Industry image improves as gaming becomes more prevalent

ESA: Nearly half of US households own console

Fourty nine percent of U.S. households own a gaming console, the Entertainment Software Association announced today.

In its annual factsheet "Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry", the ESA highlighted the growth of the industry into the mainstream of American culture.

"Games have evolved from a thing you buy to an experience enjoyed by a wide and diverse population everywhere, anytime, on any screen," said ESA president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher.

"The creativity of our developers and publishers produces an ever-expanding variety of games in different formats and across all platforms. Their innovations drive consumer demand for our products, solidifying our industry’s position as one of the strongest and most cutting-edge sectors in the American economy."

Mobile gaming has doubled its exposure in the past year, growing from twenty to forty percent, and gaming on wireless devices also doubled, climbing from thirteen to 26 percent of the population.

As gaming gets a wider audience, attitudes toward gaming continue to improve, and games are being increasingly viewed as an art form.

"What we’re seeing in games is art at a world-class stage design that is almost unmatched anywhere else," said former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

"It has been very exciting to me to see so many ideas that integrate social good and efforts to make the world a better place into games."

Of homes that have a console, there is an average of two per household.

Most exciting of all is that as gamers get older, with the new average age at thirty, parents are taking a more active interest.

Forty percent of parents claim to play games with their children once a week, and 59 percent claim to take part at least monthly.

As further proof of the improving image of games in the industry, 66 percent of parents believe that gaming is a positive mental stimulant for their child.

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