Videogames are a bigger industry than movies and North American sports combined, thanks to the pandemic
COVID-19 lockdowns expected to help global gaming sales rise 20% to nearly $180 billion in 2020, and experts don’t see growth taking a hit in 2021 after release of next-gen Playstation, Xbox.
Videogames have grown to resemble competition-based, interactive movies, and the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the industry to make more money than movies and North American sports combined.
Global videogame revenue is expected to surge 20% to $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the videogame industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and North American sports industries combined. The global film industry reached $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association, while PwC estimated North American sports would bring in more than $75 billion in 2020.
Both of those industries suffered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, however, while the videogame industry is expected to show double-digit growth this year following high-single-digit growth in the previous two years. Experts forecast that strong growth will continue in 2021, following the recent introduction of next-generation gaming consoles from Sony Corp. 6758, -1.36% SNE, -0.64% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.78% and new games to get the most out of those upgrades, even as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out.
“I do think there will be a deceleration as soon as effective, cheap, globally available vaccines get out there over the course of 2021, but I’m quite sure at the end of 2021 there will still be billions of potential people that will need vaccines,” Lewis Ward, gaming research director at IDC, told MarketWatch in an interview. “So, my deceleration happens in 2022.”