The brains at SuperData apparently worked hard over the Holiday break. It’s only the first week of January, but the data research firm has already pushed out its 2020 Year In Review, counting up all the dollars in the gaming industry over the past year, which was quite good if you were a game developer — though somewhat less good for practically everyone else on the planet.
Overall, the games and interactive media industry increased by 12% in 2020. SuperData lists the impact of COVID-19 as a major factor in this rise, which was only 4% in last year’s report. Free-to-play games accounted for a slightly lower percentage of revenue in 2020 as compared to 2019, 78% to 80%. Despite people staying at home more, mobile games — which SuperData seems to completely count as “free to play” — rose from $64.4/67.0 billion to $73.8 billion, while F2P PC ($21.1/$21.5b to $22.7b) and F2P console ($1.6b/$1.6b to $1.8b) games experienced significantly less growth.
(In the preceding paragraph, I listed SuperData’s 2019 numbers as stated in last year’s report separated by a slash from those numbers stated in this year’s report, followed by the 2020 numbers.)
The list of top 10 F2P games in 2020 has a notable omission: Fortnite, which amassed $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019 but doesn’t even reach the $1.41 billion total at the bottom of the list for 2020. That’s likely due to its removal from major mobile stores, though Tim Sweeney would probably disagree with SuperData’s numbers.
In non-F2P news, premium (i.e., paid) PC and console games had a marked increase in revenue in 2020 — despite SuperData’s predictions that the segment would mostly tread water throughout the year — with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare topping the list with $1.9 billion in revenue. In case you’re interested, Cyberpunk 2077 clocked in at #8 on the yearly list, with $609 million in revenue.
And then there’s poor little VR, which will be huge any day now, I’m always hearing. For this year, however, the entirety of the segment amassed $589 million, or less than one game (Cyberpunk) did in about two months. Any day now.
You can download and read the SuperData 2020 Year In Review for yourself as a free download from the SuperData site.