Global game revenue to reach $29bn by 2021 – PwC

Worldwide video game revenue will reach $29bn by 2021, according to PwC’s latest global entertainment and media outlook report, which is more than double the revenue made in 2012 ($14bn).

PwC says PC games will experience a healthier growth than their console counterparts, partly thanks to therise of eSports, which is set to rise at 23 per cent CAGR to hit $299m in revenue by 2021. The real driving force behind the growth of PC, however, is down to the continued growth of the online and microtransaction market, which is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent over the next four years to reach $27.4bn by 2021.

"This model benefits from having true global appeal compared to digital game stores, and it embraces all PC owners rather than just the small segment with powerful gaming PCs and higher spending power," the report states.

Indeed, PwC predicts that by 2021, the online/microtransaction market will represent 55 per cent of traditional game revenue, with an even split between physical and digital sales at 22 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

That’s a far cry from where the market is today, which PwC says is 49 per cent physical, 14 per cent digital and 37 per cent online/microtransactions.

The VR industry is also set to expand, with PwC estimating that around 70m headsets will be in American homes over the next four years and 257.2m globally. That’s a growth of 71.8 per cent CAGR by 2021. PwC notes, however, that this will still be "from a very small [installation] base."

Of those 257.2m headsets, 88.5 per cent of them will be portable, smartphone-based devices that benefit from lower costs and faster iteration times, not to mention replacement rates. The second biggest category will be portable dedicated VR units – units that aren’t based around smartphones such as HTC’s newly-unveiled Link – while home VR units will represent the smallest category.

In terms of VR content, PwC says that VR video will be the main force behind the growth of VR content, representing 58 per cent of total content spending in the VR content market.

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