In its new Global Games Market Report quarterly update, Newzoo forecasts that the games market will grow 19.6% to $174.9 billion this year. This number is $15.6 billion higher than its previous forecast, made early on in the pandemic. Now, the company anticipates that the market will continue to grow, generating $217.9 billion in 2023.
Console and mobile gaming revenues are most boosted by the pandemic, but when it comes to regions, the impact is spread relatively equally. In line with previous forecasts, China and the United States still represent 49% of the world’s games market in terms of consumer-generated revenues.
While Covid-19 has impacted some aspects of development, the pandemic has not fundamentally changed the games market—nor has it transformed player behavior. Rather, it has accelerated trends Newzoo has previously reported. This acceleration results from the ongoing measures around the pandemic. With the population being encouraged to stay at home and limit social interaction, people have turned to gaming massively.
In fact, gaming has been a means for entertainment, escapism, and socializing and interacting with friends/family for many consumers, leading to unprecedented growth for the games market. Therefore, it is unsurprising that games offering a social, fun, and competitive experiences like “Among Us” or “Fall Guys” have enjoyed huge engagement this year.
In terms of revenues, Newzoo now forecasts that PC games will generate $37.4 billion in 2020 (up from its previous forecast of $36.9 billion), games on mobile will generate $86.3 billion (up from $77.2 billion) and games on console will generate $51.2 billion (up from $45.2 billion).
Mobile gaming is both the largest segment by revenue and growth. Mobile’s low barrier to entry—as well as the widespread availability of smartphones—make it an ideal place to start gaming for newer players across all regions. On contrary, console is perhaps the most affected.
Regarding the future, the increased engagement and revenues resulting from the pandemic will ripple into next year and beyond, according to the researcher. “Based on engagement metrics of the past months, we see that consumers are continuing to engage with gaming more than they did before the pandemic—even in markets where lockdown measures have long been lifted,” the company noted.
“The first half-year of 2020 saw a peak in growth for the market. While some consumers may play less after the pandemic ends, all signs point to a significant chunk of revenue growth and engagement being permanent,” it added.