Among the various sectors, gaming is now one of the fastest-growing worldwide. Its market value is reportedly said to reach $321 billion by 2026. In today’s article, we dive into the gaming world, examining its global surge and the new trends and opportunities in this industry.
The Beginning of the Gaming’s Global Surge
The gaming industry has been growing at a rate that I can say is unprecedented. Unlike before, today the average player age exceeds 30 years old. To mean, it is not only young people who have taken a profound interest in gaming but also individuals in their mid-30s and 40s. Truth is, it has not always been like this. The gaming sector started getting so much buzz in 2020.
One significant thing that spurred the industry’s growth was the COVID-19 pandemic. With gaming being categorized in the media sector, it outpaced other segments, reaching 2.7 billion video gamers in 2020. For instance, an American Telecommunications company known as Verizon reported a 75% increase in video game usage during the early weeks of lockdown in the United States.
Additionally, Twitch, which is the world’s most popular streaming platform for gamers, witnessed an increase (one-third) of viewership in March 2020. This is to say that although the pandemic did a number on us, it sure was one of the core drivers of the upward trend in the gaming world. Now how about we take a look at the trends and opportunities that have come as a result of gaming’s global surge?
New Trends and Opportunities in the Gaming Industry
The rapid growth in the gaming segment isn’t just a passing fad, but a cultural shift fueled by technological developments. The list below outlines the evolving trends and lucrative opportunities in the gaming industry.
1. Cloud Gaming
Gone are the days when gamers had to acquire not-so-cheap hardware to play games on various devices. Things have now been made easier and more convenient, all thanks to services like Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s xCloud, which have removed hardware barriers, offering players instant access to AAA titles on any device. Due to this, new markets and monetization models for developers have been established, contributing to the significant growth of gaming.
With cloud gaming, players can stream video games the same way they do on Netflix, making it a trend that has seemingly taken the gaming world by storm. According to Statista, the global cloud gaming market is projected to reach approximately $8.17 billion by 2025. This trend, or rather more of what I’d call a juggernaut, is being fueled by factors such as convenience, accessibility and performance.
2. Mobile Gaming
Mobile gaming is a bona fide phenomenon type of trend. Research shows that it is the fastest-growing and largest segment of the gaming sector, accounting for 50% of the market share. This means that it is not a fleeting trend, but rather a force meant to reshape the gaming landscape. The mobile gaming market is projected to reach 3.1 billion gamers by 2025, with a market size projection of $272.3 billion by 2030. The mobile gaming frenzy can be attributed to the increased availability of mobile phones, making games easily accessible.
Also, App stores have an ocean of games ideal for people with different tastes and preferences. Similarly, mobile gaming offers games with a free-to-play model, meaning they are free to download and play with in-app purchases that are optional. Lastly, with mobile gaming comes social integration, as most games feature online multiplayer and social elements, fostering friendly competition among players. However, the downside of mobile gaming is that players may face challenges such as quality disparity, increased data usage, battery drain and microtransactions.
E-sports is the competitive side of video gaming and has seen an explosion in popularity over the past years. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global Esports market size is estimated to grow from $1.72 billion in 2023 to $6.75 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 21.5%. With the increased popularity of Esports comes esports tournaments that are now being broadcast on mainstream television channels. Moreover, Esports athletes are now slowly becoming celebrities in their own right.
New job opportunities have also emerged in the gaming industry due to Esports. Now analysts, commentators and esports coaches can secure jobs in the gaming scene. Some of the factors that have contributed to Esports’ meteoric rise include thrilling competition, easy accessibility, a strong sense of community, and a rise in streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
4. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) are no longer just buzzwords. They are trends offering immersive and interactive gaming experiences to players across the world.
- Augmented Reality makes use of your headset or smartphone to overlay digital elements onto the real world.
- Virtual Reality transports you to a virtual world where your physical surroundings are replaced with computer-generated surroundings.
According to a report by the International Data Corporation, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality generated revenues of $12 billion in 2020 and are estimated to reach $72.8 billion in 2024. 80% of all VR and AR revenue is generated by gaming. According to a report by Expert Market Research, the global VR gaming market is projected to reach $365.75 billion by 2032.
Take the example of EA, the largest social gaming company. Its share price has increased by 20% this year because of its investment in Augmented Reality with companies like Amazon, Sony, Google and Facebook jumping into the fray.
In summary, gaming’s global surge doesn’t seem to stop, with the new trends and opportunities in play. Now, players can easily access different types of games on their devices without inconveniences and complex processes, you can even play different types of online pokies without having to go to a land-based casino. With these opportunities and trends, the gaming sector market size will for sure grow and even reach $321 billion by 2026 as PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (2022-26) projected.