Although the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many challenges in the gaming industry, it has not seen the industry in general being hit financially. As gambling is a domestic activity, the hobby has seen a huge increase in spending and playing time. As a result of safety regulations and quarantine restrictions, the gaming industry is making more money than the film and sports industry combined.
According to data from the International Data Corporation (by MarketWatch), global gaming revenue is expected to be around $ 197.7 billion by the end of the year. This represents an increase of about 20% over last year, and the significant increase can be contributed to the pandemic, the continued success of the Nintendo Switch and the console releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X. In 2019, the film and sports industries grossed $ 175 billion combined, and both fell significantly this year.
While console sales are growing, the biggest boost in game revenue came from mobile games. Smartphone titles have seen an overall increase in revenue of almost 25% and now reach a projected $ 87.7 billion. Much of this revenue comes from the Asia and Pacific region, which amounts to US $ 56.6 billion.
This data supports a report by the NPD Group last month, which states that spending on games in the U.S. increased by 22%, to $ 44.5 billion during the first 11 months of 2020. Gaming hardware represents about $ 4 billions of that amount, while more than $ 38 billion comes from software. The most significant increase is the number of consumers playing games, which has risen to 79% in the US.
December seems to be another strong month for the games industry, as the Xbox Series X and PS5 refueling continues to occur and games are given as gifts during the holidays.