Sony’s PlayStation typically dominates in virtually every realm when it comes to gaming success, but now Microsoft’s Xbox is fighting back.

For the first time, the Xbox franchise is expected to overtake PlayStation when it comes to gaming revenue, as revealed by a detailed report by analysis firm Newzoo. This comes after Microsoft acquired Activision in a $68.7 billion deal, meaning it’s now the owner of huge games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. As such, Activision’s revenue for the second half of the year now counts towards Microsoft’s, edging them ahead of Sony for the first time on record.

If the delay to the deal had not happened, however, Microsoft would have moved ahead of Sony even earlier. From January through June, Microsoft and Activision’s combined gaming revenue was $10.4 billion, far more than Sony’s $8 billion. Looking ahead, Activision is moving from strength to strength, experiencing 35.5% year-on-year growth, the highest rate for any of the top ten gaming companies in Newzoo’s report.

The world’s biggest video gaming companies

In top place, Chinese tech giant Tencent holds strong by a long way, largely due to investments in companies like Epic Games, a strong presence in China, mobile gaming titles, and ownership of League of Legends’ Riot.

Newzoo also predicts that the games industry will generate $184 billion in revenue for the entirety of the 2023 financial year, forecasting a growth of $205.7 billion by 2026. While PlayStation and Microsoft tend to stick to console and PC gaming respectively, the biggest stake in gaming software revenue remains in mobile, thereby giving Tencent its massive lead ahead of the pair.

Although PC and console did see some growth in 2023, browser-based games continue to plummet. Mobile gaming holds strong, taking 49% of overall gaming revenue, with console and PC trailing with 29% and 21% stakes respectively.

Microsoft does have a foot in the door with mobile gaming as well, owning some heavy hitter titles like Candy Crush and successful studios like Bethesda Game Studios and ZeniMax Online Studios, which could contribute to still more future growth in comparison to Sony down the line.

Meanwhile, in a move that has enraged customers and emboldened advocates of digital piracy, PlayStation sent out emails to players informing them that some digital content they have purchased – and therefore thought they actually owned – will be removed from their libraries from the end of the year.

Featured image: Pexels

Rachael Davis

Freelance Journalist

Rachael Davies has spent six years reporting on tech and entertainment, writing for publications like the Evening Standard, Huffington Post, Dazed, and more. From niche topics like the latest gaming mods to consumer-faced guides on the latest tech, she puts her MA in Convergent Journalism to work, following avenues guided by a variety of interests. As well as writing, she also has experience in editing as the UK Editor of The Mary Sue , as well as speaking on the important of SEO in journalism at the Student Press Association National Conference. You can find her full portfolio over on Muck Rack or follow her on social media on X.