Due to the coronavirus, global gaming sales have outperformed the global film industry and even the North American sports industry this year.
According to Marketwatch, the sales within the games industry have risen by 20% to reach a total of nearly 180 billion dollars, which itself is a greater total than the sports industry and movie industry combined! Console gaming took a huge chunk of this, as revenue from hardware and software sales in the industry’s respective section rose by 20% worldwide, reaching a total of 52.5 billion dollars.
This increase is mostly coming from the United States. The American players alone spent 44.5 billion, and they make up nearly 85% of the gaming market. The increase in spending was the most notable in November, as that’s when the PlayStation 5 and the two Xbox Series consoles were released. Year-on-year, the hardware sales rose by 58%, and the software sales saw a 32% boost compared to November 2019.
These are the top ten US video games as of November 28. Except the Animal Crossing and the Mario games (as Nintendo doesn’t provide digital sales figures), all of these include digital purchases: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Madden NFL 21, The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Marvel’s Avengers, Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
Gamesindustry reports that the digital titles clocked in 158 billion dollars globally, followed by in-game spending (DLC, microtransactions), totalling 128.6 billion. Retail sales barely reached 14.9 billion. 91% of the total gaming market comes from digital sales, but the PC and the mobile platforms distort it (the former barely gets retail releases anymore). On consoles, digital sales took 72%.
The experts expect the growth to continue next year, as the new Sony and Microsoft consoles will be more widely available, plus the lockdowns will continue to keep people at home.