Crunching the Numbers: Video Game Industry

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According industry studies conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), approximately 41% of Americans have purchased or are expected to purchase video games in 2008. Sixty-five percent of American households play computer or video games. The average gamer is 35 years old and 25% of gamers are 18 years old or younger. Forty percent of gamers are female and 60% are male.

The average player has been playing computer or video games for 13 years. For hardcore gamers, the average male has been playing games for approximately 15 years while the average female has been playing for 12 years. Fifty-nine percent of players play games with other gamers in person.

Thirty-eight percent of American households have a video game console. The genre with the greatest growth is family entertainment. These games accounted for 17% of all games sold in 2007. Only 15% of games sold in 2007 were rated M for Mature players. Eighty-five percent of game sold in 2007 were rated Teen or Below.

Fifty-six percent of online players are male and 44% are female. Twenty-two percent of hardcore gamers pay to play online games. This is an increase from 8% in 2004 to 19% by 2007.

Sixty-three percent of parents believe video and online games are a positive part of their children’s lives. Eighty-three percent of the time, children under 18 years old have received parents’ permission before playing a game. Eighty-eight percent parents report that they monitor the games their children play. Eighty percent of parents place time limits on their children’s video game playing and 72% place limits on their children’s internet usage.

Forty-seven percent of online games played most often are categorized as puzzle, board, or game show games. Sixteen percent are classified as action, sports, strategy, or role-playing games, and 11% are classified as Massively Multi-player Online (MMO) games.

These statistics are presented based on data provided by ESA survey conducted in 2007. For more information on the ESA please visit their website.

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