Last year the global gaming market boasted a huge $109 billion in worth with over 2.2 billion games sold throughout the year. This comes as no surprise because there are so many gamers out there today. Try to also remember that these stats are only related to people that bought original copies of the games they play – there are also plenty of pirate games out there; especially in Asia, being played.
One of the stats I was most interested in when I saw this report was just what is the market share of PC games versus console games. The year before last, the online gaming market was worth $101 billion, so the market increased in revenue by a massive $8 billion in just the space of a year.
See the Global Gaming Market Report here – this is one of the articles I used to base this article on. As you will notice from this report, mobile gaming took up a huge 42% of that massive $109 billion reportedly spent on games.
When I scrolled down the report, I came across an interesting chart that shows exactly which market segments of the online gaming market contributed to the overall $109 billion figure. My main interest was the PC gaming market versus console gaming.
Here is the link to that graphic: 2017 Global Games Market
Console Gaming: You can see that console gaming took in a total of $33.5 billion. This was a 3.6% year on year increase compared to 2016.
Browser Based PC Games: Browser PC games shows $4.5 billion in revenue contributed to the gaming market, which is considerably less than console gaming. I would say this is mainly online gambling websites and Facebook style browser games. Some of those games do not charge a lot of money to play. It is worth noting that this figure shows a drop of 1.3% since previous year.
Boxed/Downloaded PC Games: Another category relates to PC games was boxed or downloaded games. This would be games bought on disc or downloaded from gaming websites like Steam. This made up for a huge $24.8 billion. However, compared to last year this figure is down by 9.3% meaning this style of gaming has lost popularity – needless to day!
Overall PC gaming accounted for $29.4 billion of the 2017 Global Games Market versus console gaming that was at $33.5 billion.
- PC Gaming: $29.4 billion (10.6% Decrease)
- Console Gaming: $33.5 billion (3.6% Increase)
Now had you asked me before I started to do my research whether PC gaming or console gaming was more popular, I would have said PC gaming.
Why did I think PC gaming would beat console gaming?
Recently, in my own personal experience of gaming, I have increasingly see my friends turn their noses up at buying the new Xbox or PlayStation in favour of a decent gaming laptop or PC. Mostly I have seen them buying gaming laptops; such as, Alienware or high spec HP or Dell gaming laptops because many of these laptops have Nvidia 4Gb graphics cards and 8Gb to 16Gb of RAM. Not to mention the processing power that can now be fit into a laptop.
Most of these people say it is because many of the console games you can now get on PC anyway. Also, the fact that they need the laptop for other uses – uses that consoles are not really designed for.
However, to my surprise PC gaming has dropped in popularity, which is clearly evident from the chart on the Newzoo website.
Is Mobile Gaming the Future?
Clearly mobile games is taking a massive chunk of the gaming market. In fact, the majority of the increase in the market was due to mobile gaming. $46.1 billion, which is up 19.3% since 2016. Of that percentage, $10.8 billion is tablet games; while the other $35.8 billion is smartphone gaming.
These figures don’t come as much of a surprise to me. There are plenty of free mobile games out there and many of those make money through people buying features for that game. For example, I like to play Soccer Stars, which is a Facebook app, and if I want more coins to play with, I use my mobile phone bill to pay – I don’t even see the cash go until I get my phone bill at the end of the month.
This style of gaming as well as a huge increase in mobile casino websites, the smartphone sector of the gaming industry is absolutely huge.
I guess what you see and are used to is not always what is actually happening. For me, it seemed clear cut PC gaming was more popular than console gaming. However, one size does not fit all, and if you read the Newzoo report more, you will see different regions have different habits. This must also apply to our age to. I am almost 40 and still love to play computer games. Most of my friends are of a similar age to me, so in my age group we are still old school PC gamers!