Video gaming market in the United States - Statistics & Facts
Video gaming has long become a mainstream entertainment option in the United States. The ever-increasing popularity of gaming across all age groups has been boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the billion-dollar video gaming market in the United States is bigger than ever. In 2021, the global video game market value was over 178 billion U.S. dollars. It is estimated that the North American gaming market will amount to 80.9 billion U.S. dollars annually in 2025, up from 56.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. Digital video game sales are the main driver of video game revenue in the United States, having long surpassed physical sales and this trend only accelerated due to the pandemic.
U.S. consumer spending on video games
Gaming industry revenue is cyclical and usually peaks during the holiday season at the end of the year. In September 2021, the total retail revenue of the video game industry in the United States amounted to 4.36 billion U.S. dollars, with games content being the strongest-performing segment. Total monthly consumer spending on video games peaked at 7.7 billion U.S. dollars in December 2020 and despite supply chain issues and limited availability of the current generation of gaming consoles, Christmas 2021 is projected to perform to a similar level.
Gaming publishers are also doing their best to grab a slice of the holiday and post-season spending – many annual releases of long-running franchises are scheduled between October and December (Activision’s Call of Duty, EA’s FIFA, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series to name a few), and other major game releases have also benefitted from hitting the market during this period. CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 and Capcom’s Monster Hunter World are two titles which were released during such favorable market conditions.
Gaming content (full game downloads / physical copies, DLC, and gaming subscriptions) generates the most revenue, but hardware sales are the strongest-growing segment of the video games market in the United States. In the third quarter of 2021, hardware sales grew 60 percent year-over-year. The average monthly video game expenditure per gamer in the United States was approximately 19.93 U.S. dollars, with online gaming services being the industry segment which underwent the most dramatic growth in annual consumer spending between 2019 and 2020.
Gaming hardware sales in the United States
In October 2021, the Nintendo Switch was by far the best-selling gaming console in the United States. The hybrid video game console was initially released in March 2017 and remained popular ever since. In November 2020, the most recent iterations of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming consoles were released – the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X and Series S. Currently, the PS5 is ahead of the Xbox X/S in terms of unit sales. The overall revenue of the video game console market in the United States amounted to approximately 7.8 billion U.S. dollars.
Gaming software sales in the United States
Blockbuster gaming franchises dominated U.S. video games sales in September 2021. Sports gaming titles Madden NFL 22, FIFA 22, and NBA 2K22 were the top-selling games in the United States, followed by JRPG Tales of Arise, and Diablo II: Resurrected, a remastered version of the 2000 hack-and-slash classic. In 2020, total U.S. consumer spending on video game content amounted to a record 49 billion U.S. dollars, a significant increase from the 38.8 billion U.S. dollars in the preceding year.
Digital content such as loot boxes and currency packs for online games are also making inroads on the market: users in North America are projected to spend more than 5.2 billion U.S. dollars per year on loot boxes in 2025, up from 3.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
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