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Last year Lisa Galarneau wrote a fantastic article on 2014 Global Gaming Stats.

2015 has crept up on us and it’s time to see some updated trends, statistics and information. 2014 was a turning point in many areas of the video games industry. To help celebrate the release of our brand new Big Fish Video Game Stats Database, join us as we take a look at where the year left us and what we have to look forward to in the future in this ever-changing video games landscape.


Who’s playing games?

Over 59% of Americans play games
That means that in America alone, over 150 million people play games. 150 million people spread over a vast variety of backgrounds, ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses. All of us are jumping into stories, swapping gummies, fighting foes, traveling through time, and finding hidden objects.

Average age of the gamer is 31
This is up from 30 years old last year. Is it safe to assume that as video gaming aged another year, so did all of its gamers? Or is a safer theory that, even as the younger generation grows into gaming, more of the older generation begins embracing it as well?

Children and video games

29% of gamers are under 18
Video games are no longer seen as strictly toys for kids. In fact, it seems as though that image has changed almost entirely. Don’t get me wrong, obviously there are still games intended as entertainment for kids. However, more gamers are over the age of 50 than under 18. We’re also seeing video games as educational tools to help improve focus and concentration in children.

74% of K-8 teachers use digital games in the classroom
The instructors report that video games increase motivation and engagement in their students. 4 out of 5 of video game-implementing teachers use games created exclusively for educational purposes.

It’s not just teachers who are using games to assist in educating the youth of today. 56% of parents say video games positively affect their children.

Gaming and Gender


48% of gamers are female
Up another percentage point from last year (47%), women are a massive force in the video gaming audience. I predict that this time next year, we’ll see a shift in who makes up the majority. Also, video game purchasers are split right down the middle. 50% are men. 50% are women.

52% of gamers in the UK are women
Across the ocean, a study conducted in September 2014 found that 52% of gamers are women. Of those surveyed, 33% listed their favorite game genre to be Trivia/Word/Puzzle. It goes without saying that mobile and casual gaming has contributed to the steady rise in female gaming. However, in that same study it was discovered that 56% of female gamers have played on a console and 68% have played online.

22% of the video game workforce is made up of females and 76% of game developers are men
While this number is a bit disheartening, and we’d love to see more diversity in the business of video game creation, it is double what we saw in 2009. As awareness grows, I have no doubt we’ll see more smart, creative, and innovative women rising in the industry.

One final note about gender and video game culture: with 2014 came the debacle that was #gamergate. It was big, it was loud, it was confusing and angering. Don’t know what I’m talking about? For a comprehensive review of the events, check out the article by Mirror.

The rise of the independent video game

An amazing bi-product of the rise in mobile gaming popularity is the emergence of independently released games. The technology of smart phones and tablets has allowed for the widening reach of indie titles. These games are often beautifully illustrated, clever, innovative, and fun. The dream of starting a tiny game studio with two or three founders seems more feasible than ever to ambitious dreamers.

Of Metacritic’s top 25 iPhone/iPad games of 2014 list, half (13) were independent releases.

Top 10 games of 2014

In a surprising turn of events (to some) it was announced a few days ago that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brought in more sales than Bungie’s massive $500 Million Destiny. Below you’ll find the list of top 10 best-selling games of 2014. Please note: this list does not take into account digital sales:

1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
2. Madden NFL 15
3. Destiny
4. Grand Theft Auto V
5. Minecraft
6. Super Smash Bros
7. NBA 2K15
8. Watch Dogs
9. FIFA 15
10. Call Of Duty: Ghosts

Speaking of Minecraft (number 5)
Minecraft (released in 2009) is one of the top three best-selling video games of all time. As of this writing, 18,207,546 units have been sold.

After selling Minecraft to Microsoft in 2014, founder Markus Persson decided it was time to take a break. In December he purchased a $70 million house (23,000 square feet); the most expensive house in Beverly Hills. The house boasts 15 toilets and a $200,000 candy room.

Here he is resting his feet in the candy room of his new abode via Twitter:

Mobile revenue is expected to overtake console gaming in 2015

It’s estimated that the mobile gaming industry reached $25 billion in sales in 2014. That’s almost double (42%) over 2013.

Ages 35-44 were the biggest spenders They averaged $6 per person, per month.

It’s expected that revenue from smartphone and tablet titles will continue to grow, reaching $30.3 billion in 2015. Look at that number one more time and then consider that a mobile game or in-app purchase is often below $5 (or even $1).

The rise in video game viewership and eSports

2014 MLG Championships

Major League Gaming has 9 million registered users
It’s the largest active video game channel and hosts live events and streaming action. In August 2014 the MLG Championship brought in 18,000 attendants. 2,000,000 were watching online. The top prize ($25,000) was awarded to the Evil Geniuses for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

YouTube gaming channels bring in more than 3.5 billion views each month
People are tuning in on their computers in droves to watch others play video games accompanied by commentary. Why is this medium so attractive and entertaining? Some of the gamers are talented, some are funny, some are sarcastic and some are all of the above.

Competitive Video Game events are now known as eSports

71 million people watch competitive gaming worldwide
That means that more people are watching others play video games than are tuning in for US sporting events. That number has increased 8 fold in the past four years.

Whew! I know that was a lot of information to digest! Thanks for sticking with me. 2014 was a big year for the Video Games Industry and here’s to an even bigger 2015!

The ESA Industry Facts
Level Up Learning: A national survey on teaching with digital games
Fortune – 10 Powerful Women in Video Games
Metacritic – Best iPhone and iPad Games of 2014
Forbes – The Top Ten Best Selling Video Games of 2014
Kotaku – Minecraft’s Creator Buys the Most Expensive House in Beverly Hills
eMarketer – Mobile Gaming Revenues Won’t Quit Growing
Major League Gaming
Mobile Games Market – Market insight beyond the rankings for the global mobile games market.
GeekWire – The rise of eSports: More people watch video game competitions than major sporting events
Forbes – The 100 Biggest Gaming YouTube Channels Now Bring In 3.5 Billion Views A Month