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2016 was a very good year for the video game industry, as data from SuperData research shows that games generated $91 billion worldwide this year. Mobile gaming was the clear leader this year. Driven by the success of games like Pokémon GO and Clash Royale, mobile gaming generated $41 billion, having gone up 18 percent from the previous year. According to SuperData, mobile games are now on an even playing field with other games, even on the same level as some AAA games:
The mobile games market has started to mature and now more closely resembles traditional games publishing, requiring ever higher production values and marketing spend.
The PC gaming market came in second place, having generated over $34 billion. Much of that success comes from the rising popularity of free-to-play online titles such as League of Legends, as well as new downloadable game like Overwatch. PC gamers also experienced some technical improvements this year with the release of a new generation graphics cards, “offering a 40% increase in graphics power and a 20% reduction of power consumption.”
Console games, meanwhile, are hanging back in a distant third place, having accumulated $6.6 billion this year. Though it may not seem like much when compared to the success of mobile and free-to-play games, console gaming is still doing quite well, and a large part of that success has to do (again) with the increasing popularity of direct downloads, as well as the money generated through the sales of add-on content and expansion packs.
New gaming markets such as virtual reality and esports were much smaller in comparison, but SuperData says that they are growing fast and hold promise for 2017.