The global game industry is expected to grow from $68 billion in 2013 to $96 billion in 2018, according to a significantly upgraded forecast by market researcher DFC Intelligence.
The five-year forecast has been upgraded from past estimates thanks to the strong performance of the market — including the launch of Grand Theft Auto V and the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft — in late 2013. DFC said both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 will eventually sell more than 100 million units each. Previously, DFC predicted the game business would hit only $82 billion by 2018.
The forecast includes revenue from PC games, console games, and mobile games. It also includes hardware spending on dedicated game devices.
“DFC has always tended to be conservative in its forecasts,” says DFC analyst David Cole. “Last year we were concerned about competition from the enormous amount of free to play content and the growth of mobile. The poor reception for the Wii U was also a major area of concern.”
According to Cole, the last few months of 2013 had some major positive signs for future industry growth.
“There was concern that the core game consumer was losing interest in the market,” he said. “The huge success of Grand Theft Auto V and the successful launches of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One showed this was clearly not the case.”
In addition, the PC game and mobile game market are expected to grow at a steady pace. The worldwide PC games market is expected to reach $26 billion in 2014 after a slow year last year in North America and Europe.