The diversification of video games in their platforms and software could push revenue from $90 billion in 2015 to $115 billion by 2020, predicts a report from Digi-Capital released Tuesday. Massively multiplayer online (MMO) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) titles, mobile games and virtual reality are behind the expected boost in sales.
Mobile games are bigger than their console and PC counterparts in 2016, and that gap will only grow by 2020, according to Digi-Capital's Games Report 2016. Mobile game revenue could rise from $35 billion in 2016 to $48 billion by 2020.
Asia is especially important to the revenue of mobile games. China has 785 million mobile gamers driving an estimated $5.2 billion in revenue in 2015, according to Superdata Research's Asia Mobile Games Report. But Japan is the largest mobile market in Asia, with $6.2 billion, followed by China and South Korea ($1.3 billion) in estimated revenue for 2015.
Mobile gamers are mostly Android users, 73 percent according to Superdata Center, but Apple has made inroads in China, which has helped drive revenue in the country. In 2016, mobile game revenue in China could reach $7.7 billion — surpassing the U.S. in the process — to become the world's largest mobile gaming market, according to Newzoo, a games market research firm.
The continued growth of MMO, such as "World of Warcraft" and MOBA games, like "League of Legends," "Dota 2" and "Heroes of the Storm," in the next few years will also boost eSports. While the report is optimistic on the future of the games behind eSports, Digi-Capital is unsure of the overall scale of the competitive gaming scene even with commitments by ESPN and Turner Sports to feature eSports digitally and on television.
Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games can expect big growth in revenue by 2020 as well. Facebook's Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and Sony's PlayStation VR are scheduled to be released in 2016. Coupled with lower-priced entries such as the Samsung Gear, Digi-Capital predicts VR/AR revenue to be around $10 billion by 2020.