News just in – games industry makes a lot of money

The 2014 Global Games Market Report by Newzoo shows the international games market will rocket past the $100 Billion mark in the next three years to reach $102.9 Billion by 2017. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +8.1%, outstripping the previous year’s estimate due to the relentless growth of both Asian markets and mobile gaming. The market for smartphones and tablets will rise from $17.6bn (a total market share of 23% in 2013) to an impressive $35.4bn in 2017 – ultimately dominating one third of the global games market.

Newzoo estimates the global games market to generate $81.4bn this year, up 7.8% compared to 2013. Mobile gaming will rise to $21.7bn in 2014, generating 27% of global revenues. This includes local Android stores, particularly popular in China as well as web-based and feature phone gaming. The latter is typical of the Japanese mobile games market and still accounts for several billion dollars in revenues. In the lead-up to the launch of Newzoo’s 2014 Global Games Market Report on June 5, it will share more granular insights into the 2014 market and growth per segment towards 2017. 

Change of Power: Tencent Number One; Apple on par with Nintendo

Newzoo’s global analysis involves a variety of resources including public and non-public company revenues. In 2013, the top ten public companies by game revenues generated 44% of global revenues. Last year, Tencent moved to the number one position with $5.7bn in annual game revenue and shows no sign of leaving the top in the years to come. Tencents’ latest quarterly results of $1.7bn, up from $1.4bn in the last quarter of 2013, indicate that it could take over 10% of the global games market in 2017, if it maintains this pace of growth. 

Also illustrative of the rapid market changes is the fact that Apple generated almost identical game revenues as Nintendo in 2013: $2.4bn. In 2014, both Apple and Google are expected to generate more game software revenues through their 30% share of app store spending, than Nintendo will make from for their software.

2013 Global Games Market Exceeded Expectations

Newzoo’s final review of the past year concluded that global game revenues amounted to $75.5bn in 2013. The main developments that led to higher revenues than anticipated twelve months ago are:

  • The total Chinese games market grew even more than expected in terms of (paying) gamers as well as revenue, reaching $13.7 billion in 2013, a 35% year-on-year growth rate;
  • The share of total app store revenues taken by games has increased more than expected. In the last quarter of 2013, the share of game revenues in the app stores was around 80%, compared to only 65% in 2012. Further, the top-tier mobile games grossed a higher share of the total app store revenues than anticipated, confirmed by public reports of King, SuperCell and GungHo.
  • Japanese mobile game revenues beat expectations, driven by higher growth of app store revenues as well as the continued popularity of mobile web games and feature phone games. As these traditional mobile revenues slowly shift towards smartphones and tablets, they will still represent a multi-billion dollar Japan-specific mobile games segment.

Despite a downward adjustment for handheld console game revenues and the significant impact of a weak Yen, the overall result was a positive adjustment of 2013 global revenues and compound annual growth rate towards 2017. Three images show how the 2013 global revenues were divided across market segments, regions and screens:










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