According to a recent report by Newzoo, the gaming industry has grown rapidly since the pandemic ignited global social distancing measures in March 2020 -- but the industry continues to grow even as restrictions are lifted (for now).
The report states that there are 2.8 billion gamers worldwide -- and that the global market will generate $189 billion in 2021 and is on track to pass $200 billion by 2023, with much of that growth centered on ESports and mobile games.
The global esports audience will grow to 474 million in 2021, with the largest audience in China and revenues from competitive gaming slightly less than $1.1 billion.
Even as people blink their eyes and proceed semi-willingly outdoors, they want to keep their games with them. Mobile games are one of the biggest driving forces in the industry and developers are positioning AAA game titles for the mobile market.
Cloud gaming and gaming as a service are also growing -- meaning if you are hoping to seamlessly blend networked access between devices to your favorite title, the industry is already working to meet your goals.
Supply for new consoles has not caught up with demand. This is unsurprising as much of global manufacturing was shut down in 2020 -- and gamers were stuck at home, with many not feeling particularly prosperous. There is a massive installed player base for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch continues to perform
Global cloud-based gaming is expected to reach $1.2 billion in revenue by the end of 2021. Cyberpunk 2077 -- which was clearly not ready for prime time -- was seen as proof that a cloud-based cinematic title was possible and cloud gaming services like Stadia and GeoForce will be vying to fill that need.
Gaming as a platform continues to grow -- from Lil Nas X’s performing in Roblox, to Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert, and many, many personal holidays taking place in Animal Crossing, games are becoming a place to meet for more players every year.
Mobile and eSports gaming continues to grow steadily, with league-style gameplay driving much of the new adoption with an increasingly inclusive, demographically diverse audience.
People all over the world are devoting more time than ever to screen time -- it’s becoming a place to gather together, play together, enjoy content together, and even earn money competitively and as a team.
Who can earn gaming?
Certainly, streamers and YouTubers earn the most, taking in the big advertising money which represents about 75% of income for professional gamers of all sorts.
eSports gamers are a new breed, making money based on skill from tournaments and sponsorships. But this is a relatively new and emerging type of pro gamer -- only a popular few are making their living this way.
But for those of us that don’t have the charisma or inclination toward streaming or the patience for tournament plays -- even if you want to play your console games exactly the way you always have -- there are platforms like Bitspawn.
Bitspawn is a relatively new platform that is available as an app for iOS and Android and online.
Bitspawn supports about a dozen popular games -- including Call of Duty: Warzone, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Fortnite, FIFA, and League of Legends -- but it’s not a streaming service so much as a platform where gamers can gather to make gaming a little more interesting.
You can register for free on the platform, enter your Player ID, and start playing competitively. Bitspawn uses SDKs coming from the console game devs to track your performance while you play, and it can pit you against other players and give out prizes. You can also form your own tournaments with friends and join existing tournaments.
We are all spending more screen time at work and play than ever before. Gaming is huge and only continues to grow. The pandemic showed users the reliability of playing in a virtual world, and users are looking to turn to that world not only as a place to escape day-to-day stress but as a place to meet, celebrate, and maybe in some cases even earn a little. During the pandemic, gaming has been one of our most reliable friends.