The video game industry saw major developments in 2020 with the release of new consoles from Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Sony Corporation SNE.
The sector also got attention as a winner due to the number of people who were at home during the pandemic. Here’s a look at what could be ahead in 2021 for video game stocks.
Sony Corporation: The PlayStation 5 had strong sales in 2020 and was the winner in the console wars battle. The story for 2021 for Sony could be the company’s exclusive titles, which could be among the reasons it won in 2020.
The company has “Returnal,” “Gran Turismo 7” and ”Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart” as console exclusives. Sony is also expected to release “God of War: Ragnarok” in 2021, which has been listed as one of the most anticipated games of 2021.
Related Link: GameStop Reports Mixed Q3 Earnings, More Store Closures
Microsoft: While Microsoft didn’t win the 2020 console war battle, it did make a large gaming-related acquisition with its purchase of ZeniMax Media. The deal gives Microsoft control of hit franchises like “Dishonored,” “Fallout,” “Doom” and “The Elder Scrolls.”
The studio will release a new first-person shooter with “Deathloop,” which is ironically a Playstation 5 exclusive timed release.
Microsoft will also release “Halo Infinite” in fall 2021, a highly anticipated exclusive game that was initially supposed to release with the Xbox Series X.
Activision Blizzard: Video game publisher Activision Blizzard ATVI is rumored to release “Overwatch 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the game released five years ago that is now a popular esports league. The sequel could increase interest in the name going forward.
The Blizzard unit could also have a huge 2021 with the potential release of “Diablo 4” for PC and “Diablo Immortal” for mobile. Blizzard’s latest release in the “World of Warcraft” series posted record-breaking numbers in 2020.
Nintendo: Despite the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo Co NTDOY outperformed both stocks with a 60% gain versus 40% gains from the other two.
The company topped the leaderboards for years with its Switch console before the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The Switch could continue to outperform in 2021 with exclusive titles coming like “Monster Hunter Rise,” “Pokemon Snap” and the potential sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
Immersion: With the PlayStation 5 selling well, one of the potential winners for 2021 could be Immersion Corporation IMMR, the company providing the haptic technology for the DualSense controllers.
Several games coming in 2021 like “Returnal” and “Deathloop” are designed to take advantage of the haptic feedback in the controllers.
Amazon: A wild card to watch in the gaming sector for 2021 is Amazon.com AMZN. The company owns Twitch, a leader in video game streaming in the U.S.
The story in 2021 could be the release of “New World” in the spring.
The MMORPG from Amazon was one of three games announced back in 2016 and the only one to make it to the release stage. The success and reception of the game could influence how big of a focus Amazon puts on video games in the future.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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