Where does our money go in the global gaming market?

Where does our money go in the global gaming market?

With so many elements to gaming that demand our attention and which whet our appetites, it could prove difficult to track which segment pulls in more sales than others as time marches on and consumer tastes and habits change. However difficult, that’s just what Newzoo has done, in their latest quarterly report.

And they’ve brought some very interesting findings. Tablets, once the trendy way to enjoy gaming - offering a mobile, more convenient option than cumbersome laptops and PCs - are themselves experiencing the same problem. It appears that our smartphones (‘personal screens’) are overtaking tablets (‘floating screens’) in popularity, possibly because our phones are increasing becoming more sophisticated and carry bigger screen sizes, showing tablets, in comparison, to be…cumbersome and less convenient. Mobile gaming on smartphones makes up 27% of the global market, up 23% year on year. Compare that to the share of the market belonging to handheld consoles, which only represents 2%, a 24% drop, and you’ll see what mobile truly means to us nowadays.

So, when we settle down for an afternoon of gaming, is it console or computer we choose? Both, apparently. Though PC gaming represents more than $2bn more sales than consoles, it’s not that much of a gap in the bigger scheme of things; in percentage terms, they’re not a million miles away from each other, with PCs taking 32% share of the market, against consoles’ 29%.

The total gaming industry, give or take a dollar, contributes $99.6bn to the global economy, which itself is up 8.5%. This is certainly not an area of commerce in decline.

Mobile gaming as a whole (floating screens, handheld consoles, and personal screens) owns the biggest share of this incredible revenue, at 39%. Growth in this sector has exceeded expectations across many countries mentioned in Newzoo’s report. With a 47% share, China still holds the largest gaming market; the growth of mobile in their country has resulted in a staggering 41% increase from last year. 41%!

VR and AR represent little, currently, and Newzoo thinks this won’t change in the short-term. Their forecast is that any spending this segment sees will be on hardware; eventual game revenue will likely be aggregated into other segments.

It’s a positive outlook for gaming, and Newzoo’s breakdown reflects well the way we play in 2016, and on what. Whilst the tablet and handheld console may stay at home now, because we have all we need with our smartphones that are continually glued to our hands, it’s clear we still prefer the bigger screens and more immersive experiences offered by consoles and PC gaming when we’ve time to indulge. Some things may never change.

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