2019 Was a Record-Breakingly Profitable Year for Gaming

Year after year, the gaming industry has been growing in size and profitability, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the new ‘2019 Year in Review’ report from SuperData shows that games and interactive media’s profits in 2019 weren’t just good, they were record-breaking. Overall, the industry earned around $120.1 billion in profits, and interestingly, it was mobile games that were far and away the most profitable area.

Games and Interactive Media Growth and Profits in 2019

According to SuperData’s 2019 review report, the games and interactive media industry grew roughly 4% from 2018; no small amount for such a huge industry. Of the $120.1 billion profit figure, only $15.4 billion comes from console gaming; just over half of what was generated by PC gaming, which made around $29.6 billion. However, both of these figures pale in comparison to what the mobile gaming sector earned in 2019. SuperData’s figures put the 2019 profits of mobile gaming at a massive $64.4 billion! Finally, a further $6.5 billion was generated by video content on sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer, while $6.3 billion was generated by the XR sector (comprising AR and VR gaming).

2019 Gaming Record-Breaking Profits SuperData Report

Across all platforms, roughly 80% of the industry’s profits comes from free-to-play properties. (About the same figure as in 2018.) However, free-to-play has become increasingly mobile-centric, with mobile gaming now accounting for 74% of all free-to-play profits. On the other side of things, premium games saw a 5% decrease in revenue, down to $18.9 billion. However, it’s worth noting that 2019 was comparatively light in terms of major triple-A game releases; with next-generation consoles launching this year, many developers are obviously focusing on long-term projects for the upcoming hardware.

Overall, the highest-earning title in the entire industry was Fortnite, which was also the highest-earning title in 2018. The game generated a whopping $1.8 billion on its own, accounting for around 1.5% of the entire industry’s profits. In fact, no premium game generated even $1 billion in 2019; the highest-performing premium title was FIFA 19, which generated $786 million. (Less than half of Fortnite’s profits.) Looking ahead to 2020, SuperData predicts that the industry will have relatively steady growth. They expect profits to grow by a further 4% to around $124.8 billion. However, it’s worth noting that the release of next-gen consoles could cause a rise in profits towards the end of the year. Whatever the case, 2020 is certainly likely to be another record-breaking year.