According to Gamesindustry.biz, a new report from the research firm SuperData reveals that the games and digital media industry earned a staggering $120.1 billion in revenue from digital content in 2019. SuperData’s Year In Review report also shares that the video game and digital interactive media industry grew by 4% since 2018. Nielsen acquired SuperData to help track video games and digital media in 2018.
In the digital games segment of the industry, mobile gaming was the standout winner with the highest amount of revenue generated at $64.4 billion in 2019. PC gaming followed with $29.6 billion in digital sales, and console gaming rounded out in third place with revenue totaling $15.4 billion for the year.
The overall figure of $120.1 billion in generated revenue includes profit generated by video game-related content on streaming and video sites like YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming. $6.3 billion of the overall revenue is attributable to “XR” gaming, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and “mixed reality.”
Gamesindustry.biz points out that the sum of all the reported figures in all the categories totals to $122.2 billion, and explains that the reason for this discrepancy is that some games in SuperData’s report have their earnings listed in multiple categories where their genre or platform overlap. Gamesindustry.biz gives the example of Pokemon GO, which sees its revenue on the Year in Review report from SuperData listed in both the mobile games and XR games categories.
“Free-to-play” as a gaming category generates solid returns, leading the market at $4 out of every $5 in revenue. The mobile games free-to-play market grew overall, now representing 74% of total free-to-play revenue due to the success of Tencent’s Honor of Kings and Activision Blizzard‘s Candy Crush Saga series. On all platforms, digital content sales in free-to-play games generated 80% of the $120 billion in 2019.
Epic’s perennial battle royale title Fortnite was the highest earning title in 2019 and 2018 despite a 25% decrease in earnings, with $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019. Fortnite places very high on mxdwn’s Top 50 Games of the Decade list.
Contrarily, earnings from premium, paid games and AAA titles were down 5% in 2019, at $18.9 billion overall. In 2018 the premium games market performed better sales-wise over the previous year with the standout performance of premium titles like Red Dead Redemption II, Monster Hunter: World, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. The highest earning premium game with $786 million in revenue in 2019 was EA’s FIFA 19.
SuperData’s Year In Review report suggests that the digital sales in games and interactive media will continue to rise in 2020, increasing 4% to $124.8 billion. New next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft are due to hit the market in time for the Holiday 2020 season, and highly anticipated major premium releases like CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us: Part II are predicted to raise revenues in 2020 to a record $19.8 billion.