The global videogame industry has been on a relentless rise, and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to Newzoo, a gaming market research firm, the industry is poised to return to growth in 2023, with revenue expected to increase by 2.6% to reach a staggering US$187.7 billion. This growth is primarily attributed to the strong sales of consoles, which are projected to rise by 7.4% during the year.
One of the key factors contributing to this upsurge in console sales is the launch of highly anticipated delayed titles. Many of these titles were released in 2023, with more scheduled to hit the market in the second half of the year. Additionally, the supply of new consoles has finally caught up with the overwhelming demand, further fueling the growth in sales figures. Sony, the maker of PlayStation, has even gone on record to state that it expects to sell a record-breaking 25 million units of its latest console, the PS5, this year.
In the United States, consumer spending on video game hardware has seen a remarkable surge. Market research firm Circana reported a 23% increase in spending during the first half of 2023. However, spending on video game content remained relatively flat during the same period. Many gamers appeared to stick with well-established franchises such as Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty, which overshadowed spending on newer game titles.
While the overall outlook for the industry looks promising, there have been some challenges along the way. Electronic Arts, the publisher of popular games like Apex Legends, has forecasted downbeat net bookings for the September quarter. This is primarily due to lower in-game spending on items such as character skins. However, the company remains optimistic about the future and maintains its bookings forecast for 2024. One of the reasons for this optimism is the imminent release of EA Sports FC, a highly anticipated football franchise game, scheduled to debut in September.
In terms of platforms, mobile games are expected to continue their dominance in the gaming industry. Newzoo estimates that mobile games will account for nearly 50% of global gaming revenues in 2023. Despite this optimism, the monetization of mobile games is facing hurdles due to the privacy policies implemented by Apple and Google. These policies have placed restrictions on certain in-game advertisements and data collection practices, posing challenges for game developers in maximizing their revenue potential. While there are challenges to overcome, such as lower in-game spending on certain items and the impact of privacy policies, the industry remains resilient and full of potential.