Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, has released UnityGaming Report 2022. Pulling insights and data from Unity’s Create and Operate Solutions divisions, the report offers an extensive view on the state of gaming, revealing player behaviors throughout the pandemic and detailing trends propelling the industry’s growth.
The report highlights how gaming has brought people together and provided human connection in a time of distance and isolation. Unity’s data also shows that far from a “pandemic spike” the changes in the games industry appear to be long-lived and sustainable. In 2021, the number of people playing games is at far higher levels than they were pre-COVID and the industry has continued to step up to feed the demand.
Gaming is on track to reach over $300 billion by 2027. In 2021, the number of games made with Unity increased by 93%, and the number of new creators increased by 31%. Furthermore, players are spending more on games than ever before. The pandemic spike raised gaming revenue by 30% for games operated with Unity, and that bump is expected to stay.
“In the face of high player demand and even greater player expectations during these unique times, we have seen creators step up and deliver incredibly inspiring, creative, and innovative ways for people to engage and connect through gaming. This passion and resilience from our developer community fuels our commitment to make it as simple and as easy as possible for them to bring their vision to life. It remains our mission to equip developers of all sizes with everything they need to build, scale, and manage their games successfully,” said Ingrid Lestiyo, SVP & GM, Unity Operate Solutions.
“Whether from growth in established studios or from hobbyists making the leap to game development as a full-time gig, I am amazed at their sheer creativity as they bring their visions to life. We’re proud to be providing tools that help creators everywhere make great games,” said Marc Whitten, SVP & GM, Unity Create.
Key findings include:
- More creators are making more games – The production slump of the pandemic’s early phase is now far behind us. Mirroring other industry reports highlighting continued growth in the gaming sector, in 2021, the number of Unity creators increased 31% compared to 2020. Additionally, there were 93% more games made on the Unity platform in 2021 than in 2020.
- The demand for games remains high – The total number of daily active users (DAU) playing games rose from before the pandemic, reached a peak, then settled at far higher levels than before COVID began. PC/Console DAU has increased by 62% since the start of 2019, and mobile DAU has increased by 74%.
- The “pandemic spike” raised gaming revenue – and it’s here to stay – Gaming revenue grew by almost 30% for creators in 2021. Unlike sectors of the economy where pandemic bubbles have popped, the changes in gaming appear to be sustainable, bolstered by revenue growth in ad revenues and in-app purchase in the United States and Europe.
- As game development becomes more ambitious, creators are increasingly turning to third party solutions to stay competitive – Studios of all sizes are increasingly using a different mix of out-of-the-box solutions so they can free up resources to do what they do best: design great player experiences. Among enterprise creators, over 91% use player engagement and segmentation services, 88% use in-app purchase services, and 76% use analytic, authentication, and privacy services. Smaller studios use similar solutions but also invest heavily in ad monetization and user acquisition support.
The Gaming Report 2022 draws on fresh, original data from the 230,000 developers who make and operate over 750,000 games using the Unity Engine and the Unity Gaming Services portfolio of products. These powerful gaming solutions span mobile, PC, and console gaming, giving a unique view of the entire gaming industry. To provide a complete snapshot of the industry, this data is placed in context with information from outside reports and insights from creators.
Unity will be highlighting the trends outlined in this report alongside an array of in-person and online sessions at the 2022 Game Developers Conference from March 21–25, 2022 in San Francisco. Attendees will get an overview of all the latest Unity tools – many of which are interoperable with other game engines – to enable the success of our creators to deliver the best player experiences and build robust businesses. There will also be sessions where developers can get further insight into the trends, benchmark, behaviors, and analysis presented in the Gaming Report 2022. For more details on Unity at GDC 2022, visit unity.com/gdc.
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