Research firm DFC Intelligence predicted earlier this year that the world video game market would hit $100 billion by 2018. According to a report from GamesIndustry International, however, DFC is updating those numbers.
Total software revenues will be close to that number, but won’t quite surpass it until 2019.
DFC says that retail software sales will climb for the next few years, but expects them to drop off. Digital game sales, however, are expected to triple as compared to this year’s already growing numbers, helped along significantly by Sony and Microsoft’s day one digital releases.
Handheld software sales – systems like the 3DS and PS Vita – are expected to drop off significantly, while mobile software sales are expected to continue to increase.
The big concern, according to DFC, is “losing the second tier audience that made products like Wii, PS2, Guitar Hero, Kinect, Singstar, etc. so successful.” They note that the market for what they refer to as AAA products is still robust – meaning that gamers are still spending lots of money on games. It’s the people who bought a Wii for Wii Sports, a PS2 for FIFA, an Xbox 360 for Guitar Hero and Dance Central that they’re saying are dropping off.
The biggest takeaway for game publishers, DFC says, is to recognize the strength of cross-platform game brands like Minecraft and Angry Birds that manage to be successful no matter what platform they’re on, and to capitalize on those.