Video game spending trends in US: ESA report

Around 61 percent of Americans aged 5-90 engage in video gaming, equating to approximately 190.6 million people playing games for at least one hour each week, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said in its “Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry” report for 2024.
Free Fire online gameThe average gamer is 36 years old, and the typical adult player has been gaming for 17 years, highlighting that video gaming is a lasting source of entertainment rather than a fleeting trend. Positive perceptions of video games persist among both players and non-players, with widespread recognition of their mental and social benefits.

The gender distribution among gamers is nearly equal, with 53 percent identifying as male, 46 percent as female, and approximately 1 percent identifying as non-binary or preferring not to say.

Among adult gamers, 75 percent are White, 19 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Black, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3 percent Native American.

A significant majority of adults (79 percent) believe video games bring joy, with 77 percent citing mental stimulation and 76 percent stress relief as benefits.

Older generations, particularly Boomers and the Silent Generation, are the most likely to see video games as mentally stimulating (92 percent) compared to Gen Z (84 percent).

Primary motivators for adult gamers include relaxation (68 percent) and fun (67 percent).

Nearly three-quarters of adults agree video games improve cognitive skills (73 percent) and provide accessible experiences for players with different abilities (74 percent).

Skills like problem-solving (73 percent), teamwork (64 percent), adaptability (59 percent), conflict resolution (47 percent), and communication (51 percent) are attributed to gaming.

Generation Alpha (ages 5-10) has the highest weekly gaming rate at 79 percent, compared to 56 percent of adults.

Popular genres for Gen Alpha include arcade (64 percent), action (60 percent), and puzzle (56 percent).

Consoles (58 percent) and PCs (54 percent) are the preferred platforms for Gen Alpha and Gen Z gamers.

72 percent of parents play video games, and 83 percent of these parents game with their children, emphasizing quality family time and shared enjoyment.

55 percent of gamers play with others weekly, fostering connections and friendships.

Many adults acknowledge that video games introduce them to new friends (73 percent) and help build lasting memories (53 percent), with 39 percent meeting a significant other through gaming.

The average age of gamers has increased from 29 in 2004 to 36 today.

Mobile gaming has surged from 33 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2024.

Online gaming has seen dramatic growth from 18 percent in 1999 to nearly 90 percent today.

The percentage of gamers aged 50+ has tripled from 9 percent in 1999 to 29 percent.

Consumer spending in the video game industry has reached $57.2 billion in 2023 from $56.6 billion in 2022, with significant increases in digital download spending.

Video game content spending was $48 billion compared to $47.5 billion, driven by a 13 percent increase in digital download spending across console platforms and an 11 percent increase in digital premium download segments on PC, Cloud and non-console VR platforms. Hardware sales remained steady at $6.6 billion, and accessory sales were $2.6 billion compared to $2.5 billion.

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