Games revenues expected to reach $235bn by 2022
Could reach $170bn this year, predominantly driven by mobile and PC
New research suggests the games industry could be generating well over $200 billion within the next few years.
The Games Report Q1 2018 by Digi-Capital forecasts that the combined revenues of video games hardware and software could be in the region of $230 billion and $235 billion by 2022 - larger than 150 countries' current individual GDP.
By that time, software sales are expected account for just below 75% of all revenues, encompassing physical and digital sales as well as microtransactions and subscriptions.
The firm predicts that PC and mobile will maintain their dominance over the market. The performance of mobile software in recent years means it could well deliver up to $60bn by the end of this year, and up to $95 billion by 2022.
Meanwhile, PC hardware sales - including the computers themselves, as well as upgrades and peripherals - are forecast to generate up to $35bn in 2018, rising to $45bn in the next five years. Similarly, online PC games - including DLC, IAP and subscriptions - are expected to rise from up to $25bn this year to $30 in 2022.
Digital and physical sales of traditional PC games are expected to remain as one of the smallest segments in the market, alongside esports, web games and sales of VR hardware.
By 2022, console revenues (both hardware and software) are forecast to represent just one-sixth of the total games market. VR and AR are both expected to grow, but will not reach the same scale as PC, mobile or console. Esports will produce less than 1% of the industry's revenue.
For 2018, Digi-Capital predicts total market revenues in the region of $165 billion to $170 billion, once again led by mobile, PC hardware and online PC games.
A record $2bn was invested into games start-ups last year, making for a second consecutive year of growth in the amount of capital poured into new companies. Mobile, AR/VR and "games core tech" were the biggest areas of investment.