Rise and Fall
With the ongoing pandemic leading to a record rise in the gaming industry last year, 2021 is on track to see a slight decline in both the number of players and the amount of revenue generated by the gaming industry as a whole. For the first time, gaming data collection site Newzoo have compiled a negative forecast of how the coming year is shaping up for the gaming industry – but while things aren’t looking great, they could be a whole lot worse.
2020 saw a massive growth in the games market for a variety of reasons – the pandemic made sure that folks were staying at home, giving them plenty of time to be booting up their consoles or PCs, and the 4th Quarter release of the next-generation consoles Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S caused a boom in demand that still hasn’t died down. Overall, 2020 saw the highest growth on record for the gaming industry, with a 23.1% increase in revenue bumping it up to a massive $177.8 billion.
However, the gaming boom is not without its downsides – ongoing supply chain issues have resulted in next-gen consoles being nigh on unattainable for most, with both disruptions to the supply chain and the rise of console scalpers absolutely decimating the amount of consoles available for eager gamers. This, along with the litany of delays to AAA titles due to the pandemic, is set to bring console gaming into a decline this year. Newzoo forecast that console gaming will bring in approximately 8.9% less revenue than last year.The general decline will also affect PC gaming, as a global shortage in chips has lead to PC components becoming less and less available to consumers.
Interestingly, the mobile gaming market is set to see a 4.4% increase in revenue, as the sector is less affected by the chip shortage than consoles or PCs. The lower complexity of mobile game development means that there will be less pandemic-related delays, and Tencent’s Chinese gaming ecosystem should be well able to withstand the hit to the sector that will come with Apple’s removal of the Identification for Advertiser (IDFA) system.