Global Games Market Forecasting

Mobile gaming will continue to be the largest segment following 10 years of double-digit growth since the first iPhone was launched in 2007. In total, mobile revenues will grow +25.5% year on year to reach $70.3 billion. This means that for the first time, more than half of all game revenues will come from the mobile segment. Smartphones will account for 80% of this, or $56.4 billion, with the remaining 20% coming from tablets. Console gaming is the second-largest segment generating $34.6 billion in 2018, while PC games will bring in $32.9 billion.

In the span of a decade, mobile gaming will have grown from the smallest segment in 2012 to a 100-billion-dollar industry in 2021. Remarkably, the rise of mobile gaming has not significantly cannibalized revenues from PC or console gaming markets. In the coming years, mobile game revenue growth will continue to outpace the overall games market, growing to $106.4 billion in 2021. By then, smartphone and tablet games combined will generate 59% of revenues in the entire market.

The Japanese gaming market will still be the third-largest in the world in 2018 (behind the United States and China), growing +15.1% year on year to $19.2 billion. Due to the continued success of mobile gaming companies in Japan, we increased our estimate for Japan’s mobile games market for the second time in a year. This means its mobile games market is now nearly the same size as North America’s with roughly one-third of the number of gamers. In fact, Japanese gamers spend most of any country, particularly for mobile games. The average spend per payer in Japan is 1.5 times higher than in North America, and more than 2.5 times higher than in Western Europe.

China alone will account for more than one-quarter of all global game revenues, reaching $37.9 billion this year. It will remain the number one gaming market by revenues and by number of players. Mobile is the dominant force and will generate 61% of revenues in 2018, growing to 70% of the market by 2021.

Newzoo’s Global Games Market Forecast Model projects gamer numbers and revenues per segment and region on a global, regional, and country level. It also shows the share of paying gamers and average spend at the same level of granularity. These projections are analyzed in multiple ways, comparing year-on-year growth rates, market share, CAGRs, and absolute amounts in USD between the regions and segments, as well as the development of specific regions or segments in time. Projections are compared to available third-party sources on a local or global level. Given the pace of the developments in the games industry, Newzoo reviews its conclusions and assumptions every quarter, considering newly available data and insights. Before publication of any data, Newzoo also performs various validation checks, including comparison against historical internal data, comparison against market figures from alternative sources, and validation from several Newzoo clients.

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