The past 10 years of gaming have been the most tumultuous and transformative in the history of the industry. In 2010 the global gambling industry posted fairly healthy annual revenues of $62.7 billion. At the end of 2020 the industry is expected to post annual revenues of $159.3 billion.
In the past growth spikes such as this could be explained away by the release of some new, revolutionary gaming technology. However, there have been no such innovations in the past decade that could possibly explain gaming’s incredible growth, so why is the industry worth almost $100 billion now than it was in 2010? Read on to find out.
Exploring Gaming’s Phenomenal Growth
From 2010 to now mobile gaming has really stood out for its financial growth and the way that it has captivated players all around the globe. However, the success of the mobile gaming industry is not the sole reason that the industry as a whole has grown by $100 billion in 10 years.
Rather, the growth of gaming has been built on small but significant gains from almost every sub-sector of the industry. PC and console gaming have all innovated to boost their appeal and revenues as has remote gambling, which has also contributed significantly to the growing revenues of the gaming industry.
Below we’ll look at the little changes that each key player in the gaming industry has implemented over the past decade to contribute to the incredible collective growth of gaming.
Traditionally gambling has always been an industry that has stood alone, that all changed however when gambling made its way online in the mid-noughties. The online sector, which at the time was posting measly revenues was incorporated into the wider gaming industry.
Since then it has become a major player in the industry, contributing majorly to the global gaming revenues. Much of that success has been down to online gambling’s move to more closely mirror the practices of arcade gaming, seeing the birth of the name ‘iGaming’.
Today, successful iGaming casinos like 888 provide their players with all the great gambling facilities on the market, making it an impressive and enjoyable online casino for UK players. Slots, which account for the majority of online gambling’s profits are in essence old school arcade games that offer financial incentives.
In prioritizing the development of slot games, online gambling companies have been able to paint themselves as the home of fun, exciting gaming entertainment. An approach that has helped online gambling to become a major player in the wider gaming industry.
PC & Console Gaming
From the outside it might appear that not a lot has changed in PC and console gaming over the past decade; Call of Duty titles feature in the ‘Top 10 Selling Video Games’ lists from both 2010 and 2020.
However, dig a bit deeper and it’s clear to see that both PC and console gaming have changed over the past 10 years. Arguably the most significant change has been the introduction of ‘Freemium gaming’.
Ten years ago, the latest gaming titles would cost players between $40 and $60, now a gamer can play the most popular game of the year – Call of Duty Warzone – without having to spend a penny.
The idea of free-to-play PC and console games really took off in 2017 when Epic Games released first-person shooter Fortnite. The game was an instant hit with gamers and has since amassed over 350 million players across the globe.
The title made it’s money by offering players in-game purchases on weapons, skins and emotes, an approach which helped Fortnite to post staggering revenues of $2.4 billion in 2018. Epic Games blueprint proved so successful that it has since been adopted by a number of major development companies.
In total free to play games generated global revenues of $87 bllion last year, almost $24 billion more than the entire industry’s total revenues in 2010.
When you think of the average gambler who enjoys playing slots on their tablet or the average Call of Duty Warzone player what do you think of? Chances are you think of a 20 something man and that’s through no fault of your own.
We generally think of gamers as men and that’s because of how the industry has marketed itself for much of its history. Traditionally, gaming companies have targeted their products at men and have consequently ignored 50% of the population.
The first sub-sector of the industry to recognize that women enjoyed gaming too was the mobile sector, which has really taken off in popularity over the past 10 years. Of course, the increased usage of smart devices from 2010 to 2020 has played a part in the growth of gaming.
However, it is specifically mobile gaming’s efforts to appeal to female gamers that have helped to boost gaming revenues so dramatically. Of the 2.4 billion active mobile gamers around the world, over 60% are female.
How did mobile gaming successfully incorporate female gamers? By simply basing games on themes that appeal to that demographic, something which gaming had been seemingly unable to do for decades.
When an industry experiences the phenomenal rate of growth that gaming has over the past 10 years it is often easy to pinpoint one moment or one innovation that proved to be the catalyst behind that growth.
With gaming, however, there is no one thing that can be identified to explain the industry’s growth. Instead, gaming has benefitted from small but significant innovations across a number of sub-sectors that have helped to make gaming more accessible and more appealing to a wider market.
If the next 10 years continue in the same vein and some technological advances are made, gaming will almost certainly continue to grow and could even become one of the planet’s key industries.