SuperData Reports Games and Interactive Media Earned a Record $120.1B in 2019

New report shows single-digit growth in sector, spotlights Fortnite at the top spot and previews top trends for 2020

New report shows single-digit growth in sector, spotlights Fortnite at the top spot and previews top trends for 2020

SuperData, a Nielsen company, today is releasing its 2019 Year in Review report focusing on the health of digital games and interactive media market, breakout moments of 2019 and top trends going into 2020. Some of the top areas of focus include revenue growth, regional data, gaming video content (GVC) and esports. 

Overall, digital games are up three percent year over year having generated $120.1 billion in 2019 with $64.4 billion in mobile, $29.6 billion in PC and $15.4 billion in gaming console. SuperData’s findings include:

  • The games and interactive media industry grew four percent in a year with few market movers. Gaming did not need new titles on the level of Fortnite or Red Dead Redemption 2 to continue expanding in 2019.

  • Free-to-play games accounted for four out of every five dollars spent on digital games in 2019 thanks to strong performances from mobile games. Perennial chart-toppers like Candy Crush Saga and Honour of Kings pushed mobile’s share of free-to-play revenue to 74%, a trend that is expected to persist in 2020.

  • Fortnite clinched the top spot for the second year in a row, generating $1.8 billion in 2019. The enduring popularity of Fortnite is partially attributable to crossover promotions with pop culture blockbusters like Avengers, Stranger Things and Star Wars

Meanwhile, interactive media generated $6.5 billion in GVC and $6.3 billion in XR. SuperData’s findings include:

  • The premium games market dipped five percent in 2019 due to a gap year in AAA game launches. There were fewer mega-hits than in 2018, which saw multiple big releases like Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Monster Hunter: World.

  • Platform exclusivity deals distributed top GVC creators across livestreaming platforms. Mixer, YouTube and Facebook have all signed contracts with former Twitch streamers to attract a larger share of the GVC audience, which totals 944 million viewers worldwide.

  • XR revenue climbed 26% to $6.3 billion in 2019 thanks to new headsets like the Oculus Quest. Standalone headsets accounted for 49% of VR shipments and brought VR gaming to a more mainstream audience than existing PC and console devices.

SuperData predicts that digital games and interactive media revenue is on track to grow four percent to $124.8 billion in 2020.

  • Premium games will have their biggest year ever with $19.8 billion in revenue thanks to major releases in the first half of the year. Highly anticipated games like Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us Part II and Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch before focus shifts to next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

  • As the GVC audience surpasses one billion unique viewers, the war for streamers’ exclusivity will intensify. In the past year, the top Fortnite streamer, Ninja, made history as he left Twitch to sign an exclusive deal with Mixer. When watching GVC, viewers often pay just as much attention to the streamer as the game itself. For example, 72% feel the entertainment value of the content creator is important when watching GVC, while 62% of viewers find it important to watch games they personally play. As the competition among GVC platforms increases, smaller ones will continue to seek out top streamers to increase their own popularity. Meanwhile, Twitch will look to lock in its talent by signing its own exclusivity deals. 

  • Upcoming consoles from Microsoft and Sony will open up new avenues for digital gaming growth in 2020. The console market has experienced stagnation with flat revenue of $15.4 billion in 2019. However, a shift to next-generation systems represents a large expansion opportunity for digital games as powerful hardware enables new, more immersive experiences. Steady improvements in internet speeds (85% of US gamers now have speeds of at least 25 Mbps) mean players will continue moving away from purchasing games on disc in favor of downloads on these new systems.

SuperData is the leading provider of market intelligence on digital games and interactive media.  SuperData offers a suite of industry-changing tools such as Arcade, Arcade Forecaster and XR Dimensions. SuperData’s dashboards are designed with game developers, game publishers, hardware manufacturers, brands and investors in mind by delivering the most robust and high-quality data to better understand the evolving gaming industry.

You can download the full report and access the webinar replay here.


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