ⓘ 2016 in video gaming


ⓘ 2016 in video gaming

Numerous video games were released in 2016. New hardware came out as well, albeit largely refreshed and updated versions of consoles in the PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 4 Slim, and Xbox One S. Commercially available virtual reality headsets were released in much greater numbers and at much lower price points than the enthusiast-only virtual reality headsets of earlier generations. Augmented reality also became mainstream with Pokemon Go. Top-rated games originally released in 2016 included Uncharted 4: A Thiefs End, Inside, Overwatch, Forza Horizon 3, NBA 2K17, Dark Souls III, and Battlefield 1. The top five highest-grossing video games of 2016 were League of Legends, Honor of Kings/Arena of Valor, Monster Strike, Clash of Clans, and Dungeon Fighter Online.


1. Major awards

1 These awards are sometimes given as one e.g. Best Mobile/Handheld, Excellence in Audio or two awards.


2. Financial performance

Analysis firm SuperData estimated that the global video game software market brought in $91 billion in revenues in 2016; this was an increase over the $74 billion estimated for 2015, but SuperData noted that their 2016 estimates included a larger data set. Of the $91 billion, $41 billion was attributed to mobile gaming, particularly the titles Clash Royale and Pokemon Go, with the largest mobile gaming section in Asia with total revenues near $25 billion. Personal computer video games made up $34 billion, with $19 billion contributed from free-to-play games, and console games, retail and downloadable, were $26 and $6.6 billion, respectively. The firm also identified that virtual reality VR, professional video game sports, and streaming were still growing markets in the year. DFC Intelligence reported similar numbers for revenues in the various sectors, and noted that mobile gaming revenues overtook both console and personal computer revenues in 2016.

Newzoo estimated that $70.4 billion of video game revenues were made by the top 25 publicly-trading companies, led by Tencent $10.2B, Sony $7.9B, Activision Blizzard $6.6B, Microsoft $6.5B and Apple, Inc. $5.9B. The top ten companies brought in more than 54% of total revenues during 2016, up from 43% in 2015.

IHS Markit estimated that worldwide revenue related to console hardware, software, and services was $34.7 billion, down about 2.5% from 2015; hardware sales were down from $12.8 billion to $10.5 billion, while software and service revenues were up. Sony held about 57% of the market share during 2016, followed by Microsoft and Nintendo.

Within the United States, revenues from the video game industry in 2016 was estimated at $30.4 billion by the Entertainment Software Association and NPD Group, slightly up from 2015s $30.2 billion. Of that, $24.5 billion was spent on video game software, an increase of 6% from 2015. Digital purchases, which included full game purchases, downloadable content, game subscriptions, and mobile game microtransactions, made up 74% of this number, continuing a steady increase of digital sales over retail since 2010. Sales were driven by the introduction of VR, Pokemon Go and Pokemon Sun and Moon, and the games Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Madden NFL 17, NBA 2K17 and Tom Clancys The Division.


2.1. Financial performance Highest-grossing games

The following were 2016s top ten highest-grossing video games worldwide in terms of digital revenue across all platforms including mobile, PC and console platforms. Six of the top ten highest-grossing games are published or owned by Tencent.


3. Series with new entries and new intellectual property

Additional entries were released in numerous series in 2016, including new installments for the franchises Ace Attorney, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Civilization, Cossacks, Dark Souls, Dead Rising, Deus Ex, Dishonored, Digimon, Doom, Far Cry, FIFA, Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Forza Horizon, Gears of War, Hearts of Iron, Hitman, Homefront, Homeworld, Kirby, Mafia, Mario Party, Master of Orion, Metroid, Mirrors Edge, Persona, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Pokemon, Ratchet & Clank, Shadow of the Beast, Shadow Warrior, Sonic the Hedgehog, Star Fox, Star Ocean, Street Fighter, Titanfall, Total War, Uncharted, Watch Dogs, XCOM and Zero Escape.

New and successful intellectual properties included Overwatch, Quantum Break, Tom Clancys The Division and The Last Guardian, and indie titles such as Abzû, Hyper Light Drifter, Inside, No Mans Sky, Owlboy, Stardew Valley and The Witness.


4. Cancelled games


  • Fable Legends Win, XBO
  • Rising Thunder Win
  • EverQuest Next Win, PS4
  • Project: Knoxville XBO
  • Triad Wars Win
  • Hyper Light Drifter PSVita, Wii U
  • The Walking Dead: Season Three PS3, X360
  • Not a Hero PSVita
  • Unnamed extreme sports game by Criterion Games
  • Halo Online Win
  • Nosgoth Win
  • Whore of the Orient
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero PS3, X360
  • Yooka-Laylee Wii U
  • Scribblenauts: Fighting Words iOS
  • Batman: Arkham Knight Mac, Lin


  • PlanetSide Win
  • Tom Clancys EndWar Online Win
  • Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Phantoms Win
  • Dust 514 PS3
  • Darkspore Win
  • Might & Magic: Duel of Champions Win
  • The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Win
  • Project Spark