US video games sales hit a record-breaking $43.4 billion in 2018, with consumer spending up 18 per cent on 2017.
According to new data from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and The NPD Group, hardware revenue - which includes peripherals - and software revenue - which includes all console, PC, and mobile games - have reported record growth in 2018. The increase is seen across both physical and digital sales, including in-game purchases and subscriptions.
The research reports that the game industry is one of the fastest growing in America, with 150 million confirmed players and providing 220,000 jobs across all 50 states; and of those 50 states, 46 now offer degrees or programs related to video games.
"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. "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 per cent 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," added Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst, 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."
The stats are borne out by Green Man Gaming, which recently published its own statistics that revealed the total play-time on Steam in 2018 was up 88 per cent, with Valve's own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive taking the top spot with 193 million in-game hours. Valve made Counter-Strike: Global Offensive free-to-play in December, as well as adding an all-new Battle Royale mode.