The gaming scene is expected to remain vibrant this year amid prevailing challenges as PC and console games further pick up the numbers and get stronger. While according to the latest report of market researcher NewZoo that the combined revenue of the two platforms declined 2.2% at $92.3 billion in 2022, it said the market is stabilizing and set for growth in 2023.
As per the data released in March, PC players last year numbered 1.1 billion and console players at 611 million. The 2.2% revenue drop experienced was in large part to a 4.2% fall in the console gaming market, as the PC segment increased by 1.8%.
NewZoo surmised that among the possible reasons why console games saw a drop was because of fewer major console releases.
Apart from Elden Ring, God of War, Horizon and an updated Call of Duty, there were not many high-profile releases, a result of the pandemic which messed up the development schedules big time.
The PC market, meanwhile, is less driven by such releases and was able to hold its own.
Another issue that hit the gaming scene last year, particularly for consoles, was on the supply side which analysts see improving this year with more available semiconductors to produce consoles.
They see cumulative units sold for the aggregate of Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S growing to 213 million by the end of the year.
Other numbers found in the NewZoo report point to the market stabilizing, including how the PC and console segments have become more equitable, with female and non-binary gamers accounting for 40% of the customer base.
Cross-platform play, too, also became more prominent and continues to expand. Seven in ten PC and/or console players, the report said, played on more than one console in the last six months of 2022, with nearly 25% of all surveyed players using every major platform. More notable, cross-play often signaled an increase in playtime and spending.
That PC gaming continued to get gains last year despite the challenges was a testament to its resilience. Gaming computers thrive in efficiency, banking on a dedicated RAM space, GPUs (graphics processing units) and cooling systems to ably run games in real-time.
It, too, is capable of handling graphically demanding games, allowing titles like Fortnite, League of Legends and Minecraft to flourish and push gaming to become a very popular form of entertainment the world over.
More telling, on the revenue-side, PC games income is still growing in different parts of the globe, including markets like China and Japan.
This bodes well for semiconductor and tech companies like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Intel and Nvidia whose gaming parts play a key role in PC gaming’s ability to provide excellent immersive adventure for players through better graphics and snappier performance.
In the first half of last year, for instance, AMD was reported to have its gaming business continue to thrive. Company revenue grew by $6.6 billion, of which $1.7 billion came from gaming. Gaming, AMD said, is now its second-biggest cash source after computer processors.
AMD CEO Lisa Su was quoted as saying then that it was their eighth straight quarter of record revenue on the back of strong execution and expanded product portfolio.
The company did well in gaming unit shipments, anchored on strong partnerships with Sony, Microsoft and Asus. On top of that, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series gaming consoles use AMD GPUs. Gaming laptops, too, experienced sales increase, with AMD Radeon GPUs among the most popular units sought.
Global Games Market Value
By the end of 2022, NewZoo placed its estimate for the global games market value at a whopping $184.4 billion, based on data related to retail, prices, sales, and player behavior on PC, console, and mobile platforms. Impressive still, it did not take into account yet Nintendo game sales.
Of the total market value, $51.8 billion was realized through console games, with a further $38.2 billion pulled in by downloaded/boxed PC titles, and $2.3 billion from browser-based PC games.
A big chunk was taken by mobile gaming at $92.2 billion in total revenue, led by the continued dominance of titles such as TiMi Studios’ Honor of Kings, and PUBG Corporation’s PUBG Mobile.
When it comes specifically to console gaming, around 72% of all game sales were digital downloads, with only the remaining 28% accounting for physical releases.
For added reference, the best-selling games in the United States in 2022 were Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Elden Ring, Madden NFL 23, God of War: Ragnarok, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Sage, Pokemon: Scarlet/Violet, FIFA 23, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Horizon II: Forbidden West, MLB The Show 22, Mario Kart 8, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Gran Turismo 7.
In a report by Grand View Research, meanwhile, the global gaming peripheral market size was valued at $5.14 billion in 2022 and is seen growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2023 to 2030.
Contributing to this, it said, is the rising popularity of virtual games, including e-sports, over the past few years and the increasing number of gamers worldwide.
The growing trend of esports and virtual games has resulted in the development of special gaming keyboards and gamepads. On the other hand, the demand for immersive and realistic gaming experiences creates growth opportunities for body sensors, peripheral devices, and high-quality gaming consoles.
Stakeholders in the gaming peripheral market are witnessing a strong growth due to the rising demand for products, including headsets, keyboards, controllers, mice, and other accessories, owing to the development of enhanced gaming graphics.
A Continuously Growing Industry
Another positive development for PC and console gaming is how it is part of a continuously growing industry, which has actually established itself as a global leader of digital entertainment.
It was reported that the gaming industry chalked up $185 billion in revenue last year, topping the combined earnings of the music and film industries.
Propelled by this continued growth, developers can only be expected to pick up their thrusts further and come out with games that satisfy the gaming entertainment needs of consumers.
Among the things going for gaming is how it caters to every person. People from all walks of life, ages, genders and locations indulge in it. Its estimated over three billion players speak volumes of its lure.
Then its ultimate immersive quality, taking players to alternate realities. Through their engaging stories, characters and adventures, gaming provides an experience all its own and different from other forms of digital entertainment.
And it is just getting better, with other consumer brands coming on board to join the ride, through advertisements found in different moments in the game, and giving the industry further leg to grow.
Louis Vuitton, for one, partnered with Riot Games for League of Legends where players can buy an LV-designed collection of skins (apparels for characters).
Others like Gucci (Pokemon Go), Tennis Clash, The Sims) and Burberry (Honor of Kings) have made their presence available, with more brands expected to follow suit.
And, of course, developers have loyal and active consumers for their games, which in itself is a more-than-enough drive to expand their rosters and come up with new games.
While the road for it moving forward is not without its challenges, the gaming industry undoubtedly is poised for continued surge as one of the important sectors in technology.
Powered by driven gaming companies and partners across various levels, the industry is pushing the limits of what technology offers to come up with new and fresh immersive entertainment experiences.
From console, PC and other platforms, the development has it all covered. It is truly an exciting time to be a gamer.