Total gaming revenue could be set to decline this year according to a market analyst. If true, it would be the first time video games revenues have declined year-on-year since 1995.
Video games have enjoyed 24 straight years of unprecedented growth. From fairly niche beginnings, video gaming is now the most popular form of entertainment on the planet in terms of global spend. However, after a quarter of a century, it could be hitting its first speed bump. Pelham Smithers, from market research firm Pelham Smithers Associates, believes total video game sales will drop by 1% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Have on fear though as Smithers believes games will still rake in an estimated $136.5 billion. The actual drop is comparatively tiny, shrinking by $1.36 billion compared to 2018, but its significance is in being the first drop in 25 years.
So why would this happen? Well, there are a few big reasons. Firstly, China has been cracking down hard on video game approvals. There have been no new games approved for release in China in the last nine months. China accounts for 18.4% if the world’s population and this has a potentially huge impact on game sales. Secondly, Smithers believes Fortnite’s popularity has peaked and interest could be waning. It’s difficult to gauge this but it does certainly feel as if Fortnite has no higher to go at this point.
Smithers third and final reason is the lack of blockbuster releases in 2019. This time last year we had a giant like Red Dead Redemption 2 to look forward to. We had God of War. We had Spider-Man. Before that, we had The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild. There aren’t really any of these types of games to look forward to in 2019, at least for now. There’s the slim chance we could get The Last of Us 2 of course, and we may be surprised by Star Wars Jedi or some unannounced titles, but for the most part, 2019 is looking like a fairly muted year for massive AAA titles.
Looking further afield, Smithers believes this decline will stretch into 2020, claiming the plummeting value of the likes of EA and Activision could contribute to a contraction.
What are your thoughts, do you think we could actually some massive games launching in 2019? Or are we set for a muted year ahead of blockbusters like Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of us Part 2 and Death Stranding in 2020? Let us know what you think below!