Analytics firm Newzoo has put together some data on the state global games market in 2023 and shared its forecast for the future. The company also listed this year’s best-performing titles in terms of revenue and active players.
Newzoo’s 2023 global games market forecast hasn’t changed since we last covered it November — $184 billion in revenue, up 0.6% year-over-year. According to its Year in Review report released earlier this week, the growth is expected to continue next year, with global gaming revenue reaching $205.7 billion by 2026.
To put it in perspective, the company originally projected that the market would reach $203.1 billion in 2022. But due to the post-pandemic slowdown, delayed game releases, and supply issues, global gaming revenue declinded for the first time in 15 years and reached $182.9 billion last year.
Despite the renewed growth, Newzoo believes that 2023’s big game launches and layoffs will have a lasting impact on the industry.
This year was filled with many high-quality and commercially successful titles, but at the same time thousands of talents unfortunately lost their jobs (mass layoffs occured both in large companies like Embracer Group or Epic Games and smaller indie studios like League of Geeks or Triple Topping).
In this regard, analysts noted that 2024 “will likely be a sober year for the market as studios reorient their strategies in an uncertain financial climate.”
Top-earning PC and console games of 2023, according to Newzoo
NBA 2K24 was the highest-grossing game in the US and UK from January to October 2023*. The main factors behind the title’s success are its “massive fanbase in the US and a shrewd combination of premium and recurring revenue.”
*The top 10 only covers the two markets and doesn’t include titles released after October. As Newzoo rightly noted, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III would’ve rocked this list if November and December data were included.”
Hogwarts Legacy ranks 2nd in revenue for the period, followed by Diablo IV, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and EA Sports FC 24. Baldur’s Gate 3 (#7) is the only title in the top 10 released by an independent studio, while Marvel’s Spider-Man (#9) and Zelda are the only two single-platform exclusives on the list.
The full top 10 can be seen below.
Newzoo also ranked the top 10 games by monthly active users (MAU) in 2023. The list is dominated by live service hits with ongoing content support, and Fortnite is the undisputed leader on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. It is followed by Call of Duty (MWII + Warzone), Minecraft, GTA V, and Roblox.
The top 10 also includes Rocket League, Counter-Strike 2, The Sims 4, FIFA 23, and Apex Legends. So all of these games were released before 2023, and CS2 stands out here as a single-platform title (it is only available on Steam).