How Much Is the Gaming Industry Worth in 2021? Revenue & Stats

Last Updated: October 9, 2021

Jason

Jason

Today, we’ll look at how well gaming has progressed and how much the gaming industry is worth. So, let us get started, shall we?
How Much Is the Gaming Industry Worth in 2021?
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Games are a great way to relieve stress, chill out with your buds and have a great relaxing time. However, we take this for granted as we all have a tonne of games right at our fingertips, but it wasn’t the same always. 

The first-ever video game was created in October 1958. Physicist William Higinbotham created a straightforward tennis game, similar to the classic video game Pong from the 70s.

This led to the first wave of games, and now it is an industry that is continuously growing to greater peaks of success. 

So, how much is the gaming industry worth in 2021? Well, if you are wondering the same thing, then you’re at the right place.

Today, we’ll look at how well gaming has progressed and how much the gaming industry is worth in 2021. So, let us get started, shall we?

Contents show

Quick Gaming Industry Statistics

  • Global Gaming Industry Value Now Exceeds $300 Billion
  • 2.9 Billion Players Active Worldwide
  • The Asia Pacific gaming industry reached a revenue of 72.2 billion US dollars
  • Players spent $4.5 billion on VR games in 2020
  • Nintendo valued at $85 billion as the biggest video game company
  • Razer plans to invest $7.2 million in Singapore
  • Japan has more than 70 million players

The Gaming Industry – A Brief Look at the History of Gaming

From the fantastic arcades to the birth of home consoles. Gaming has made a significant impact on everyone and is a staple in everyone’s lives, from the elderly to youngsters.

The industry, too, has seen rapid development and grown from a total of $59B to a staggering $160B back in 2020. 

The trend seems to be growing and taking the gaming sector to new heights, making it one of the most profitable industries on the planet.

The gaming industry has grown exponentially in the past decade, and 2021 is looking to be another excellent year for gaming. 

Similarly, different industries also partner up with gaming companies to release special events, items, and prizes to help improve their sales and market themselves better with an innovative technique.

This brings more and more development to the segment, in turn increasing the revenue generated by the companies.

Finally, the recent innovations and development with technology such as VR, AR, and better computer algorithms for realistic visuals will also push gaming to new heights and improve the total revenue in 2021.

The Gaming Industry – Worth in 2021?

The Gaming Industry is going on strong in 2021 and has crossed all expectations. As the COVID-19 Pandemic struck, a lot of people suddenly had a lot of time in their hands.

This led to people getting into games and playing them to relieve stress. 

Leading into 2021, this trend hasn’t stopped growing, making the industry see a sudden spike in the charts.

Here are a few facts about the industry that will definitely shock you:

image 39

Source: Accenture

1. Global Gaming Industry Value Now Exceeds $300 Billion

(Source: Accenture)

According to Accenture’s new report (Gaming: the new superplatform), the gaming industry has crossed the $300 billion mark. It analyzes data from around 4,000 gamers across the world’s largest gaming markets.

Gamers from China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States were all considered to understand their needs and the primary drivers for the industry’s massive growth.

The survey resulted in some interesting data. It showed that gamers, on average, spend 16 hours a week playing games, around eight hours a week watching or participating in game streams, and around six hours a week interacting in various game forums or communities. 

These interactions and instances are one of the primary drivers behind the growth in the online gaming industry.

About three-in-four gamers also claim that they expect gaming to play a more significant part in their lives in the future.

2. Immersive Games Are on The Rise 

(Source: Business Wire)

2020 was a weird year for sure. However, it did lead to impressive developments in the immersive space and many people to band together to play and experience a virtual world.

Players spent around $4.5 billion on immersive games in 2020 alone and are steadily increasing in the present day 2021.

While traditional games are the primary factors that affect the major gaming industry, VR and AR headsets and peripherals are making immense developments and putting great strides to show the future of gaming.

So, it would be wise to assume that people will adopt these technologies and make virtual and augmented reality gaming the new standard. 

3. Streaming Games and Increasing Availability

(Source: Investopedia)

While most games are already available to a large user base with desktops and consoles, it is still limiting for a massive chunk of the population without a powerful desktop or a console.

Hence, streaming games is looking to solve that problem by providing a subscription-based application that can help bring games to any device, no matter the specs and performance. 

It is basically Netflix for games, and the involvement of giant tech companies such as Google and Microsoft is looking to be promising.

The Microsoft service became fully functional in September 2020 and is available to be accessed by gamers by subscribing to Xbox Game Pass. It is also still being improved and will make the service that much better with time.

Google is also making strides with its Stadia platform, allowing gamers to play games by streaming them to their device.

It is available through Google’s Chrome browser, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and desktop computers.

4. Asia Lays Claim to the Most Gamers 

(Source: Statista)

The global gaming industry has increased by around half a billion players in the past three years. This makes a total of around 2.7 billion people globally that enjoy gaming and play regularly.

The report predicts that more than 400 million new players are expected to join and increase the industry by the end of 2023. 

China was also ranked in first place among the most prominent gaming markets globally, followed by America.

So, going ahead, we can expect the industry to grow further and see the Asian community take the lead in revenue generation and improving the overall industry.

5. Vintage Gaming and Nostalgia

(Source: Investopedia)

Another sector of gaming that has taken a lot of gamers by surprise. The same is happening for movies as the world becomes nostalgic for reboots and remakes of loved films and shows from decades ago.

Vintage games are in high demand, and they have become a lot more prevalent with players who experienced the games first hand.

Companies have been taking advantage of this nostalgic situation and releasing updated versions of their older titles.

Nintendo has successfully done the same and is continuously releasing classic titles and the Nintendo Switch with the virtual console that allows downloading and running classic Nintendo games such as the classic Mario 64 and Pokemon games.

Hence, it has become a solid revenue stream and looks to be the same for the coming years.

image 40

Source: Newzoo

6. Mobile Gaming To Become the Norm

(Source: Newzoo)

Smartphones are everywhere around you, and everyone today has a smartphone or two, whether it be the classic iPhones or the innovative Android phones.

With time and upgrades, these devices have become a lot more powerful and can run a lot more high-fidelity games. 

Also, many developers have started working with ultra-realistic graphics for mobile games, and trends show that China and other Asian countries top the high-fidelity gaming space in terms of revenue-driving the industry forward.

7. Online Gambling Is Becoming Immersive

(Source: Read Drive)

Gambling and Gacha are becoming much more immersive with games and specifically mobile gaming.

RPGs and MMO games are also using the same technique and selling in-game items through basic gambling techniques. 

Also, VR and AR headsets are also making casinos online. This means that you can enjoy the same experience as Vegas but from the comfort of your home. This has taken the world by storm and specifically the international gaming community. 

CNA Insider has a great interview of teenagers attached to games and gambling. It takes a look at their lifestyles, and no matter what they do, they still stick with the game for years to come.

So, it will bring a lot of revenue to the industry and, hence, carry the industry forward. 

8. Twitch Streamers and YouTubers Are Making Headlines

(Source: Investopedia)

Streaming games and e-sports tournaments are also becoming much more popular. People consider these tournaments as sports and watch them as you would with a regular baseball match.

Studies show that people between the ages of 18-25 are far more likely to watch gamers play in virtual spaces than watching regular sports broadcasts.

9. Upcoming Consoles and Powerful Hardware

(Source: Compare Camp)

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are all big contenders in the console space, and it’s looking to be the perfect time for an upgrade.

While 2021 might not be the year we see any new console releases, 2022 might just be the year for some new devices. 

With new devices, you can expect to see new games and new gamers joining into the mist, which will bring a lot more shine to the industry.

The next-generation consoles are also growing to incorporate VR and native 4K support, impressive audio for a drastic improvement in the gaming experience.

Similarly, PC components and hardware upgrades are also bringing a lot more power to the table, which will skyrocket the capability of games and how they are being portrayed.  

10. Older Generation joining in

(Source: Business Insider)

Finally, the last thing that brings some revenue into the industry is older folks joining in gaming. While they don’t enjoy action-packed games, puzzle games are right up their alley.

Games such as Candy Crush Saga and the classic Tetris have been really popular, providing a great experience.

So, while game developers are working on making everything perfect, a segment of people still enjoy simple classic games.

The Business Insider study reveals that people between 45 to 54-year-old are the most prevalent while gaming and increase spending by 76%. So, expect to see further improvement and better games to help people of all ages have a great time.

11. New Gamers Are Joining In

(Source: Statista)

These new gamers will consist of around 60% women and around 30% people under 25 years of age. At the same time, people identified as longtime gamers consist of around 61% male, with 79% of the people over 25 years old.

Also, the Asia-Pacific gaming industry is estimated to amount to a revenue of over $174 billion in 2021. The reports further explain that around $72.2 billion was generated by the Asian game market alone in 2019, twice that of the North American gaming market.

12. Conventional Casters Are Accepting E-Sports

(Source: Investopedia)

While this may come as a shock to you but it is what reality is. Conventional casters are also joining in, and people love the games as they would any other show.

This results in better marketing, sponsorships, tickets revenue, and a lot more, steadily improving the gaming industry’s total income. So, be on the lookout for similar shows, grab a seat and enjoy the moment.

13. Smartphones Are Becoming Powerful and Affordable

(Source: Investopedia)

A new flagship can efficiently run old console games through emulation, and newer titles such as Genshin Impact and Call of Duty are making huge moves towards a new gaming space.

In 2021 alone, smartphone gamers accounted for around 50% of the worldwide gaming revenue. Finally, mobile gaming is also improving with new developers, and investments and improvements don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

14. Gamers spent 4.5 billion dollars on Immersive VR and AR games 

(Source: Business Wire)

According to some recent statistics and research, it is clear that VR and AR gaming is about 20 times more interesting than the traditional games we already have.

Also, companies such as Bigscreen VR and AltspaceVR are rapidly progressing to a future of virtual games, and hence, gamers are spending big bucks to see and experience the new future of gaming.

15. Mobile Games Are Expected to Occupy 57% of The Gaming Industry in 2021

(Source: Statista)

2020 was a great year for mobile gaming. Smartphone games were booming, and the industry closed in at 50% of the gamers actually gaming on their phones.

This doesn’t seem to slow down one bit and is expected to skyrocket and bring the industry a significant revenue stream of around 100 billion dollars.

16. Razer Plans to Invest $7.2 Million 

(Source: Business Wire)

Razer is a big gaming company, and they develop some of the best peripherals in the industry. They have also decided to get in with the gamers and are planning to invest 7.2 million dollars in Singapore’s gaming industry to foster new relationships and help gamers get a better experience.

image 41

Source: WePC

17. There Is Now a Total of 2.9 Billion Gamers Worldwide

(Source: WePC)

As the pandemic got interested in playing games and experiencing a new form of entertainment, the constant growth of gamers pushed the player base to great heights worldwide.

There is a total of 2.9 billion people who constantly game on their devices, and this number is sure to exceed the 3 billion mark by 2021.

18. There Are 456 Million People Around the World that Actively Watch E-Sports

(Source: Newzoo)

Streaming game shows and tournaments have constantly been upscaling with time. However, people are constantly flocking towards media channels and gaming communities to discuss and learn new strategies.

Hence, 456 million people worldwide watch or stream e-sport matches and tournaments as their primary form of entertainment.

19. Japan Now Has More than 70 Million Gamers

(Source: WePC)

Japan has one of the highest numbers of gamers, and it is estimated to grow even more in 2021. The gaming industry’s value in Japan is expected to grow a staggering amount and reach JPY 1.55 trillion by 2024.

20. Microtransactions and Dlc Are Becoming Much More Prevalent

(Source: WePC)

The DLC and microtransactions market has increased in value by almost 121% in the last 7 years. Over the last decade, there has been clear upwards growth, which is predicted to continue in 2021.

It is further illustrated through gamers putting money into microtransactions, with almost 50% of the player base doing this in the last year. 

21. Around 85% of The Total Gaming Industry Revenue Comes from Free-To-Play Games

(Source: WePC)

As we all love affordable and free games, they are still not completely free. They still generate revenue through ads and other microtransactions. This amounts to 85% of the total gaming revenue and is also expected to rise in 2021.

22. Online Gaming Is Expected to Take up 47% of The Global Gaming Industry

(Source: WePC)

Online gaming is also increasing as people love communicating and playing multiplayer games to hone their skills and enjoy a great time. Hence, a report states that it already takes up 47% of the entire industry and will definitely grow in the coming years.

23. Nintendo Has Become the Largest Video Game Company Worldwide

(Source: GameDesigning)

2021 has been great for Nintendo as it has become the largest video game company in the world. With a revenue of 85 billion dollars, Nintendo has skyrocketed and is developing some of the best games and consoles that you would come across.

24. Activision Blizzard, EA, and Valve are expanding

(Source: GameDesigning)

All these gaming companies have been growing rapidly, with average revenue of $4.5 billion. EA and Valve are also experimenting with VR and other immersive technologies to bring forward a new way of gaming and make it the standard for everyone.

25. Updates for Game Developing Engines – Unity and Unreal Engine

(Source: Program-Ace)

The two best game development programs, Unity and Unreal Engine have constantly been improving and are now better than ever with many features that make the impossible possible.

This means that you can expect to see many more games with some of the best graphics you have ever seen. This will help push the gaming industry to greater heights and increase the overall revenue.

In Short; The gaming industry in 2021 is approximately worth around $300 billion and is still improving the total revenue generation.

You can also be sure that it will grow with time, and the upcoming years will have a greater impact than ever before. So, stay excited and look forward to a better, brighter gaming future.

The Gaming Industry – An Outlook of the Future 

Gaming

With increasing demands, the global gaming market is expected to reach $256B by 2025. The userbase is also growing, and more than 2.5 billion people already play games on their smartphones, consoles, and PCs.

Besides this, VR and AR technologies are also being constantly improved and worked on for a better virtual experience.

While it is necessary to change how we perceive games, there is also a silver lining where more and more people are starting to appreciate their value.

So, be ready to see the gaming industry boom once again and bring forward a lot more developers and gamers closer together for an improved gaming society. 

General FAQs

How Much Is the Video Game Industry Worth in 2021?

In 2021, the video game industry in the US is projected to surpass around 65.49 billion dollars. This is a slight downgrade as compared to the all-time high in 2020 with 66.88 billion dollars. However, the global gaming industry is projected to be around 300 billion dollars by 2021, a massive bump up from the last decade.

How Much Is the Gaming Industry Growing?

The gaming industry is expected to keep growing in the coming years. Hence, it is expected to exceed 300 billion at the end of 2021.

By then, it is expected that the gaming industry will grow at a 7.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2025.

Is Gaming the Biggest Industry in The World?

Gaming is massive in the world. It is something that cant be defined and can only be felt. The gaming industry revenue is expected to reach around $300 billion in 2021.

Hence, it also marked a 10.7% growth between 2016 and 2017. The same trend is supposed to be followed, and it is even bigger than the entirety of Hollywood. 

Is Pc Gaming Bigger than Console?

Yes, PC gaming is more significant than console gaming. Gamers from both segments contribute significantly to the industry, and we saw reports that the PC gaming industry in the past years, specifically 2018, had made up 25% of the industry profits.

However, the console sector made up 28%, but a more recent breakdown suggests that it’s 25% versus 19%, which favors the PC gaming industry.

Who Is the Biggest Game Company?

While there are a lot of gaming companies, Nintendo is considerably the world’s largest video game company by revenue. It has a net value of over 85 billion USD, which makes it a definite winner.

However, companies such as EA, Blizzard, and Tencent are also following suit as great contenders for the position.

Reference Links:

  1. https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/global-gaming-industry-value-now-exceeds-300-billion-new-accenture-report-finds.htm
  2. https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/global-games-market-to-generate-175-8-billion-in-2021-despite-a-slight-decline-the-market-is-on-track-to-surpass-200-billion-in-2023/
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/053115/how-video-game-industry-changing.asp
  4. https://builtin.com/gaming
  5. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/50-years-gaming-history-revenue-stream/
  6. https://www.wepc.com/news/video-game-statistics/
  7. https://www.gamedesigning.org/game-development-studios/
  8. https://program-ace.com/blog/unity-vs-unreal/

Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!