How Big Is The Video Game Industry?
For decades, video games have entertained young children and adults alike. Going back to the time when video games where nothing more than pixels and blips, the thought of video game industry being a billion dollar industry was but a dream.
It was pretty hard to imagine that companies would spend millions of dollars on hardware and software so people could play little shapes and hear beeping sounds right from the comforts of their own home.
Then the 80’s happened, and arcades changed the way people thought of video games. You weren’t looking at blips and shapes anymore. You were now looking at animated, colorized, and even moving human beings/animals on the screen. It didn’t take long for the video game industry to become as big as they are now.
Today, the video game industry is larger than the movie and music industries put together. And the industry is still growing.
- Tencent earned $32.2 billion in gaming revenue, making them the highest earning gaming company (1).
- The mobile gaming market generated $91.1 billion in revenue as of June 2022, followed by the console gaming market with a revenue of $58.6 billion (2).
- Consumer spending on in-game purchases is projected to hit $74.5 billion by 2025 (3).
- Advertising spending for the mobile gaming industry is expected to hit $61.3 million by the end of 2022, and projected to hit $130 million by 2025 (4).
- The US Gaming Market is worth $95.4 billion (5)
- By 2023, there will be more than 3 billion active gamers (6)
- In the US, 79% of gamers are adults according to the Entertainment Software Association (7).
- It’s estimated that 64% of adults in the USA play video games regularly while 70% of people under 18 years of age play regularly (7).
- 3 out of 5 gamers are male, according to the Entertainment Software Association (7).
The Video Game Market In 2022
- Global video game consumer spending is expected to generate $200 billion in revenue for 2022 (8).
- The mobile game market is expected to grow 5% year on year and projected to hit $103.5 billion in revenue.
- Console titles will earn $57 billion to form part of that $200 billion revenue, which indicates an 8% growth from 2021.
- PC gaming is expected to hit $47 billion in sales in 2022.
USA Will Beat China In Video Game Spending For 2022
Gamers from the USA will spend more than gamers in China, making the region the highest revenue generator for the entire video game industry (9).
Gamers in the USA will generate close to $50.5 billion in revenue, while gamers in China will generate $50.2 billion. This small overtake can be attributed to the Chinese government’s crackdown on gaming by reducing the younger population’s time spent playing video games and limiting new releases.
Regardless, the Asia-Pacific will still continue to be the biggest region in terms of revenues by a huge margin.
How Many People Video Games?
- As of 2022, there are 3.09 billion gamers worldwide. In 2020, the population of gamers worldwide sat at 2.77 billion (10).
- Asia Pacific holds the largest share of gamers worldwide as of 2021 at 55%, followed by Middle East and Africa at 15%, Europe at 14%, Latin America at 10%, and North America at 7% (11).
- To put it in perspective, Asia Pacific has 1.5 billion gamers, Europe with 391 million, Middle East and Africa with 388 million, Latin America with 274 million, and North America with 200 million.
- By 2024, the number of gamers will increase to 3.24 billion.
Video games are growing in popularity. That’s a fact, and we don’t need surveys and statistics to prove that claim. More people are getting involved with the hobby because the stigma of video gaming being for “nerds” and “geeks” is gone. It’s no longer something to be ashamed of.
Consider people like Henry Cavill, who’s always been open to the media about his gaming hobby. Remember that time he broke the Internet by recording a video of himself building a PC?
Or what about the time when Terry Crews built his own gaming PC just so he can game together with his son?
The growth of the number of gamers is exponential to say the least.
The number of gamers for 2015 was 2.03 billion. Within a span of 7 years, it grew by a billion. To put it into perspective, there are 7.753 billion people on Earth right now so that means 39% of the global population are gamers (3.09 billion out of 7.753).
But what’s exactly the cause of the sudden growth of the video gaming industry? The answer: Mobile games industry. In 2021, the global gaming industry generated a revenue of $180.3 billion (12), with the mobile game segment earning $93.2 billion (more than 50% of the entire global gaming industry). Console gaming segment earned $50.4 billion while the PC gaming segment earned $36.7 billion.
Age and Video Gaming Industry Statistcs
Age plays a huge role in terms of determining the video games industry’s audience, and the numbers might surprise you.
In the USA, 80% of gamers are aged 18 years and older, while the number of gamers aged under 18 are 20% (13). This is contrary to the thought that video games are “just for children”.
Video Game Preferences
The preference for gaming genres between different age groups is diverse, as you can see from the chart (14).
- Gamers between the ages 16 and 24, gamers between the ages of 25 and 34, and gamers between the ages of 35 and 44 all prefer shooting games
- Gamers between the 45 and 54 prefer either shooting games or action games
- Gamers between the ages of 55 and 64 prefer puzzle games
In the USA alone, the best selling game franchise is Call of Duty. In 2021, Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Black Ops were the top selling video games (15). These games were followed by Madden: NFL, Pokemon: Brilliant Pearl/Diamond, and Battlefield 2042 in 3rd, 4th, and 5th place respectively.
Gaming Stats and Demographics for PC Gamers
There is an estimated 1.77 billion of PC gamers worldwide, with Asia accounting for 1/3 of global PC gamers (16).
There’s an estimated 687 million PC gamers just in Asia alone, with Europe coming in second at 468.4 million as of 2021.
Taiwan had the highest gaming reach for PC back in 2020, with 46% of their population playing video games on PC. China and Philippines came in at second and third place at 45% and 44% respectively.
Gaming Stats and Demographics for Console Gamers
Gaming revenue for the console segment is expected to decline by 6.6% in 2022 after hitting a 10% growth last year (17).
In North America, there are 106 million console gamers, which account for 42% of the console gaming worldwide. Europe comes in second place with 99.6 million gamers.
As for the consoles themselves, even with the advent of next-generation consoles such as the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series One, the Playstation 2 remains the best-selling console of all time, hitting sales of 157.67 million units, and the best-selling game for console is Wii Sports selling 82.65 million units.
Gaming Stats and Demographics for Mobile Gamers
In 2021, the number of mobile games rose to 2.6 billion (18). Of that 2.6 billion, the market share per region are as follows:
- 1.293 billion gamers are from Asia
- 551.7 million gamers are from Europe
- 309.2 million gamers are from Latin America
- 207.7 million gamers are from North America
- 145.8 million gamers are from MENA (Middle East and North Africa)
- 126.7 million gamers are from Sub-Sahara Africa
- 25.3 million gamers are from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand)
Free to Play Games (F2P) within the mobile gaming industry generated a global revenue of $75.64 billion as of 2021 and is projected to hit $78.74 billion by the end of 2022.
This doesn’t come as a shock, given that the mobile gaming content market value was worth $131.1 billion in 2021 and projected to hit $140.5 billion by 2022. Ten years ago, the market value of mobile gaming content was $8.6 billion, which is a significant increase of more than 100% to date (19).
Between Google Play Store and App Store, the latter had the highest mobile app store revenue with $52.3 billion (the total app revenue for Apple App Store was $85.1 billion for all apps, gaming and otherwise). Meanwhile, Google Play Store earned $37.3 billion for gaming apps, out of the $47.9 billion total (20).
What’s The Most Popular Gaming Platform?
The gaming market is divided into five parts: PC, console games, browser games, smartphone games, and tablet games.
Mobile games take up close to half, or 49%, of the global market with the combined tablet and smartphone gaming revenue. Boxed or downloaded PC games followed in third place with 21% share of market revenue, and Browser PC games account for 2% of market share (21).
But in terms of title availability and variety, PC gaming has it in the bag. The PC gaming industry has access to distribution platforms like Steam, Epic Games, EA Games, Ubisoft, and more. There are also video games that are highly popular worldwide but only available to PC. These games are League of Legends and World of Warcraft, to name a few. Multiplayer games on PC are also expanding to cross-platform functionality, meaning players from other platforms (e.g. consoles and smartphones) will be able to play with PC players.