Newzoo forecasts 2020 global games industry will reach $159 billion

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Games and esports analytics firm Newzoo released its highly cited annual report on the size and state of the video gaming industry yesterday. The firm is predicting 2020 global game industry revenue from consumers of $159.3 billion, a 9.3% increase year-over-year. Newzoo predicts the market will surpass $200 billion by the end of 2023.

Importantly, the data excludes in-game advertising revenue (which surged +59% during COVID-19 lockdowns, according to Unity) and the market of gaming digital assets traded between consumers. Advertising within games is a meaningful source of revenue for many mobile gaming companies. In-game ads in just the U.S. drove roughly $3 billion in industry revenue last year, according to eMarketer.

To compare with gaming, the global markets for other media and entertainment formats are:

Pay TV: $226 billion in 2019 (excludes streaming services) Publishing: $261 billion in 2017, of which books accounted for $121 billion Film: $101 billion in 2019 ($42.5 billion from box office) Music: $62 billion in 2017 ($30 billion recorded music, $6 billion music publishing, $26 billion live music) Board games and playing cards: $12 billion in 2018 Podcasting: $863 million 2020 advertising revenue (there is no good data on subscription and live events revenue in podcasting, but it is fair to estimate it at a fraction of the total ad revenue figure)

Counting gamers

Of 7.8 billion people on the planet, 4.2 billion (53.6%) of whom have internet connectivity, 2.69 billion will play video games this year, and Newzoo predicts that number to reach three billion in 2023. It broke down the current geographic distribution of gamers as:

1,447 million (54%) in Asia-Pacific 386 million (14%) in Europe 377 million (14%) in Middle East & Africa 266 million (10%) in Latin America 210 million (8%) in North America
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