US Video Game Industry Is Growing Rapidly

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Growth in the video game industry is growing at a scorching pace. For those who can remember the time before consoles, when gaming took place solely on PCs, it feels as though we are living in the golden age of video games. With revenue reaching $36 billion dollars in the US alone in 2017, this could indeed be true.

It is not a misprint. In 2017 the US alone had $36 billion in revenue. This is up 18 percent from 2016, while forecasters originally predicted a $23 billion mark which was blown out of the water.

“The spectacular growth of our industry in 2017 proves video game developers, artists, and storytellers are the brightest lights in the US economy, finding more ways to delight the world’s 2.6 billion gamers each year,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, which represents the US video game industry. “Congratulations to our industry’s brilliant creators on delivering another record year of remarkable entertainment that inspired the passion of gamers everywhere.”

This is a pretty impressive year for video games, and anyone doubting the future of videos games should have their minds put to ease with this data. The figures include hardware, peripherals, software, physical, and digital sales.

US Video Game Industry Is Growing Rapidly

(Graph from ESA)

The future for the video game industry is only going to trend upward. It is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors and provides more than 220,000 jobs.  ESA also provided an interactive map that shows the breakdowns of companies, college programs, and industry advocates by state. Click the image below for more.

US Video Game Industry Is Growing Rapidly

Revenue By Company

Some more interesting statistics provided by Statista show the revenue breakdown per company for 2017.

Nintendo also came out on top as the most recognizable brand at 65 percent.

Physical Purchases Trending Downward

Another interesting trend is the big push in the industry to move towards digital sales. There are those of us that can’t let go of the collector in us and may never move to digital purchases, but the physical purchases are trending downward. The physical sales reached its peak at 11.7 billion in 2008 and have trended downward ever since. This really lends us some perspective to drama back in 2013 when Microsoft announced (before the release of the Xbox One) that it would be digital only. Of course, this would later change as there was a major backlash from the community, but seeing the trends now you can see why the push was made by Microsoft to make the Xbox One digital only. Physical sales have dropped to a point lower than they were in 1999.

US Video Game Industry Is Growing Rapidly

Physical game sales are trending downwards with digital purchases on the rise.

Average Gamer Age

As many would guess, the age of gamers is still on the younger side with 29% of the population being 18 or under. However, there is still a large chunk of the community that is in the older population. A large group from 18-35 years old makes up 27 percent, and gamers aged 50+ make up 26 percent. That puts those who are 18+ at 72 percent of the gaming community.

US Video Game Industry Is Growing Rapidly

So, what is the takeaway from all this? If you are a gamer, involved in any way in the gaming community, or a developer then the future looks bright for you. The video game industry is continuing to grow and will only get larger. This is especially true as people my age bring their children up on video games. We are walking in a golden age of gaming.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Sound off in the comments below.


Co-founder of MHG, Podcast Host for Analog Assault Podcast and The Bendu Podcast

1 Comment

  1. Go Texas! Great state for video game industry.


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