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The Videogames Market: Looking back over 2023 and towards the future of gaming

The Videogames Market: Looking back over 2023 and towards the future of gaming

In 2022, the global videogames market suffered a slight dip in sales, with total revenues dropping by -5.1% year over year. It was an unusual year for the market following two years of lockdown-fuelled growth, but 2023 has seen this market begin to thrive again. According to expert reports, the videogame market has reached an estimated value of 221.706 billion dollars in 2023, making it a bigger industry than both cinema and music combined. This remarkable growth has been driven by record-breaking revenue, the release of diverse games and the arrival of next-gen consoles as well as the increase in cloud gaming. We look back over the year to see the biggest and best game and console releases and take a look towards what the future might hold.

Biggest Game Releases

Throughout 2023, we have witnessed an impressive selection of games being released in the videogames market and have seen the return of many of our favourite classics. After several years without releases from mainline games, various major studios have launched new entries to successful franchises, including Final Fantasy, Zelda, Baldur’s Gate, Starfield, Mario and Spider-Man. For example, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, an exclusive PS5 title, sold over 2.5 million copies in worldwide in the first 24 hours of the long-awaited release in October 2023. This surge in top class games is, in part, due to the pandemic forcing the AAA games industry to delay releases and hits that were meant to be released years ago have now been released in 2023. This has allowed games companies to fine tune every small detail of the games over a longer period of time than they would usually have available. This doesn’t go unnoticed in the quality of the games we’ve seen released this year with better graphics, well-constructed storylines and, in some cases, additional side content.

Games Consoles 2023 Success

The strength and growth of the videogames market in 2023 is further confirmed by three gaming giants: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. All three reported strong results in recent quarters with Microsoft reporting a 13% YoY increase in Xbox content and services revenue, and Nintendo’s revenue surged 50% YoY thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release. Additionally, Sony’s PlayStation unit continued to have success, resulting in 7% increase in its sales forecast for games and network services in Q2 2023. The increasing interest in consoles can be attributed to a few different factors, one of which being the long-awaited release of some big game titles, some of which were delayed because of the Covid pandemic. Also, the supply of new games consoles finally caught up with the growing demand.

Apple’s Breakthrough- Should Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo be Worried?

Despite this year’s success of consoles, the future of the videogames market is set to be shaken up as Apple begins to make its mark in the world of gaming. Apple is known for being a disruptive company in the different markets it breaks into such as the world of computers, music with its iPod, the mobile market, tablets etc. and now it appears that the gaming industry is the latest target. Apple has had a competitive advantage in the different markets because they have invested in the research and development of their own chips both for computers and mobile phones.

They have now taken what they’ve learned from their computer division and applied it the mobile processors and their new A17 Pro chips have given the iPhone 15 Pro a new opportunity for gamers. These new chips, in technical terms, come with 6 cores which make them 20% faster in GPU and 10% faster in CPU. It’s also four times faster than the previous model (A16 Bionic) in graphics rendering. In this sense, they provide a perfect offering for what gamers want.

A few months ago, Apple announced a collaboration with Hideo Kojima, one of the most renowned videogames developers of all time, in which his company Kojima Productions would make its videogame “Death Stranding” available for the entire range of Apple products, including the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Apple also announced that other games which would be available to play on their new mobile phones would include Resident Evil 4: Remake and Assasins’ Creed: Mirage. If Apple continues to expand its library of videogames titles such as Death Stranding and Resident Evil for the iPhone, the world’s most recognisable mobile phone could become the ultimate handheld console.

The threat to classic consoles like PlayStation, Xbox etc. is still not too imminent but Apple’s plans have a scalability component, and with advances in its processors, Apple TV could become a small home console and truly compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Only time will tell!

Conclusion: Looking towards the future

As we have seen here, this year has been a good year for gaming both in terms of games releases and sales, as well as in the offer of games consoles. With this past year’s promising growth of the videogame industry, it is estimated that the videogames market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8% from 2023-2032, reaching an approximate value of 605.710 billion dollars in 2032. In fact, according to the Statista report, the global videogames market will double in value between 2023 and 2027, reaching an estimated value of 401.32 billion dollars in 2027.

Regarding the nearer future, 2024 already looks to be an even match with 2023 in terms of big game releases with major new games such as Star Wars Outlaws, Tekken 8 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth on the horizon. There are even rumours that we might even get a Grand Theft Auto 6 next year. Whatever happens, the future is certainly looking promising and 2024 looks set to be another great year for the gaming industry.