Newzoo: Microsoft Poised to Overtake Sony as Gaming’s Second-Largest Player

Recently, the media outlet Newzoo published an article asserting that if Microsoft were to expedite the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, its gaming division’s total revenue in the first half of 2023 would surpass Sony, positioning it as the second-largest in the world.

According to Newzoo’s market research data, Sony’s gaming business performed exceptionally well in the first half of 2023, with a revenue increase of 8.7% compared to the previous year, reaching $8 billion. The resolution of PlayStation 5’s supply shortages, and the consequent rise in console sales, significantly boosted Sony’s game software sales. For instance, the PlayStation 5’s time-exclusive title “Final Fantasy XVI” sold over three million copies in its launch week, earning tens of millions of dollars. Additionally, the recent underperformance of the Japanese Yen has positively impacted Sony’s gaming revenue due to favorable exchange rate differences.

Microsoft’s gaming business revenue for the first half of 2023 was $6 billion, marking a 3.5% increase from the first half of 2022. However, its growth dynamics differed from Sony’s. During this period, the sales of Microsoft’s Xbox series consoles did not show a significant increase, implying that Microsoft’s gaming revenue relied predominantly on software services. Given recent market trends, it is highly likely that Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service contributed substantially to its gaming division’s growth. Furthermore, as a platform owner, Microsoft continually profited in the first half of 2023 from various third-party games, including live-service titles such as “Fortnite,” “FIFA 23,” and “Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0,” through revenue-sharing agreements.

When combining the revenues of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard for the first half of the year, the total amounts to $10.4 billion. This amalgamation would elevate Microsoft to the position of the second-highest revenue-generating gaming company, relegating Sony to third place for the first time, while Tencent remains firmly at the top.