The U.S. computer and video game industry generated $23.5 billion in revenue in 2015, according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the NPD Group. This is an increase in total consumer spend from reported 2014 sales, which were at $22.4 billion. Sales of software content alone, which include physical packaged goods, mobile games, downloadable content, subscriptions, and other revenue streams, exceeded $16.5 billion—a seven percent increase from 2014, which saw software sales at $15.4 billion.
“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. Our products are revolutionizing how we consume and interact with media,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “We know that hardware and software innovations have established this industry as a leader in high-tech development.”
“The ubiquitous nature of playing and purchasing video games makes it more important than ever to track these activities accurately,” said Joanne Hageman, president at the NPD Group. “The industry’s sales performance helped to make 2015 a banner year for video games; and we anticipate continued growth in multiple industry sectors for 2016.”
The U.S. video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors, providing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to Americans and generating millions of dollars in revenue for communities across the nation.
According to ESA, which provided the most recent data available on the industry’s economic impact, the video game industry added over $6.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012. In addition, as other industries contracted, game developers and publishers expanded. Employment in video games grew at an annual rate of 9 percent from 2009 to 2012 – more than 13 times the growth of the U.S. labor market.
Employees in the entertainment software industry earned an average compensation of nearly $95,000 in 2012, up from $90,000 in 2010. In fact, the average employee in the video game industry earned nearly double the average U.S. household income.