The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market for gaming PCs posted another quarter of solid growth in 2021Q1, growing 50.2% YoY and recording 2.4 million units shipped, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Continuing into 2021, growth is expected to lessen, despite strong unit shipments. 2021Q2 is predicted to grow at 17.6% YoY, while 2021Q3 has an anticipated growth of 11.1% YoY. Although this growth trajectory will soften going forward, the outlook for the long term is still positive. In 2025, the PC gaming market is forecast to rise to 11.5 million units, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7%.
In Western Europe, lockdown-driven demand has been the primary cause of solid growth in PC gaming, and this is expected to continue in 2021Q2. The ongoing transition from one device per-household to one device per-person has caused a drastic upshift in shipments since 2020 across the entire consumer market, and gaming is no exception. In addition, due to postponed development and release of many software titles to 2H 2021 or early 2022, these new releases are expected to attract more new gamers. Besides, eSports viewership and playthrough/ personality-based gamer stream viewership will continue to attract more people to try out gaming themselves. Therefore, acceleration of new/ returning gamers is expected to continue in 2021.
Notebook gaming remains the main contributor towards this positive outlook and is anticipated to witness an increase of 33.3% YoY. Gaming desktops are expected to remain stable, forecast to grow by 3.9% YoY.
“Despite supply chain constraints being the biggest inhibitor, the PC gaming market will continue to display strength throughout 2021,” said Simon Thomas, research analyst, IDC Western Europe. “Although some of the most popular high-end GPUs are experiencing massive shortages, premium devices are expected to be the driving force of the gaming market.”
Proving to be largely unimpacted by the release of the next-generation consoles, the PC gaming market’s continued buoyancy surpasses the expectations of many, but as lockdowns lift demand is expected to slow down.
“It is clear that consumers have spent substantially on entertainment and gaming devices during local lockdowns,” said Thomas. “However, once the options to travel, socialize and attend events outdoors return, it is expected that consumer expenditure on PCs, including gaming, will reduce in 2022.”
The PC gaming market in the CEE and MEA regions also saw solid, double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2021, reporting annual increases of 64.8% and 45.5% respectively.
“Shipments in both CEE and MEA regions reached once again a new height. Owing to the pandemic, budgets shifted from reduced travel and leisure to ongoing demand for gaming PCs. Additionally, while entry level to mid-range PCs still experience severe shortages, gaming notebooks were less affected thus increasing sales steeply” said Nikolina Jurisic, Senior Research Manager. "With restrictive measures related to travel, slow vaccine distribution and the new normal that still entail working and studying from home in many cases, the demand for gaming across 2021 is expected to remain solid in both regions on top of high volumes already seen in 2020. Social distancing policies have created a new gaming audience and have significantly increased both computer game consumption and sales of gaming PCs, and this trend is expected to continue in the next quarters."