214m gamers in the US alone – ESA releases 2020 Essential Facts

The US trade body the ESA has released a bevy of stats to show the breadth of the games industry in 2020. With the standout number being that 214m of the 328m population play games. A figure that equates to at least one gamer in three-quarters of all households.

And we can expect further growth in years to come from the latest generation, with 70 per cent of kids playing games, as opposed to 64 per cent of adults. The data shows there’s still a significant male bias, with 59 per cent of gamers being men.

As part of the report, the ESA asked a number of questions specifically aimed at families, highly relevant given the ever-running debate of the impact of games on young people. Looking at parents whose children play games regularly, 92 per cent saud they pay attention to what they play, and 87 found parental controls useful.

Parents surveyed said that playing games was the number one thing that they limited time on, with 48 per cent doing so, compared to 45 per cent for general mobile device screen time and 39 per cent for watching on-demand TV.

Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO of the ESA stated:

“The release of the 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry comes amid a global pandemic that has required each of us to change how we interact with one another. Everyday greetings have given way to ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay-at-home’ orders. Yet, through it all, video games have become an important touchstone for keeping audiences around the world connected while staying at home. Now more than ever, it has become clear that video games impact people’s lives in meaningful ways beyond the intrinsic joy of playing.”


About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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