The combined game industry grew 3% to $120.1 billion in 2019, according to market researcher SuperData in its year-end report. And Epic’s Fortnite battle royale shooter accounted for $1.8 billion of that amount.
The Nielsen-owned SuperData said the industry is moving into a phase of slower growth, with 4% growth expected to take games to $124.8 billion in 2020. The data includes mobile, PC, and console games, as well as augmented reality, esports, and virtual reality revenues.Recommended VideosPowered by AnyClipMacquarie Upgrades RokuPlay Video
Overall, the revenue of $120.1 billion in 2019 was up 4% from $115.5 billion in 2018. The 2019 revenue included $64.4 billion for mobile games, $29.6 billion for PC, and $15.4 billion for consoles. The remainder included $6.5 billion for game-related videos and $6.3 billion for XR, or extended reality games based on technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality. (Total interactive media revenue is less than the sum of all segments due to overlapping earnings in games and XR segments. Pokémon Go revenue, for instance, is included in both the mobile games and XR segments).
SuperData said that gaming did not need games on the level of Fortnite or Red Dead Redemption 2 to continue expanding in 2019.
Free-to-play accounted for 80% of dollars spent on digital games in 2019, thanks to strong performances from mobile. Perennial chart-toppers like Candy Crush Saga and Honor of Kings pushed mobile’s share of free-to-play revenue to 74%, a trend that SuperData expects to persist in 2020.
Above: Premium games had a lull in 2019 as the consoles neared their life cycle end.Image Credit: SuperData
Fortnite clinched the top spot for the second year in a row, generating $1.8 billion in 2019, compared to $2.4 billion the year before. The enduring popularity of Fortnite is partially attributable to crossover v buck generator promotions with pop culture blockbusters like Avengers, Stranger Things and Star Wars, SuperData said.
SuperData said the premium games market dipped 5% in 2019 due to a gap year in triple-A game launches. There were fewer mega-hits than in 2018, which saw multiple big releases like Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Monster Hunter: World. The chance for mega-hits is higher in the last year of a console generation, as there are more machines in the market. But if those hits don’t happen, then sales generally decline in a console’s final year, bringing greater urgency to the launch of a new console.
Platform-exclusivity deals distributed top game video content (GVC) creators across livestreaming platforms. Mixer, YouTube and Facebook have all signed contracts with former Twitch streamers to attract a larger share of the GVC audience, which totals 944 million viewers worldwide.
XR revenue climbed 26% to $6.3 billion in 2019 thanks to new headsets like the Oculus Quest. Standalone headsets accounted for 49% of VR shipments and brought VR gaming to a more mainstream audience than existing PC and console devices.