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Games industry generated $108.4bn in revenues in 2017

$82bn generated by free-to-play games, esports on track to be a $1bn business in 2018

A new report indicates that interactive entertainment - encompassing games and much of the media around it - generated well over $100bn in revenues last year.

The 2017 Year In Review Report by SuperData shows that mobile games remain the biggest sector, generating $59.2bn, followed by PC at $33bn and consoles at $8.3bn.

Meanwhile, under the umbrella of "interactive media", extended reality was the biggest category, with VR and AR combining to make $4bn. Gaming video content followed close behind at $3.2bn, while esports generated $756m.

In total, the industry saw revenues of $108.4bn in 2017.

Both the PC and mobile sectors were, unsurprisingly, driven by free-to-play titles. In fact, $82bn was spent on these games by 2.5bn players - that's one out of every three people in the global population.

The total money spent on mobile titles was also $14bn higher than in 2016, with Asian titles such as Tencent's Arena of Valor and NetEase's Fantasy Westward Journey cited as contributors to the market's 31 per cent year-on-year growth.

Asia remains the biggest market for mobile, generating $36bn in 2017 - a $10bn increase over 2016 - and expected to make $38.4bn by the end of this year. By contrast, North America and Europe generated $9.1bn and $5.9bn respectively in 2017.

However, the Western markets remain by far the dominant force in the console space, with North America spending $4.2bn on console games and Europe $3.1bn. Asia spent just $200m, and growth is not expected for next year - unlike the Western markets, which are both forecast to increase by $200m.

In the traditional games space, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was perhaps the biggest breakout success, generating $712m in its first eight months. That's 12 per cent of all premium PC revenue for the year, and almost double the $382m generated by Overwatch, the second most successful title.

And despite being four years old, Grand Theft Auto was the most lucrative game of 2017, generating $521m - $9m more than runner-up Call of Duty: WW2. However, there were three COD titles in the Top 10 for 2017, with the combined revenues of WW2, Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare amounting to $951m.

Having made $756m in 2017, SuperData predicts esports will become a $1bn business in 2018, with a current global audience of 258m viewers. 70 per cent of last year's revenues were made in sponsorship and ads, while merchandise and ticket sales only accounted for nine per cent.

When it comes to gaming video content, Twitch accounted for more than half (54 per cent) of all revenues at $1.7bn. YouTube was second at 22 per cent, and revenues of $690m - despite having double the audience of Twitch.

You can read more in the full report, available from SuperData's website.

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