Analysts expect that by 2022 the global games market will grow to $196, as the Newzoo report reads. This means that this industry will be the most popular form of entertainment in the world. More than music and movies combined! But how did it get there?
First, nostalgia, yes, you read correctly. Don’t you remember playing with your siblings or friends Mario Bros, Street Fighter or Age of Empires. Wouldn’t you like to lay this one more time? This in gaming terms is what they call the franchise model. Gaming companies have long issuance rights, they release content periodically and voilá, consumers buy it.
Secondly, the rise of mobile usage and coverage. Within the game industry, mobile gaming is becoming the cornerstone with more than 50% of the sector’s revenue. Before, you had to go to your friend's house who had the Nintendo or to the internet cafe around the corner to play your favourite game. Research from Ericsson, mentions that in 2019 4G coverage reached about 80 percent of mobile users, and is expected to reach over 90 percent in 2025.
In addition, there are more and easy accessible gaming Apps. Another study says that 1 in 2 users have opened a mobile game in the last seven days. This means that gaming apps come on the third place, after social media and shopping apps.
Finally, the surge of instant gaming platforms where users don’t need to download native apps. Facebook, for example, opened up to its gaming platform to all developers who want to build mobile-friendly games using HTML5. Today, 800M+ play Facebook connected games every month. The other social media giant, WeChat, with 1 billion users in China, has mini games that only work on it’s chat.
The main players in the gaming industry
In terms of companies, the global revenue leaders are Tencent, Sony, Microsoft and Apple. In Europe, Ubisoft and CD Projekt lead the market in terms of market valuation. Also a number of gaming startups in Europe are attracting the attention of investors.
What's rather important is that the Asia Pacific region accounts for more than 47% of the gaming revenue and the US accounts for 26%, the Newzoo report underlines. In the EU, iSFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe) releases every year a report ahead of the biggest gaming event gamescom. In 2019, in the video games sector in particular, digital revenue (online and mobile) was more than 76% while benefits from consoles were stable representing 43% of the total of 21.6 Billion Euros.
One of the important sectors related to games in the EU is gambling and betting. In 2018 the EU accounted for almost 50% of global online gambling market share, data from EGBA mentions. However, the main revenue share of the whole sector comes from land based betting. In 2018 of 22.2 Billion Euros sector’s revenue, only 23% comes from online gambling, while casinos and betting houses account for more than 77%.
What connects both sectors, video games and online gambling, is the leader topic - sports. In the EU, the top selling game in 2019 was FIFA 20 and sports betting accounts for 42.5% of gross gaming revenue.
Video game companies attract highly technical and creative personnel. As the market grows, companies need to produce high quality games at a very high speed. They demand the best-of-the best teams and incorporate new technologies such as photogrammetry, AI-powered design, and procedural generation solutions, to save time and production costs.
Some gaming companies have also noticed that there is a gap in the education system to offer the talent they are looking for. As an example, members of the UK game association (UKIE) designed degrees in High Performance Graphics and Games Engineering together with the University of Leeds, offering not only technical skills but also innovative thinking for graduates.
The most demanded roles in the sector are software engineering, UX, and data/analytics. Gaming companies are also establishing new and avant-garde recruiting processes as competition grows to hire the best qualified candidates using talent acquisition platforms like Smart Recruiters. They offer a long list of benefits and sharing information of the company culture and testimonials on their website.
Marketing spend in gaming companies is crucial. Just to give you a number, PlayStation last year spent $20.5 million on airing 16 advertisements. Here at Payhawk we have clients from the gaming and gambling industry. Most of their expenses are in marketing and subscriptions. What they like about our service? They are able to control the spend per platform and per project, and evaluate closely what works and what doesn't. If you want to learn more, here are six tips on how to make the most out of your corporate cards in marketing. Customers are also saving a lot of their team’s time as virtual cards are issued instantly and they can start a new campaign right away. If you would like to know more about how Payhawk works, don’t hesitate to book a demo with us. Let us know how we can help your company grow and save time!