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2016 games industry brings in $94 billion - Superdata

Research firm says mobile dominated the year, bringing in $41 billion compared to retail's $26 billion and free-to-play online's $19 billion

The year's not quite over yet, but Superdata is ready to put 2016 in the books. The research firm today released a year-end report putting the gaming industry's total worldwide revenues for the year at $91 billion.

Mobile gaming was the largest single contributor to that figure, with Superdata putting the market at $41 billion, with Clash Royale and Pokemon Go singled out as two of the bigger contributors to that number. PC gaming brought in $34 billion, due in large part to free-to-play online games, a segment that attracted $19 billion on its own. Retail gaming continued to chug along with $26 billion in revenues, while downloadable console games accounted for another $6.6 billion.

As for emerging markets like VR, eSports, and streaming, they're still emerging.

"The first year for virtual reality was sobering, especially for manufacturers of dedicated hardware," Superdata concluded. "A high price point, the absence of a strong content line-up, and difficulties with properly delivering through retail cooled consumers' expectations of the Oculus. We expect firms with more experience in hardware manufacturing like Sony and HTC to take the lead in 2017."

Superdata was bullish on VR to start 2016, but downgraded its projections for the year three separate times. Over that same time frame, the company's estimation of the market as a whole grew rosier. Last year, Superdata had forecast worldwide gaming revenues to total just over $74 billion in 2015, which if accurate would have meant this year saw a 22% jump for the industry. When asked about the apparent spike in the figures, van Dreunen told that the firm had doubled its available dataset and updated category definitions in the roughly 18 months since that 2015 forecast, saying it was "not an apples-to-apples comparison."

In addition to its year-end recap, Superdata released its monthly digital report for November, saying the industry's total digital revenues jumped 13% year-over-year to $6.7 billion. Consoles saw the largest bump in digital revenue, up 35% year-over-year, with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare bringing in the most money for the month. Despite its position atop the charts, Infinite Warfare was still down 27% from the previous November's Black Ops III.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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