Industry added 500 million new and more diverse gamers over the past three years, fueled by mobile gaming adoption and desire for social experiences
In a new report, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) estimates that the full value of the gaming industry now exceeds $300 billion, more than the combined markets for movies and music, driven by a surge in mobile gaming and an emphasis on social interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Accenture’s new report—“Gaming: the new superplatform” — analyzes data from 4,000 gamers across four of the largest gaming markets — China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — to understand gamers’ needs and the drivers behind the industry’s massive growth.
The gaming industry has increased by half a billion players in the past three years, totaling 2.7 billion people globally. The report predicts more than 400 million new gamers are expected by the end of 2023. The profiles of these new joiners are also changing: 60% are women, 30% are under 25 years old and one-third identify as non-white. Whereas respondents who identified as longtime gamers are 61% male, 79% over 25 years old and 76% identifying as white.
“The emergence of new gaming platforms and changing demographics are pushing gaming businesses away from being product-centric to becoming experience-oriented platforms,” said Seth Schuler, managing director with Accenture’s Software & Platforms industry group. “The industry must balance the needs of its newest adopters, who care more deeply about their online interactions, with the expectations of gaming loyalists who remain the industry’s most lucrative customers.”
As the gaming community continues to grow, the social aspect is an increasingly key aspect to gamers’ overall experiences. 84% of respondents say video games help them connect with others with similar interests, while three-quarters of them recognize that more of their social interactions now happen on gaming platforms.
According to the survey, gamers are spending an average 16 hours a week playing, eight hours a week watching or participating in game streams and six hours a week interacting in game forums and communities. These social interactions are one of the key drivers behind online gaming’s growth: about three-in-four gamers indicate they expect online gaming to become a larger part of their gaming experience in the future.
“Beyond its already tremendous size, the gaming industry has had a significant global impact on entertainment and culture, spanning successful movie franchises, arena-based competitions, toys and more,” said Robin Murdoch, global Software & Platform lead at Accenture. “As we watch this influence expand, we’re seeing the emergence of gaming as an ecosystem of superplatforms where players can meet, communicate, watch live-streamed concerts, shop or listen to music.”
These findings are part of a three-part series looking at the changing faces of gaming, from the industry’s overall growth to its challenges and opportunities ahead. To read the full report, please visit https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/software-platforms/gaming-the-next-super-platform.
The research is based on data collected via an online survey with 4,000 consumers who spend at least four hours per week playing video games. The sample is evenly distributed across four countries: China, Japan, the US, and the UK. We also conducted more than one dozen in-depth interviews with industry executives from gaming companies including Activision Blizzard, EA, Evertoon, Niantic, Razer, Square Enix, Samsung, Splash Damage and Tencent, among others.
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