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Inflation hits gaming hard, 2022 global games revenues drop over $8 billion

2022 saw video games revenues drop for the first time as mobile and console gaming slide due to privacy concerns and lack of new compelling releases.

Inflation hits gaming hard, 2022 global games revenues drop over $8 billion
1 minute & 25 seconds read time

2022 wasn't the best year for video games earnings, a new report from analyst firm Newzoo suggests.

Inflation hits gaming hard, 2022 global games revenues drop over $8 billion 2022

From 2020-2021, pandemic spending sparked record-breaking earnings across gaming's Big 3 (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) and various publishers like Activision-Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic Arts. Now in 2022 the video games market is stabilizing itself.

The global games market is expected to make $184.4 billion in 2022, down a significant 4.3% from 2021. A quick bit of math shows that 2022 brought in nearly $8.3 billion less than the previous year. Newzoo's latest annual games market report notes that this is the first year-over-year decline in worldwide games earnings since the company started tracking data.

The analyst firm rightly notes that the rising inflation market has forced consumers to prioritize other needs over entertainment as discretionary income becomes more strained.

Inflation hits gaming hard, 2022 global games revenues drop over $8 billion 20212022

Mobile gaming is being hit hard by the decline.

The mobile segment is expected to earn $92.2 billion and comprise 50% of total annual revenues. This is a -6.4% drop year-over-year. Newzoo says the decrease is due to a number of factors including scrutiny of privacy issues on iOS, which has affected the ability to track user data and match advertisements.

Console gaming is also expected to decline -4.2% year-over-year to $51.8 billion as fewer games released in 2022 than previous years, especially as games were delayed, however breakout hits like Elden Ring helped stabilize further losses.

The browser PC game segment saw the biggest drop. This segment, which companies like Square Enix rely on, dropped a significant -16.7% year-over-year to $2.3 billion and comprises just 1% of total consumer spending.

PC gaming actually saw a healthy uptick in revenues with earnings increasing by 1.8.% to $38.2 billion. PC gaming is still #3 behind both mobile and console, but the gap between console and PC is shrinking; Console gaming made up 28% of global earnings and PC gaming made up 21%.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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