Just How Big is the Gaming Industry?

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Whether it’s the casual 5-min game on mobile or the 100-hour epic triple-A title on the latest console, there’s no denying that video gaming, or just gaming, has now become more than just a pastime for children. In fact, according to Forbes, the value of the whole industry is set to exceed the $200 billion mark in just three short years. In their article, Forbes reported that the rise in microtransactions is responsible, at least in part, for this astronomical rise, along with cloud and mobile gaming in general.

With these figures, it’s important to delve deeper into this industry and understand the extent of its reach.

Free-to-Play Model

According to Tech Crunch, free-to-play games are the leaders in the entertainment world with over $88 billion in revenue in 2018. This is an amazing feat considering that these games are supposedly, well, free to play. With games like Fortnite leading this trend, it’s no wonder why companies like Netflix are treating the industry as more of a competition than other entertainment giants like HBO according to the article.

The thing is, with these free-to-play games, the appeal to start playing is more considerable compared to ‘traditional’ games that charge you upfront. Then, once a player is hooked, spending a couple of bucks here and there on microtransactions will not seem much. This formula is multiplied by a billion to create this juggernaut.

Cloud Gaming

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In the same article above, Forbes mentions that cloud gaming is set to grow at an average rate of 9 percent annually until 2023. Game subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass and Google’s Stadia are taking advantage of the continuously innovating information and communication technologies and enabling players to stream enormous and demanding games without investing in the necessary hardware.

But these streaming services are banking on keeping players in the ecosystem for a while if they hope to cover the retail cost of many games.

Mobile Gaming

According to Medium, almost 15 percent of app publishers on both the Apple’s App store and Google Play are game publishers. Game downloads amount to one-third of all app downloads in these platforms, and this number is set to grow as overall mobile use also rises.

This means the mobile gaming industry is an incredibly lucrative one. In fact, the free-to-play model is as strong, if not stronger, in this platform compared to others. The revenue of this industry is even set to eclipse PC gaming in the coming year.

Game Development

According to We PC, game development for PC is still the most popular with developers. According to their research, 56 percent of developers are working on games for the platform in 2020. However, mobile is the most popular platform for users, with 48 percent of the market share of players.

Either way, this means more opportunities in the game development industry. With remote working trends also on the rise, some developers are more comfortable outsourcing parts of the work to teams outside their organization. Tasks like 3D modeling for games, voice acting, script writing, and others are now easily outsourced. This creates a more diverse and robust industry overall.


The gaming industry has been going from strength to strength just as the technologies enabling it are improving. This trend is not likely to go away anytime soon. It is an industry that’s constantly evolving and, quite frankly, entertaining.

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