27 June 2016

Euromonitor: tech playing larger role in toys and games growth

The global toys and games market is poised for growth as favourable demographics in emerging markets, along with a tent pole* movie release schedule, are expected to support a 4.5% CAGR through 2020.

Global market research company Euromonitor International has found that global sales of toys and games reached US$179.7 billion in 2015 with in-game purchases and construction toys accounting for 30% of sales across the industry.

In-game purchases were the biggest driver of revenue growth for video games, increasing 21% in 2015 to reach US$44.6 billion. Mobile games reliant on purchases and the proliferation of smartphones was the main driver, but in-game purchases are becoming common in console and computer games.

Construction toys remained the fastest growing category globally for the eighth consecutive year, and the only segment to see double-digit growth at 14.2% within traditional toys in 2015.

“The release of Star Wars last year was the most significant growth driver within traditional toys with licensed LEGO construction toys recording a 16% increase,” Mykola Golovko, Project Manager at Euromonitor International, says.

Licensed toys totalled US$20.6 billion last year, translating to a 10% increase globally. While toys will see continued influence from licensing, new technologies will lead forecast growth for video games.

Virtual reality (VR) gaming had a limited impact in 2015 with only 2 million headsets sold. However, new products are expected to bring the technology to a wider audience in the period 2016 to 2020.

“With the release of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR in 2016, the market is primed to see strong growth in the near future with annual sales reaching 25 million units by 2020,” Matthew Hudak, toys and games Industry Analyst at Euromonitor International, says.

*Tent pole movies contribute heavily to their creators' revenues and often come with merchandise tie-ins.