SuperData published its 2018 year in review report on digital games and interactive media. This year in review is the first from the gaming market research company since being acquired by Nielsen last year,
According to SuperData’s report, digital gaming grew 13 percent globally and earned approximately $119 billion. Mobile saw the most significant increase making around $61 billion last year. Also, free-to-play games gained popularity, VR/AR bloomed in enterprise and gaming video content (GVC) continued rising in influence.
Fortnite was the top free-to-play game (F2P) last year, earning around $2.4 billion and gaining a huge audience. Twitch streamer Ninja became gaming’s biggest influencer, while also partnering with Red Bull and appearing in a Samsung commercial. Users viewed Ninja’s channel for 218 million hours. According to the report, it was “watched more than the second- and third-most popular channels combined.”
In 2018, the report found the GVC market reached $5.2 billion in total revenue. Its audience increased to reach 850 million views. Twitch beat YouTube as the highest-earning platform, earning 1.6 billion. SuperData also revealed GVC is crucial to a game’s success, stating online videos impact “what 46 percent of U.S. PC and console gamers under the age of 25 play.”
SuperData’s report says the VR market made $6.6 billion in revenue compared to $4.5 billion in 2017. Last May, Oculus Go sold one million devices and proved standalone VR headsets were more profitable than other VR tools. Social media, like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, assisted in driving consumers towards AR and increasing user numbers up to 1.1 billion.
These growing numbers also helped encourage enterprise investment in VR. Finding that training is the biggest driver for using VR in business, like surgery and operating vehicles. The report also highlighted that Walmart bought around 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train employees last year. SuperData predicts enterprise to be a significant consumer for AR/MR headsets and it’s forecasted to account for 85 percent sold this year.
The report ends with predictions for 2019. SuperData expects more multiplatform games this year as well as digital games revenue in the neighborhood of 128.8 billion. Cloud gaming should also take-off, and it could massively effect gaming hardware, pushing this generation’s console’s to become outdated sooner than later.