For the first time in its history, the gaming industry has seen its user base shrink this year, with the number of gamers plunging by almost 115 million globally. Despite that, revenues continued rising and hit $197.4bn, or 6.6% more than a year ago.
According to data presented by Sports Lens, the average revenue per user in the digital video games market jumped by 11% year-over-year to $80.18 in 2022, the biggest increase in five years.
Digital Revenues Rising, while Physical Gaming Sales Continue Falling
The first-ever drop in the number of gamers followed after headwinds and challenges the gaming industry faced this year, including inflation, the end of Covid-19 lockdowns, and regulatory issues in China. Still, the average revenue per user in the gaming market continued to rise, primarily due to the growth in the digital game segment.
According to a Statista survey, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the ARPU in the digital games market grew by an average of 5% per year and hit $58.9 in 2019. With millions of people turning to video games amid the lockdown, the ARPU jumped by 10% YoY to $64.8 in 2020.
Last year also saw a 10% growth, with the average revenue per user in the digital games market rising to $71.86. However, statistics show that the 11.4% YoY ARPU growth in 2022 is the highest the market has seen in the last five years.
Statistics show that ARPU in the digital games market has increased by an impressive 42% since 2019 and almost 60% in the last five years. Statista expects the growth to slow down next year, with this figure rising by another 5% to $84.19.
While digital revenues are steadily increasing, the average revenue per user on physical gaming purchases continued falling. According to Statista data, the average ARPU in this segment of the gaming industry slipped to $10.81 in 2022, down from $11.4 a year ago.
Mobile Games Saw the Biggest ARPU Growth
Although the mobile games industry lost over 100 million players this year, the market saw the biggest average revenue per user growth of all digital games categories. Last year the ARPU for mobile games amounted to $77.8. Now it stands at $90.25, showing a 16% YoY increase.
Also, according to Statista, the entire market generated $153bn in revenue this year, 9% up from $140bn a year ago.
All other categories of digital video games, including download games, gaming networks, and online games, saw a modest 1% ARPU growth in 2022.