Worldwide industry sales to reach $93 billion in 2013 - Report

Research firm Gartner estimates total industry sales to be up from $79 billion in 2012; market expected to reach $111 billion by 2015.

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Total worldwide industry sales for 2013 will reach $93 billion, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to a new report released by research firm Gartner Inc. today. This figure includes console hardware and software sales, as well as online, mobile, and PC games.

The video game market is expected to rise further to $111 billion by 2015, according to Gartner, thanks in part to mobile gaming and console hardware and software sales spurred by the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next month.

The mobile market represented the fastest-growing segment of the overall business in 2013, according to Gartner. Revenue in this category was $13.2 billion in 2013 and is projected to hit $22 billion in 2015.

"As mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) continue to grow, the mobile game category will show the biggest growth due to the entertainment value provided by games compared with other app categories," Gartner research director Brian Blau said in a statement.

"This growth is fueled by healthy premium mobile device sales globally and a desire by consumers to play games on these multifunction devices that are capable of displaying increasingly sophisticated game content," he added.

Blau said 2013 is an "important" year for the industry, as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are selling new consoles into a market that "may be moving in another direction" due to the popularity of the mobile space. Still, Blau said sales of the Xbox One and PS4 should help overall console hardware revenue rise starting next year.

"Sony and Microsoft are releasing their game consoles in November and pent-up demand for these new consoles has caused a temporary reduction in game console hardware sales during 2013, but growth will resume during 2014 and sales of existing console hardware are forecast to grow from $15.9 billion today to $22.7 billion in 2015," Blau said.

Alongside this, Blau said dedicated game handheld devices, like the 3DS and PlayStation Vita, as well as PC, will play a "smaller role" in the market and "cease to be important game platforms"

He explained that online and PC games continue to be popular, but this segment is "limited" in overall size. Blau predicted that traditional PCs will be replaced in homes not by newer PCs, but rather tablets.

"This will lead to a progressive reduction in the installed base for PC games as game players adopt other device types as their primary computing platforms," he said. "PC and online games will remain popular, but compared with game consoles and mobile games, it is PC games that will take a backseat as game players make a choice of convenience and popularity."

Gartner's research also points out that growth in the mobile game market in emerging markets is "accelerating," though overall revenue remains the greatest in the United States and Europe.

"Some of the significant growth in mobile games also comes from revenue in the emerging markets. The potential to sell-in back catalog games exists in emerging markets, because many game players in these regions don't have the means to purchase games on multiple platforms, and games titles on mobile devices are considerably less expensive than those on game consoles," Blau said.

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