The video games industry revenue is expected to reach globally a value of over USD 300 billion in 2030, according to a recent investigation by Midia Research, a company that elaborates analysis focused on the digital content economy..
This study (access is not free) also considers recent numbers. Midia forecasts that, following a slight decline in 2022, the industry will return to modest growth of 4.4% this year, with global revenues expected to reach USD 223.1 billion. The number of active players in 2023 will rise to 2.88 billion, up from 2.73 billion in 2022.
However, the authors Karol Severin and Perry Gresham noted this is “against the backdrop of 6.5% global inflation” which the International Monetary Fund expects to report this year. They state: “The grand finale of video games growth heyday was artificially fuelled by the COVID-19 bounce in 2020 (26.3% progress) and 2021 (9.8%), followed by a 5% decline in 2022. While global revenue will return to advance in 2023, it will remain under the rate of inflation. Furthermore, the games industry will not see more than low- to mid-single digit percentage growth for the remainder of the decade.”
Midia also explored the impact of subscriptions, with 180.6 million games subscriptions expected to be active by the end of 2023, up from 171.3 million last year, and generating USD 11.7 billion. These subscriptions will only account for 5.2% of global games revenue, with the majority of spending (67.2%) coming from in-game purchases.
In-game spending is on track to reach USD 125.7 billion in 2023, of which USD 72.5 billion will come from cosmetic purchases. This now takes a larger market share than what Midia refers to as “progress-based in-game spending,” which it forecasts will generate USD 53.2 billion this year.
Looking at the three types of platforms, mobile is unsurprisingly the largest source of revenue at USD 105.2 billion. By comparison, console and PC are expected to generate USD 45.3 billion and USD 36.4 billion, respectively. Console hardware will reach a “delayed peak” for the current generation of devices at USD 20.2 billion, while virtual and extended reality hardware remains relatively niche at USD 4.3 billion. Games advertising is expected to generate USD 21.8 billion in 2023.
ESTIMATES FOR THE SECTOR IN 2030
About 2030, as mentioned, Midia anticipates video games industry revenue to reach USD 301.2 billion, with a worldwide audience of 3.8 billion active players. This upsurge is expected to be driven by the growth of the player population, as well as increased in-game spending and advertising, plus an uptick in the VR space.
The number of active game subscriptions will elevate to 318.5 million by 2030, although its share of global games revenues will only grow to 7.5%. Revenue from this model is expected to increase to USD 22.7 billion.
In-game spending will rise to USD 176.9 billion by 2030, accounting for just over 70% of all games software revenue. Cosmetics will still be the main driver at USD 105.5 billion, while progress-based purchases are forecast to scale to USD 71.4 billion.
Platform wise, mobile will see revenues grow 32.4% to USD 139.3 billion by 2030. Consoles will develop 35.1% to USD 61.2 billion, while PC will augment 39.3% to USD 40.7 billion.
While Midia did not offer exact numbers for console hardware revenues in 2030, it does predict this will decline from 2023 to 2027, before growing from 2028 onwards during the next generation of consoles. Games advertising is expected to raise 46.3% to USD 31.9 billion.