Newzoo has released its latest report on the $99.6 billion global gaming industry, covering mobile games to PC and everything in between. The report outlines key trends in global, mobile, PC and console gaming broken down by revenues, segment, region and screen type.

Key Global Trends

Traditional media is now embracing the world of eSports as a way to reach millennials, with brands like ESPN, Yahoo! and Fox Sports engaging audiences through ad spending and strategic partnerships. Mobile games are swiftly becoming a major platform for eSports, with 24 of the top 100 grossing Android games in China organizing events or tournaments in the region. It’s no surprise that virtual reality (VR) is on the rise, but Newzoo states that VR game software revenue will be absorbed into current PC, console and mobile game statistics. The trend of collectible card battle games and character/equipment skins led by Valve and Chinese game companies offers a new layer of interactivity and entertainment, showing how mobile-first countries will take to the idea quickly.

Platform Comparisons: Mobile Games, PC And Console

While console revenue still dominates the industry at $29 billion for 2016, mobile isn’t far behind at $27.1 billion. In fact, Newzoo predicts that mobile games will generate $36.9 billion, or 37 percent of the market in 2016. PC and MMO gaming revenue accounts for 27 percent of total 2016 revenues, which Newzoo attributes to “essential vs. non-essential” device usage. According to Newzoo, 87 percent of console gamers surveyed also play on PC.

“The PC and the mobile are both essential devices where the console isn’t,” says Newzoo. “Mobile devices cannot bring full console experiences to them. With the PC as a device on which players can customize their experiences to suit what they are playing, console games can make the leap to a platform people need to own. PCs make it much easier to share content online. Though consoles do offer streaming services and channels, the ability to run a multi-screen setup, edit videos and release easily onto YouTube or Twitch means that PC has an advantage for players. PC users upgrade more naturally than console users do. The forthcoming PlayStation Neo and the updated Xbox One S have enraged some console fans, who fear they may need to fork out full price. Because many PC gamers regularly update hardware, console developers who shift to PC may have fewer worries about resistance to upgrades.”

Newzoo global games

Regional Overview

China is number one for game revenues, generating over $24 million in 2016 followed by the USA, Japan and South Korea with $23.5M, $12.4M and $4M respectively. North America experienced 4.1 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth from 2015 with an estimated demographic of over 198 billion gamers. Western Europe saw a year-over-year growth of 4.4 percent, while the Eastern Europe gaming market is growing at a rate of 7.3 percent year-over-year.

Asia-Pacific saw an increase of 10.7 percent YoY and Latin America nearly doubled that growth at 20.1 percent. However, the most impressive growth comes from the Middle East and Africa, with a year-over-year increase of 26.2 percent, although it accounts for only 3.2 percent of global revenues. In 2016, 58 percent of growth comes from the Asia-Pacific region.

“This year will be another pivotal year for everyone involved in the games business,” says Newzoo CEO and co-founder, Peter Warman, in the report. “ESports and livestreaming are changing the gaming landscape on a global scale and at an unbelievable pace. Consumers are embracing the possibilities that games now offer, to view, create and play on every screen. Managing these communities is at the center of any game company’s strategy. The arrival of VR and AR will ultimately change the world we live in, but impact on the industry will be limited in the near term.”