U.S. Online Gaming Industry - Statistics & Facts

The global media and entertainment market has consistently been on the rise. The entire worldwide market is projected to grow from an estimated 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. Gaming is an integral and ever-developing segment of this market. The two largest gaming regions, Asia Pacific and North America, are predicted to account for 78 percent of global revenues in 2017. Online gaming in particular is one of the branches that has evolved over the past decades. It includes social gaming, mobile gaming, as well as free-to-play and pay-to-play massively multiplayer gaming, otherwise known as MMO gaming. The latter two segments combined generated revenue of roughly 19.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and, judging by the data volume of global online gaming traffic alone, which is forecast to grow from 126 petabytes in 2016 to 568 petabytes in 2020, it is safe to assume online gaming is here to stay.

The number of online console gamers is expected to grow to over 57 million by 2020 and the market for PC online games alone is projected to reach a value of around 33.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2019. In a 2016 survey, 25 percent of respondents claimed to have spent on average between 41 to 60 percent of their time playing multiplayer online games using a handheld console. That year, the world’s leading F2P and P2P massively multiplayer online games include: League of Legends, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Warcraft, World of Tanks and DOTA 2. In fact, DOTA 2 was the most played game on steam by hourly average number of players.

Industry leaders include already established video game developers such as Electronic Arts , Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard, all of whom have recognized the opportunity presented by the rising online gaming segment. There are also major players in the market whose primary focus is social gaming. These developers include, but are not limited to, Supercell, Zynga, and King.com. In fact, as of mid-2017, each of these three developers had two games on a ranking of the ten most popular Facebook games.

Social gaming is tightly bound with mobile gaming, as the majority of social games are developed in the form of apps for iOS and Android devices. In the United States, the social app-based market largely exceeds browser-based social gaming. This trend has been apparent at least since 2010. That year, app-based gaming accounted for 70 percent of the social online market value, with the remaining 30 percent of the value attributed to browser social games. Allowing for constant growth, by 2020 those categories are expected to account for 84 percent and 16 percent of the social online gaming market, respectively.



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