The Global Games Market Will Generate $152.1 Billion in 2019 as the U.S. Overtakes China as the Biggest Market
We are proud to announce that today marks the official launch of our 2019 Global Games Market Report. The report, the games business’s standard for understanding and sizing the global games market, boasts a detailed breakdown of the market in terms of revenue and gamer forecasts per segment. The report explores the market trends shaping and driving the landscape of the game, further zooming in on the latest developments per segment and region. In this article, we will dive into some of the report’s key findings, focusing on the new numbers.
We also made some of the high-level findings available in a free version of the report. Download it here.
Now more than ever, gaming is at the heart of the entertainment business. The way consumers engage with and through games is constantly changing. Not only does this result in more overall engagement, but it also leads to entirely new segments of game enthusiasts. There are now more than 2.5 billion gamers across the world. Combined, they will spend $152.1 billion on games in 2019, representing an increase of +9.6% year on year.
Console will be the fastest-growing segment this year, growing +13.5% year on year to $47.9 billion in 2019. This is the second year running that growth in console games will outpace mobile gaming growth. Last year’s regulatory changes in China, as well as the absence of new global blockbusters, signaled slowed growth for mobile games. What’s more, rising anticipation toward the next generation of consoles will slow down the market during the second half of the year.
Mobile gaming (smartphone and tablet), meanwhile, remains the largest segment in 2019, growing +10.2% year on year to $68.5 billion — 45% of the global games market. Of this, $54.9 billion will come from smartphone games. PC gaming will be both the smallest and slowest-growing segment, increasing +4.0% year on year to $35.7 billion. Despite the segment being smaller in size, PC’s status as the bedrock of innovation in the games market remains evident to this day. Nearly all of the most popular game genres, including battle royale and MOBA, can trace their roots back to PC gaming’s modding community.
Important note: We review our games market estimates every quarter and update them if necessary. You can always find the latest numbers here.
The U.S. Is Now the World’s #1 Games Market
In 2019, the U.S. will overtake China as the world’s largest gaming market by revenues. Overall, the U.S. games market will generate $36.9 billion this year, predominantly driven by its +13.9% growth in console game revenues. At $18.5 billion, console represents more than 50% of the total games market in the U.S.. Meanwhile, China’s nine-month licensing freeze on new games, as well as measures to reduce screen time among children, are still felt throughout 2019. Publishers, however, are now able to monetize their new games once more, but the consequences of the freeze and new approval process will still impact growth in the Chinese market this year. Japan, South Korea, and Germany round off the top five countries by game revenues in 2019. We have updated our Top 100 Countries by Game Revenues Ranking with these results.
Global Games Market Continues Its Trajectory of Healthy Growth
In the report, we also present our forecasts for the global games market toward 2022. Consumer spend on games will grow to $196.0 billion by 2022, a CAGR of +9.0% between 2018 and 2022.
Mobile gaming will generate revenues of $95.4 billion in 2022 and account for almost half of the entire games market. This will be driven predominantly by smartphones, with revenues of $79.7 billion by 2022. Although mobile is indeed still the world’s fastest-growing games market segment, growth is slowing in mature markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Emerging markets, including Southeast Asia, India, and Middle East & North Africa, will contribute most to the segment’s growth. However, a range of other factors are also contributors, including more cross-platform titles, more smartphone users, and improvements to both mobile hardware and mobile Internet infrastructure, including the rollout of 5G networks.
Revenues generated by the console segment will reach $61.1 billion in 2022, increasing with a CAGR of +9.7%. These revenues will dip slightly from the second half of 2019 to 2021, as the imminent release of the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles will see consumers spending most of their gaming budget on hardware. However, the upcoming new Switch model(s), as well as the massive installed base of the previous (now current) console generation will contribute to healthy growth in the segment.
The overall PC gaming market will grow with a CAGR of +3.5% to total $39.5 billion by 2022. The ongoing consumer shift from browser PC games to downloaded/boxed PC games will reduce the browser segment’s revenues by almost half from 2018 to 2022. Downloaded/boxed PC games, though, will grow with a CAGR of +5.4%, generating $37.3 billion by 2022.
Growth in mobile game revenues will continue to outpace growth on PC in the coming years, resulting in a shrinking PC market share toward 2022. Mobile will also outpace console’s revenue growth; yet, console’s market share will remain relatively static.
Despite China’s Licensing Freeze, APAC Remains the Biggest Region by Game Revenues
This year, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will produce game revenues of $72.2 billion, accounting for 47% of the global total. This represents year-on-year growth of +7.6%. China’s licensing freeze also impacted South Korean and Japanese publishers, with many increasingly depending on Chinese players for revenue growth. China remains the most important market in the region for the coming years, and will reclaim its spot as the #1 gaming market by revenue in 2020. The fastest-growing markets are emerging markets such as South East Asia and India, where Western and Eastern publishers are vying for players’ time and money.
Once more, North America will be the second-largest region (by game revenues), taking more than a quarter of 2019’s total games market with $39.6 billion. This represents a +11.7% increase from last year, the fastest year-on-year growth rate of any region, almost entirely due to consecutive successful years for console gaming. Game revenue growth in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region will be slightly lower than North America’s. With a year-on-year growth of +11.5%, EMEA will generate revenues of $34.7 billion this year, representing 23% of the total global games market. Meanwhile, Latin America will make up 4% of the games market, growing +11.1% year on year to $5.6 billion.
Download the free version of the report here.
Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report: More than a Report
Looking to access deeper trends, revenue and gamer forecasts per segment, and consumer insights — globally, regionally, and for 30 key countries? Look no further than Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report subscription.
And it’s so much more than just a report. This 12-month service includes four quarterly update reports and dashboard access. The quarterly reports detail any changes to our games market estimates along with the latest market developments. Through the dashboard, you can access all of our market data globally, per region, and per country — allowing you to easily slice and dice the data and export your own custom charts. Want to know more? Contact us at email@example.com.