COVID-19 Drives PC & Console Paid Game Revenue Up 28% in 2020

COVID-19 Drives PC & Console Paid Game Revenue Up 28% in 2020


Analyst firm SuperData Research has released its 2020 digital game sales annual report. From the material, it became known that digital gaming revenue grew to $ 126.6 billion, up 12% compared to 2019.

The lion’s share of the market remains securely in the hands of the mobile sector, with annual revenues of $ 73.8 billion, up 10% from last year. One of the most lucrative mobile entertainment is Pokemon Go, which grew 39% in revenue over the same period in 2019. Despite the restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, Niantic has found a way to attract even more new players and keep old ones happy.

PC digital gaming revenues were $ 33.1 billion in 2020 and $ 19.7 billion on consoles. Shareware continues to dominate the market, with 78% of all digital gaming revenue (up 9% from 2019). But the premium segment has also grown significantly – by 28%. This is due to the fact that the countries of North America and Europe, where the PC and console markets are strongest (84% of all digital revenue from premium games), have declared a quarantine, and gamers have begun to play more.

Total premium gaming revenue in 2020 was $ 24.5 billion: $ 17.8 billion came from PC, $ 6.7 billion from console. SuperData Research estimates that in 2021 this segment will shrink to $ 21.3 billion ($ 16.2 billion on PC and $ 5.1 billion on consoles), while the free-to-play games market, by contrast, will grow on all major platforms.

In 2020, the top 10 premium games generated 34% of all digital revenue, while a dozen shareware projects accounted for only 19% of the total. According to SuperData Research, only one Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (which includes Call of Duty: Warzone) has earned almost $ 2 billion in “figure”.

Name Publisher Genre Revenue
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard Shooter $ 1,913 million
FIFA 20 Electronic Arts Sport $ 1,083 million
Grand theft auto v Take-Two Interactive Adventure Action $ 911 million
NBA 2K21 Take two interactive Sport $ 889 million
NBA 2K20 Take two interactive Sport $ 771 million
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Activision Blizzard Shooter $ 678 million
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Simulator $ 654 million
Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt RPG $ 609 million
The sims 4 Electronic Arts Simulator $ 462 million
DOOM Eternal Bethesda Softworks Shooter $ 454 million

The VR segment grew 25% in 2020 to reach $ 589 million, although VR headset shipments fell 15% due to global supply issues. According to the report, Half-Life: Alyx sold 1.9 million copies in its first months. The game earned more than all other VR projects on PC combined in 2019.

Finally, SuperData Research has forecast digital gaming revenue will remain unchanged in 2021, although the overall interactive entertainment sector, which also includes gaming video content and XR (VR, AR, MR), is set to grow 2%.

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