Worldwide Game Industry Nets $91 Billion For 2016; Mobile Games Stand At Highest Revenue

22 December 2016, 8:33 am EST By Rei Lantion Mobile & Apps

The year 2016 netted a whopping $91 billion for the worldwide game industry, naming it the biggest year in digital games and playable media ever. As there are just a handful of days before 2017 officially begins, market researcher SuperData Research is ready to log the numbers in the book.

2016 was definitely the year for games with highly playable and high-demand ones such as Pokemon Go and Clash Royale garnering 15 million and 50 million verified downloads each, respectively. SuperData's market brief for 2016 reports mobile gaming netted a neat $41 billion to the overall $91 billion. PC games weren't that far behind --- considering all free-to-play games and free MMORPGs that popped up over the year, raking in a sweet $34 billion in revenue.

Retail gaming came in with a solid $26 billion to contribute, while downloadable console games added $6.6 billion to the overall total.

The mobile market is maturing, or so Venturebeat posits. The marketing for gaming apps also mirrors traditional game marketing and publishing. And even though they credit mobile gaming's success to "blockbuster hits such as Pokemon Go and Clash Royale," Monster Strike pushed through as the number one game for 2016 with a grand total of $1.3 billion in revenue.

SuperData also covered emerging markets such as virtual reality and streaming, describing their first year on the market as "sobering." An understandable position as these are fresh markets with a lot of dedicated manufacturers, but not a whole lot of familiarity to stand on. However, the biggest drawback to these markets was failed expectations with promising hardware like the Oculus.

It's worth noting that 2017 could be the opportunity for far more experienced companies and industries to take the lead and drive VR higher than its collective $2.7 billion revenue for 2016. SuperData even names notable conglomerates such as Sony and HTC as potential frontrunners for the possible surge in VR gaming and streaming. 

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