Publish Date: 31/08/2021
Fact checked by: Sophie McCarthy
You heard us right, the video game market on a single continent was valued at around $32 billion in 2020. That's more than the GDP of some countries.
According to a report by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe and the European Games Developer Federation, the European video game market has exploded in popularity. From 2019 to 2020, the revenue generated by the video game industry in Europe grew by 22%. Even for an expanding market those are some crazy figures.
It does make sense when you think about the lockdowns and shuttering of businesses caused by the pandemic. Millions of folks were shut in their homes, what were they going to do, not play games? This growth doesn't stop at the console fans who buy the new FIFA or Call of Duty and call it a day. The entire sports market has been seeing rapid growth.
In fact, the really interesting news to come out of this report is growth in mobile gaming. Consoles still have the biggest slice of the pie, console games made up 44% of the total revenue, but they have some serious competition. Mobile games are closing the gap, they make up 40% of the total revenue. While console and gaming PC may still be on top for now, it looks like the future for gaming is going mobile.
Another interesting tidbit from the reports is the demographics of the gamers. According to the Interactive Software Federation of Europe and the European Games Developer Federation, 50% of Europe's population ages 6–64 plays video games. The highest share of players obviously lands in the 11–14, 15–24, and 25–34 age groups, but as the gaming industry ages, so does its players. We have also seen a growth in the percentage of female gamers. 47% of all gamers in Europe are women, that is up two percentage points from 2019.
The report also mentions the esports industry. They didn't have such a good year when compared to the overall gaming market. When you look at it from the Covid angle, it all seems a little more clear, the lockdowns basically made live events an impossibility. A lot of revenue for the industry comes from popular live events and advertisers who want their products to be displayed at those events.
The revenue took a dip, but they are expecting the global revenue to reach at least $1 billion by the end of 2021. We wouldn't blame them for being optimistic. Esports is absolutely a growing industry. According to the games and esports data company Newzoo, there are currently around 222.9 million esports fans all around the world. Their analysist predict that number will continue to grow and by 2024, the total number of fans could reach 577.2 million.
When you compare those sorts of numbers to traditional sports like the NFL or the MLB, there are already more esports fans that both of their fanbases. The esports market may be more diverse and spread out, but make no mistake, it is the next big thing in the sporting world.