Industry Round-Up: Breaking Down May’s Top Headlines

This month we saw the first projections for the games industry's 2021 earnings, showing a slight decline. But what was the cause?


In a month that saw Sonic the Hedgehog celebrate his 30th birthday, we also got another round of games marketing headlines. This time, we’ve peeked at our first projection for the earnings of the games industry in 2021, as well as some interesting statistics on the uptake of App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

Global games market to generate $175 billion in 2021

Newzoo has reported that the games industry will generate $175.8 billion in revenue this year. While this might sound like a staggering number, it actually represents a decline of 1.1% from the previous year. Although this is by no means a huge drop-off, it’s natural to wonder why it has happened. Simply put, the negative effects of COVID-19 have had a slightly delayed impact on the world of gaming. 2020 saw a huge boom for the industry as people were forced to stay at home – with gaming becoming one of the most popular leisure activities available. 

Although the first part of 2021 has seen many of us still in lockdown, societies around the world are opening up and interest from casual gamers has naturally declined. On top of this, many of this year’s biggest releases have been hit with delays – Hogwarts Legacy, Far Cry 6, and Halo Infinite are just a few of the blockbuster titles that we likely won’t be seeing this year, and we expect more delays to come. With this said, the games industry is still looking incredibly strong, so there’s no reason to panic yet.

13% of iOS users opt-in to app tracking

In a move that has been welcome to some and controversial to others, Apple has rolled out App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a system which allows users to opt in or out of apps tracking their data. The system was first introduced in April, and now we’re starting to see the results.

Analytics firm Flurry has found that fewer than 6% of users completely forbid apps from requesting tracking information. Not too bad, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. This 6% are users who have disabled apps from requesting tracking from the system-level, while only 13% of users have actively opted in to allow apps to track their data. This suggests that the remaining 81% are simply denying apps requests to track their data when they are prompted. We’ll be looking at what this means for marketers a little more closely in an upcoming blog, so stay tuned.

Sony announces Discord integration with PlayStation Network

PlayStation users may be surprised and delighted to learn that the popular communication app Discord is coming to the PlayStation Network early next year. The app has previously been restricted to PC and mobile and this partnership marks the first time it will be available on a home console. Of course, PlayStation systems already have their own in-built chat systems, but the integration of Discord will allow users to access groups of friends more conveniently than before.

If the app is successful, it could prove a major boon for Discord, which has seen huge growth since the start of the pandemic. The news comes after Discord ended acquisition talks with Microsoft, opting to stay independent for the time being. Could an IPO be incoming?

TikTok moves to next stage of eCommerce testing

We finish this month’s news round-up with the news that TikTok is progressing with its plans to add in-stream shopping options to the video sharing app. TikTok is another social media app that has flourished in the post-pandemic world, and will soon be implementing an Instagram-style shopping function which will no doubt increase its value to advertisers and marketers. The app, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, is reportedly working with fashion brands like Hype to test the feature, before rolling it out to users. Needless to say, the applications for gaming firms could be huge.