E-GAMING: MUCH MORE THAN JUST A “GAME”
New games, new consoles, new opportunities for growth: there’s a lot going on in the e-gaming market right now. Recently, for instance, there was a very special surprise at the “Electronic Entertainment Expo” in Los Angeles: after a decades-long absence, the voice of industry pioneer Atari was heard again. Thirty-three years after its last games box, the company unveiled a new console at the world’s biggest trade fair for video games and entertainment electronics. Fans don’t have much longer to wait, as the launch was announced for spring 2018. It marks the start of the next hot phase in the gaming world. The heavyweights Nintendo and Microsoft have already brought out new devices in 2017, while the third of the big hitters, Sony, whose workshops produce the world’s best-selling console in the PlayStation, is a match for the competition with its recent finely honed “4 Pro” model.
The competition among the games publishers is just as hot. The big players in the sector, such as the French Ubisoft (which has just released a new blockbuster in “Assassin‘s Creed Origins”) along with the US companies Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, have been constantly trading blows. Whether for console, PC or mobile games, everyone is looking to claim a piece of a market worth billions. The biggest share of revenue currently goes to the booming mobile games segment, with an estimated USD 46 billion in 2017. The e-sports sector has a lower volume, but is showing stronger growth. “Competitive gaming” is very popular, particularly in Asia. According to the consultancy Newzoo, China is the world’s biggest e-sports market, with annual sales of USD 27.5 billion. The extent of the boom in e-gaming was demonstrated at the world final of “League of Legends” in Beijing last November, where the tournament prize money exceeded USD 4 million. On the subject of China, the world’s biggest video game at the moment, with around 200 million players every month, was designed by the Chinese internet giant Tencent. “Honor of Kings” is still primarily distributed in China, but the developer is now looking to conquer the USA and Europe under the new name “Arena of Valor”. Learn more about investment solutions on the theme of "E-Gaming: Much more than just a game".
Forecasts suggest that the games market will pass USD 150 billion in earnings worldwide for the first time in 2017. According to the Digi-Capital Games Report, sales could even exceed the USD 200 billion mark by 2021. This estimate includes software and hardware revenue. In software, the big growth drivers – and profit-makers – are mobile games and smartphone games. Due to the lower costs involved in offering these games, publishers make significantly more money from this area. Activision Blizzard was one company that recognized this trend at an early stage: in 2015 it took over the mobile developer King, which attracts countless casual players with its cult games such as “Candy Crush”. Another firmly established name in the online and mobile arena is Zynga. The US company is a leading developer of social games, with over a billion people having played “FarmVille” or “Words With Friends” since it was founded ten years ago.
Areas such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality rank amongst the hottest current tech trends in the gaming market. While the two together are not even generating USD 20 billion in annual sales at present, by 2021 this is set to increase by 30% for VR hardware and by as much as up to 75% for VR games. “Immersion” – diving into artificial worlds – is readily achieved using headsets such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR. The popularity of VR games is clearly demonstrated in their sales figures. According to analysts at Canalys, Q3 2017 was the first quarter in which over one million virtual reality headsets were sold. First place went to the PlayStation VR, with 490,000 units sold. To maintain this trend, Sony unveiled a number of new games at its last PSX in-house fair, including the multiplayer tactical shooter “Firewall Zero Hour” and the sci-fi horror “The Persistence”, both of which will be released in 2018.
Games market: distribution and trends
LEARN MORE about investment solutions on the theme of "E-Gaming: Much more than just a game".