Video games saw demand soar during the COVID-19 crisis as consumers confined to their homes looked for forms of entertainment and ways of socialising. The demand for new ways to pass the time at home and socialise remotely led to a significant expansion of the consumer base for video games, with a wider range of age groups starting to see the appeal of the category.
AR/VR headsets was the most dynamic category in video games in 2020, with demand being stimulated by more affluent consumers who appreciate innovative technology that enables them to fully immerse themselves in the gaming experience, in addition to applying its use in a wider context such as to enhance the watching of films, and various sporting events and concerts through live streaming, amongst others. AR/VR headsets saw both its core application and this broader usage contribute to a strong rise in demand during the COVID-19 crisis.
Video games saw a trend towards the fragmentation of the competitive landscape accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, with smaller players (categorised under “others”) continuing to gain value share. However, the overall category continued to be led by Electronic Arts Polska Sp zoo due to its strength in the large video games software segment through lucrative titles like FIFA, Battlefield, Need for Speed and Star Wars, with the licence for the latter signed off until 2023 giving Electronic Arts the opportunity to produce more new games under the Star Wars theme.
During the forecast period, static consoles sales are expected to benefit from the so-called “console wars”, which are making the products more competitive in terms of both performance and price. With a growing number of consumers having been attracted to gaming during long periods of home seclusion in the COVID-19 crisis, the early part of the forecast period is likely to see this intensification of competition attract many PC gamers to convert to console gaming.
Video games sales in 2021 will continue to benefit from the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis, with consumers continuing to spend a lot of time at home due to ongoing restrictions and concerns about exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Moreover, even once the immediate threat from COVID-19 has diminished, it is likely that video games will retain much of its new consumer base, with many consumers having become strongly attached to gaming and enjoying the social elements of play.
Poland is increasingly becoming one of the fastest growing e-sports markets in Europe, with interest rising amongst both younger consumers and adults. With live, in-person e-sports events scheduled for 2021 and likely to come back for good in the next few years, online gaming is bound to experience a boost in the forecast period.
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This report originates from Passport, our Video Games research and analysis database.
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