ESA Annual Report says 74% of game & content purchases are digital, & profiles ‘The Average Gamer’

ESA Annual Report

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has released their annual report in which many very interesting statistics have been revealed. Titled “Essential Facts About The Computer And Video Game Industry”, this report looks into a variety of different factors in the industry including:

  • The Gamer Household
  • The Average Gamer
  • At Play
  • Virtual Reality
  • Parents and Video Games
  • Genres and Titles
  • Purchasing
  • Economic Impact
Some of the standout statistics highlighted in the ESA report are:
  • The number of digital sales in 2016 has risen to 74% which is up 5% from 2015, and a 43% increase since 2010 (statistics are from the NPD Group)
  • 67% of US households own a device that is used to play video games
  • 65% of US households are home to at least one person who plays 3 or more hours of video games per week
  • The average gamer is 35 years old
  • Woman aged 18 and older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population than boys under age 18
  • The total consumer spend on the video game industry was $30.4 billion in 2016
  • 1 in 3 of the most frequent gamers said they were “likely to buy virtual reality in the next year”
  • 53% of the most frequent gamers play multiplayer games at least once a week
  • 90% of parents are present when their child acquires a video game
  • Of the 1,491 ratings assigned by ESRB in 2016, 67% were E or E 10+

ESA owns and operates E3 and represents the video games industry on both state and federal levels, providing analysis and advocacy on many areas. Whilst this report is a look at the gamers who make up these statistics across America only, this does certainly give a very interesting perspective on the current state of the industry.ESA Annual Report

“The video game industry excels because it anticipates demand – giving people what they want before they realize that they want it – and drives trends in entertainment and across countless other sectors.”

Michael D. Gallagher, President and CEO – Entertainment Software Association

As a gamer who is actively embracing the move towards more accessible Virtual Reality (VR) technology for all platforms, I was particularly interested to read that only 15% of gamers have used VR within the past 12 months however, 1 in 3 “frequent gamers” have plans to buy a VR device over the coming year. Hopefully this will make online multiplayer lobbies a tad more active than they currently are.

As for units sold, the top 20 bestselling video games of 2016 have also been listed, with a few surprises present:
  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Madden
  5. NFL 2K 17
  6. Tom Clancy’s The Division
  7. Overwatch
  8. Minecraft
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  10. FIFA 17
  11. Pokemon: Sun
  12. Pokemon: Moon
  13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  14. Star Wars Battlefront
  15. Final Fantasy XV
  16. Titanfall 2
  17. NBA 2K 16
  18. Ton Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  19. Far Cry Primal
  20. Dark Souls III

The video games industry is responsible for an $11.7 billion injection into the US GDP in 2016, providing more than 65,000 jobs across America with over 2,322 developer locations spread across 50 different states and 526 publishers across 44 states. That’s a lot of studios, a lot of publishers, and a heck of a lot of games being developed.

On that note, I will leave you with this pearl of wisdom from Jane McGonigal:

“A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite to depression.”

(Reality is Broken: Why games Make Us Better and How They can Change the World)

If you would like to check out more of the interesting statistics listed in the annual report please visit this link.