Among all the apparently constant success of the Video-game industry we’ve seen several stages from a market crash in the early 80’s to several ‘booms’ concerning dedicated home consoles (Atari 2600) or mobile games (iOS and Android). But a global view may always be biased due aggregated factors. Although I don’t have international historical data I would like to offer a view of last year’s results among the top 200 game-adopter nations, all thanks to Newzoo. Cutting straight to the point the next figure shows the rank-size distribution of revenue among these countries; please click the picture for interactive plots (I’m still working on the embedded Plotly).
With a clear domination of China, U.S. and Japan, the industry is somewhat similar to what we all had in mind. Except maybe for a mild neglected consideration of China’s growth. The map now considers an important new contender having China as the fourth major region after the traditional standout of North America, Europe and Japan.
Beyond this overwhelmingly settled dispute of who is ‘relevant’ in the industry (or at least who stands as a ‘big fish’) we may want to check for more indicators of actual emphasis on playing and total positive attitude toward gaming. For this, an initial description into a more sensible analysis of game adoption may be presented in how much people spent (on average) per capita. In this specific case we deal with the total revenue per capita among the same top 200 countries. Again, for an interactive plot please click on the image.
The landscape changes dramatically compared with gross revenues. Japan takes the lead with almost 100 USD per person in the country’s Videogame revenue. An exponential distribution seems to appear showing that although most countries don’t contribute to the general revenues the individual contribution is not as extrapolated. A fat tail shows that almost 75% spends up to 20 dollars and more than 50% spend more than 10 dollars, on average. A remarkable aspect is that China drops from number 1 to rank 30 with just 16.15 dollars per capita. This means that although China has a huge mass market their game-adoption is still growing (considering that their economic development sustains its current growth and allowing to increase their discretionary income).
Although interesting as comparison this does not reflect properly how invested are these societies into Videogame consumption today. A more fair ratio would consider each countries’ GDPs and thus allowing to assess a proxy of how much individuals are willing to spend in digital games, or in other words, a proxy of digital game attitude and adoption. Such a ratio is given as Videogame Revenue per capita over Gross Domestic Product per capita. The following figure illustrates the distribution (click for interactive chart).
This results are clearly not a statement of game attitude in general, as other factors such as specialized labor or media culture may reveal other facets of digital gaming adoption and attitudes. That aside, we clearly see that the rise of East Asia (specifically China) reveals these countries are putting and extra emphasis on Videogames; these societies are showing high interest for digital gaming and are they are -in relative terms- willing to proportionally spend more of their personal budgets in this activity.
One last thing, as I’m interested in spatial aspects of the gaming industry and I don’t like aggregated data I would just fresh up the post with some maps that give an idea of how Revenue per capita shows geographically and how does the ratio Revenue/GDP(PPP) displays.
Click image for interactive world map.
The first interactive map shows somewhat the current mental model of Videogame Industry. Strong Japan and North America seconded by Europe and other relevant markets such as Australia. Nothing new. A contrasting point of view appears in the next interactive map where we look at Revenue over GDP (PPP) and the already mentioned rising China shows its colors as a new emergent consumer market.
Click image for interactive world map.
I hope this was somewhat fun and/or a bit enlightening. I’ll keep up the work to analyse more macro and micro aspects of the Videogame Industry throughout its history.