The Worldwide Video Game Industry Is Reported to Be $210 Billion Making It Larger than the Movie and Music Industries Combined

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Image: Ubisoft

The worldwide video game industry revenue numbers have come under the spotlight during Microsoft’s attempt to sway the FTC. The well-covered acquisition deal for Activision Blizzard has been under scrutiny from regulators across the globe, and approved by many, but this week in San Francisco the latest revenue number was revealed and it is big. At $210 billion the video game industry holds a lead over that over the movie and music industries combined. As the US regulatory entity weighs its decision the stakes become a little more clearer with how much is on the table for the deal.

From the Associated Press:

“But the FTC has been fighting hard to block a deal that it fears will enable Microsoft to make popular franchises such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft exclusive to the Xbox and online subscription services that are becoming an increasingly bigger part of the $210 billion worldwide video game market — larger than the movie and music industries combined.”

It is not the first time that revenue for the worldwide video game industry has been compared to other entertainment-related fields. In December 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic, when many were still in lockdown and restricted to in-home entertainment options such as gaming and video streaming services, MarketWatch reported gaming revenue to have surged to nearly $180 billion. At the time, that was said to be more than movies and North American sports combined.

From Marketwatch (as updated in January 2021):

“Global videogame revenue is expected to surge 20% to $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the videogame industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and North American sports industries combined. The global film industry reached $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association, while PwC estimated North American sports would bring in more than $75 billion in 2020.”

Although the current 2022-2023 numbers may not show a huge gain over those from 2019-2020 they do still show the gaming industry continues to gain the lead over other entertainment options. Meanwhile, more recently it was announced by Activision Blizzard that its combined revenue for consoles and PC continues to grow and at last count was roughly $1.3 billion. A pittance compared to the global market but for a single company it’s nothing to sneeze at either.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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