Newzoo’s Trends to Watch in 2021 (Games, Esports and Mobile)

3 min readApr 1, 2021


Over the past month or so, we’ve published three articles on trends to watch — for games, esports, and mobile, respectively. Keep reading for a compiled and condensed look at developments to watch across all three segments!

Games Trends 2021

1. Engagement and Revenues Will Continue to Flourish: Even after the pandemic subsides, which we hope is sooner rather than later, engagement and revenues will continue to stick. In 2021, the games market generate revenues of $189.3 billion.

2. It Will Take Time for Next-Gen Console Supply to Catch up to Demand: Manufacturing and launching new consoles is never easy, and the pandemic next-gen launches even more difficult. Hardware and software development challenges will continue into 2021.

3. The Cloud Gaming Market, Proving its Value in 2020, Will Grow Its Audience in 2021: Cloud gaming revenues will exceed $1 billion for the first time 2021, when most of the major players (including Amazon, Google & Microsoft) will have launched their services across various platforms.

4. Gaming-as-a-Platform & Metaverse Development Will Expand Publishers’ Addressable Market: Game worlds can now simulate experiences like fashion shows, music concerts, and movie showings. These events have been great for engagement, so brands and artists will continue experimenting.

5. Gaming Will Energize Efforts Towards Reducing Toxicity and Promoting Diversity & Inclusion: Companies’ D&I efforts over the past few years are certainly to be commended, but we still have a long way to go. Game companies are striving for further improvements, and we’ll see many in 2021.

Learn more in the full free report.

Esports and Live Streaming Trends 2021

1. Mobile Esports Enter the Upper Echelon: As consumer appetite for mobile esports continues to grow in China, Southeast Asia & Latin America, mobile esports will continue to subvert expectations in the once-PC-dominated market.

2. Esports Teams Will Continue to Diversify: Teams will expand beyond the model set by traditional sport structures,putting a large focus on other initiatives like positioning their company as a lifestyle brand or hiring content creators.

3. Traditional Sports Will Increasingly Look to Esports: Pro-sports events are starting to happen again, but sports organizations spent 2020 accelerating their esports efforts. Many of these experiments will continue into 2021 (especially the successes).

4. League-Based Formats Will Foster the Ecosystem: With travel restrictions still inhibiting international play, we expect to see another year with an increased focus on league-based formats and regional play alike — permanently, for some scenes.

5. Non-Gaming Content Becomes Even Bigger on Streaming Platforms: Streaming platforms will double down on a wider variety of content beyond gaming, like concerts, political events, and live shows — especially as young people increasingly move away from cable TV.

Learn more in the full free report.

Mobile (Gaming) Trends 2021

1. The Removal of IDFA May Change the Face of Mobile Marketing:
Due to the removal, we expect to see a short-term lower spend on user acquisition across iOS. Instead, this spend may flow into Android, web, or other channels.

2. 5G Penetration Will Begin to Spike: 16% (more than 700 million) of all active smartphones will be 5G-ready by the end of this year, up from just 5% in 2020. By 2023, the share will skyrocket to 43% (2.1 billion active smartphones).

3. Genshin Impact Will Catalyze More AAA Experiences on Mobile (from China Devs): Following Genshin’s success, we expect to see even more Chinese developers expanding overseas with AAA immersive and competitive content — not only on mobile but also on console and PC.

4. App Store Distribution Will Face Challengers on All Fronts: Individual games, publishers, and services will continue to change the face of game distribution on mobile — in the East, West, and everywhere in between.

5. More IP-Based Games Will Come to Mobile While Mobile IP Expands Beyond Gaming: As mobile continues to be the fastest-growing and most-prevalent gaming platform, more and more IP holders across various entertainment divisions are vying for a slice of the opportunity pie.

Learn more in the full free report.

Get Deeper and More Frequent Trends in Our Global Reports and the Newzoo Platform

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Platform subscribers can also benefit from weekly takes from our expert analysts. With our analyst feed, keeping on top of the most impactful trends in games, esports, and mobile couldn’t be easier.

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