Which game market brings in the most revenue?
Updated: Mar 11
The game market has set a new course of growth in 2023 and different countries are reacting differently.
Among the list of countries generating high revenue with gaming, China remains the number one, but due to competition and strict guidelines this is also the hardest market to crack.
The USA comes next and developers are finding ways to create an immersive experience inclusive of all its audience. Localizing the game can potentially enhance growth.
Another asian giant, Japan is third and tapping into mobile games can attract more business opportunities. In fact, smartphones are the most popular hardware tools used to play games. Mobile game developers, lots of possibilities for you this year!
In Europe, Germany generates the highest revenue on gaming and the UK and France follow suit.
If you are considering developing a game in the market it is important to ask yourself where your market is, who your audience is and what innovation will make you stand apart?
Most countries’ game markets are influenced by the culture, lifestyle and regional guidelines. As a game developer one must understand all markets to identify places where their ideas could flourish.
Consulting with a professional is always a great idea as they can guide you with the market trends and help you understand the business aspect of establishing yourself in the game market.
Gaming has been a widespread hobby for many across the world. According to the World Economic Forum, the popularity of Gaming was taken to bigger heights at the start of 2021, due to the pandemic, and is projected to be worth US$321 Bn by 2026. Despite its raging popularity among tech companies, the business angle of the game market was left significantly unexplored by independent game developers in the past, leading to several missed opportunities
As newer trends set foot in the market, different countries are reacting differently to it.
If you are a game developer looking to make a business out of your skills, it is important to note how your preferred markets react to trends. Learning the ways of a market can help you understand your audience and leverage market trends to scale your business. (First point of key take away explained here)
Different markets and their behaviour
The Asian giants
China remains the number one country to make the highest revenue on gaming but due to competition and strict guidelines this is also the hardest market to crack. They made a total revenue of US$45.8 Bn as of 2022.
With an increasing audience base, tech companies are pushed to create innovative games, making it challenging for independent developers with limited resources to compete in the market.
The Chinese market demands you to not only create highly interesting games but also do so while still abiding by the government’s guidelines. China has a very strict policy on media and publication material in an attempt to maintain a public image.To be in this market, it is important to work with a marketing professional on a strategy that ticks all the boxes to win in the Chinese game market.
Japan on the other hand is third on the list with US$20.0 bn in revenue and 77.1 million people actively gaming by the end of 2022. In Japan, gaming is seen as a way to socialize and is hence highly popular among the youth. Some of the most popular names to exist, say Mario and Pacman or the modern-day Nintendo, Playstation and Sony, Japan has been the place of origin for many game developers.
Besides consoles, 50% of the country’s internet users play games on their smartphones, as per the Voice Archive . The convenience of a smartphone allows gamers to play anywhere, at any time given that they have access to wifi or mobile data. In fact there will be modest growth in game development in regions that prefer smartphones for games like the Middle East and Africa.
Mobile games take up the largest market share and are projected to make US$65.63bn in 2023. Tapping into mobile games can attract more business opportunities. Mobile game developers, lots of possibilities for you this year!
Gaming in the United States
According to Newzoo, the USA is second on the list with US$45.01bn in revenue in 2022. Most people consider the USA to be the birthplace of games. Video games are one of the most sought-after types of entertainment after youtube videos. With a little over 209.8 million people, the USA stands second in the list of countries after China.
The diverse nature of the country also pushes developers to come up with innovative gaming experiences for all kinds of audiences. Considering the massive size of the US, plenty of developers from foreign countries try to enter the market and establish their games, making it the hub for global developers to explore and innovate.
Some game developers in the US focus on localizing games for native speakers. According to Leap Scholar, Spanish is the second most popular language while French is also widely spoken. As a developer one must develop an immersive experience inclusive of all its audience. Localizing the game can potentially enhance growth.
Game Markets in the European Continent
Among the names in the list, Germany holds the fifth position after making US$6.6bn in 2022. A total of 49.5 million people in Germany play games, and 43% of those prefer to play on their smartphones. A study by Newzoo sheds more light on the behaviours of German gamers that drive their interest towards games. This study pointed out some interesting facts that help us understand the gaming mindset of the German audience.
Every 7 in 10 Germans are game enthusiasts.
6 out of 10 players are willing to spend money on video games.
⅓ of Germans are either interested in playing games or watching gaming content
25% are play to pass time and 19% are mainstream players
The United Kingdom game market has been growing continuously and is one of the catalysts for the ongoing digital transformation. The country comes sixth on the list and is a lot similar to the German audience in terms of demographics and buying behavior. Despite the digital transformation happening all over Europe, the UK being a head office for many countries almost sees the first wave of trends, technology, ideas and frameworks. The UK made US$ 5.5 bn in 2022 and had a total of 38.5 million active users.
Being the home of some of the most iconic gaming studios like Ubisoft and Dontnod Entertainment, France is now preparing to lay its hands on some Next-gen consoles and virtual titles. With a total revenue of US$4.1 bn in 2022 France stands seventh on the list.
While more people started gaming, more developers put their blood and sweat into developing futuristic games for them. With a new wave of innovation, this year will be eventful for game developers trying to enter the market.
Questions to ask yourself
For most gamers, it’s the creative freedom that excites you. But the second you step into a game market, you will need a business perspective on things. So ask yourself some questions to understand how you could perform in the market.
Where is your market?
Who is your audience?
What innovation or support will make you stand out from the rest?
Identify your market and study it to build a sustainable business strategy. Involve a professional who you can consult with on the business aspect of game development.