Video Gaming & eSports

The video gaming industry has boomed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. With stay-at-home advisories and lockdown directives in many countries, video games and eSports have truly become a mainstream entertainment option among all age groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that video games are not only played for entertainment or escapism and many players use games to connect with friends remotely and to socialize online. A seemingly never-ending selection from casual games to indie releases to AAA blockbuster releases translates to a billion-dollar global market. Players can have their pick from a variety of gaming systems, with PCs and consoles like the Sony PlayStation, the Nintendo Switch or Microsoft’s Xbox being popular choices. However, despite the prominence of console gaming, it is mobile games that account for the biggest share of the gaming market.

Global video game revenue in 2021
154.6bn USD
Global mobile gaming audience size
Biggest gaming market by sales

Industry Insights

Video gaming in the United States


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Market size

Video game revenues are constantly growing
Games market revenue worldwide from 2015 to 2020, by region (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Industry estimates value the global video gaming market at 174.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, representing a 19.6 percent YoY growth. China and the United States are the biggest games markets, accounting for nearly half of the global gaming revenues. The majority of gaming revenues are generated through digital sales and downloads, with physical unit sales declining.

Console gaming consumer market value worldwide by distribution
Revenue of the U.S. video game industry by segment
Global digital games industry revenue by category

Market segments

Mobile is king
Digital games industry revenue worldwide in 2020, by game category (in billion U.S. dollars)
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With the almost universal adoption of smartphones and mobile internet worldwide, it is hardly a surprise that this accessible technology has opened gaming for a wider range of audiences. Global mobile gaming revenues nearly reached 74 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, with the F2P (free-to-play) PC games coming in second with 22.7 billion U.S. dollars. One of the most popular mobile games of 2020 was PUBG Mobile, which grossed 2.6 billion U.S. dollars worldwide throughout the year.

Highest grossing mobile games worldwide
Preferred gaming genre among subscribers to gaming services

Industry leaders

The biggest game publishers
Market capitalization of the largest gaming companies worldwide as of November 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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The fast growth of mobile gaming led to producers and publishers in the mobile segment quickly gaining relevance and now rivaling companies that rose to prominence during the console and PC gaming era. The biggest publishers by market cap are Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts. Several major gaming companies are segments of larger, more diversified companies like Microsoft, Sony, or Tencent. Most of the biggest gaming publishers are headquartered either in North America or Asia.

Eletronic Arts (EA) revenue by platform
Annual online gaming revenue generated by Tencent
Sony PlayStation gaming software unit sales

Industry trends

eSports as a competitive endeavor
eSports market revenue worldwide in 2021, by segment (in million U.S. dollars)
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eSports, organized multiplayer video game competitions between professional players either as individuals or teams, has become a central aspect of online gaming culture. The rise of professional gamers and live streaming of eSports events saw a large surge in popularity, resulting in the formation of tournaments and leagues. The highest earning eSports player worldwide is Johan Sundstein aka N0tail, with 6.94 million U.S. dollars in cumulative career earnings.

eSports market
Leading CS:GO eSports players worldwide by overall earnings
Leading eSports countries ranked by number of active players

Industry spotlight: gaming videos

Gaming content generates millions of views
Most popular Twitch channels as of September 2021, ranked by number of followers (in millions)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Video gaming audiences are highly engaged and are keen to connect with gaming content on various platforms. Gaming-related videos such as live streams, commentary or Let’s Play (playthrough videos) and walkthroughs are among the most popular types of video content online. On YouTube, gaming accounts for about a third of video content uploads and seven percent of video views. In the second half of 2020, live streaming platform Twitch had an average of over two million viewers at any given time.

Active streamers on Twitch worldwide
Average number of viewers of YouTube Gaming Live
Number of minutes spent watching Twitch content worldwide

Industry Definition

Statista offers comprehensive data on the video games and gaming industry. In this section, users will find up-to-date information regarding the market size, value, and revenue of the global gaming industry, as well as consumer spending data and other relevant insights into gaming behavior, consumption, and demographics.

The platform contains industry data and financial reports for the leading players in the gaming business. Revenue figures, unit sales, and market shares for various gaming companies are available alongside rankings of the best-selling console, PC, and mobile games worldwide. Statistics on popular gaming platforms, mobile apps, eSports games, and other gaming-related trends and technologies are also provided.


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