SuperData have published their year in review of digital game and interactive media sales for 2019, covering the breakout moments of the year as well as the top trends moving into 2020.
Year-on-year digital game sales are up by 3 percent, bringing in $120.1 billion in 2019, consisting of $64.4 billion from mobile, $29.6 billion from PC, and $$15.4 billion from consoles.
From this data SuperData could see that the industry grew by 4 percent in a year where there weren’t that many big games launching. They also saw that 4 out of every 5 dollars spent on games came from free-to-play games, thanks mostly to the strong performance of mobile.
However, Apex Legends disrupted the market massively when it was both revealed and launched on February 4, 2019. The game quickly surpassed Fortnite, and has become one of the most watched games on Twitch for the year. With the decline in interest in Fortnite showing no sign of turning around, Apex Legends will most likely be the game to replace it as the most popular free-to-play game, particularly once a mobile version is launched.
Fortnite was the top game in terms of revenue generated for a second consecutive year. The game generated $1.8 billion through in-game sales in 2019, showing just how much money the free-to-play market can make from a game that’s seen a steep decline in interest for the latter half of the year.
Far from remaining a niche market, revenue from XR grew by 26 percent year-on-year to $6.3 billion in total for 2019. This growth was driven mostly by new headsets such as the Oculus Quest, a completely wireless VR headset that allows users to experience VR games without necessarily having an incredibly powerful PC to run them.
SuperData point out that standalone VR headsets are incredibly attractive to consumers, because they remove the need for a large space in which to work, the separate cameras, and the powerful PC which does most of the processing. This is definitely the way the XR market is heading, and with Sony filing a recent patent for what appeared to be a standalone VR headset, it seems like this is the direction the XR market will be focused on.