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Mobile drives the growth of digital game revenues worldwide

A new report from yStats.com, Germany-based secondary market research firm, sheds light on market figures and trends in the global digital gaming industry. The report, titled “Global Digital Gaming Market 2017” reveals that mobile is the main driver of digital gaming revenues growth worldwide, spurred by success of augmented reality games and popularity of smartphones as the top device used for playing games.

Global gaming market revenues are projected to increase by a high one-digit percentage point in 2017, according to projections cited in this report by yStats.com. At the same time, digital games, comprised of online, mobile, digital console and digital computer games, are projected to keep up a double-digit growth in 2017, boosted in the first place by mobile gaming. With this trend expected to persist, digital could reach more than three-quarters of global gaming sales by 2021.

Within the mobile segment, smartphone gaming by far outweighs tablet gaming as of 2017. Smartphone is the favorite device of gamers in countries such as China, the USA, Brazil, the UAE, and others. Last year, the popularity of augmented reality games helped drive both gaming and app revenues. Among the leading titles, Pokemon GO grossed nearly one billion dollars in terms of direct spending by gamers. Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) games are also gaining acceptance following the launch of VR headsets to the mass market. For example, among frequent video gamers in the USA, one-third stated the intention to acquire such gaming accessories in 2017, according to a survey cited in yStats.com’s report.

Also among console and computer games, digital game purchase and microtransactions are on the rise. In Germany, nearly one in four PC and console game purchases were digital in 2016, and in China, the world’s largest gaming market, only a small single-digit share of total game revenues were from boxed computer or console games, with the rest coming from digital purchases and mobile. Still, game purchases from physical retail are far from extinct: in Brazil, more than 50% of console gamers said in a 2017 survey that they buy video games in-store rather than digitally, with less than one-third saying the same about computer games.