In this period, as we come to the end of 2021, the data of a whole year are announced one by one by various research companies. Newzoo’s report includes data on the volume and revenues of the game industry in 2021.
2021 Game Industry Revenues
According to the Newzoo report, the gaming market reached $180.3 billion in revenue, an increase of 1.4% compared to last year. While analysts suspected that the gaming market volume, which had grown massively in 2020, would shrink in 2021 due to the effects of the shutdown and the pandemic, the data showed otherwise. Tom Wijman, Newzoo’s Head of Reports and Forecasts, said:
“We started the year thinking it would be impossible for the market to match 2020, as delays for AAA releases and ongoing supply shortages for new gaming hardware gave people little opportunity to spend. Yet, nine months into 2021, we realized that the market would grow again. If anything, this shows that the games market is definitely no longer the seasonal, hit-driven business it once was. New gaming content no longer means new games or new hardware—a new season pass is just as likely to drive revenues.”
According to the report, revenues on the PC and console sides decreased slightly for various reasons. In addition, the mobile game industry reached historical peaks in 2021, covering 52% of the game market revenues. According to Newzoo, this growth in the mobile game industry is one of the main reasons for the market’s overall growth.
Compared to last year, there was a decrease of almost 1% in PC games. The decline in console games is slightly larger, with a 6.6% year-on-year decline. On the other hand, mobile games grew 7.3% year over year. Mobile games closed the gap between PC and console and caused the total game market to grow by 1.4%.
According to the report, the annual growth was seen in the number of players as well as game revenues. In 2020, the number of players increased significantly compared to previous years. The increase in the number of players continued throughout 2021, reaching 3 billion players, an increase of 5.33%.
Increased number of mobile device users
One of the many reasons for this increase in mobile game revenues is the increasing mobile device users and 5G technology. The proliferation of cloud gaming services and the data flow provided by 5G technology have made mobile devices a powerful option for gaming. According to the report, more and more users use 5G technology to access cloud gaming.
While only 5% of mobile devices are 5G compatible, out of 4.3 billion in 2020, the number of devices increased by 5.7% to 4.6 billion in 2021, and 15% are 5G compatible. By 2024, mobile devices are expected to reach 5.3 billion, and nearly half of these devices are expected to be 5G consistent.
Tianyi Gu, Market Lead for Telecom & Mobile Services at Newzoo, said:
“One of the most influential changes has been Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. Key players in the mobile (gaming) ecosystem—including developers, publishers, ad tech firms, and app stores—all need to adapt to these new changes and the challenges they present.”
Some of the other data included in the Newzoo report are as follows: Esports revenues increased by 14.5% and reached approximately 1 million dollars. Revenues of game-streaming creators also increased by 12.7% to $747 million.