American gamers helped fuel a record-breaking $43.4 billion in revenue for the U.S. video game industry in 2018, the Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group said Wednesday.
This marks a total 18 percent growth in revenue compared to the $36.9 billion in total revenue generated in 2017, according to data provided from market intelligent company Sensor Tower.
Hardware revenue, which includes peripherals and software revenue for all platforms, saw a 15% growth in 2018 from the year prior – a spike from $6.5 billion in 2017 to $7.5 billion. Software sales revenue, which includes physical and digital sales, in-game purchases, and subscriptions, all saw record growth of 18% from $30.4 billion in 2017 to $35.8 billion the following year.
“The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture,” said acting ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis in a prepared statement. “Across the nation, we count people of all backgrounds and stages of life among our most passionate video game players and fans. Interactive entertainment stands today as the most influential form of entertainment in America.”
“2018 was another record setting year for the U.S. video game industry as consumer spending jumped 18 percent to over $43 billion. Whether it was playing on the go on a mobile device or at home on a PC or console, consumers of all ages and interests found compelling content that delighted in 2018,” said Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Console, PC, and mobile platforms all saw significant growth, while developing portions of the market like subscription and streaming services gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers.”
Earlier this month The NPD Group reported the number of mobile game players in North America had seen an increase of 5% in 2018 compared to the previous year. Of the 283.1 million mobile users in the U.S. and Canada, 210.9 million are gamers, according to the report.
“Mobile gaming revenues have continued to grow in the U.S. and Canada, and it now represents the largest segment within the gaming marketplace,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Sixty percent of Americans and Canadians play mobile games because of the rich library of content available. Mobile games such as ‘Candy Crush Saga,’ ‘Clash of Clans,’ ‘Pokémon Go,’ ‘Roblox,’ ‘Fortnite,’ and ‘Slotomania,’ among many others, are examples of the breadth and depth of engaging experiences available on mobile platforms.”
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