How do you define a gamer? Well for the purposes of the global games market there’s only one way to be sure: do they spend money on games. And based on that Newzoo’s latest Global Games Market Report estimates there will be 2.3bn gamers around the world in 2018 spending $137.9bn (£100.8bn) in total.
That’s a rise of 13.3 per cent from the year before and Newzoo estimates that 91 per cent of that market will be digital revenues.
That’s unsurprising given that mobile games makes up 51 per cent of the figure, while the predominantly digital PC market adds a substantial 24 per cent. Leaving the console market with 25 per cent of the pie.
It’s mobile that’s shown the biggest growth again, at 25.5 per cent, with greater penetration into emerging markets, backed up by sizeable growth figures in both Asia and Latin America. PC growth looks to be slow, as browser games slumped by 13.9 per cent as that business shifted to mobile, meaning that download PC games (such as those on Steam) actually grew significantly (4.5 per cent) to counter that fall. A similar growth rate to that seen on console.
Newzoo goes on to predict continued by 2021 with a market worth $180.1bn (£131.6bn) with growth again concentrated in mobile, hitting $106.4bn, but console and PC games rising by 11 per cent.
Newzoo believes that growth in esports in the PC space will be offset by price pressures on new download titles. While growth in the console space will rely on publishers ‘continuing to improve in-game spending options while retaining the upfront price point’. That all looks to be increasingly tricky given recent consumer and even legal backlash against some such models.