Duos and Squads modes; and
- The peripheral was made by their favorite brand (25%).
Community, it seems, is a big part of what drives Fortnite gamers’ purchases. And Compared to all gamers, Fortnite gamers’ gaming peripheral purchases are likelier to be driven by:
- Pro gamers using or endorsing the product during streaming/recorded live streams;
- Recommendations from experts and professionals; and
- Pro gamers using or endorsing the product during esports events.
Clearly, the opinions of experts resonate more with Fortnite gamers, especially gaming heroes such as esports stars and top streamers. Therefore, a Fortnite streamer/esports endorsement could be a smart way to tap into the most dedicated Fortnite players.
The social media networks Fortnite gamers use differs by market, so it is important for gaming peripheral companies to consider country differences in social media advertising campaigns.
In the U.S. and U.K., and France, Facebook is by far the most commonly used social media platform for Fortnite gamers (more than three-quarters actively use it in each country).
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Fortnite gamers in Germany (85%) use WhatsApp, and the most popular social network in Sweden is Instagram.
Across the board, Fortnite gamers are significantly more likely to use Instagram (compared to all gamers). Combining this with the influence that streamers and esports pro have over Fortnite gamers, product endorsements via pro gamers’ Instagram profiles and stories could be a viable strategy for reaching Fortnite gamers.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the actionable insights available to subscribers of our Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker.
Get the Real Deal: Understand the Motivations, Drivers, and Intent Behind Gamers’ Peripheral Decisions
Looking to understand and track the peripheral usage, buying intention, brand evaluation, budget, demographics, esports behavior, and loyalty of gamers? Look no further than our Gaming Peripheral Brand Tracker, which provides in-depth insights into the gaming peripheral market and more than 20 of its top brands in nine key PC/console gaming countries.
The product categories covered are keyboards, mice, headsets, controllers, surfaces/mouse mats, and VR headsets. The consumer data includes 200+ variables on gaming peripheral consumers per country, covering all gaming peripherals, budget groups, most important features, purchase funnels, brand attribution, and zooms in on specific models.
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