Video Games by the Numbers

By Amber Muenzenburger

 

Video game usage is increasing dramatically–for play, for learning and for competition. If you are one of the 64 percent of American households that has at least one person who plays video games regularly (minimum three hours per week), then you can attest to the impact of video games.

Realistic graphics and irresistible story lines found in today’s most popular video games draw players in and engage them in ways other mediums simply can’t match. It’s a growing industry from academia to business.  

The ESA’s 2018 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report is chock full of interesting data covering everything from market demographics to the size and scope of the industry.

  • More than 150 million Americans play video games and 60 percent of Americans play video games daily.
  • There are an average of 2 gamers in each game-playing U.S. household and 64 percent of U.S. households own a device that they use to play video games.
  • Most parents (70 percent) say video games are a positive part of their child’s life.
  • The total consumer spend on the video game industry was $36 billion in 2017.
  • The top three factors that influence video game purchases are 1) quality of the graphics, 2) price and 3) an interesting story line or premise.

Not only are video games being used as teaching and learning tools on college campuses, the study of video game production is gaining traction too. Thanks to a growing number of video game degree programs, students are turning their passions for gaming into lucrative and meaningful careers. Game-based programs in higher education account for a total of 7,675 undergraduate students in the U.S. and abroad.

Video games are driving the collegiate eSports phenomenon too, giving students the opportunity to replicate schools’ competitive sports teams set in a digital gaming world. Eighty-one colleges currently participate in the National Association of Collegiate eSports, and all but two offer scholarships to eSport athletes.

These numbers paint an impressive growth trajectory that shows no immediate signs of slowing.  As the video game market continues to advance, just how high might these numbers climb?