While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many challenges in the gaming industry, it hasn’t seen the industry at large get hit financially. Due to gaming being an at-home activity, the hobby has seen a huge uptick in both spending and playtime. As a result of safety regulations and quarantine restrictions, the gaming industry is now making more money than the movie and sporting industry combined.
According to data from the International Data Corporation (per MarketWatch), global gaming revenue is expected to be around $197.7 billion by the end of the year. That’s up roughly 20% from last year, and the significant rise can be contributed to the pandemic, the continued success of the Nintendo Switch, and the console launches for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X. In 2019, the film and sports industries brought in a combined $175 billion, and both are down significantly this year.
While console sales are on the rise, the biggest boost in gaming revenue has come from mobile gaming. Smartphone titles have seen an overall revenue boost of nearly 25% and are now up to a projected $87.7 billion. A bulk of that revenue comes from Asia and the Pacific region, as it makes up $56.6 billion.
This data backs up a report from The NPD Group last month, which says that gaming spending in the US has risen 22% to $44.5 billion during the first 11 months of 2020. Gaming hardware makes up roughly $4 billion of that amount, while over $38 billion comes from software. The most significant rise is the number of consumers playing games as it has risen to 79% of the US.
December looks to be another strong month for the gaming industry as Xbox Series X and PS5 restocks continue to occur and games are given as gifts during the holidays.