A new report by SuperData, a market analysis firm focused on the video game industry, has some surprising numbers about the video games industry and consumer spending in 2019. According to their analysis, a record $120.1 billion was spent on gaming content last year. The real kicker here is the share of revenue though, as it reveals a pivotal shift in the behavioral trends of the gaming industry. For all that money spent, free-to-play titles took $4 out of every $5 generated.
In all, the industry grew in volume by 4 percent compared to 2018. Out of all platforms, mobile is still dominant, which would help explain that free-to-play splurging. The mobile market holds 74 percent of that free-to-play spending by the way. But let’s look at the bigger picture. $64.4 billion overall was spent on mobile gaming in some form. PC gamers spent $29.6 billion for second most, and consoles came in behind that with $15.4 billion in total spending. Another alarming trend that displays the shift away from paying for games directly is the drop in premium games revenue. The titles you simply buy outright, with no additional accounting for microtransactions, generated $18.9 billion, 5 percent less in 2019 than the year prior.
Individual games have also seen some pretty impressive numbers. Epic Games’ Fortnite generated $1.8 billion overall. Then FIFA 19 pulled in $768 million across all platforms.
Games have spent a ton of money on games in 2019, and the process will only grow as the new consoles and PC hardware drop in 2020. But spending on games, hardware and platforms are not the only area of growth for gamers. Gaming-focused video content also exploded, gaining a fair bit of traction over the last year.
Twitch, Mixer, Facebook, and YouTube led the charge for video and streaming platforms this past year. Even as platforms adjust to new competition and deal with controversies, they continue to grow in terms of revenue. The total for the video and streaming sectors within the video game realm accounts for $6.3 billion of the year’s spending.