September 25, 2021

Dubai Week

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Global online gaming surpassed $20bn last year — how much room is left for growth?

Online gaming is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. A lot of this is due to it being a relatively new market. One thing that has helped online gaming grow at such a fast rate is that it has tagged onto already established pastimes in order to facilitate its own growth. It’s similar to a parasite market in a way, especially as it’s likely that as technology continues to improve, it will offer experiences that are significantly better than playing in an offline setting. 

Over the last four years, revenue from online gaming has increased $13.7bn to $23.6bn. This is a significant increase and there are a number of factors behind this. One of the biggest reasons is due to the relaxation of online gambling laws within the US. This has allowed high-quality online casinos to operate in a number of US states, which has helped to increase revenue streams.

Online gaming options

The online gaming revolution has changed the landscape for gamers. It has impacted almost every aspect of gaming to truly make social gaming accessible to anyone. As high-speed internet has become available to most people, it’s made online gaming viable.

With video games already grabbing a big portion of the market share, people have continued spending their disposable income on gaming, with a portion of that moving towards online gaming. World of Warcraft has traditionally been one of the biggest revenue generators for online gaming revenue, but other games are starting to catch up.

Fortnite, Warzone and PUBG have all staked a claim as potential big revenue generators in the online gaming world. Additionally, FIFA and GTA 5 bring in large amounts of revenue. However, people should keep it in mind that it’s not only console and PC gaming which bring in revenue for online gaming.

Online gambling is also another division of online gaming that generates a large amount of revenue. While sports betting generally tends to grab the headlines when it comes to gambling online, especially betting on soccer which is the most popular sport to bet on globally, online casinos are classified as online gaming.

Online casinos include a variety of different games for people to play. With everything from slots to roulette available, there is an extensive selection that can be enjoyed at online casinos, which encourages players to keep coming back. The increase in revenue in this sector has been rapid in recent times, due to the previously mentioned change in regulation of the US market.

Mobile gaming is also a huge revenue driver for the market. Mobile gamers make up a significant portion of users and account for the majority of revenue that is created for the gaming industry as a whole. However, while the majority of mobile games are in fact online, mobile games are not included in online gaming statistics at this moment in time. This means that the true figure for online gaming revenue is perhaps even higher than is currently believed.

Potential limit for online gaming revenue growth

Although online gaming has had significant growth over the last four years, with an increase of $10bn, there are signs that it will slow down slightly over the next four years. Current estimates indicate that online gaming revenue will hit $31.3bn by 2025. While this is still a significant increase from current revenue levels, it’s $3bn less than the growth over the previous four years. This means that it’s likely that the current acceleration of the market isn’t sustainable over the next 10 to 15 years. It’s expected that the market will plateau between 2031 and 2036.

Of course, this isn’t necessarily a huge negative. Like all young markets, there will be a rapid level of growth initially before it slows down and results in very small levels of growth year on year. Players have had access to all new ways of playing video games since the introduction of online gaming, which has led to the rapid rate of revenue increase during this time.

While it looks as though online gaming revenue still has plenty of room to grow over the short term, it might not be able to sustain this growth in the long term. One thing that could affect this in the long term is the introduction of new products in the online arena. For example, if VR tech becomes widely used, this adoption could help growth to continue.