The global value of the video game industry in 2019

Profits generated by the video gaming industry globally reached $148.8 billion during this year, with Latin America having the highest percentage growth over the previous year.

Profits generated by the video gaming industry globally reached $148.8 billion during this year. Image: Dragon Recon
Profits generated by the video gaming industry globally reached $148.8 billion during this year. Image: Dragon Recon

2019 closes a decade that has witnessed a radical transformation in the culture of video games, as well as an important growth of its industry. In general terms, this sector is better off than ever, and is expected to continue growing, at least during the next few years. Before turning to the future in anticipation of new trends and industry growth figures, it is worth stopping for a moment to understand where video games are today at the end of 2019.

In its annual report 2019, the intelligence firm dedicated to sports and video games, Newzoo, explains that this year generated $148.8 billion dollars (mmdd) in revenue globally, adding the three main platforms of the gaming industry: mobile devices, PCs and consoles. This represents an annual growth of 7.2% over 2018.

Of this global total, the most lucrative sector of the year was mobile, generating profits of $ 68.2 billion dollars, representing 46% of the entire global business. Then follows the console business, which between software and hardware sales generated a total of $ 45.3 billion dollars, equivalent to 30% of the profits of the entire industry. Thirdly, there are PC games, which generated $35.3 billion, or 24% of the total.

Not surprisingly, the fastest growing sector was smartphone games, with an 11.4% year-on-year increase in revenue (smartphone games are separate from tablet games, which grew by only 3.3%), while the dedicated console sector grew by 7.3%. The least strong area was the PC games business, which grew 2.8% overall, while browser games were the only area with a decline in revenue, losing 15.4% compared to 2018.

According to Newzoo's estimates, the industry will continue to grow for the next three consecutive years. It is expected that by the end of 2020 profits will grow 7.8%, adding up to more than $160 billion dollars, and that by the end of 2022 they will exceed $189 billion dollars.

One of the most interesting data is that Latin America is the region with the highest annual growth, 8.9%, however, remains the region that represents the smallest business globally, with just 4% of the total. The region where almost half of the profits come from is Asia-Pacific (which includes key markets such as Japan, Australia, India, and China), with 48% of the global total, while North America (the United States and Canada) generated 26% of the profits, and EMEA contributed 22%.

The great growth in visibility that video games have experienced in the culture, in general, is a direct result of the homogeneous distribution of their users among different age groups, gender, and economic situation. Currently, the largest percentage difference between age groups in the composition of their users is less than five points. This means that age groups are now very similarly distributed from children to the elderly. Although men still make up the majority of gamers, they account for 54%, and women 46%, indicating that the groups have become more balanced in recent years.

Without a doubt, 2020 will be a year of increased penetration for video games, from which we can expect not only more sales and more available products, but also greater presence and accessibility among different socio-economic groups around the world. Unlike other entertainment sectors, such as music sales, which have shown significant declines, video games will continue to grow and dominate in this new decade that is beginning.

By Mexicanist