Global games market set to decline for first time this year, but don't worry


Posts: 7,782   +80
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In brief: A new report predicts that the games market will decline in 2021, but there’s no need to worry—the fall can be blamed entirely on the pandemic. The industry is expected to rebound fast, passing the $200 billion milestone in 2023.

In its latest games market estimates report, Newzoo predicts that 2.9 billion players worldwide will help the global games market generate $175.8 billion this year. That marks a decline of 1.1% compared to 2020, the first recorded fall the analytics firm has recorded.

A year-over-year decline would be a concern for any industry, but as we all know, 2020 was an unprecedented year. The pandemic and resulting restrictions saw the number of people opting for home-based entertainment skyrocket, and the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S gave the games market a further boost. It generated $177.8 billion last year, up a massive 23.1% YoY.

While the pandemic had a positive impact on the games industry in 2020, the disruption it caused to global supply chains, game development, and chip creation is now being felt. As a result, the PC games market is set to decline 1.7% to $35.9 billion in 2021, with $33.3 billion spent on downloaded/boxed games and $2.6 billion on browser games. Consoles game revenue is predicted to drop 8.9% to $49.2 billion.

As we all know, the global chip shortage is expected to last into 2022—Sony said demand for its PS5 will outweigh supply throughout next year—and the scarcity of hardware is negatively impacting the market. The lifting of lockdowns, meanwhile, may result in a short-term decline in the levels of engagement as more people pursue outdoor activities after months of being stuck indoors.

Not every segment of the industry looks set to fall in 2021. Mobile and tablet games, which haven’t been as affected by the pandemic, will grow by 4.4% to $90.7 billion. However, Apple’s removal of the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) “will disrupt how many mobile game companies measure the success of their marketing campaigns,” writes Newzoo.

The good news is that 2021 is expected to be an anomaly; by 2023, revenue is predicted to reach $204.6 billion, with mobile gaming the fastest-growing segment.

Image credit: Hunter Bliss Images

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Posts: 6,273   +7,210
I have Xbox One X and PS5 and I barely touch them.

There are NO killer apps for either system.

Add to that, you can't find either system easily.

Add to that, you can't easily get a GPU card to run PC games either.

2020 and 2021 are incredibly boring for a console gamer.

Fortunately, the PC has lots of STEAM games to play, or in the case of DCS World - to learn to play.
Yes, mobile gaming is fastest growing, and becoming very competitive for new game development start-ups, the biggest challenge for them is to promote their game, they find it very tough for optimizing and positioning among so many games in app store.


Posts: 2,092   +4,000
It seems to me like you had ample opportunity to go "Hey, we have this global pandemic and we have known for several months that most of our partners on hardware basically stopped dead on their tracks for months"

Not sure why none of these very obviously deserving of their millionaire wages geniuses at least entertained the idea of "Well, maybe going ahead with all these hardware launches with constrained supply AND at the same time as every single one of our core competitors isn't going to play out well for us"

Seriously it wasn't hard to see this coming: any CEO on any of the major companies should have known they were going to botch their releases and cause most gamers to become extremely fatigued specially since the entire AAA industry model is "Bury the old hardware quickly by pushing software that uses the new tech as quickly as possible" and surprise: you're left with a bunch of planned new games and features nobody can use.


Posts: 355   +969
Ethereum set a new record price today.

No matter what happens with the "game industry", gamers won't see affordable cards before Crypto crash.


Posts: 486   +621
Honestly not a lot of new games I want to play.

While I love PC gaming, I've been more of a console gamer the last couple years. There are genres I would not play on a console period. My PC is still hugely used for those. But a game like RE8 works great on the TV, allows my wife to enjoy the game with me. And our daughter and enjoy to sit in the same room.

There just isn't much for new games I want. Cyber Punk and Resident Evil 8 were the two games in a 12 month span that I really wanted. The next upcoming game I really even care about is Halo, and that is more or less because I grew up with Halo. The Next Horizon game is another highlight, but really have no problem waiting a few months for it to be on sale.

I would have expected more for 2021, but it seems that the slowdown from covid really has pushed things out into 2022, even if there were originally late 2020 titles.

Honestly if anything getting a prebuilt gaming PC is probably the cheapest and easiest way to go for 2021, and that is something I am normally 100% against.


Posts: 1,222   +1,715
Ah yes, PC gaming has lean years during the 360 era and the headlines are "PC gaming is dead," meanwhile consoles slip nearly 10% in 2020 and it's "the global game market set to decline". The media sure likes to cushion things for Sony and Microsoft.

I don't care about anything outside that green wedge.


Posts: 181   +108
WOW, mobile trash games are half of market? How? I am old now, it's official. I lost touch with trends. Last months were meh- Valhalla meh, Cyberpunk disappointing...