The video game landscape is changing. With virtual reality (VR) on the horizon and a growing number of mobile gamers and ways to game on mobile, we’re witnessing a time of incredible growth in the gaming industry. There are billions of people playing games on consoles, computers, tablets, and phones, and they’re dedicating billions of dollars to gaming pursuits every year.
From sponsorships to placed ads to influencer marketing with popular gamers to brand activations at events, there are a wealth of advertising opportunities in gaming right now. Here are the top ten video game stats you should know about the evolving industry.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game and computer industry saw a slight increase in consumer spend in 2016, from $30.2 billion to $30.4 billion. The total revenue number takes into account money spent on hardware, software, peripherals, and in-game purchases. Gaming market research firm Newzoo found that global spend in the games market reached $99.6 billion in 2016.
Newzoo’s 2017 Games Market Report found that there are over 2 million gamers across the globe. This includes those who game on consoles, PCs, and mobile. The report estimates that in 2017, these gamers will propel the industry to $108.9 billion in games revenue.
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Mobile gaming is estimated to increase to 42% of the overall market in 2017 ($46.1 billion in total revenue), up from 37% in 2016. Smartphone gaming makes up the majority of the estimated market share with 32%, but tablet gaming holds steady despite stagnating growth in hardware sales for tablets. Newzoo estimates that by 2020, mobile gaming will constitute over half of the overall market.
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A study from the ESA shows that the majority of homes in America have regular gamers in them. Families of gamers, solo gamers, console gamers, and mobile gamers all make up a massive gaming industry in the United States. Adult women make up nearly a third of the overall gaming population, outnumbering boys 18 or younger (18%) by a wide margin.
Esports is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the video gaming landscape. Estimates show that brands will spend $517 million on advertising, sponsorship, and media rights in the esports arena in 2017. Though perhaps once lambasted as illegitimate in the sports world, esports are quickly maturing and resembling traditional sports in terms of coverage and support. ESPN has an esports vertical, and some colleges now offer scholarships for esports.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is a primary destination for gamers, publishers, developers, and hardware manufacturers. Laden with game announcements, gear demos, and news about what’s coming next for the gaming industry, E3 drew 70,300 guests to its annual event in 2016. There were even more gamers attending virtually as 42 million people streamed E3 events and content on Twitch.
Though Twitch does have streamers who broadcast content that isn’t games-related, the vast majority of Twitch streams revolve around games and gaming. Twitch has a firm hold on the current livestreaming market, particularly where the notably early-adopting gaming community is concerned. 9.7 million users stream Twitch content every day, and more than two million creators stream content each month.
2016 was supposed to be VR’s big arrival in the mainstream market. Hardware hiccups and slower-than-anticipated adoption of expensive technologies resulted in revenue and shipping numbers (6.3 million VR devices) that were lower than expected. That said, those who have jumped on the VR bandwagon are pleased.
Predictably, gamers are the heaviest users, averaging 40 gaming sessions in the headset each month. It doesn’t solve the problem of adoption among those outside of VR’s most ardent supporters, but it’s a vote of confidence from a demographic that knows visual performance and gaming experience standards better than any other.
Market research firm Super Data predicts that VR’s poised for a meteoric rise, reaching over $35 billion in revenue in the next few years. As access to VR technologies improve, Super Data estimates that we’ll see a massive uptick in both interest and consumer spend for VR. It also estimates that movement for more expensive (and more substantial) premium VR technologies will triple while lighter mobile VR experiences like Google Cardboard will drop off by 30% in 2017.
YouTube is big on gaming. With YouTube Gaming (a platform similar to Twitch’s, but smaller) and a wealth of gaming content, it’s a major destination for gamers. With livestreams, let’s plays, walkthroughs, reviews, reaction videos, and machinimas, YouTube’s content is diverse and draws many different types of gamers. What’s more, 64% of serious gamers download games after seeing ads for those games on YouTube.
The average frequent female gamer is 44 years old, on average, and the overall average age for gamers is 35. The largest portion of the gaming market is 18-35 year-olds at 29%, followed closely by gamers under the age of 18 (27%), and gamers over the age of 50 (26%). With so many types of games available and so many different ways to play, gaming spans demographics and includes a wide variety of people.