The global gaming market size is poised to exceed $300 billion by 2025 according to a study conducted by ex corp, a leading developer of services for competitive gaming, in collaboration with renowned analytical agency Nielsen. It highlighted the remarkable growth and potential of competitive gaming, which has surged since 2020 and reached $64.4 billion in 2022, capturing over 28% of the overall gaming market share.
As the gaming and eSports industry continues to expand, industry experts predict a slower yet steady growth rate of 8% until 2026, building upon the impressive 14.4% compound annual growth rate witnessed between 2017 and 2022. Competitive gaming is the fastest-growing category in the industry with a 73% increase compared to 2020. In comparison, the casual gaming category experienced a 53% increase and the eSports category saw a 50% increase. Despite its rapid growth, eSports remains a small component of the overall market, representing just 1% of the total market share.
In terms of genre popularity, shooter games maintain their position as the frontrunner, boasting the highest number of monthly active users, reaching an impressive 428 million in 2022. This trend has persisted for the past five years, solidifying the shooter as the leading game genre in 2022. Role-playing games (RPGs) followed closely behind with 285 million players while strategy games captured the interest of 269 million gamers. 168 million players participated in multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games. Additionally, sports games attract 118 million players and simulation games appealed to 88 million gamers. These numbers demonstrated the diverse preferences and wide-ranging appeal of various game genres in the global gaming market.
Shooters proved to be the leaders not only in user numbers but also in revenue. It has amassed a remarkable $36 billion in total monthly digital revenues. Close behind, the RPG genre secured an impressive $28.7 billion in financial income. Sports games made a notable impact, generating $15 billion in revenue. The strategy genre achieved a substantial revenue of $14.8 billion. MOBA games, mostly represented by DotA2 and League of Legends, obtained $9.9 billion in revenue, attracting a dedicated and enthusiastic player base. Lastly, the simulation genre achieved $9.2 billion in revenue, allowing players to experience virtual versions of real-life activities or scenarios such as flight simulators, city-building simulations or life simulations.
The study conducted by ex corp and Nielsen also forecasts the global gaming market to reach a value of over $302 billion by 2025. The Asia-Pacific region has been a driving force behind this growth, contributing more than half of the global market value in 2022, surpassing $121 billion. North America accounted for $61.6 billion and EMEA contributed $50.6 billion, making up approximately a quarter of the total market size each. Latin America remains a relatively under-developed gaming and eSports market; in 2022, it contributed approximately 1.7% of global spend, or $3.9 billion.
In a ground-breaking development, the study highlights that China has emerged as the largest single gaming market in the world, surpassing the United States in 2022. China’s gaming market reached over $62.9 billion, constituting 27% of the total market share. The United States followed closely with $57.1 billion (24%) while Japan and South Korea, two others major Asian markets, contributed $25.7 billion (11%) and $13.1 billion (6%) respectively. Other top gaming markets include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Australia. Combined together, top ten countries representing over 83% of the total global gaming spend.
Also, the study revealed the percentage of competitive game players in different countries as well as their monthly spending:
* South Korea: 28% of competitive gamers. Average monthly spending: $37.3
* Japan: 14.1%, $34
* United Kingdom:13.7%, $38.9
* France: 10.7%, $39.1
* Australia: 8.6%, $43.3
* United States: 7.8%, $52.4
* Russia: 7.8%, $22.3
* China: 6%, $14.8
* Canada: 5.6%, $40.3
* Italy: 4.6%, $35.6
* Germany: 4.5%, $44.5
* Brazil: 4%, $4.3
“The gaming industry has been growing at a double-digit rate for years,” the founder and Chief Executive Officer for ex corp, Pavel Dunaev, said. “However, the growth rate is slowing and more people are switching from casual to competitive gaming. As a result, we expect competition between gaming studios to increase and gaming publishers to focus not only on attracting new audiences but also on building communities around their games to retain players. At the same time, we expect big competitive gaming titles to continue growing and attracting more audiences by switching them from casual games.”