Global gaming market set to generate USD$152.1bn (£121.3bn) in 2019; Bernie Sanders endorses game industry unionisation

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TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: global gaming market set to generate USD$152.1bn (£121.3bn) in 2019; Bernie Sanders endorses game industry unionisation; and Twitch acquires social networking platform Bebo.

Global gaming market set to generate USD$152.1bn (£121.3bn) in 2019

The global gaming market is set to generate USD$152.1bn (£121.3bn) in revenue through 2019, an increase of 9.6% on last year, according to a study from analytics and market research company Newzoo.

The US is also set to overtake China as the world’s largest national market in gaming, fueled by growth in console game revenue and a stricter Chinese regulatory environment, including a nine-month licensing freeze on new titles.

Looking ahead to 2022, consumer spend on gaming is estimated to hit USD$196bn (£156.3bn), with this growth driven largely by emerging markets, increase in cross-platform titles and new mobile technologies such as the wider rollout of 5G.

Bernie Sanders endorses game industry unionisation

Bernie Sanders

Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has voiced his support for unionisation within the gaming industry, stating on Twitter: “The [US] video game industry made USD$43bn [£34.3bn] in revenue last year. The workers responsible for that profit deserve to collectively bargain as part of a union.”

High-pressure conditions, such as 100hr+ working weeks, in the gaming industry has led to an increase in stress related illness and concerns about inappropriate remuneration. However certain studio leaders, such as Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, suggesting there is a lack of appetite for unionisation across the industry.

Twitch acquires social networking platform Bebo

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Twitch has acquired social networking platform Bebo for an unconfirmed amount, estimated to be up to USD$25m (£19.9m). Previously a market-leading social network, indeed the platform was purchased by AOL for USD$850m (£677.8m) in 2008, Bebo lost heavily to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

More recently, Bebo has re-pivoted itself as a esports network, organising leagues, communities, and tournaments, notably on an amateur level. It is this latest iteration which has clearly interested Twitch, with the staff and IP acquired in the deal being put to use in building up its Twitch Rivals platform.