Number of the Day

The Video Game Industry’s Wild Pandemic Boom, By the Numbers

In a world without movie theaters, concerts, or sports, video game makers are cleaning up.

Marker Editors
Published in
Aug 10, 2020


Number of the Day: $159,300,000,000

$159.3 billion: That’s how much revenue the global video game industry is expected to make in 2020, a 9.3% increase from 2019, according to a forecast by Newzoo, a gaming analytics company. Mobile gaming is expected to account for nearly half of that, with projected revenues of $77.2 billion, up 13% from last year.

The lockdowns were a major driver of all that growth, as people looked for ways to escape the boredom indoors. Nintendo saw its profits jump 400% between April and June this year, and just last week Epic Games, the company behind the massively Fortnite, the world’s top game in terms of revenue, reported raising $1.78 billion in new funding to continue building out its digital empire.

The gaming industry’s revenues now significantly overshadow those of the global film industry, which made $101 billion in 2019, and is projected to lose at least $7 billion this year, as many movie theaters remain shuttered.

Still, the gaming business is facing challenges. The industry has been criticized for its working conditions, and employees at game giant Blizzard Entertainment have been organizing for higher pay. The industry is already courting union-busters.

The bottom line: The pandemic has forever changed our relationship with entertainment.