Segmentation of the global gaming market
The gaming market can be largely divided into two segments: hardware and software. The market can also be segregated into four sections depending on the type of media used.
Arcade games: Arcade games are coin-operated entertainment machines installed at public businesses such as bars, restaurants, malls, and amusement arcades. While arcade games were hugely popular till the 1990s, the industry saw a sharp decline with the advent of video and online games. However, arcade games are still popular in Asia especially in countries like Japan. In the Western world, the arcade gaming market continues to exist but in a reduced form.
Online/ PC gaming: Online or PC gaming refers to the act of playing games on a computer or via the internet. Thanks to the widespread penetration of personal computers and internet connectivity, the online gaming industry has grown at a very healthy pace. A major advantage that online gaming offers is the ability to connect multiple players. Furthermore, there is a wide variety of games available in the online and PC gaming market, suitable for all type of players.
Console games: A console game is an interactive multimedia that consists of images and sounds generated by a video game console and is displayed on a television. The game is controlled by a wired or wireless handheld device. Originally games were stored on cartridges but now most video game data is saved on CDs, DVDs or Blu-Ray Dics like those used by PlayStation and Xbox. The only games that continue to store games on cartridges are Nintendo and Neo Geo X. While video games are widely criticized, the global video gaming industry has witnessed rapid growth.
Mobile gaming: The mobile games segment is a relatively new development of the entertainment software market and marks significant contribution to the total gaming industry. Mobile gaming is largely driven by the consistent growth in sales of tablets and smartphones, as well as popularization of wireless internet.
What do the figures speak of the global gaming market?
Despite the financial meltdown of 2008, the global gaming market has picked up pace and is growing rapidly. The total value of the gaming sector was estimated to be USD 70.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to rise to USD 117.9 billion by 2015. Thanks to the continuous growth in sales of tablets and smartphones, the social gaming segment of the gaming market was worth USD 5.40 billion in 2012 and is estimated to reach USD 17.40 billion by 2019, with a worldwide CAGR of 16.1% during the period. Market research reveals that over 50% of the time spent by users on the web is dedicated to online gaming. Over 200 million social gamers were recorded in a month in 2012 and this number will double by 2019.
Due to the rising demand of gamers and the advancements in technology, the global gaming market is estimated to expand significantly. Users from the age of 5 to 45 form the consumer base and growth in global population will only add to it. Innovations in gaming techniques as well as content are attracting more users and the availability of high speed internet has made the experience more enjoyable.
Currently, UK forms the largest share in the gaming market followed by U.S. and Asia-Pacific. The main competitors in the industry are Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Other players include Apple, EA Sports, Viacom, Disney Entertainment and Zynga.
Gaming, which originally was a means of entertainment and an activity for social-oriented hangouts, is today a culture that is constantly evolving. New entrants, both consumers and vendors, join the global gaming market every year, and trade experts predict a thriving future for the industry. Gaming has had a remarkable impact on society and the consistency with which users have been addicted to it has had many media theorists concerned.
It has been duly noted by market analysts that gaming has huge economic implications and as the industry gains momentum, it will be interesting to see the kind of competitive impact it has on vendors. While the ongoing global economic uncertainty continues to cloud the global gaming market, investors of the gaming industry have much to look forward to.
The rising worldwide population means a wider consumer base and an increase in demand for gaming hardware and software. Moreover, technological advances have led to a massive growth of global gaming market.