SuperData 2019 Year in Review

SuperData Research now offers a games data and market research 2019 year in review, recapping their findings for last year. This is a free download for anyone who hands over their email information and agrees to receive their mailings. Besides some marketing for their research services, this includes breakdowns on digital games, free-to-play games, premium games, gaming video content, esports sponsorships, virtual reality games, and trends to watch in 2020. They report games and interactive earned over $120 billion¹ last year, offering the following breakdown of the digital and interactive games market:
The games and interactive media industry grew 4% in a year with few market movers. Gaming did not need new titles on the level of Fortnite or Red Dead Redemption 2 to continue expanding in 2019.

Free-to-play games accounted for 4 out of every 5 dollars spent on digital games in 2019 thanks to strong performances from mobile games. Perennial chart-toppers like Candy Crush Saga and Honour of Kings pushed mobile’s share of free-to-play revenue to 74%, a trend that is expected to persist in 2020.

In an impressive feat, Fortnite clinched the top spot for a second year in a row, generating $1.8B in 2019. The enduring popularity of Fortnite is partially attributable to crossover promotions with pop culture blockbusters like Avengers, Stranger Things and Star Wars.

The premium games market dipped 5% in 2019 due to a gap year in AAA game launches. There were fewer mega hits than in 2018, which saw multiple big releases like Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Monster Hunter: World.

Platform exclusivity deals distributed top gaming video content (GVC) creators across livestreaming platforms. Mixer, YouTube and Facebook have all signed contracts with former Twitch streamers to attract a larger share of the GVC audience, which totals 944M viewers worldwide.

XR² revenue climbed 26% to $6.3B in 2019 thanks to new headsets like the Oculus Quest. Standalone headsets accounted for 49%³ of VR shipments and brought VR gaming to a more mainstream audience than existing PC and console devices.

  1. Total interactive media revenue is less than the sum of all segments due to overlapping earnings in games and XR segments (e.g., Pokémon GO revenue is included in both the mobile games and XR segments).
  2. XR includes virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
  3. Not including Google Cardboard and similar headsets.