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Looks like the video game industry has made plenty of money over 2016. According to new data from research firm SuperData Research, the global games industry brought in $91 billion over 2016. The biggest earners for the year were mobile and PC games, earning almost $41 billion and $36 billion each. New categories such as virtual reality, esports, and gaming video content were smaller in comparison, but they are growing fast and holding promise for 2017.
Pokémon GO and Clash Royale were some of the notable contributors for mobile revenue. On the PC side, free-to-play games generated nearly half of the “master race’s” $36 billion, with League of Legends raking in nearly $2 billion all by itself, while new downloadable games like Overwatch drive the growth in PC games. PC gamers also saw a major technical improvement with the release of a new generation of graphics cards, offering a 40% increase in graphics power with a 20% decrease in in power consumption.
Meanwhile, consoles accounted for $6.6 billion in revenue, with an increase in direct downloads for consoles leading to further online purchases, such as add-on content and expansion packs. Gaming video brought in $4.4 billion. Overall, all these billions are much higher than last year’s $74 billion, so gaming is doing just fine in terms of growth. Except for virtual reality gaming which earned a humbling $2.7 billion, with manufacturers of dedicated VR hardware suffering the most. This is VR’s first real year, however, so there’s still plenty of time to grow, and more experienced publishers like Sony and HTC are expected to take the lead in VR development in 2017.