Baldur’s Gate III is one of the most popular games of this year; Newzoo shared 2023 expectations (and tons of helpful info as well); Ampere Analysis shed light on console games’ performance in June 2023.
- Newzoo: The Gaming Market in 2023
- CADPA: The Chinese Gaming Industry Revenue in H1 2023 dropped
- Adjust & data.ai: The Mobile Gaming market in Japan in 2023
- Sensor Tower: Odin: Valhalla Rising is the top-grossing title in South Korea for the last two years
- Ampere Analysis: The Console gaming market in June 2023
- GameDiscoverCo: The Most Important Games for PlayStation Owners
- Circana: On August 6th, Baldur’s Gate III accounted for 27.5% of the total gameplay time on Steam in the US
Newzoo: The Gaming Market in 2023
Revenue – general numbers
- The gaming market in 2023 will earn $187.7B. It’s 2.6% more than last year despite all the troubles the market experienced (and continues to handle).
- Newzoo is optimistic that the gaming market stabilized after the post-pandemic crisis. By 2026 its size will reach $212.4B.
Revenue – platforms
- Most revenue is still coming from the mobile market ($92.6B), but in 2023 this segment will grow only by 0.8%. Newzoo analysts suggest that mobile gaming growth will be limited at least by 2026.
- The console games segment in 2023 will show the highest growth numbers – by 7.4% to $56.1B. There are 3 success factors: release of postponed titles; some hits arrived; new consoles shipping returned back to normal.
- The PC games market will grow by 1.6% and reach $37.1B. Browser PC games are on a declining trend for years, in 2023 they’ll decrease by 16.9% YoY to $1.9B.
- The number of paying users of Cloud Gaming will reach 43.1M by the end of 2023. By 2025 this number will reach 80.4M.
- The Asia-Pacific region is the largest by revenue in the world. It’s responsible for 46% of the overall revenue ($85.8B – +1.2% YoY). Next are North America (27% of the market; $51.6B – 3.8% YoY growth); Europe (18% of the market; $34.4B – 3.2% YoY growth); Latin America (5% of the market; $8.8B – 4.3% YoY growth), and MENA (4% of the market; $7.2B – 6.9% YoY growth).
- The Asia-Pacific region is also the largest in terms of audience (53% of the worldwide audience lives there; 1.79B gamers; in 2023 it will increase by 5.7%). It might be a surprise for someone, but the MENA market is the second largest by audience (17% of gamers live there; 574M people; +12.3% YoY). Next are Europe (13% of the audience; 447M; +3.6% YoY); Latin America (10% of the audience; 335M; +6.1% YoY), and North America (7% of the audience; 237M; +2.4% YoY).
The gaming audience worldwide
- The number of players in 2023 will increase by 6.3% and reach 3.38B. By 2026 it will surge to 3.79B.
- 84.4% of this amount in 2023 will play on mobile devices; 26.3% – on a PC; 18.6% – on consoles.
- The number of paying users will increase by 7.3% in 2023 with 1.47B people in total. By the end of 2026, the number of paying gamers will increase to 1.66B with a +4.7% CAGR.
- Tencent ($7.56B), Sony ($4.38B), and Apple ($3.68B) are leaders in gaming revenue among public companies.
- Transmedia releases are positively affecting games MAU. In cases that the Newzoo team reviewed, the MAU of titles that received transmedia attention was increased by 40% on its peak. After stabilization, MAU growth was about 33-38%.
- The live-service games are huge on PC and Consoles. The competition for the user’s time is cut-throat.
- AI is stepping into the industry. Now its effect on the final product and production processes is low, but almost all market players are sure that the AI implementation will grow.
- The role of complimentary consoles – like Steam Deck – probably will increase.
- Mobile developers are forced to find new ways for generating revenue because of platform regulations. PC/Console releases are a part of those moves.
- UGC and the creative economy continue to grow. Influencers’ influence (hehe) is on the rise, and they started to open their own gaming studios.
- VR/AR is expected to boost after the Apple announcement of Apple Vision Pro.
- Saudi Arabia is one of the gaming industry growth leaders with Savvy Gaming Group being an investment leader in 2023.
CADPA: The Chinese Gaming Industry Revenue in H1 2023 dropped
- The gaming revenue in China in the first half of 2023 generated $20B revenue. It’s 2.39% lower than a year before.
- However, CADPA does expect fast growth in H2 2023, which will help to end the year with positive dynamics. They’re relying on quarter-to-quarter numbers, which shows that in Q2 the market was up by 22% compared to Q1.
- The number of gamers reached 668M. It means that every second Chinese is a gamer.
- The PC gaming market is rapidly growing in China. In the first half of 2023, it grew by 7.2% and reached $4.56B.
- The Chinese gaming industry is making a bet on eSports. Event organizers do see both revenue and interest growth.
- Chinese companies earned $8.21B on overseas markets in H1 2023 which is a decline of 8.72% compared with H1 2022. The main overseas markets for Chinese developers are the US, Japan, and South Korea.
Adjust & data.ai: The Mobile Gaming market in Japan in 2023
- The revenue from mobile apps in Q1 2023 in Japan was $4.65B. It’s a 13% increase compared to Q4 2022.
- ATT Opt-in in Japan is lower than the world benchmark. In games, 30% of people agree with their personal data usage.
Mobile games revenue
- It’s expected that Japanese gamers will spend $12.6B on mobile games in 2023.
- In Q1 2023 people of Japan already spent $3.41B on mobile games. 13% more than in Q4 2022. Games revenue growth is equal to the overall app revenue growth.
- Hypercasual games (+56% QoQ) and Simulation genre (+30% QoQ) are the fastest-growing revenue segments.
- Japanese gamer is the leader in the world of paying users. On average, one iOS user is spending $10.3 per month (first place in the world); a Japanese Android user spent on games is about $9.8 monthly (second place in the world).
Mobile games downloads
- Downloads in Q1 2023 increased by 12% compared to the previous quarter. The growth dynamics are higher than the market average by 3 percentage points.
- Japan is one of the few markets where iOS is dominating by downloads (61% of the overall amount). Android is responsible for 39%.
- Organic traffic in Japan in Q1 2023 decreased. The average by all genres ratio between paid to organic traffic dropped from 0.73 to 0.7.
- RPG is the most popular genre in the country. It’s responsible for 13% of all downloads.
User behavior in mobile games
- Median D1 Retention in Q1 2023 was 27%; D3 Retention – 18%; D7 Retention – 12%; D30 Retention – 5%.
- RPG titles have the highest D1 Retention – 32%. Simulation (30%) and Puzzles (28%) are next.
- The number of sessions in Q1 2023 increased by 6% compared to the previous quarter. It’s 3 percentage points lower than the market’s average.
- 33% of all sessions in Q1 2023 were on Android; 67% – on iOS.
- The overall length of sessions in games is growing in Japan since 2021. Now it’s about 26.59 minutes.
Mobile games audience
- There are about 70M mobile gamers in Japan now. It’s one of the largest markets in the world.
- 65% of smartphone users in Japan play games daily. 92% are playing at least once a week.
- Generation Z is 233% more likely to choose Party Royale; younger millennials tend to choose MOBA (52% more likely). Older millennials are more likely to choose puzzles. Generation X and baby boomers are spending 42% more time in card games than other generations.
Sensor Tower: Odin: Valhalla Rising is the top-grossing title in South Korea for the last two years
- The game came out on June 29, 2021, and ever since it has raked in over $900 million in earnings.
- An impressive 91.4% of this revenue has flowed in from South Korea, with Taiwan (5.1%), Hong Kong (2.6%), and Japan (0.9%) following suit.
- No game since the release of Odin: Valhalla Rising in South Korea has managed to outdo its earnings. The title that comes closest in terms of revenue is Lineage M.
- Since its launch, Odin: Valhalla Rising has claimed the spot as the fourth most successful MMORPG in the global market. Only Lineage W, Fantasy Westward Journey, and Lineage M have earned more.
- In terms of gender distribution, Odin: Valhalla Rising boasts a nearly equal player base, with 55% identifying as male and 45% as female.
Ampere Analysis: The Console gaming market in June 2023
- Fortnite takes the lead in MAU (Monthly Active Users) on both PlayStation (26 million players) and Xbox (10.1 million).
- Gamers collectively spent 612 million hours in Fortnite during June 2023, across PlayStation and Xbox. FIFA 23 comes in second (430 million hours), followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (Warzone 2.0) with 391 million hours.
- Grand Theft Auto V ranks second in total MAU, boasting 17.1 million on PlayStation consoles and 7.2 million on Xbox.
- For user engagement in June, Diablo IV (11 days per month), Final Fantasy XIV Online (8.9 days per month), and FIFA 23 (8.9 days per month) take the lead on consoles.
- Shooters, action-adventures, and sports games dominate in MAU during the first half of 2023 on consoles.
- Diablo IV accumulates 6.1 million MAU on consoles in June. Following closely is Final Fantasy XVI with 4.3 million (including the demo version). Street Fighter VI holds the third spot with 1.9 million (also considering the demo version).
Impact of Subscription Services and Trans-media on MAU
- PS Plus stands as a key driver for MAU growth. In June, the addition of NBA 2K23 (+3.8 million MAU) and Jurassic World Evolution 2 (+1.8 million MAU) to the catalog boosted numbers. Xbox Game Pass does not yield similar growth.
- Adding Jurassic World Evolution 2 to PS Plus Essential increased the game’s MAU by 19 times.
- However, there’s a downside to subscription additions; it consistently leads to decreased MAU. This was seen with Chivalry 2 (leading in decline with -1.9 million MAU) and GRID Legends (-1.4 million MAU).
- The release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse boosted MAU for Spider-Man: Miles Morales by 1.6 million in June.
- EA leads in MAU for Q2 2023 on consoles (15.5%). Epic Games comes in second (11.8%), followed by Activision Blizzard (10.1%). Microsoft holds 7.6%, while Sony has 6.4%.
Diablo IV Profile
- MAU: 6.1 million
- Average playtime: 55 hours
- Audience overlap: Final Fantasy XVI (13.8%); Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (8%); Fortnite (6.9%)
- Top markets: USA (44.9%); Germany (8.5%); Japan (6.5%)
Final Fantasy XVI Profile
- MAU: 4.3 million (including demo version)
- Average playtime: 18.7 hours
- Audience overlap: Diablo IV (19.7%); Street Fighter 6 (12.6%); Fortnite (9.4%)
- Top markets: USA (33.5%); Japan (24.3%); UK (6.6%)
GameDiscoverCo: The Most Important Games for PlayStation Owners
YouGov surveyed 7,640 adult console gamers in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Poland in January 2023.
- FIFA – a crucial series for PlayStation enthusiasts. 6.4% of players would refrain from purchasing the console if the football simulator ceased to be released on it.
- Next in line are Call of Duty (3.1%), Fortnite (3.1%), Assassin’s Creed (2.9%), Gran Turismo (2.9%), and Minecraft (2.8%). Interestingly, two series out of the top 5 belong to Microsoft. Theoretically, the American company could capture 5% of players from Sony – 10 years from now, when the exclusive agreement concludes.
- 74% of PlayStation owners express their desire to acquire the next generation. For Xbox, this figure stands at 44%.
Microsoft employed this research during a legal dispute regarding the deal with Activision Blizzard, hence its potential bias.
Circana: On August 6th, Baldur’s Gate III accounted for 27.5% of the total gameplay time on Steam in the US
- The game by Larian Studios took first place with a significant lead. In second place was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (5% of the time).
- It took three days for Baldur’s Gate III to reach its peak of popularity.
- Currently, Baldur’s Gate III is one of the highest-rated games of the year.