Video games give people all over the world opportunities to relax and learn new things from the comfort of their homes. Although many players may not think about the industry that creates games and gaming consoles, the industry has evolved significantly over the past few decades.
Today, the video game industry generates billions of dollars within the United States. People interested in the industry should take a closer look at the numbers to learn more and gain useful insights.
How Much Money Does the Video Game Industry Make?
The growing popularity of video games has made it possible for the video game industry to earn billions of dollars from markets around the world. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reports that the industry generated $30.4 billion in revenue just for sales within the United States during 2016. In 2015, consumers spent $30.2 billion on games and consoles. While the decimal can make this sound like a small increase, it represents about $200 million in growth.
The global market for video games looks even more impressive. In 2016, video game players around the world spent about $99.6 billion, an 8.5 percent increase from 2015’s $91.8 billion in revenue. Forecasts expect global revenues to continue growing for the foreseeable future. If forecasts are accurate, the global video game industry will generate $106.5 billion in 2017, $112.5 billion in 2018 and $118.6 billion in 2019.
Who Makes Today’s Video Games?
Research from ESA also shows who makes video games and where they make them. According to ESA, 96.55 percent of congressional districts have at least one video game company or a higher educational institute that offers video game education opportunities. Every state has at least one video game company that develops games, distributes content, manufactures hardware and software, publishes games, or provides services to consumers.
Not surprisingly, some cities and states have more video game companies than others. California stands at the top with at least 853 companies. Texas comes in second place with 268 companies. Washington takes third place with 221 video game companies.
When breaking the numbers down by metropolitan area, it becomes clear that Los Angeles has the most video game companies (331). San Francisco trails slightly with 307 companies. The New York area has 211 companies. The other cities that fall within the top 10 are Seattle, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Jose and Atlanta.
The thousands of video game companies in the United States play important roles in the industry’s employment opportunities. In America, video game companies employ about 65,678 people. Video games in California generate enough jobs for 35,325 professionals. Considering that these professionals earn, on average, $97,000 per year, video game companies and the jobs that they create have become essential parts of local economies as well as the national and global economies.
Who Plays Today’s Video Games?
The types of video game players that help shape today’s market may surprise people who haven’t researched the topic. In 2017, the vast majority (72 percent) of video game players are 18 or older. Video games, in other words, are not exclusively meant for children. In fact, the average gamer is 35 years old.
Adult women also compose a significant portion (31 percent) of video game players, which makes them a larger group than male players under 18 (18 percent).
Why Do People Play Video Games?
People have a variety of reasons for playing video games. Surveys show that 53 percent of frequent players say that they play video games because the activity helps them connect with friends; 42 percent of frequent players say that video games give them opportunities to spend time with family members.
Who people play with adds support to these statements. Research shows that players devote 40 percent of their time to playing with friends, 21 percent to playing with family members, 17 percent to playing with parents and 15 percent to playing with spouses or partners.
These numbers suggest that video games create opportunities for socializing. Even people who are alone while they play games often connect with their friends and relatives online so they can share the experience.
What Types of Games Do People Want to Play?
Smartphones, tablets and other devices that can connect to the internet have radically altered the types of video games that people play. In fact, mobile gaming is one of the fastest-growing segments of the video game industry.
In 2015, mobile gaming accounted for 36 percent ($30.4 billion) of revenues around the world. The amount grew to 39 percent of the industry in 2016, when mobile gaming generated $36.9 billion. From 2015 to 2016, revenues from PC games fell by 1 percent. Revenues from console games also fell by 1 percent. These numbers make it obvious that mobile games are slowly taking over a larger share of the market. Analysts expect that mobile games will account for 46 percent of the video game industry in 2019 while the popularity of console games will fall to 26 percent and that of PC games will fall to 25 percent.
The video game industry will continue to evolve as companies develop new technologies and titles that keep players interested. Although it’s nearly impossible to predict specific numbers, the industry looks like it will keep growing for many years to come.