33 out of This World Video Games Industry Statistics in 2019

by Deyan G.

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:

  • There are 2.3 billion gamers in the world.
  • 48% of gaming studios work on VR/AR games.
  • Every day 25 new games are released on Steam.
  • The gaming video content market was $5.2 billion in 2018.
  • Dota 2 players received over $177 million in tournament prizes.
  • 45% of US gamers are women.
  • League of Legends is the most popular game.

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 statistics to show you just how BIG the industry is.

Let’s start by looking at some:

Incredible Gaming Industry Stats

Stay awhile and listen.” – Deckard Cain, Diablo II

1. The Chinese games market is set to reach $35 billion in 2021.

(Source: Niko)

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.

2. The average gamer is 34 years old.

(Source: ESA)

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:

3. The wealthiest pro gamer in the world has earned over $4 million.

(Source: eSportsEarnings)

KuroKy (Kuro Takhasomi) is a German (yup, German) pro player who amassed the overwhelming amount of $4,165,926 in prize money. He plays one of the most popular computer games ever – Dota 2. So do the rest of the top 5 wealthiest gamers.

4. The global games market in 2018 was $137.9 billion.

(Source: NewZoo)

The video game industry shows an impressive growth of 13.3% YoY. The Asia-Pacific region had the most remarkable growth in 2018 – 16.8% YoY with $71.4 billion in revenue.

Just for comparison, the global movie production and distribution industry reached revenue of $136 billion in 2018.

5. 47% of game developers sell their games on Steam.

(Source: GDC, State of the Game industry 2019)

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?

6. There are more than 2.3 billion gamers in the world.

(Source: NewZoo)

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. Like, for real. And the video game industry revenue surpasses every other entertainment industry.

7. Matching puzzle games are the most played games on mobile.

(Source: EEDAR)

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

Video Games Demographics – a.k.a. the Gamers’ Profile

In this section, we’ll see what kind of people play games – young or old, male or female, and so on.

Curious?

Let’s go!

8. The average female video game player is 36. Average male – 32.

(Source: ESA)

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.

9. 23% of video players in the US are over 50 years old.

(Source: Statista)

Gaming isn’t a prerogative for younger people. Players under 18 years of age account for less than a third of all gamers.

10. 60% of Americans play video games daily.

(Source: ESA)

Americans spend an average of seven hours a week playing with others online and six more hours playing with others in person.

11. 56% of gamers play multiplayer games at least once a week.

(Source: ESA)

This stat also helps us figure out the gamer’s profile. How? You’ll see.

According to the video games statistics for 2018-2019, 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.

12. 63% of players aged 25-34 play VR games.

(Source: EEDAR)

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.

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.

Game Studios Statistics

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.

13. Females represent only 19% of the workforce in the gaming industry.

(Source: GDC)

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.

Well done!

Nothing is more badass than treating a woman with respect!” – Mr. Torgue, Borderlands 2

14. Companies with over 500 employees represent 19% of the industry.

(Source: GDC)

Do you want to know the percentage of companies with only one employee?

Also 19%.

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.

How Much Money Does the Gaming Industry Make?

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.

15. The average price of a game on Steam is $8.86 in 2019.

(Source: Steamspy)

In 2018 the average price used to be $8.29. A small increase, though definitely noteworthy, especially when taking into account the increased number of free-to-play games. Cheap games is one of the biggest benefits of PC gaming. Even if you build a gaming PC for 600 dollars, you’re going to save a ton of money on games, not to mention the Steam service itself is free.

16. 25 new games were released every day on Steam in 2018.

(Source: Statista)

Last year (2018) 9050 new games were released on Steam alone. With Steam’s database now featuring as many as 28,977 games, gamers have plenty of options.

17. The gaming video content market was $5.2 billion in 2018.

(Source: Superdata)

Can you believe how much money this industry makes? All this revenue comes from just streaming the most popular games.

Mind-blowing!

Twitch stats reveal revenue was at $1.6 billion, leaving YouTube second with $1.2 billion, despite the latter’s enormous audience.

18. Free-to-play games earned 80% of the total digital games revenue in 2018.

(Source: Superdata)

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.

19. The top earner in the free-to-play market made its creators $2.4 billion.

(Source: Superdata)

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.

20. Paid in-game items and DLCs account for 48% of the revenue from free-to-play games.

(Source: GDC)

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 for paid updates/DLCs.

You’ll be able to purchase in-game currency in 22% of the upcoming free-to-play games.

21. Revenue from premium games was $17.8 billion in 2018.

(Source: Superdata)

This may come as a surprise, considering the explosive growth of free-to-play games. Superdata’s research indicates a 10% rise in revenue in 2018. Care to find out which are the top earning games?

Here they are:

  • Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds – $1.02 billion
  • FIFA 18 – $790 million
  • Grand Theft Auto V – $628 million

Activision Blizzard’s shooters also performed great last year. The company has three games in the top ten best-selling PC and console games:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – $612 million
  • Call of Duty: WWII – $506 million
  • Overwatch – $429 million

Safe to say, gamers love to shoot stuff.

Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, I hurt people.”The Scout, Team Fortress 2

Of course, big studios aren’t the only ones that create games.

22. The indie game market is estimated to be around $1 billion on Steam alone.

(Source: Hackernoon)

Pretty big number in absolute terms but not really impressive when you consider the industry as a whole. The indie game market share was at 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.

Video Games Industry Statistics for Different Devices

Video Games Industry Statistics for Different Devices

23. Smartphone is the gaming device of choice for 41% of gamers.

(Source: NewZoo)

Mobile games (smartphones and tablets) make 51% 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 29% YoY and the industry value was $56.4 billion in 2018.

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:

24. 66% of game studios are currently making games for PC.

(Source: GDC)

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.

25. RPGs and shooters are the most played genres for PC.

(Source: EEDAR)

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%.  

26. 48% of game studios work on VR/AR games.

(Source: GDC)

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

27. Android is the preferred OS for mobile games.

(Source: GDC)

In our study on smartphone adoption rates, we already mentioned the enormous market share of Android devices.

It comes to 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!

Now…

It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum… and I’m all outta gum.” – Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem 3D

Entertaining Gaming Facts

Did you know that:

28. The blocks in Super Mario used to be people.

(Source: Didyouknowgaming)

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.

video game statistics - fun facts

29. Diablo cares for your health.

(Source: Useless Gaming)

In the final battle of Diablo I, the boss says something incomprehensible while walking in. If you play his words backwards, you will get: “Eat your vegetables and brush after every meal.”

Good guy Diablo.

30. Doom 2 pays tribute to Kurt Cobain.

(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.

Games Can Predict the Future

Wait, what?

31. Deus EX predicted the 9/11 attacks.

(Source: GotGame)

Deus EX was released 19 years ago – in 2000. There are sections of the game where New York is visible. Interesting 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.

32. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon foresaw the war in Georgia.

(Source: Gamespot)

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.

33. EA’s simulation predicted the outcome of the Super Bowl in 2015.

(Source: Cnet)

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 2824.

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.

Conclusion

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 shitting 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

video game statistics - game over

Sources:

  1. Niko
  2. ESA
  3. eSportsEarnings
  4. NewZoo
  5. GDC
  6. NewZoo
  7. EEDAR
  8. ESA
  9. Statista
  10. ESA
  11. ESA
  12. EEDAR
  13. GDC
  14. GDC
  15. Steamspy
  16. Statista
  17. Superdata
  18. Superdata
  19. Superdata
  20. GDC
  21. Superdata
  22. Hackernoon
  23. Newzoo
  24. GDC
  25. EEDAR
  26. GDC
  27. GDC
  28. Didyouknowgaming
  29. Useless gaming
  30. Didyouknowgaming
  31. GotGame
  32. Gamespot
  33. Cnet

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