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Video gaming market leaders - statistics & facts

The video game industry has long since arrived as a mainstream entertainment option and accounts for the majority of digital media revenues worldwide. When comparing video gaming to other industries, recent estimates state that the video game industry is already bigger than the global book publishing industry and is set to surpass newspapers and magazines in terms of revenue by 2022. The global gaming industry has seen a significant boost during the COVID-19 pandemic as many consumers turned to gaming for entertainment and socializing. Subsequently, it comes as no surprise that most valuable game companies are sprawling global entities worth billions of dollars.

The top gaming companies

In addition to pure-play game developers and publishers, other major digital players such as Tencent and Google also generate significant gaming sales as part of their many revenue streams. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Tencent ranks as the top gaming company in terms of revenues worldwide. In 2020, Tencent’s annual online gaming revenue amounted to 156.1 billion yuan, with smartphone games generating 146.6 billion yuan during the same period.

The three console-makers Sony (PlayStation), Microsoft (Xbox), and Nintendo (Switch) are also among the biggest and most recognizable gaming companies for global audiences. In addition to hardware sales, each of the companies also publish games by other top-ranking developers or own their own publishing studios. In addition to gaming hardware and software, other parties such as digital storefronts Steam, Epic Games Store or Google Play also profit from the digital gaming ecosystem by generating revenue via sales commissions.

Biggest gaming companies in North America

The top gaming companies in the North American market are Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA), Take-Two Interactive, and Zynga with relative newcomer Roblox shaking up the ranks.

In 2020, Activision Blizzard's annual revenue amounted to 8.09 billion U.S. dollars. The company benefits from a vast gaming portfolio but the biggest revenue driver its annual Call of Duty series release. Electronic Arts is widely known for its live service games, especially sports gaming franchises. Take-Two Interactive is a holding company that owns notable subsidiaries including Rockstar Games, the publisher of the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, which stands at 345 million unit sales as of May 2021.

Spotlight: Japan

Despite losing global market share to companies from the United States and China, Japan is a long-established powerhouse of gaming. Many of the largest gaming companies worldwide originated in Japan, with Sony and Nintendo only being two of the top tier examples. Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco, Square Enix, and Nexon are all major developers and publishers of games that are popular in the domestic and global market.

In the fiscal year 2020, Sony Corporation generated approximately 1,592 billion yen through game software sales, with add-on content accounting for the biggest share of game and network services (G&NS) segment revenues. Direct console gaming competitor Nintendo has also been increasing its game sales, with global gaming software unit sales for the Nintendo Switch amounting to 230.88 million in FY 2021.

Osaka-headquartered Capcom is predominantly known for its multi-million selling gaming franchises, led by Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and Street Fighter. In contrast, Nexon specializes in online games for mobile and PC and is mainly known for its range of MMO games. This focus is also mirrored in the company’s revenue split, as PC accounts for more than two thirds of the company’s revenues.

The Asian market is exploding

Tencent’s dominant position as top gaming company highlights the strength of the gaming market in China. Apart from digital giant Tencent there are also a wide range of other Chinese gaming companies - NetEase, Century Huatong, and 37 Interactive are all gaining international attention, especially when investing in and co-publishing with Western gaming companies.

In 2020, NetEase generated a revenue of approximately 54.6 billion yuan from online game services. The company has released some of the top-grossing IP-based mobile game franchises and partners with Blizzard Entertainment to operate Chinese versions of their games.

The European market is lagging behind

Whereas Europe features a wide range of game developers, there are only a handful of names that rank among the leading gaming companies worldwide. The top European gaming companies include Ubisoft, Embracer Group (formerly known as THC Nordic), and CD Project.

Ubisoft, publisher of the long-running Assassin’s Creed series, generated over 2.23 billion euros in annual sales during the company’s most recent fiscal year. Sweden-based Embracer Group reported its best fiscal performance yet with over 9 billion SEK in annual net sales. The Embracer Group is one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry and the company currently owns 68 internal studios which were brought into the group via mergers or acquisitions.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Video gaming market leaders" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

North America

Japan

Asia

Europe & Middle East

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 57 most important statistics relating to "Video gaming market leaders".

Video gaming market leaders

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Video gaming market leaders - statistics & facts

The video game industry has long since arrived as a mainstream entertainment option and accounts for the majority of digital media revenues worldwide. When comparing video gaming to other industries, recent estimates state that the video game industry is already bigger than the global book publishing industry and is set to surpass newspapers and magazines in terms of revenue by 2022. The global gaming industry has seen a significant boost during the COVID-19 pandemic as many consumers turned to gaming for entertainment and socializing. Subsequently, it comes as no surprise that most valuable game companies are sprawling global entities worth billions of dollars.

The top gaming companies

In addition to pure-play game developers and publishers, other major digital players such as Tencent and Google also generate significant gaming sales as part of their many revenue streams. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Tencent ranks as the top gaming company in terms of revenues worldwide. In 2020, Tencent’s annual online gaming revenue amounted to 156.1 billion yuan, with smartphone games generating 146.6 billion yuan during the same period.

The three console-makers Sony (PlayStation), Microsoft (Xbox), and Nintendo (Switch) are also among the biggest and most recognizable gaming companies for global audiences. In addition to hardware sales, each of the companies also publish games by other top-ranking developers or own their own publishing studios. In addition to gaming hardware and software, other parties such as digital storefronts Steam, Epic Games Store or Google Play also profit from the digital gaming ecosystem by generating revenue via sales commissions.

Biggest gaming companies in North America

The top gaming companies in the North American market are Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA), Take-Two Interactive, and Zynga with relative newcomer Roblox shaking up the ranks.

In 2020, Activision Blizzard's annual revenue amounted to 8.09 billion U.S. dollars. The company benefits from a vast gaming portfolio but the biggest revenue driver its annual Call of Duty series release. Electronic Arts is widely known for its live service games, especially sports gaming franchises. Take-Two Interactive is a holding company that owns notable subsidiaries including Rockstar Games, the publisher of the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, which stands at 345 million unit sales as of May 2021.

Spotlight: Japan

Despite losing global market share to companies from the United States and China, Japan is a long-established powerhouse of gaming. Many of the largest gaming companies worldwide originated in Japan, with Sony and Nintendo only being two of the top tier examples. Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco, Square Enix, and Nexon are all major developers and publishers of games that are popular in the domestic and global market.

In the fiscal year 2020, Sony Corporation generated approximately 1,592 billion yen through game software sales, with add-on content accounting for the biggest share of game and network services (G&NS) segment revenues. Direct console gaming competitor Nintendo has also been increasing its game sales, with global gaming software unit sales for the Nintendo Switch amounting to 230.88 million in FY 2021.

Osaka-headquartered Capcom is predominantly known for its multi-million selling gaming franchises, led by Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and Street Fighter. In contrast, Nexon specializes in online games for mobile and PC and is mainly known for its range of MMO games. This focus is also mirrored in the company’s revenue split, as PC accounts for more than two thirds of the company’s revenues.

The Asian market is exploding

Tencent’s dominant position as top gaming company highlights the strength of the gaming market in China. Apart from digital giant Tencent there are also a wide range of other Chinese gaming companies - NetEase, Century Huatong, and 37 Interactive are all gaining international attention, especially when investing in and co-publishing with Western gaming companies.

In 2020, NetEase generated a revenue of approximately 54.6 billion yuan from online game services. The company has released some of the top-grossing IP-based mobile game franchises and partners with Blizzard Entertainment to operate Chinese versions of their games.

The European market is lagging behind

Whereas Europe features a wide range of game developers, there are only a handful of names that rank among the leading gaming companies worldwide. The top European gaming companies include Ubisoft, Embracer Group (formerly known as THC Nordic), and CD Project.

Ubisoft, publisher of the long-running Assassin’s Creed series, generated over 2.23 billion euros in annual sales during the company’s most recent fiscal year. Sweden-based Embracer Group reported its best fiscal performance yet with over 9 billion SEK in annual net sales. The Embracer Group is one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry and the company currently owns 68 internal studios which were brought into the group via mergers or acquisitions.

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