The global gaming, VR and metaverse report summarises 2020, an unprecedented year for the games market, whilst looking forward at the trends we expect to see in 2021. Last year shattered revenue, user, and growth records. Every quarter in 2020 broke its respective income record, bucking the typical trend of slow second and third quarters. While gaming’s long-term trajectory remains overwhelmingly positive, 2020’s impressive growth rates simply cannot be sustained for another year. The lockdowns in the first half of 2020 impacted almost everyone’s way of living and working, and gaming studios were no exception, leading to several high-profile delays. And as other social activities return to everyday life, gaming’s hold on people’s attention and leisure time will begin to loosen.

While everyone was confined indoors, the role of games rapidly became much more meaningful than just another form of entertainment. The outdated stigma around playing games was already dissolving, and the pandemic has accelerated that point of view. Instead, games became an extension of our world: a key destination for social gatherings and a means to celebrate life events. Boasting digital avatars to represent us, game worlds empower communities to host a wealth of social, human experiences that are unattainable via other media.

This growth of online virtual worlds—and the activities that take place in them—have led to a flurry of attention and activity around what is commonly referred to as the metaverse. The metaverse movement, rapidly accelerated by COVID-19, is powerful enough to persist beyond the pandemic’s end. The trend has a vital part to play in gaming’s future. Additionally, the desire for simulation also gave virtual reality a long-awaited boost, with headsets selling faster than ever before.

The global gaming, VR and metaverse report covers an number of areas, namely:

  1. The global games market
  2. Key global trends
  3. Top 100 public game companies
  4. VR market sizing
  5. The metaverse ecosystem

Some of the headlines from the report include:

  • The global games market will generate $175.8 billion in 2021, representing a slight -1.1% yearon- year decline
  • Asia-Pacific is easily the world’s biggest region by games revenues, with $88.2 billion in 2021 alone, making up 50.2% of all game revenues. With its contribution of $45.6 billion, China is by far the primary driver
  • Globally, the market will grow with a CAGR (2019-2024) of +8.7% to reach $218.7 billion in revenue in 2024, passing the coveted $200-billion threshold in 2023
  • There will be close to 3 billion gamers across the globe in 2021. This is up +5.3% year on year from 2020. This number will continue to grow at a +5.6% CAGR (2015–2024) to 3.3 billion by 2024. Primary drivers for player growth are an increase in the online population, better internet infrastructure, and affordable smartphone and mobile internet data plans
  • In 2021, 2.8 billion players play on mobile. By 2024, Newzoo forecast there will be 3.1 billion mobile players, surpassing the 3-billion milestone the year before. In comparison, there will be 1.4 billion PC players in 2021, which includes browser players that are slowly migrating to mobile. Console will be played by 871 million people in 2021. The number of console players will continue to increase toward 2024, particularly as console gaming gains ground in markets such as China and South Korea, where console gaming traditionally did not thrive
  • Ten years ago, each respective gaming ecosystem—console, PC, and mobile—was essentially siloed from one another. Thanks to continual innovations in cross-platform play, cross-progression, subscriptions, and franchises intersecting all platforms, the lines between these platforms are obscuring. Gaming continues to accelerate toward platform-agnosticism
  • The top 100 public game companies produced revenues of $166.3 billion in 2020. This marks an impressive +23% year-on-year growth and accounts for 94% of 2020’s games market revenues (excluding advertising)

Click here to download the global gaming, VR and metaverse report.

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