Video Game Industry - Statistics & Facts

Video Game Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about the Video Game Industry

A video game is an electronic game that can be played on a computing device, such as a personal computer, gaming console or mobile phone. Depending on the platform, video games can be subcategorized into computer games and console games. In recent years however, the emergence of social networks, smartphones and tablets introduced new categories such as mobile and social games. Video games have come a long way since the first games emerged in the 1970s. Today’s video games offer photorealistic graphics and simulate reality to a degree which is astonishing in many cases.

Video games are a billion-dollar business and have been for many years. In 2011, video and computer game spending in the United States amounted to 16.6 billion U.S. dollars. Newzoo, a market research firm specializing in video games, estimates that 145 million Americans played some sort of video game in 2011, more importantly 63 million Americans were actually willing to spend money on video games. Moreover, as the first generation of gamers is growing up, video games can no longer be considered child’s play: In 2012, 37 percent of American video game players were older than 36 years of age and only 32 percent were younger than 18. Kids and teenagers are among the heaviest users of video games though: according to the results of a 2009 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, on a typical day, American 8- to 18-year olds spent 73 minutes playing video games.

There are three major players in the market for video game consoles: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Nintendo’s Wii is the best seller among current generation consoles. By the end of 2012, Nintendo had sold 99.4 million units of the family friendly console. The Wii was the first console to feature motion-controlled games and became an instant hit, especially among casual gamers. In 2011 however, both Sony and Microsoft released motion-based controllers for their consoles and the technically inferior Wii has since lost its competitive edge. The most popular video game genres in the United States are action, sports and shooter games.

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