Why the Online Gaming Market is Growing in Value


by Chris Hughes, ©2016

(Dec. 2, 2016) — If there’s one thing the gaming market has managed to do in its near 40-year existence, it’s to confuse industry experts who have been trying to peg just when – and if – this non-stop community of developers and players will peak, and its interest and profitability declines. However, that day appears to be so far off that it would be impossible to predict now, as games have found their way into nearly every walk of life through diversification and the ability to provide an overwhelming amount of content that caters to every audience imaginable.

How has gaming been able to not only survive but thrive in an ever-changing world and why is its market value almost always on the rise? From the eSports craze to the way mobile technology has made games standard on nearly every smart device, the world’s primary gaming leaders have found a way to put a title in front of just about everyone in the world.

A global phenomenon

Just how big is the gaming market currently? By the close of 2016, analysts believe gamers will generate around $99.6 billion in revenue for the year, up 8.5 percent from 2015. The Asia Pacific region of the world makes up 47 percent of the total gaming market; China alone accounts for quarter of worldwide game revenue, and for the first time in history, mobile gaming will edge up PC gaming in total revenue, settling at about $36.9billion. The industry trend is expected to continue, with predictions placing total gaming revenue at $118.6billion – $52.5 billion coming from mobile games – by 2019.

Content delivery

In the early days of gaming, you either had to visit an arcade or buy a simplistic home console, like an Atari 2600, to experience the thrill of a game. Now, mobile devices let you download a near infinite number of new games, plus PC and console users can do the same, removing the need to visit retail outlets to purchase new titles. The advancement of digital content delivery has allowed developers to drastically improve sales, and as such, online game distribution is expected to play a massive role in the overall future of the market.

While ease of use may be the primary benefit to the end user – the customer/gamer – the digital content platforms have enabled game makers to tap into new revenue streams and sources. If you had a Super Nintendo, you probably didn’t own any other gaming devices, because you wouldn’t have had enough televisions or equipment to be able to run both units simultaneously, so the gaming industry was only able to sell you a game for a single gaming system.  Now, you buy games for your PC, console, phone, tablet and more.

Plus, digital delivery of new also lets developers sell you updates in the form of downloadable content (DLC) for additional fees, or in-game items like tokens or tickets, popular in many mobile games, meaning they don’t even need to make a new game to get money out of you, they can simply add features within the game that require additional revenue to be brought in.

The future of eSports

As recently as four to five years ago, saying you were a professional gamer was somewhat of a joke, not said pros are appearing on major television networks in worldwide event broadcasts. eSports has changed the cultural perception of gaming for many. These players are no longer just nerds that live in their parent’s basements, now they’re getting paid to play games on a professional scale and flown around the world to represent huge brand name partners like Doritos and Mountain Dew.

And since eSports has made gaming in general a more appealing marketing genre, the revenue brought in through sponsors has been considerable and is expected to be one of the primary revenue generating avenues for many of the most popular games that are used in eSports competitions.

The resurgence of online gambling

Another form of online gaming, internet gambling, with a heavy focus on poker, is experiencing a renaissance as many major markets around the world are once again becoming heavily interested in online casinos. When internet gambling was banned in the US, it caused a major void in the industry, but there appears to be a silver lining, as intrastate laws allowing online gambling within state borders approve the legislation are starting to gain traction nationwide. Outside the US though, internet poker continues to have great success and casino operators have been experiencing an uptick in player creation and retention.

It is expected to be just a matter of time before online poker becomes widely played within the US again, while in the UK and other regions it’s still as popular as ever, with providers like 888 poker regularly producing high-end poker games and tournaments that continue to bring in players by the hundreds.

Between technology advancements and huge year over year eSports growths in video games, combined with renewed interest in online gambling, the total gaming industry can be expected to set all-time revenue and player base records in the future. And with nothing currently poised that could possibly take any noticeable chunk of revenue away from the market, it appears that gaming with continue to be the dominant entertainment outlet for years to come.

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