DFC Intelligence has announced that for the second time this year it is significantly raising its 5 year video game forecast. Overall game software revenue is expected to go from $64 billion in 2014 to $100 billion in 2018. This includes revenue from PC games, console games and mobile games, but does not include hardware spending on game devices.
“The market is growing on all fronts,” says DFC analyst David Cole. “The new console systems are doing well but much of the predicted growth is on mobile platforms and in BRIC countries. What we are seeing is a game market in 2018 that is likely to be split fairly evenly between console, PC and mobile platforms.” DFC forecasts that mobile game revenue will soar from $10 billion in 2013 to $29 billion in 2018, or 30 per cent of total game software revenue.
“The challenge with mobile games is that even as it grows it remains very fragmented and overcrowded. Companies need to be very cautious about their platform strategy and understand which markets and platforms are suitable for their particular product,” said DFC analyst Jeremy Miller. As part of a more detailed look at business models, DFC Intelligence has released a report on Freemium Mobile Game Business Models. This report looks at actual usage data from mobile game products to provide revenue business models for specific game genres. This report is part of DFC Intelligence’s custom game forecasting service that allows clients to build game revenue forecasts across multiple platforms to an individual country and region level.
In the console market, DFC Intelligence has raised its forecast for the Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii U and lowered its forecast for the Microsoft Xbox One. According to Cole the main challenge the console systems face is expanding beyond the core market. “The Xbox One should carve out a solid share among dedicated action gamers, but due to some questionable business decisions Microsoft’s broader entertainment strategy is in disarray despite the release of the new $399 Kinect-less SKU.” Meanwhile the PlayStation 4 is expected to be the leading game system over the next few years. “The main question is can Sony continue to build on initial PS4 sales to build an installed base similar to what they had with the PlayStation 2,” said Cole.
DFC Intelligence also announced that later this year it will be releasing a new hardware forecasting service. “We are now tracking hardware and software spending separately. Core gamer spending on high-end PCs, dedicated game devices and accessories is starting to soar. When you add in mobile devices the impact of the gaming consumer on total hardware spending is huge,” said Cole. ‘The influence this spending will have will have a bearing on all major players in the consumer electronics space.”