Sales in the global video-game market will soar 18.3 percent this year, to $93 billion in 2013 from $79 billion in 2012, Gartner Inc. (NYSE:IT) estimated in its “Forecast: Video Game Ecosystem, Worldwide, 4Q13.”
Mobile games constitute the fastest-growing segment of the video-game market, with revenue set to almost double to $22.0 billion in 2015 from $13.2 billion in 2013, the information-technology research firm based in Stamford, Conn., said in a statement.
“As mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) continue to grow, the mobile game category will show the biggest growth due to the entertainment value provided by games compared with other app categories,” Brian Blau, a Gartner research director, said in the statement. “This growth is fueled by healthy premium mobile device sales globally and a desire by consumers to play games on these multifunction devices that are capable of displaying increasingly sophisticated game content.”
Blau also noted the anticipated effects of the releases this month of new video-game consoles by the Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), headquartered in Redmond, Wash., and the Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE), headquartered in Tokyo. In the U.S., the former’s Xbox One is expected to launch Nov. 22, and the latter’s PlayStation 4 is expected to make its debut Nov. 15.
“Sony and Microsoft are releasing their game consoles in November and pent-up demand for these new consoles has caused a temporary reduction in game console hardware sales during 2013, but growth will resume during 2014 and sales of existing console hardware are forecast to grow from $15.9 billion today to $22.7 billion in 2015,” Blau said. “In stark contrast, dedicated game handheld devices and traditional PC games will play a smaller role in the game market and cease to be important game platforms.”
One significant contributor to the rise in video-game market sales this year has been the runaway success of “Grand Theft Auto V,” which was released Sept. 17 for the two consoles with the largest market shares by the Rockstar Games unit of New York-based Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO).
“During the fiscal second quarter, we delivered record non-GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] results driven by the unprecedented success of Rockstar Games’ ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’” Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a statement accompanying the firm’s quarterly financial report last week. “The title received stellar reviews, shattered entertainment industry records, and has already sold-in nearly 29 million units to date.”