Jan 2, 2020

Digital game spending hit a record $109 billion in 2019

A child playing Fortnite on a TV.

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Digital video games generated a record $109.4 billion worldwide in 2019, a 3% jump from 2018's $106.1 billion, according to Nielsen data cited by the Hollywood Reporter.

The big picture: Asia was the biggest market for digital games, ahead of North America and Europe. Free-to-play titles drove the majority of spending, totaling nearly 80% for the year.

The mobile market, which primarily consists of free-to-play games, brought in about 60% of the cash and increased its share of total revenues to 73%.

  • The boost was partly driven by large video game franchises entering the mobile market, such as Call of Duty Mobile, which collected $116.8 million in 2019, per THR.

The intrigue: Epic Games' Fortnite was again the top-earning game overall, drawing in $1.8 billion in 2019, down from the $2.4 billion it earned the previous year.

Yes, but: It was a down year for so-called AAA franchises, or "premium" titles produced by major studios. Spending saw a 5% decline year-over-year to $18.9 billion.

  • But AAA games are expected to recover in 2020, "with highly anticipated releases on the schedule" THR writes.

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