CG Market Projected to Grow to $147 Billion by 2021
Matthew Greenwood posted on August 08, 2018 |

The computer graphics (CG) industry is expected to grow slowly but steadily over the next few years, according to a report by Jon Peddie Research—but that growth is projected to be uneven within the CG market.

The hardware segment of the industry has seen steady overall growth, while the market’s biggest increase has been in game consoles, gaming PCs and workstations.

In terms of software, the market has been slow to flat. While it has gained a lot of attention, virtual reality has not had much impact on the market. Cloud-based creation tools have also had little effect.

While video games continue to push developers to improve computer graphics, the hardware sector doesn’t always follow in lockstep. The hardware market is actually expected to drop 4.3 percent this year, even though the games sector will grow by 13 percent.

This is partly because CG hardware sales aren’t only driven by games. Non-game CG software, which includes computer-aided design (CAD), modeling and animation, digital video, imaging and visual simulation, remains relatively flat at about $16.5 billion annually—dampening hardware demand. “There’s a tremendous amount happening in computer graphics, but the top line doesn’t show that because the category is so broad,” said longtime graphics expert Jon Peddie in an interview with GamesBeat. “It covers everything from computer simulations for bombs to special effects for movies.”

Non-gaming CG software market will show slow but steady growth.
Non-gaming CG software market will show slow but steady growth.

Non-gaming segments such as CAD will continue to expand, though, as industries such as automotive, aerospace and architecture continue to adopt these technologies. The visualization market in particular is growing because more powerful and less expensive visualization technologies are becoming more readily available—and more customers are including design analysis in their activities.

This means the demand for programmers, artists, scientists and designers will continue to be strong—and that demand could grow thanks to Moore’s law and lower software costs. “What used to be a very closed society of experts is now opening up due to the democratization of CG,” said Peddie. “We believe a new generation of content creators is being born.”

Overall, the report shows a healthy CG industry that is poised for steady growth. Costs are expected to continue dropping as more and more people will be using CG tools and hardware. “Computer graphics is truly a worldwide industry now,” said Peddie.

Read more about developments in CG hardware at Does AMD Have the Most Stable Driver in Graphics?

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