Analysis firm Newzoo released a report into the games industry for H1 2023, revealing that Microsoft, after its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, surpassed Sony in gaming revenues. Read on to know more.
Microsoft Surpasses Sony in H1 Revenues
Microsoft's game revenues from the first half of the year (H1) have surpassed those of Sony, marking the first time in gaming history that Microsoft claims the second spot among other top gaming companies such as Tencent, Sony, Apple, Netease Games, EA, Nintendo, and T2.
Microsoft’s Strategic Approach
Microsoft's approach is characterized by producing service games accessible across all platforms. It stands in contrast to the more conventional closed console ecosystem approach used by its competitors like Sony/PlayStation and Nintendo. Microsoft foresees a near 50% increase in gaming revenue for the next quarter, attributing this growth to the combination of revenue streams resulting from the Microsoft and Activision merger this year.
Microsoft's H1 2023 revenues reached $6.0 billion, a +3.5% increase from H1 2022. Unlike Sony, Microsoft did not manage to sell more consoles in H1, resulting in less revenue from software sales. However, Xbox's service strategy, including Xbox Game Pass, offset this, contributing to Microsoft's overall growth.
The forecast for console gaming in 2023 is $53.2 billion. The PC gaming segment, on the other hand, is expected to experience more robust growth, forecasted to increase to $40.4 billion.
Microsoft's H1 Revenues and Activision Blizzard Acquisition
Microsoft’s now-completed Activision Blizzard acquisition marked huge growth for the company. The combined revenues for H1 2023 from Microsoft and Activision Blizzard totaled $10.4 billion, securing Microsoft as the #2 games company by revenues and pushing Sony down to #3 for the first time.
Sony Still Experienced Remarkable Revenue Growth
However, still, Sony experienced remarkable growth in H1 2023, with game revenues increasing +8.7% year on year to reach $8.0 billion. The increased availability of PlayStation 5 consoles and complementary software purchases contributed to this growth. Third-party sales from premium releases, including Hogwarts Legacy, Diablo IV, Street Fighter 6, and Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, further bolstered Sony's revenue growth.