Video Gaming Facts: The global community of gamers is a force. But you will be surprised about where the most money is made and spent, and where gaming communities thrive the most.
Did you know that the gaming industry made about £108.3 billion on games in 2018? According to Newzoo, a games and esports analytics company, that will increase even more to £119.3 billion in 2019!
A quick glance at the 2016 and 2017 numbers – £83.6 billion and £95.6 billion respectively – and we see a growth like no other industry. Even the music and film industries combined can’t stand up to it!
More video gamers and more spending!
Gamers are also growing in numbers. There are currently 2.5 billion gamers worldwide, and this is expected to grow to 2.725 billion by 2021!
And these gamers are spending more than ever! Newzoo predicts that by 2021 gamers worldwide will spend about £141 billion on games!
Newzoo also found that we in UK are the 6th highest spenders on games in their top 10 list of gaming countries by revenue.
In the leaderboards, the U.S. has overtaken China as the world’s largest gaming market. China held 1st place mainly because its gaming market is heavily focused on mobile revenues and microtransactions (in 2016 mobile games made up more than 50 percent of all digital gaming revenue).
But, the U.S. games market will generate £29 billion this year, driven by its growth in console game profits. Japan, South Korea, and Germany round off the top five countries.
Video Gamers don’t fit the stereotypes
We may picture young people locked in their rooms when we think of gaming, but you’ll be surprised.
The average male gamer is 32, and the average female gamer is 36! Additionally, 45 percent of gamers are women, but the games men and women play vary.
Why? Newzoo believes it’s because middle age gamers have grown up with games all their lives!
On the PC, men liked shooters (41 percent), strategies (40 percent), and action/adventure (35 percent) games in that order. Women preferred action/adventure (36 percent), strategy (35 percent), and simulation (31 percent) games. A trend Newzoo says covers all the gaming platforms.
Additionally, the ability to go online affects the games we play. 50% of gamers say that being able to play online is important when they buy their games.
Lastly, of frequent gamers, 55 percent say that video games help them stay close with and connect to friends. But not just friends, families too!
What platforms are video games being developed for?
The Console vs PC debate has gone on for decades. You may have made up your mind about which is the best, but they offer different experiences. And in the eyes of game developers, it seems PCs (and mobile phones) are the main focus when making games.
PC computers: 66 percent
The market is potentially the largest, and the PC game scene is the most mod-heavy (mods are fan-made patches which provide new assets or functionality to a game) and many gamers prefer to use a more precise mouse a keyboard to play their game of choice. Regarding online gaming, PC is the easiest platform to have online play for.
Smartphones and Tablet Devices: 38 percent
Mobile gaming has a strong hold on the total market and generates a massive amount of income for gaming companies. Smartphone and tablet devices generally have the same games available to them based on the OS for the devices, either Android or the latest iOS.
PS4 Consoles: 31 percent
As of March 2018, there were 34.2 million Playstation Plus (Playstation’s online gaming service) subscribers. It should be noted that many of the popular games for consoles are single-player experiences, especially when compared to mobile devices.
Xbox One Consoles: 28 percent
For most purposes, it’s nearly the same as the PS4. There are very few exclusives for the console, but the online gaming base via Xbox Live has historically been very strong, with about 59 million active.
Nintendo Switch: 18 percent
It should be heavily noted that this percentage is likely to increase heavily due to the success of the Nintendo Switch.
Due to Nintendo’s efforts, practices, and standards, there generally are fewer games allowed to be developed for the Switch. And Nintendo’s online service is currently too new to have concrete statistics on the number of users.
VR Headsets: 17 percent
This number means the number of games that are not only developed exclusively for VR, but also games that have some form of VR support. VR is a growing, if small, market. According to statistics by Valve, about 0.7 percent of Steam users have a VR headset connected to their PC.
AR Headsets: 7 percent
Many of these selections are experimental and not a large part of the overall gaming market. What will be interesting is how popular AR devices and games become. Given the successes of titles like Pokémon Go (making £1.5 billion as of 2018) many developers (20 percent) are interested in exploring AR technology in some form or another in the future.
The Fortnite Effect
Fortnite has grown so much in popularity among younger gamers. Is it the social dancers reanimated? The online multiplayer feature? The free-to-play and microtransactions model? Or just its fun battle royale gameplay? Whatever it is, it has created trends the gaming industry can’t ignore.
Fortnite made £1.8 billion in 2018. According to Bloomberg and Gamesindustry.biz, the player base totalled about 200 million in 2018, and it’s only been growing since. The user base of Fortnite is likely larger than the population of all but four countries!
According to Verto Watch, 62.7 percent of players are between the ages of 18-24 and spend spends six to 10 hours a week playing the game. This means that Fortnite’s young gamers are very different to the greater gaming population. The Verto Watch results also note that 72.4 percent of players are male, and 27.6 percent female.
LendEDU performed a survey that found that 68.8 percent of Fortnite players have spent money on in-game purchases. For nearly 37 percent of those spenders, this was the very first time they have made an in-game purchase.
Additionally, 35 percent of students who played the game skipped class to do so. And 20.5 percent of those in work skipped it to play.
The main takeaway is that game developers and publishers are going to try and emulate the features and successes of the titan in hopes of getting some of that market share, much like how the MMO market flooded with clones after the runaway success of World of Warcraft.
What this means for the video games industry moving forward?
The industry is booming and will continue to do so! These statistics show that gaming is at the heart of the entertainment business and will continue to be.
Hoewever, it’s important for us to consider habits and health with gaming these reports show. There is more research needed on the positives and negatives of gaming, but we’ve talked about the effects on younger gamers to start with and will continue to do so.
That will be the only way to truly understand where online gaming is headed beyond the next year and know what you can be excited and concerned about!
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