Updated · May 31, 2023
Updated · Mar 28, 2023
Hello, fellow gamers!
Are you ready to pick up your sword/rifle/blaster/candy and join me on an adventure?
The journey today will take us to the home of video games industry statistics.
Sounds intriguing, right?
Here is just a preview of what’s ahead:
Ready, set, GO!
Today we’ll find out more about this industry, thanks to some of the most fantastic video game statistics on the Web.
The gaming industry is the wealthiest of all entertainment industries.
It could also have a massive impact on our lives. If you’ve ever reloaded your weapon at 4 a.m. while rubbing your red eyes, hoping your enemy is out of bullets – you’ll know what I mean.
But before we touch upon this, we have some video games industry stats to show you just how BIG the industry is.
Let’s start by looking at some of the latest data.
The following stats about video games will give a clear indication of how fast the industry is growing in 2022, and what we’re to expect in the coming years.
(Source: Game Industry)
If you have ever experienced a virtual reality game before, then you would agree that the experience is comparable to none. Immersive gaming is 20x more enjoyable than traditional alternatives, and gamers love it. In 2020, 6.4 million VR headsets were sold. With so many people joining the VR world, it comes as no surprise that spending on content is increasing too.
(Source: Business Wire)
Since the first form of a video game was created in the '50s, the gaming industry has experienced several evolutions and steady growth. However, substantial development in the gaming industry only began in 1970 with the introduction of arcade games, and then PONG, down to console games such as Magnavox Odyssey and Space Invaders in the later years of the '70s.
Between 2017-2018, the gaming industry had a 13.3% CAGR to reach $137.9 billion. However, video games industry stats show that the industry hit the $152.1 billion mark in 2019, showing a CAGR of 9.6% from the previous year. Still, it's expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% in the following years.
In the past, gaming took just two forms, PC and console. “Snake” from Nokia in 1997 helped to kickstart the era of mobile games (although they were others before it). After that, the world moved on to WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) games. According to video games industry stats for 2022, mobile gaming has become the largest sector of the gaming industry, followed by console gaming and then PC gaming.
In 2014, there were just 1.82 billion video gamers, and by 2018, that number had risen to 2.2 billion.
Statistics rert the following demographics for video game players in the US:
However, Asia remains the region with the highest number of gamers, with over 1.5 billion people identifying as gamers in that region.
(Source: New Zoo)
Even though the market dipped slightly in 2020, it is expected to recover grow to almost $200 billion in 2023.
(Source: PC Gamer)
According to gaming statistics for 2021, Steam is the largest and most popular digital game distribution platform worldwide. The website offers single and multiplayer options in games, video streaming of online games, social networking options, and even the creation of own games through their workshop.
(Source: New Zoo)
In 2020, there were 2.6 million mobile gamers globally. One year later, the number almost hit 3 million! Especially with so many new games being released on mobile which is free to play, that number is expected to grow even further.
Before mobile took over the gaming industry, games could only be found on PC and console, both of which are still very much active. In this section, we will be looking at some of the most recent console gaming and PC gaming stats.
According to statistics about video games, five of the Sony's series of PlayStation gaming consoles rank among the top ten consoles with the highest sales in history. The PlayStation 2 alone has sold over 157 million units worldwide.
PC gaming market share statistics reveal that in 2019, its market share was at 24%, which amounted to $35.3 billion. In 2020, that value is set to rise to $36.9 billion, and is projected to reach $45.5 billion by 2021. This doesn't come as a surprise, considering the prices of hardware, keyboards, chairs, and other gaming accessories.
(Source: New Zoo)
In 2019, console gaming had a market share of 30% (45.3 billion), just behind mobile gaming. That value could rise to $57.9 billion in 2020, but it will only represent a 28% market share.
After hitting $21.6 and $21.1 billion in 2018 and 2019, respectively, the industry lost some value in 2020. This is mainly due to the rise in console games within the last two years, with PlayStation with Nintendo rolling out their newest versions soon. But 2021 seems to be a positive year for free-to-play games!
“Stay awhile and listen.” – Deckard Cain, Diablo II
First of all, China has approximately 600 million gamers. That’s nearly two times the entire population of the US. Obviously, China is the home to most of the players in the world. Surprisingly enough, only one Chinese gamer ranks amongst the top 10 paid pro gamers. His name is Li "iceice" Peng. The Dota 2 player ranks at #10 in the wealthiest gamers chart.
Although the prevailing opinion is that games are for younger people, numbers don’t lie. Around 11% of all gamers are actually over 50 years old. Only 30% are younger than 18 years.
And speaking of players who make a living out of video games:
N0tail (Johan Sundstein) is a Danish pro player who amassed the overwhelming amount of $7,184,163 in prize money. He plays one of the most popular computer games ever – Dota 2. So do the rest of the top 20 wealthiest gamers.
(Source: New Zoo)
In 2021, experts forecast that the global gaming market will generate $175.8 billion, which is -1.1% less than the year prior.
(Source: GDC, State of the Game industry)
26% prefer to sell their games to customers directly (via developers’ website for example). The publisher-owned storefronts like Battle.net, however, account for only 18% of sales.
By the way, if you didn’t know – out of every dollar you spend on Steam, 30 cents go to Valve’s vault. Yet, publishers who sell their games on Steam say that Valve’s storefront accounts for 75-100 percent of their sales revenue.
Do you want to know how many people play video games?
Imagine this – you see a room with three people in it. Regardless of their race, sex, nationality, and age, statistically, one of them is a gamer.
Gaming is HUUUUUGEEEE. And the video game industry revenue surpasses every other entertainment industry.
Most hardcore gamers who play PUBG mobile, Asphalt, NBA Live, or Clash of Clans probably raised an eyebrow at this stat.
Well, that’s what most people play.
If you don’t, I bet you know some people who match colorful candies (or something else) from time to time.
Mobile gaming stats show that 17% of mobile gamers play “matching puzzles”, followed by the so-called “brain puzzles” with 11%. Strategy games come third with 7%.
These stats are unbelievable. Did you even suspect some of those? Impressive as they are, who is the main factor behind these stats?
"No gods or kings. Only man." - Andrew Ryan, Bioshock
In this section, we’ll see what kind of people play games – young or old, male or female, and so on.
45% of US gamers are women. Almost perfect gender equality in the US. But some things never change. Males purchase more games than females – 61% vs 39%. Most women still prefer to spend their money elsewhere.
The video game statistics in the United States of America indicate something weirdly curious.
Gaming isn’t a prerogative for younger people. Players under 18 years of age account for less than a third of all gamers.
Americans spend an average of seven hours a week playing with others online and six more hours playing with others in person.
This stat also helps us figure out the gamer’s profile. How? You’ll see.
According to video games statistics, 55% of gamers say video games help them connect with their friends. Almost half say it helps their family spend more time together.
Remember back in the day, when you went out with friends and spent all night just filling their digital heads with bullets? Priceless.
Have you seen the movie Gamer? Or Ender’s Game?
VR is a whole new experience of gaming. There, your entire body is the game controller. Like Nintendo WII but way cooler. More than half of the active gamers at the age of 25-34 take advantage of the VR games on the market. That's mostly because VR headsets are now much cheaper than they used to be.
On the other hand, the technology isn’t that popular among gamers above 45 – only 2% of them play VR games.
"Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle!" - Toad, Super Mario Bros.
Were you surprised to find out that the gaming industry has the largest market size, outstripping cinema and music? Game development studios are well-aware of this fact.
Probably this is the reason why so many games suck big time.
Some of the big companies aim to “enforce” gender equality by hiring more women.
Blizzard increased the number of female interns by 166% in 2016.
EA, another giant in the gaming industry, is also proud of its ladies. 48% of participants in vital employee development programs are female.
"Nothing is more badass than treating a woman with respect!" - Mr. Torgue, Borderlands 2
Do you want to know the percentage of companies with only one employee?
15% of the companies have “2 to 5” employees.
These statistics about the video games industry portray a real-world David vs. Goliath. Turns out small companies can compete effectively with large enterprises.
Speaking of companies, we can’t ignore the financial aspect of the gaming industry.
"Steel wins battles. Gold wins wars." - Davion the Dragon Knight, DOTA 2
We already know that the global games market in 2018 was valued at $137.9 billion. Now we’ll break it down by segments.
In 2018 the average price was $8.29. Since then, the average price has gone down quite a bit! That’s definitely noteworthy, especially when taking into account the increased number of free-to-play games.
Cheap games are one of the biggest benefits of PC gaming. Even if you build a gaming PC for $500, you’re going to save a ton of money on games during their Sale events, not to mention the Steam service itself is free.
|Make sure to follow the Steam Sale Dates to snag up games at discounted prices.|
In 2020, 10.263 new games were released on Steam. That translates into just over 28 games per day! There are plenty of options when you use the service.
Can you believe how much money this industry makes? All this revenue comes from just streaming the most popular games.
(Source: Venture Beat)
The total free-to-play game market in 2018 was worth $87.7 billion. That’s impressive if you consider there’s the word “free” in it. Asia’s gamers were responsible for 62% of this enormous amount. The main game to blame is Fortnite, which drastically increased the free-to-play console games with its 458% growth year-on-year.
(Source: Venture Beat)
And the winner is (drumroll) – Fortnite by Epic Games!
The Battle Royale PvP mode of Fortnite is the undisputed champion for 2018. The second-place award goes to Dungeon Fighter Online - the Nexon RPG has earned $1.5 billion.
#3 is League of Legends by Riot Games with $1.5 billion as well.
Say goodbye to loot boxes.
Only 9% of the respondents of this survey said their next project would include paid-item crates.
Paid in-game items will be available in 24% of the upcoming games. The same number applies to paid updates/DLCs.
You’ll be able to purchase in-game currency in 22% of the upcoming free-to-play games.
The PC gaming market is expected to see a big dip in 2021. The total value sat at $6.7 billion in 2020, but experts think it will fall to $5.1 billion this year.
Pretty big number in absolute terms but not really impressive when you consider the industry as a whole. The indie game market share was only 0.72% in 2018.
Still, every once in a while a diamond appears out of the dirt.
Ever heard of Minecraft?
It got sold to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014 and is now available on a wide variety of devices.
Speaking of devices, here are some numbers on gaming machines.
The Nintendo Switch took the world by storm in 2017, and the company has released some fantastic games for it. The best-selling game for the console as of March 2021 is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with 35.39 million copies sold. Animal Crossing New Horizons places second, with 32.63 million sold copies.
Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world. Even though it only came out in 2017 and is free to play, its userbase has been growing rapidly over the years. In November 2018, there were 120 registered players. Less than two years later, that number has almost tripled!
Although mobile is taking more and more shares of the gaming market, the game development studios are still focusing most of their efforts on PC games.
(Source: Newzoo, Newzoo)
Mobile games (gaming smartphones and tablets) make 46% of the global market. For the first time in the history of gaming, mobile games were responsible for more than half the worldwide revenue. The smartphone games’ growth was 11.4% YoY and the industry value was $54.7 billion in 2019.
How do other devices fare?
According to market statistics, the percentage points of pc gamers vs console ones were 24% and 25% respectively in 2018.
Out of the 24% playing on their PC, 3% played browser games.
Although the PC games segment is the smallest, still:
Almost two-thirds of interviewees were in the process of creating a PC game.
Almost 38% worked on a mobile game for smartphones and tablets.
31% of all studios were developing a game for Playstation 4/Pro, while 28% were working on an Xbox game.
Raising levels and raising hell are the two favorite activities of the average PC gamer, according to the video games statistics.
The top paid gamers prove it – the wealthiest play Dota 2, followed by the CS:GO pro gamers.
Let’s look at the numbers – 13% play role-playing games and roughly the same number of people enjoy shooters.
Puzzle games come third with 11%.
Almost half of all developers are currently working on virtual or augmented reality games.
HTC Vive is the most popular device with 33% of developers working on a game, optimized for HTC’s headset. Oculus Rift comes second with 30%, followed by Sony’s PlayStation VR with 13%.
Researchers found something even more intriguing – 34% of developers believe AR will be the dominant technology in five years.
Only 19% consider VR as the future of immersive reality.
"Nothing is true, everything is permitted." - Ezio Auditore, Assassin’s Creed 2
In our study on smartphone adoption rates, we already mentioned the enormous market share of Android devices.
It comes as no surprise that more than half (53%) of developers are working on a game for Android.
The same metric for iOS games is at 50%.
39% of the respondents didn’t work on a mobile game at all.
These are some fantastic stats!
“It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum... and I'm all outta gum.” - Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem 3D
Did you know that:
When the koopas (the turtles) in Super Mario occupied the mushroom kingdom, they turned its people into blocks. Feel sorry for all those destroyed blocks? I know I did.
(Source: Useless Gaming)
In the final battle of Diablo I, the boss says something incomprehensible while walking in. If you play his words backward, you will get: “Eat your vegetables and brush after every meal.”
Good guy Diablo.
(Source: Did You Know Gaming)
In 1994 two important things happened:
Kurt Cobain killed himself with a shotgun...
...and Doom 2 was released.
Doom 2 features a map called “Nirvana”. It has a shotgun near its entry point.
The next part is truly crazy, though.
Deus EX was released 19 years ago – in 2000. There are sections of the game where New York is visible. Interestingly enough, the WTC twin towers weren’t there.
There is a simple explanation for this fact, but still, conspiracy theorists may see it differently here.
The twin towers don’t exist in the game because of memory limitations. The developers explained in-game why the towers were missing.
Care to guess how they justified removing the towers?
Yeah… early in the game's storyline, a terrorist attack occurred.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon’s release date was in 2001. In the game, the US sends special forces to aid Georgia’s troops as they fight against South Ossetian rebels and the Russian army.
Seven years after the game’s release – in 2008, Russia sent troops to protect South Ossetia from the Georgian army.
A five-day-long conflict began and ended with Russian regulars near Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
EA games simulations often come close to the correct result, but the one from 2015 just took it too far.
Madden NFL 15 predicted that the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. The end result of the simulated match was 28 – 24.
Guess how the real match ended?
Super Bowl XLIX – New England Patriots: 28; Seattle Seahawks: 24.
EA's game even correctly predicted how the Patriots will go on to score their last touchdown.
Wish I had a time machine and a few hundred bucks to spare.
"Finish him!" - Mortal Kombat announcer, Mortal Kombat
Okay, guys, it’s time to wrap it up.
The video game industry’s revenue is higher than any other in the entertainment sector. Therefore it’s safe to say games rule the entertainment business.
Alright, now that we looked at these stunning statistics about the video game industry, we can conclude that video games have helped shape our society, for better or for worse. Everyone either plays or knows somebody who is a gamer.
See you soon, fellow gamers. My trigger finger feels itchy. I’m off to spray some bullets.
I’m leaving you with these last-minute game quotes to make your day:
"Drinking alone's as bad as sh*tting in company." - Zoltan Chivay (The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings)
"Never pet a burning dog." - Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness
“Waka waka waka waka waka waka waka” - Pacman
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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