Connect with us

Technology

50 Years of Video Game Industry Revenues, by Platform

Published

on

Click to view this graphic in a higher-resolution.

Area chart showing 50 years of video game industry revenue by device category

50 Years of Video Game Industry Revenues, by Platform

Video killed the radio star.

And the video game industry’s explosive growth over the last five decades has killed any skepticism of its strength and staying power in the larger media and entertainment space.

We visualize the video game industry’s inflation-adjusted revenues every year, from its humble beginnings in 1970 to the media juggernaut it is now, worth more than $180 billion of revenue in 2022. All data presented in the chart and in this article was provided by UK-based market intelligence firm Pelham Smithers.

YearTotal Game Industry Revenue (USD, Billions)% Increase (YoY)
1970$0N/A
1971$1N/A
1972$2100%
1973$350%
1974$6100%
1975$15150%
1976$2567%
1977$22-12%
1978$15-32%
1979$2247%
1980$3559%
1981$389%
1982$4211%
1983$37-12%
1984$26-30%
1985$14-46%
1986$157%
1987$1713%
1988$2229%
1989$2723%
1990$3011%
1991$3310%
1992$3712%
1993$4214%
1994$38-10%
1995$34-11%
1996$340%
1997$340%
1998$366%
1999$398%
2000$4310%
2001$441%
2002$4810%
2003$528%
2004$579%
2005$571%
2006$629%
2007$6810%
2008$748%
2009$774%
2010$782%
2011$791%
2012$835%
2013$853%
2014$917%
2015$976%
2016$10811%
2017$12819%
2018$15219%
2019$147-3%
2020$17720%
2021$1907%
2022$183-4%

Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest billion.

From an industry that was nearly wiped out by a market crash, to the highest-earning media sector today, video games have had a tumultuous journey.

As medium has evolved, so too have the consumer preferences for different gaming platforms. Which formats led the overall industry’s revenue growth through the years?

Arcades, Home Consoles, Handheld Gaming

The history of mass-market consumer-oriented video games starts with Atari.

The company that released Computer Space (1971) and Pong (1972) on coin-operated arcade machines took the market by storm, spawning a series of competitors, earning an estimated $35-40 per day, and selling nearly 8,000 units in two years.

For an industry that barely existed until a couple years prior, those numbers spurred the inception of video games as a legitimate (and profitable) form of entertainment.

YearArcade Revenues
(USD, Billions)
Console Revenues
(USD, Billions)
Handheld Revenues
(USD, Billions)
1970$0N/AN/A
1971$1N/AN/A
1972$2N/AN/A
1973$3N/AN/A
1974$5$1N/A
1975$10$5N/A
1976$15$10N/A
1977$15$7N/A
1978$10$5N/A
1979$15$7N/A
1980$25$10N/A
1981$26$12N/A
1982$27$14N/A
1983$20$14N/A
1984$15$5N/A
1985$9$1N/A
1986$10$2N/A
1987$11$4N/A
1988$12$8N/A
1989$13$10$1
1990$15$8$2
1991$14$9$4
1992$13$11$6
1993$14$12$8
1994$15$7$7
1995$14$5$5
1996$11$7$6
1997$9$9$7
1998$7$11$7
1999$6$14$8
2000$5$17$8
2001$5$16$9
2002$5$18$9
2003$5$20$10
2004$5$22$10
2005$4$22$11
2006$4$20$14
2007$4$21$16
2008$4$24$15
2009$4$25$13
2010$3$25$11
2011$3$24$9
2012$3$23$7
2013$3$22$5
2014$3$23$4
2015$3$23$3
2016$4$23$3
2017$4$26$3
2018$3$33$2
2019$3$28$1
2020$2$32$0
2021$2$33$0
2022$2$30$0
Share of Total
Industry Revenue
in 2022
1.1%16.6%0.0%

Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest billion.

Within just seven years, thanks to the proliferation of arcade games, the video game industry generated more revenue than the American box office and music industry put together.

Then, in the 1980s, a once little-known playing card company in Japan released one of the best-selling video game franchises ever, Super Mario Bros on their home console the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

A few years later, at the cusp of the ’90s, Nintendo released the iconic Game Boy on which enthusiasts could play Tetris—a popular arcade game—from the comfort of their bed, cementing video games’ place in consumers’ homes.

PC Gaming, Mobile Gaming, and Virtual Reality

By the ’90s, another technological boom was taking place: the rise of personal computing.

Naturally, companies developed video games (like Doom, Prince of Persia, Dangerous Dave) for this new platform, taking advantage of increased computing power, bigger screens, and more flexibility in programming.

While home consoles still accounted for the majority share of the industry’s revenues, handheld devices and PC gaming split the difference as arcade revenues began to drop rapidly.

YearPC Revenues
(USD, Billions)
Mobile Revenues
(USD, Billions)
VR/AR Revenues
(USD, Billions)
1982$1N/AN/A
1983$3N/AN/A
1984$6N/AN/A
1985$4N/AN/A
1986$3N/AN/A
1987$2N/AN/A
1988$2N/AN/A
1989$3N/AN/A
1990$5N/AN/A
1991$6N/AN/A
1992$7N/AN/A
1993$8N/AN/A
1994$9N/AN/A
1995$10N/AN/A
1996$9$1N/A
1997$9$1N/A
1998$9$2N/A
1999$9$3N/A
2000$9$4N/A
2001$10$4N/A
2002$11$5N/A
2003$12$6N/A
2004$13$7N/A
2005$13$8N/A
2006$14$10N/A
2007$15$12N/A
2008$16$15N/A
2009$17$18N/A
2010$18$21N/A
2011$18$25N/A
2012$21$29N/A
2013$23$32N/A
2014$26$35N/A
2015$28$40N/A
2016$30$48$1
2017$34$60$2
2018$39$74$2
2019$35$77$3
2020$41$98$5
2021$44$105$6
2022$45$101$5
Share of Total
Industry Revenue
in 2022
24.5%55.3%2.5%

Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest billion.

However, handheld gaming revenues peaked in 2007, the year the iPhone launched, and have steadily declined since then as smartphone adoption has grown.

With smartphones came the mobile gaming juggernaut, which has made up more than half of the gaming industry’s revenues since 2019.

In the last few years however, the development of augmented and virtual reality’s more immersive, and sensory-heavy experiences have created yet another platform for video games, and yet another avenue for growth.

Click for Comments

Technology

Can Data Centers Be Sources of Sustainable Heat?

Data centers produce a staggering amount of heat, but what if instead of treating it as waste, we could harness it instead?

Published

on

Diagram showing how waste heat from data centers could be recaptured and recycled to provide sustainable heat in residential and commercial settings.

Published

on

The following content is sponsored by HIVE Digital

Can Data Centers Be Sources of Sustainable Heat?

Data centers support the modern technologies on which we rely, but also generate incredible amounts of heat as waste. 

And since computers tend to be very sensitive to heat, operators go to great lengths (and expense) to get rid of it, even relocating to countries with lower year-round average temperatures. But what if instead of letting all that heat disappear into thin air, we could harness it instead?

In this visualization, we’ve teamed up with HIVE Digital to see how data centers are evolving to recapture and recycle that energy.

How Much Heat Does a Data Center Produce?

To get an idea how much heat we’re talking about, let’s imagine a mid-sized cryptocurrency operation with 1,000 of the most energy-efficient mining rigs on the market today, the Antminer S21 Hydro. One of these rigs needs 5,360 watts of power, which over a year adds up to 47 MWh.

Multiply that by 1,000 and you end up with over 160 billion BTU, which is enough energy to heat over 4,600 U.S. homes for a year, or if it happens to be Oscar season, enough heat to pop 463,803 metric tons of popcorn. Less if you want melted butter on it. 

How Waste Heat Recycling Works?

At a high level, waste heat is recaptured and transferred via heat exchangers to district heating networks, for example, where it can be used to provide sustainable heat. Cool air is then returned to the data center and the cycle begins again.

Liquid cooling is by far the most efficient means of recapturing and transporting heat, since water can hold roughly four times as much heat as air.

Data centers around the world are already recycling their waste heat to farm trout in Norway, heat research facilities in the U.S., and to heat swimming pools in France.

A Greener Future for Data Centers?

Waste heat recycling has so far been voluntary, led by operators looking to put their operations on a more sustainable footing, but new regulations could change that. 

Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer in the Netherlands require all new data centers to explore recycling their waste heat. In Norway, they require it for all new data centers above 2 MW, while Denmark has taken a carrot approach, and developed tax cuts and financial incentives. And in late 2023, the EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force, which will require data centers to recycle waste heat, or show that recovery is technically or economically infeasible. 

With Europe leading the way, could North America be very far behind?

HIVE Digital Provides Sustainable Heat

HIVE Digital is already recycling waste heat from its data center operations in Canada and Sweden. 

Their 30 MW data center in Lachute, Québec, is heating a 200,000 sq. ft. factory, while their 32 MW data center in Boden, Sweden, is heating a 90,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, helping to provide sustainably grown local produce, just one degree short of the Arctic Circle.

Visual Capitalist Logo

Learn how HIVE Digital is helping to meet the demands of emerging technologies like AI, sustainably.

Click for Comments

You may also like

Subscribe

Continue Reading
Find the Best Platforms for Stock Trading at StockBrokers.com

Subscribe

Popular