We’ve taken a look at GamesIndustry’s annual data, which looks at trends in the sector in 2021.
As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at how far video games have come in the year. GamesIndustry has, as usual, seized the moment to publish data to help us predict trends for titles, companies and players, as its publication ‘The Year in Numbers 2021’ has already given us a first look at what we’ve seen over the year, and now it’s adding more detail to all that information.
You can view all the infographics on the original website, as it includes additional data on the popularity of Youtubers and Streamers, as well as lists of the most downloaded mobile publications, to name just a few examples. Below you can read some of the more general conclusions of the whole study.
Evolution of the video games market
For this kind of compilation, we usually start with the evolution of the market during the year. Given that 2021 is still suffering from the consequences of the pandemic, as well as other problems such as the shortage of parts for PC graphics drivers and new generation consoles, we expect a slight drop in consumption of products such as console games, which sold 6.6% less than last year.
Other areas, however, have not been so severely hit by this year’s devastation, and sectors such as PC and tablet games are holding up reasonably well. There was good growth in mobile, with mobile purchases up 7.3% (to $93.2 billion) and smartphone title purchases up 8% ($81.5 billion). Despite this, there was a significant decline in PC browser games, sales of which fell by 18.2%.
Digital sales far outstrip physical sales
Following this set of user trends, there is a fascinating fact about purchasing physical and digital games: the digital format is winning by a large margin. This can be observed in both the PC and console arenas, showing the growing consumption of digital spending.
Most popular games
FIFA 22 and Monster Hunter Rise are the two most popular games
As we see every week in the UK and Japan charts, gamers in the two countries differ slightly in their video game preferences. In the European country, we saw the unbroken dominance of FIFA 22, while Pokémon Shiny Diamond and Shimmering Pearl dominated the Japanese territory.
This information has been confirmed again, as the game is the only title in the Top 3 in the UK this year. It is followed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Minecraft, which have already been among the most popular games in the country every week. In terms of Japanese gamers’ preferences, Monster Hunter Rise is prevalent in the country, although the Pokémon mentioned above remakes are not far behind. In addition, the country seems to be very interested in Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban! It should be noted that all these figures are based on physical sales.
However, GamesIndustry’s report also considers releases by the industry’s major companies (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft). Together, they released a total of 42 games during 2022, with Nintendo being the most active, with 12 games released in recent months. However, this picture changes when we talk about new IPs, of which 8 games were ultimately not released this year.
But beyond all this, what do users have to say? GamesIndustry also took a look at what’s trending this year according to their social media posts and Google searches, giving us a Twitter landscape where Genshin Impact and Final Fantasy XIV are both pretty much up. Elden Ring, however, has managed to sneak into the top 5 most talked-about video games on the social web, which is commendable considering it hasn’t even been released yet.
Google searches are a different story. Here, Monster Hunter Rise, Battlefield 2042 and FIFA 22 are among the most searched terms, but all of them are ahead of PopCat. A clicker game that has surprisingly become extremely popular online.
PopCat is the most searched term on Google
The report looked beyond the games (and click-to-play mini-games) that have already been released to the trailers that are most viewed by the community. When looking at this, Battlefield 2042 takes the lead with its debut video, but other types of trailers also ranked in this area, such as Magic: The Gathering Arena – Innstrad: Midnight Hunt, the cinematic for the new collection of the popular card game, and the video for Fortnite Imposters. On the other hand, we appreciate Valheim with a bit of surprise, as the Viking experience has captivated players since the Early Access launch trailer.
So, what do you think of these figures? Are we seeing familiar trends, or do your experiences reflect something different? In any case, we’ve got a few surprises in store for us in the 2021 compilation…