The market for paid PC and console games grew by 28 percent in 2020, according to SuperData. Last year, $24.5 billion was spent in that segment. The increase is much higher than other categories, such as free-to-play games.
According to SuperData’s annual report, the solid growth in the segment is due to the corona pandemic. Game sales rose sharply in the United States, where the virus has also hit hard. According to the analyst firm, 57 percent of the premium console games market is attributable to North America.
Console games account for the bulk of sales, but the increase was also driven by increased PC game sales. Both categories have increased by approximately the same percentage. SuperData expects 2020 to be an outlier and that revenue from ‘premium games’ will fall again to USD 21.4 billion next year. That is higher than the turnover in 2019; it was then $19.2 billion. Among those premium games, the research agency lists games for which players pay separately. They are therefore not free-to-play games or games that require periodic payments.
The ten premium games that brought in the most money in 2020 accounted for 34 percent of total sales, according to SuperData. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is in first place, with about $1.9 billion in sales. SuperData also includes revenue from the free-to-play game Call of Duty: Warzone, because those games are closely linked. FIFA 20 comes in second with more than a billion dollars in revenue. Grand Theft Auto: V, the game that first came out in 2013, is still in third place, with $911 million in revenue.
The amounts mentioned also include revenue from in-game purchases and microtransactions. That is why the old GTA V can still be so high in the list. Cyberpunk 2077 is in eighth place with a turnover of $ 609 million. This only concerns turnover from individual sales; this game has no microtransactions.
Total games market grew to 126.6 billion dollars
The total gaming market grew 12 percent last year to $126.6 billion. More than half of that is attributable to mobile games, which accounted for $73.8 billion in revenue. The free-to-play games market grew 9 percent to $98.4 billion. The vast majority comes from mobile games and Asia is responsible for 59 percent of the total global revenue from f2p games. Also, six out of ten games in the top ten fp2 games are from Asia.
Fewer VR headsets, but more revenue from VR games
According to SuperData, fewer VR headsets were delivered in 2020 than in 2019, but that is mainly due to the disappearance of ‘premium mobile’ headsets, such as Samsung’s Gear VR. Sales of the PSVR headset also fell. Shipments of PC headsets remained stable, but shipments of standalone headsets increased to 3.4 million units. This is due to the success of the Oculus Quest and Quest 2. Those headsets were also regularly sold out.
The market for VR games did grow in 2020, to a turnover of 589 million dollars. That was $471 million a year earlier. According to SuperData, this is mainly due to the release of Half-Life: Alyx. The game sold 1.9 million copies in six months.