For years now, sales of video game consoles and games have been declining due to a stagnating console generation filled with sequels. Though some market watchers have predicted that the coming console generation will not rise to the levels of the previous, at least one market research firm is predicting increased sales in the short-term.
Gartner today predicted that total revenues for the video game market will rise to over $93 billion by the end of this year. That's a significant increase from 2012, when revenues reached only $78.8 billion. The rise in revenue is seen on every platform, including consoles, handhelds, mobile, and PC. Total revenues are expected to reach $111 billion by the year 2015.
Console game sales are expected to be up over 18% this year, reaching $44 billion. That market is predicted to reach $55 billion by the end of 2015. PC games are expected to see a similar rise to $22 billion by 2015, handheld game revenue is actually predicted to drop to only $12 billion by that year, down from an estimated $18 billion this year.
"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," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. "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.
The mobile games market is, once again, predicted to have the strongest growth. Mobile game revenue is expected to reach $22 billion in 2015, overtaking sales in the PC games market. These factors are directly related, as Gartner predicts the installed base for PC games will decline as consumers replace their traditional PCs with tablet devices.
"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," said Blau. "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."