The year 2020 is being particularly difficult for multiple sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for the video game industry, the outlook is different and IDC’s latest forecasts point to 20% growth this year, reaching $ 179.7 billion.
Altogether, the value exceeds the combined revenues of the international film industry, which reached $ 100 billion in 2019, and sports in the United States, which, according to PwC estimates, will reach $ 75 billion this year .
The consultant expects the strong growth of the video game industry to continue in 2021, following the arrival of the new generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft and the introduction of new titles, even as progress is being made on vaccines against HIV. COVID-19.
According to Lewis Ward, director of video game research at IDC, in an interview to the MarketWatch website, the biggest gains are expected to come from mobile gaming, with China playing an important role. Excluding revenue derived from advertisements, the consultant predicts that revenue in the area of mobile video games will grow by 24% compared to last year, standing at around US $ 87.7 billion.
With regard to console revenues, which include hardware, software and services, growth of almost 20% compared to 2019 is expected, totaling $ 52.5 billion. In the world of PC gaming, revenues may grow 11% to $ 39.5 billion, although IDC data does not account for hardware sales in this case.
Launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X | S drive growth in the US
During the first 11 months of 2020, video game-related spending increased by 22% in the United States, to $ 44.5 billion. The data from the NPD Group also reveals that hardware sales grew 34% in this market, reaching almost 4 billion dollars. On the other hand, software sales increased 21%, to 38.4 billion, and that of gaming accessories also grew 22%, to 2.1 billion.
Experts detail that spending was more pronounced in November, when the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S hit the market, accompanied by some highly anticipated titles. In this particular month, hardware sales rose 58% over the same period last year, to $ 1.4 billion, while software sales grew 32% to 5.2 billion, and accessories increased 8% to 314 million.
The top three North American video game publishers also exceeded expectations on the Standard & Poor’s (S&P 500) index in 2020, with shares in Activision Blizzard rising 49%, those in Electronic Arts 30% and those in Take-Two Interactive 64 %.
Data from a survey by the NPD Group in the United States, launched this summer, also reveals that 79% of respondents said they had played video games during the past 6 months, with an average of 14 hours of play per week.