Revenue from gaming is a bigger global business than sport, according to a report from market intelligence firm Newzoo.
In the report, Newzoo said that software revenue from 2017 is estimated to generate $116 billion, up from an initial assessment of $108.9 billion. This represents the biggest adjustment in market size since the first publication five years ago.
Including gaming hardware revenue of roughly $10 billion, and PC gaming systems and accessories sitting at around $23 billion, gaming is on par with even the most generous sports revenue estimate of $150 billion.
This disparity will only grow, suggests Newzoo. The most optimistic estimates have it accelerating to $2.4 billion by 2020, almost $1 billion higher than the base scenario of $1.5 billion.
"The coming two years will be crucial to how fast it grows into a multi-billion-dollar business," the report notes. "The key determining factors are the success of local leagues and the franchising approach, the implementation of regulations, the arrival of new game formats and competition, the uptake of content rights sales, team profitability, and the impact of industry convergence involving traditional media, entertainment, telecom, and sports companies."
According to Newzoo, the revenue generated from software by 2020 is expected to reach a colossal $143.5 billion, with more than half of that coming from the mobile market.
In fact, mobile predictions for 2017 are already way up from $46.1 billion to $50.4 billion. This is also reflected on PC where a similar level of growth has seen the estimate jump from $29.4 billion to $32.3 billion.
Console predictions are actually lower than anticipated however at $33.3 billion, but remain healthy with a year-on-year growth of 3.7%.
The adjustment was predominantly driven by China and Japan which are estimated at $32.5 billion and $14 billion, respectively.
Newzoo noted that the sheer size of the games industry now dwarfs film so completely, that it generates more than three times the $38.6 billion in movie ticket sales reported in 2016 by Motion Picture Association of America.