In 2022, the number of gamers will decrease by 150 million globally, with China expected to experience the biggest drop. There are several factors behind the first decline in the market’s history.

The number of gamers globally, new data for 2022-2023

Key figures

  • Around 2.46 billion will play video games in 2022, according to a Statista survey reviewed by Safe Betting Sites. This is down 5.74% from 2.61 billion in 2021.
  • The number of gamers is expected to grow by 3.6% to 2.55 billion in 2023. However, the global user base will still be below 2021 levels.
  • In 2022, the number of mobile players will drop 9% year-over-year to 1.63 billion. It is expected to grow to 1.66 billion next year, but will still be 110 million less than in 2021.
  • China will experience the biggest drop in gamers, with the number falling from 780 million last year to 676 million in 2022. The downfall will continue next year, as the number of Chinese players will decrease by 150 million compared to 2021 levels.
  • According to Statista, the number of gamers will also decrease in the US, Japan, and the UK. In 2023, the US player base will reach 161.9 million people, followed by Japan (75.2 million) and the UK (44.4 million).
  • South Korea is the only country among the top 5 markets to show growth in players. The number of gamers is expected to reach 410.4 million in 2022 (up 18.8% year-over-year) and 447 million in 2023.

Why will the number of gamers decrease?

  • The end of lockdowns and other Covid-19 restrictions is one of the main factors behind the user drop. 
  • Another major factor is regulatory tension in China. The country continues to put pressure on the domestic games industry, coming up with different restrictions. The government is still reluctant to approve new games (especially from tech giants like Tencent), which makes companies search for business opportunities abroad.
  • Global inflation and other economic issues will make people spend less money on video games. Many game companies have already started preparing for worse times, with Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnik, for example, saying that the games industry is not recession-proof.

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