Signs are pointing to a period of slow growth for the computer graphics industry, according to a new forecast from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) that shows the market for CG hardware and software combined flattening out after this year, growing to around $147 billion by 2020.
JPR is actually clocking robust recent growth on the hardware side, figuring that game consoles (Xbox One, the PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch), gaming PCs and workstation sales will push the market to $126.0 billion in 2017, a healthy 6.5% bump from $118.3 billion last year. But the firm expects the market to stall out, with measly growth amounting to just $3.1 billion (about 1.4% compound annual growth) over a three-year period, mainly from workstations and mobile devices, between 2017 and 2020.
The market for CG software is expected to do a little better, growing by a total of 8.3% (about 2.0% compound annual growth) over the same three-year period.
JPR noted that content creation is traditionally a “tough” market for CG software companies, but said new distribution channels for content, plus increased demand by younger generations for stereoscopic, should open new business opportunities.
“Virtual reality, which has gained so much attention, is hardly a factor in either hardware or software,” JPR said in a press release, “and despite some glowing forecasts, we don’t think it will be for a while. The main point of exploration for VR today is in content creation and design for professionals.”