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2017 Games Industry Revenue

Now that we’ve had a look at who is gaming and what types of games they like it’s time to dive into the market a little bit more. If you’re interested in the two previous articles about the gaming industry in 2017 I recommend having a look at 2017 Online Games Financial Review and 2017 Games Industry by the Numbers. They aren’t required reading for this article, but they do offer more beautiful data for you to consume. With that in mind, let’s start our look at 2017 games industry revenue.

The infographics used in this article were created by NewZoo and Filmora. The data was collected by NewZoo, Business Insider, and a number of esports dedicated sites. To make it easier to read we’ve broken the larger infographics up into individual segments. Not only does this make it easier to look at the data it means we can talk about each part one at a time.

 

Money Spent on Gaming

NewZoo and Filmora have slightly different takes on revenue and spending. Filmora’s graph is how much money will have been and will be spent on games while NewZoo focuses on revenue. While I am including them both and comparing them I would put more faith in NewZoo’s information than Filmora’s.

In 2017 money spent on mobile gaming was $46.1 billion, that’s 42% of all gaming spending, which was at $108.9 billion. By 2020 it is anticipated that mobile spending will make up 50% of all money spent on gaming globally. The interesting thing that this chart includes is the Browser PC game market. The browser-based gaming scene has been shrinking for a long time now and we can see that currently, it makes up just 4% of the market. This is largely due to the horrible reputation browser games have for being cheap, poorly made money grabs.

 

Meanwhile, NewZoo says that there was $121.7 billion in revenue in 2017, and 46% of that being from mobile games. NewZoo doesn’t account for browser games separately from PC games. NewZoo states that more than half of gaming revenue will come from mobile games starting this year. With both the PC and console share of the market going down slowly over time. By 2021 mobile gaming is going to be a 100 billion dollar market. If you read 2017 Games Industry by the Numbers you might remember that most of that mobile growth will take place in the Asia-Pacific market. With mobile gaming’s strength only continuing to grow it is safe to assume that we will be seeing a whole lot more mobile games coming in the future.

 

Top Companies by Revenue

All of this brings us now to a big question, which companies are making the most money? Leading the pack is the current big spender: Tencent. The company has its fingers all over the gaming industry. It owns a part of Elite Dangerous’ creators Frontier, they’re working with NCSoft for a Blade & Soul Game, and yes, they’re bringing Fortnite to China. Some fantastic business choices along with making games that are beloved in Asia-Pacific region means Tencent is king and by a significant margin. With nearly half the revenue of Tencent, the next on the list is Sony. The biggest surprise of the whole list is Google. Although they’re known for many things, including making the internet run, gaming isn’t one of the things you usually think of.

 

Best Selling Video Games in the World

Tetris was first released in 1984 and since then it has been a cultural cornerstone for the gaming industry. Today it is the best selling video game in the world. Newcomer (at least compared to Tetris) PUBG also makes the top ten best selling video games in the world. The list doesn’t really hold many surprises if you’re familiar with the industry. Unfortunately, because Filmora doesn’t actually explain the data it can be hard to understand what we’re looking at. But a quick Google search shows that Tetris has sold 170 million copies. So that’s what we’re looking at. Minecraft is quickly catching up with Tetris, will it be able to pass it? I honestly couldn’t say. The Minecraft scene is a deep hole I dare not jump down else I may never return. The biggest thing Tetris has going for it is that is a casual game that has stood the test of time. A new Tetris game is released nearly every year at this rate, with many titles usually coming out in one year. But, the last one was released in 2014 its hold on the market will start to slip.

 

Games Market by Device

Finally, just to expand on some information we’ve already talked about, we can look at how the PC and mobile markets break down by device. I’m not entirely sure why NewZoo didn’t do this for console as well, but we’ll work with what we have.

Just 10% of the mobile market is tablet games. That’s still 13.9 billion dollars, but that’s not an amazing number. The vast majority of the market is taken up by smartphones. This isn’t too much of a surprise really as almost everyone, no matter their age has a smartphone, while tablets are a little more niche.

Over on the PC side of the industry NewZoo is saying that browser games make up 3% of the market in 2018. That’s 1% lower than what Filmora said in the previous chart. The rest of the PC market is taken up by boxed and digital sales, because…what else is there? Again, it would have been nice to see the breakdown go even further to include the boxed sales separately.

 

So there we have it, the third installment of the 2017 games business review is done. Tencent is king of the world, mobile gaming is still getting bigger, and things are looking good all around. We have one last article coming out in the next couple of days. The final one will be focused entirely on esports.

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About Shannon Doyle

Shannon first discovered MMOs in 1999 when she picked up the newly launched Everquest. This started a lifelong love affair with online gaming that has taken her around the world and brought her to MMOGames.com. While she still pines for the streets of Paragon, the City of Heroes, today she spends most of her gaming time walking across Tyria in Guild Wars 2, roleplaying with anyone who says hello.