Gaming On: Game Market Through 2018
Since the typical state of game platform landscape can be best described as “flux”, staying relevant and profitable makes it necessary for game developers to be on the lookout for new promising platforms and markets.
While long-term market forecasting is notoriously unreliable, some recent data from games market research outfit Newzoo is still helpful in analyzing trends and developments when planning to choose platforms in which game developers need to further their competencies.
Let’s explore the current gaming market numbers and its areas of growth – and of decline.
A Global Market with Local Differences
Games are a big and established business everywhere, with an annual global gaming revenue expected to reach $70.9bn in 2015.
Geographically, North America, EMEA, China and the rest of Asia Pacific are each approximately a $20 billion market, with Latin America taking in $4 billion.
America and China account for over half of the global game revenue. Yet the gaming markets of the United States and China, while being equal in revenue, share few other similarities.
In the US, consoles dominate the market with a 45% share, followed by computer screen-based games commanding a more modest 24%. Handhelds are experiencing the biggest decline, with a 20.2% revenue decrease forecasted, while mobile (smartphone/smartwatch and tablet) games are growing the fastest, 13.4% and 17.8% respectively.
In China, where the ban on sales of console games has only been lifted in the summer of 2015, the vast majority of revenue is generated by MMO, at 56% share.
Here, mobile games have the highest prospects also, but are growing much faster (50% for smartphone/smartwatch and 39% for tablet segments) and the dollar revenue is expected to reach a similar magnitude as in the US.
Preparing for 2018
Looking 3 years down the road we see very different prospects for major game market segments. Dedicated handheld devices are on the way out, being replaced by the fastest-growing mobile segment. Casual games and consoles are not quite in decline, but are clearly reaching a plateau stage.
Competition in the mobile space is likely to intensify, as the most promising market segment worldwide is set to lead the way in terms of growth. This crowded segment can still be a place where successful titles from other segments can be re-introduced in bite-size, touch-friendly versions.
What platform do you currently develop on? Do you plan to try new platforms in the near future?