Gaming Trends: Video Game Industry Growth Statistics

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It’s been more than six decades since computer scientists began to develop simple games and simulations on mainframe computers. Here’s a look at the current stats and trends within the modern video gaming world.

Gaming Statistics

Now, with VR gaming tech, players can virtually lose themselves in alternate realities. In what could be the most significant era in human history, with technology evolving at lightning speed, inquiring minds want to know where gaming will go from here.

One of the most accurate ways to predict what will happen is to look at the facts. Here are some of the most notable trends and projections we’re seeing in the world of gaming.

Editor’s Choice: Most Surprising Gaming Stats

  1. As of 2021, there are an estimated 3 billion gamers in the world, up 5.3% YoY (Newzoo).
  2. Gaming spend in southeast Asia is expected to increase by 90% by 2023 (Sensor Tower).
  3. Consumer spending on mobile games is projected to reach $117 billion by 2023 (Sensor Tower).
  4. The top game genre in 2020 was RPG, which grew by $3.6 billion YoY (Sensor Tower).
  5. 5% of lootbox purchasers account for about ½ of gaming lootbox revenue (GambleAware).
  6. On average each week, gamers spend 16 hours playing video games, 8 hours watching gaming streams, and 6 hours participating in gaming chat streams (Accenture).
  7. Up to 78% of internet users identify as gamers (GWI).
  1. As of 2020, the most popular mobile gaming genres are RPG, strategy, and puzzle, in that order (Sensor Tower).
  2. Mobile trategy games experienced $3.4 billion YoY growth in 2020 (Sensor Tower).
  3. In 2020, mobile simulation games experienced 53% YoY growth, followed by mobile shooter games (50%) and mobile casino games (46%) (Sensor Tower).
  4. The top five grossing mobile games worldwide in 2020 were Monster Strike (RPG), Honor of Kings (strategy), Candy Crush Saga (puzzle), Coin Master (casino), and PUBG Mobile (shooter) (Sensor Tower).

Online Gaming aka “Social Gaming”

  1. 84% of gamers report that video games help them connect with other people with shared interests (Accenture).
  2. 74% of gamers say that more of thier social interactions take place on a gaming platform since the start of COVID-19 (Accenture).
  3. 64% of gamers say that its easy to find the right community within the world of online gaming (Accenture).
  4. 73% of gamers expect video games to become a more prominent part of their life in the future (Accenture).
  5. Multiplayer mobile games like Roblox and Among Us had a breakthrough in 2020, indicating the need for mobile games to include a social component (Sensor Tower).

Demographics in Gaming (Race, Gender, & More)

  1. Video Games are most popular among the 18 to 24 age group (Earnest).
  2. While there seems to be a spike in video game interest within the 41+ age group, this could be in part because this demographic is likely to purchase games for children and loved ones (Earnest).
  3. The production of female characters in video games almost doubled from 13% to 22% between 2005 and 2017, though a majority of these characters are secondary, non-playable characters (AoIR).
  4. Between 2005 and 2017, the production of PoC characters in video games increased from 17% to 20% (AoIR).
  5. Worldwide, there are almost as many female gamers (46%) as there are male gamers (52%), and 60% of new gamers are female (Accenture).
  6. Those with a higher education are less likely to play video games than those with a high school diploma or equivalent (Earnest).
  7. People who fall into the $67K to $76K annual income bracket are most likely to play video games, followed closely behind those who make less than $42K annually (Earnest).
  8. 39% of gamers are more likely to play a game if it is socially responsible (Accenture).
  9. 21% of gamers have been playing video games for four years or less (Accenture).
  10. 30% of new gamers -- those who have been playing video games for four years or less -- are under the age of 25 (Accenture).
PC vs. Console vs. Mobile Chart
  1. 86% of internet users play games on any device (GWI).
  2. More than 50% of gamers have played cross-platform games (Accenture).
  3. Mobile gaming accounts for 52% of gaming while console and PC gaming account for 28% and 20% respectively (Newzoo).
  4. In only 9 years, from 2009 to 2018, the percentage of mobile gamers increased from 44% to 57% (Research Gate).
  5. Mobile gaming spend saw its largest YoY spike in Q2 2020 (at the onset of COVID-19) at 33% (Sensor Tower).
  6. In Q1 2021, mobile gaming saw a 25% spike in YoY growth (Sensor Tower).
  7. Mobile gaming spend in the US increased by $1.5 billion YoY in Q1 2021 (Sensor Tower).
  8. European mobile gaming revenue saw a 27% You spike in Q1 2021 (Sensor Tower).
  9. Gamers with children in the home are 24% more likely to own more than one gaming console (GWI).
  10. The most popular laptop brand for PC gamers is HP, used by 28%, followed by Dell (24%) and Lenovo (21%) (GWI).

Worldwide Gaming Spend & Market Size

Gaming Revenue Graph
  1. Global gaming spend in 2021 is up 1.4% YoY to $180.3 billion (Newzoo).
  2. By 2024, the total gaming market is expected to reach $218.8 billion with a CAGR of +8.7% (Newzoo).
  3. The top three countries for gaming spend are China, the US, and Japan, in that order (Accenture).
  4. The US, Japan, and China, respectively, are the largest markets in mobile gaming spend (Sensor Tower).
  5. 55% of the world’s gamers are in Asia-Pacific (Newzoo).
  6. China makes up 35 % of the world’s gamers, followed by the US (8%) and Japan (3%) (Accenture). However, another source estimates that North America accounts for only 7% of gamers (Newzoo).
  7. Chinese consumers account for $51 billion of worldwide gaming revenue, followed by the US ($48 billion) and Japan ($24 billion) (Accenture).
  8. China, the US, Japan, and the UK combined make up 47% of “gamers,” which is defined by people who play video games for an average of four hours or more per week (Accenture).
  9. The fastest growing market for gaming is the Middle East and Africa with +10.1% YoY growth, followed by Latin America with +6.2% YoY growth (Newzoo).
  10. Up to 78% of gamers (many of which are children) have purchased lootboxes (GambleAware).
  11. Around ⅓ of lootbox revenue in gaming comes from the top 2% of purchasers (GambleAware).

Final Thoughts

Gaming experienced a huge spike during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, while the YoY growth wasn’t sustainable, gaming continues trending upward at a rate that is higher than before the pandemic. As we move into the future, gaming is expected to become even more popular.

Companies that invest in gaming are likely to see lasting success. And, if you’re one of them, it’s crucial to note the growth of social interactions in the gaming universe and to implement communication features, like in-game chat, into your development process early on.