While everyone else struggled with the pandemic, video games had a strong 2020. And that’s going to continue for the big games that are closing out the year, according to the latest report from data-tracking firm DFC Intelligence.
Growth for gaming might seem obvious due to the launch of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. But those devices can only power the market so far when they are so difficult to find at retail.
“These systems are in limited supply and are actually only a limited driver of overall growth this holiday,” reads a DFC press release. “The more notable impact is around major game releases that are expected to have record sales.”
Chief among those major game releases is Cyberpunk 2077, which launches December 10 for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Stadia.
Cyberpunk 2077 and other games may set new sales records
DFC expects that Cyberpunk will benefit from the ongoing pent-up demand for gaming content. But the company is also expecting record sales for many of the new fall game releases.
Here’s how DFC puts it:
[Cyberpunk 2077] should smash all kinds of records for a new franchise. Cyberpunk will continue to have sales into 2021 and will only get stronger when it is released for the new console systems (and release bugs are fixed).
Beyond Cyberpunk, there is likely to be record sales for the latest installment of core franchises most notably Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. These games are not only getting released into an uncrowded window, but they are top-notch entries in their respective franchises.
The question for developers, publishers, and investors is what does 2021 look like. Does demand remain high as countries in Europe and North America slowly pull out of the pandemic — or was 2020 an anomaly? DFC’s analysts believe the answer is somewhere in the middle.
“Video games are a hit driven entertainment business, but revenue has been fairly easy to predict for established companies and products,” reads DFC’s report. “However, the core metrics for upside potential are being shattered. The big question is how much upside is still to come.”