According to the latest expert report, the revenue of companies operating in the gaming market is expected to exceed $159 billion this year. Online casinos play a significant share of this revenue. Revenues are projected to exceed $200 billion in 2023. On the other hand, the number of players in the world will be over 3 billion in 3 years. And the coronavirus pandemic with its consequences has become a catalytic factor in the sharp popularity of the gaming sector.
Increase in-game use caused by a coronavirus
The latest gaming industry report takes into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is she who is largely responsible for increasing income in the gaming market.
What the numbers say:
- Mobile products remain a large segment of the gaming market. It is assumed that revenues from computer games may further decline, mainly in favor of products intended for mobile platforms. The number of mobile game users this year will be 2.6 billion. Interestingly, in 2021, the income from the gambling market will grow the most in the countries of the Middle East and Africa.
- Casino online pokies are very popular. People are tired of prohibitions and routines, and a small emotional shake-up with the help of online casinos brings more and more customers to this business.
- The second place in terms of revenue will be the console games market. Its cost this year will exceed $45 billion. The launch of new generation devices at the end of the year will have an impact on the development of this industry. Of course, we are talking about Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
- The third place is taken by games designed for personal computers. Revenue from PC versions this year will be about $37 billion.
- This year, the Asia-Pacific region will be responsible for the largest revenue in the gaming market. This will bring in $78.4 billion, which is 49% of the total value of the gaming industry.
At the same time, it is impossible to accurately predict the growth of the gaming industry in the coming years. After all, the situation with the coronavirus is still unpredictable.
Gaming market trends
The outbreak of the coronavirus has changed the habits of players. Users are spending less and less time on Facebook and prefer to play. Society is looking for an environment to mimic shared life experiences in games. And this is possible thanks to virtual reality (VR). During the pandemic, virtual reality glasses were very popular, which sold out very quickly.
How the market reacts to the increased demand for innovation:
- A society forced to stay at home is looking for entertainment. And this is exactly what virtual reality can give them. The premiere of the new VR device Oculus Quest took place last year. These are the first mobile glasses that can be used anywhere.
- People who spend more time at home are finally taking the time to learn new technologies in their work and play. The impact of the coronavirus can be seen in the sale of online games, especially in China.
- Virtual reality devices allow the player to experience a previously unknown experience. In the spring, factories did not keep pace with the release of VR glasses.
- Despite the tough operating conditions lately, VR game companies are making sure that premieres this year are not delayed.
It’s not just VR that will win this year, however. The console market is also about to be revolutionized. At the end of the year, two new-generation devices will be launched. Players are already waiting for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be visible even in the coming years. It will not be just a temporary interest in video games, users will regularly enjoy this type of entertainment.
Possible negative consequences
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a positive impact on the gaming industry, and companies are seeing growth in sales of their games. However, the coronavirus could negatively impact the spread of next-generation consoles.
In recent months, gaming companies around the world are registering more and more sales of their games as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine in many countries contributes to the spread of games. The media constantly warns of impending seasonal restrictions associated with the emergence of new virus mutations. All this provokes an increase in the sales of gaming equipment and more massive visits to online casinos.
Video games in the minds of the layman remain one of the most affordable forms of entertainment, cheaper than movies or even live performances. Moreover, you can have fun in them endlessly, without additional financial investments.
But here there are likely negative trends that reduce sales growth:
- A slowdown in economic growth, which affects the growth of unemployment. Thus, more and more people are becoming unemployed. This means that their spending will be limited to the essentials, and video games will not be their priority.
- There are opinions that game sales and the online casino craze will decline in just a few months. Therefore, the release of new versions of games is postponed until autumn, when the next wave of quarantine is expected around the world. A new wave of the pandemic could boost game sales again. But will people have the money to do this?
- Likely, inflation will also contribute negatively. A sharp deterioration in the economic situation can lead to a lack of funds for entertainment. If a person has to minimize expenses, they will have to forget about games.
In this situation, the wave of bankruptcies of small companies involved in gaming equipment may lead to higher prices for these products. Which will further reduce demand.