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The creators of the first known video game to be played at multiple computer installations had no idea they had become pioneers in one of the biggest industries of the 21st century. The year was 1962, and some MIT students created Spacewar!
Several decades later, gaming has become mainstream, launching lucrative and exciting careers. Video games are on almost every device with a built-in screen.
But navigating this complex world of avatars and pixels is no easy task. That’s why we compiled the best and latest gaming statistics.
Key Gaming Statistics
- Video game industry earned $184.4 billion in 2022. (New Zoo)
- There are 3.03 billion gamers around the world. (Statista)
- An average gamer is 33 years old. (Entertainment Software Association)
- Asia-Pacific was the biggest console games market in 2022, earning 87.9 billion. (Statista, Business Research Company)
- Honor of Kings is the most profitable game ever in 2022, earning $1.6 billion in revenue. (Business Apps, Statista)
Gaming Industry Statistics
The gaming industry is expected to reach new heights of growth in the upcoming years. The statistics below tell you all you need to know.
1. The video game industry earned $120 billion in 2019 and even skyrocketed to $184.4 billion in 2022.
(Super Data,New Zoo)
Throughout the last decade, the gaming industry has steadily outpaced its counterparts in the movie and music businesses in terms of revenue. In 2019, video games remained the most profitable entertainment sector. Video game industry revenue comes from both game and hardware sales but also includes in-game transactions made by players of premium and free-to-play titles.
2. In 2019, the US was the most lucrative video game market, worth $36.9 billion, but it was replaced by China in 2022.
China held the top spot as the world’s largest gaming market. It has a whopping revenue of 45.8B dollars and 744.1M players. Changing trends and the arrival of new generations are expected to inject fresh excitement into the business.
3. Analysts predict gamers will spend $196.8 billion annually on video games by 2022.
Speaking of excitement, there are many reasons for developers of upcoming games to rub their hands together. Video game sales statistics show that annual game spending is on the rise. The new console generation is right around the corner, followed by an avalanche of new releases that gamers are expected to swoop up and play on their brand-new hardware.
4. Mobile gaming is the most successful gaming segment, earning $64.4 billion in 2019, whereas in 2022, it generated a whopping $103.5 billion.
As the world braces for a console war, another battle is brewing among developers of mobile games. Gaming statistics for 2019 show that mobile games earn more than half of the total video game revenue. Mobile games now have aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns on television, in cinemas, and during the Superbowl.
5. The virtual reality market earned $5.7 billion in 2019 and continues to grow.
(Vantage Market Research)
While it’s still a novel concept, VR is steadily finding its way into many homes. In 2019, Facebook released two VR headsets, Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest. The latter quickly became a hit due to its completely standalone nature and low price of $350.
A total of 2.8 million standalone VR headsets were sold in 2019, but the market for PC-based VR is also growing stronger. Valve has seen tremendous success with its Index VR headset. The device sold out almost immediately after its launch despite the $1,000 price tag.
In 2022, it was valued at $9.13 billion in the global market and is expected to reach 76.36 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 30.40% over the forecast period.
6. In 2021, console gaming earned almost as much as PC gaming in the global market.
PC gaming versus console gaming statistics made for an interesting comparison. The biggest surprise was the $45 billion in earnings from PC games compared to $32 billion from console games. These stats include paid games, also known as premium games and free-to-play titles that result in higher earnings due to a bigger player base.
Contrary to popular belief, PC gaming’s market share is quite large. That’s why one of the biggest online stores, Steam, offers tens of thousands of PC games and has 10+ million concurrent users at any time.
7. Free-to-play games accounted for 80% of all game revenue in 2020.
Some of today’s most popular video games are free, with optional in-game purchases offered along the way. This monetization model has proven to be highly successful. Gamers will gladly support a game they spend much time with by purchasing various doodads.
Modern free-to-play games offer character customization items, experience, and point boosters, even power-ups for as little as a couple of cents. The players that end up spending a lot of money on games are usually referred to as “whales,” and they are the ones that support the game in the long run.
8. Asia-Pacific is the biggest free-to-play market in 2022.
There is no continent more lucrative than Asia when it comes to the mobile gaming industry. Statistics for 2022 underscore the continent’s dominance of the gaming market. Asia is home to nearly half of the world’s population, and many of its inhabitants play games on their phones or consoles. Most are more than ready to dish out cash to enhance their experience.
9. Fortnite was the most successful game in 2019, generating $1.8 billion in revenue.
Fortnite is one of the most popular games and a pop culture phenomenon. It boasts more than 140 million players on PC, consoles, and smartphones. Fortnite is a free game, but players can purchase costumes (skins) for their characters and a multitude of emotes, dances, stickers, and whatnot to make them feel unique in this vast community.
Fortnite also introduced many crossover events, including Star Wars, Marvel movies and premium seasonal passes that offer additional unlockable cosmetics if the player completes predetermined challenges. Many believe this game will continue to dominate the charts in 2020.
10. FIFA 19 was the year’s highest-earning premium game, with $786 million in revenue.
In some corners of the globe, there is nothing more important than soccer. Every year, EA Sports releases a FIFA game, offering soccer fans a chance to experience the thrill of the sport in the comfort of their homes. These games sell millions of copies, and players spend additional cash through an in-game shop, collecting virtual cards and assembling their dream teams.
Premium gaming statistics show that this genre isn’t as lucrative as the free to play games, but the earnings are still impressive.
11. With 155 million units sold, PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console.
Released in 2000, Sony’s PS2 took the world by storm and is now sitting at the top of the console sales charts. Hundreds of amazing games that became loved by millions around the globe were released for this platform. Sitting right behind PS2 is the Nintendo DS with 154 million units, followed by GameBoy, another Nintendo handheld, with 118 million units sold. But PlayStation 4 is catching up quickly, with 106 million units sold.
12. Asia-Pacific was the biggest console games market in 2022, earning 87.9 billion.
(Statista, Business Research Company)
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are at the peak of their popularity and will soon be replaced by newer, shinier consoles. If past experiences are anything to go by, this is the period when the most interesting games are launched. Tencent’s dominance as the leading gaming company demonstrates the strength of China’s gaming market. Apart from digital giant Tencent, several other Chinese gaming companies are gaining international attention: NetEase, Century Huatong, 37 Interactive, and miHoYo, all investing in and co-publishing with Western gaming companies.
13. FIFA 23 was the top-selling video game in every European country.
FIFA 23 was the best-selling video game in every European country in 2023, according to physical unit sales for PC and console. Arceus was ranked second in Pokémon Legends.
The FIFA football video game series, which debuted in 1993. It is one of the best-selling video game franchises in the world, regularly topping year-end charts across Europe. More and more gamers purchase digital copies of FIFA games rather than physical ones; during FIFA 22’s UK release in September 2021, 77 percent of sales were digital, up from 68 percent of digital units sold the previous year.
14. In 2022, digital sales accounted for nearly nine out of every ten video game sales in the UK.
According to the digital entertainment and retail association (ERA), 89.5% of games sold were digital downloads, with the remaining 10.5% being physical copies. About 30% of the sales came from mobile apps, which are sold digitally.
In total, the gaming industry accounted for £4.7 billion of sales in the UK in 2022 – higher than that of the film, television, or music industries.
15. 35% of gamers had a subscription service in 2020.
With the rise of online gaming, developers began exploring new revenue streams. One of those is paid subscriptions, often employed by Massive Multiplayer Online games like World of Warcraft, where a player pays an additional monthly fee aside from purchasing the game.
Other services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus offer access to multiplayer features of console games as well as additional features like cloud saves, exclusive content, discounts, and even free games to boot. Online gaming industry statistics show that a significant portion of the gaming population supports these models.
16. Currently, 97% of all Americans see the benefits of playing video games.
(Entertainment Software Association)
Americans are increasingly recognizing and appreciating the numerous benefits of playing video games. 97% of all Americans now see the benefits of playing video games, with a large majority agreeing that video games bring joy through play (93%), mental stimulation (91%), and stress relief (91%). Play is an important part of learning, and nearly 90% of all Americans believe that video games help them develop skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, and leadership.
17. Rocket League is the most addictive video game.
The data revealed that the online game ‘Rocket League’ was the most addictive, with the term appearing in 14.53% of reviews. The vehicular soccer game was only released in 2015, but it is extremely addictive due to its fast-paced action and replayability value.
18. In June 2022, there were 3.03 billion gamers around the world.
According to the latest video gaming industry statistics, almost half of the world’s population engages in gaming. Whether playing on PCs, consoles, or smartphones, billions enjoy these games at home, during their daily commutes, or with friends.
19. An average gamer is 33 years old.
(Entertainment Software Association)
There has always been a misconception about gamers being kids. While plenty of children and teenagers play many video games, the average gamer in the US is in his thirties. These gamers have been playing for 14 years on average and usually have the highest number of game purchases in any household.
20. 36 percent of video game players still come from 18 to 34.
Video gaming is no longer a pastime reserved for the young. As generations have grown up with video games as a normal part of life, the average gamer’s age has risen. According to a 2022 survey, 36% of video game players are between 18 and 34, with 6% being 65 and older.
21. 48% of American gamers were female in 2022.
Gaming is no longer just for boys. It hasn’t been for many years now. Over the past decade, the gender ratio has become closer to equal. In 2022, 52% of the gamers in the US were male. But the growing number of female gamers serves to underscore the gaming industry’s universal appeal.
22. Around 3% to 4% of gamers were addicted to gaming in 2021.
According to a 2021 systematic review, 3-4% of gamers worldwide are addicted to video games, implying that up to 60 million people suffer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially classified video game addiction as a mental health disorder this year. The diagnosis is defined by a person’s inability to control their desire to play video games, preference for gaming over other interests and obligations, and persistence in gaming despite negative side effects.
Biggest Games and Popular Gamers
It is not difficult to think that the gaming industry is expanding rapidly, retaining its position as one of the most profitable industries. The industry has outperformed all expectations, both commercially and technically. Below are the statistics to prove it.
23. With 140+ hours of main story content, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is the longest video game ever made.
(How Long To Beat)
To satisfy the gamers’ love for long games, most of today’s popular video games are epic experiences, often spanning dozens of hours. Each Monster Hunter game is already an elaborate and lengthy saga.
But the game’s version for Sony’s PlayStation Portable console takes things a step further, where completing every mission in the game takes at least 455 hours. The only non-multiplayer game that comes close is 2002’s The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, which is famous for its runtime of 350+ hours.
24. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the highest-rated video game, with an average score of 99/100.
In 1998, this highly anticipated sequel to The Legend of Zelda franchise took the world by storm. The Nintendo 64 console was at the peak of its popularity, and Ocarina of Time introduced several revolutionary elements to the beloved series. Both gamers and critics praised the game for receiving top scores and the Game of The Year award.
According to Metacritic’s statistics, the gaming world is yet to see a game as highly praised as this one. It’s pretty much a perfect game. Sitting just below with a score of 98/100 each are:
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
- Grand Theft Auto 4
25. With a Metacritic score of 96/100 and a rate of 8.2 User score, Portal Companion Collection is the highest-rated game of 2022.
The Companion Collection, which includes Portal and Portal 2, comes to Nintendo Switch™ with all of the groundbreaking gameplay, dark humor, and exploration that earned the series hundreds of awards.
26. With 180 million units sold, Minecraft is the best-selling video game ever.
Some call it “virtual LEGO bricks”. Others call it weird. But everyone can agree that Minecraft is one of the best PC games of all time. Released in 2011 by Mojang, Minecraft greatly impacted pop culture. With more than 480 million active players (paid and free versions combined), it’s also the most-played game in the world. Tetris is the second best-selling game with 170 million copies, while Grand Theft Auto V is in third place with 115 million copies sold for PC and consoles.
27. Honor of Kings is the most profitable game ever in 2022, earning $1.6 billion revenue.
(Business Apps, Statista)
Honor of Kings, a MOBA inspired by League of Legends, had the highest revenue of $1.6 billion in 2022. Genshin Impact, popular in China and Japan, came in second with $1.2 billion in revenue.
28. 944 million people watched gaming video content in 2019.
In recent years, gaming has become more than just playing video games. It includes watching streamers, YouTubers and following the latest Esports events. Video platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer have become the main place for gamers to watch this content. Whether it’s just livestream shenanigans, video game awards, or some of the biggest gaming tournaments, fans are constantly growing.
29. With 74 million hours of watch time, League of Legends was the most popular game on Twitch in December 2019.
Streamers on Twitch ended the year with a usual selection of popular PC games: League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter-Strike, and Grand Theft Auto. League was the most popular game on Twitch, followed by Fortnite, with 59 million watch hours.
The surprise hit Escape from Tarkov saw a massive viewership boost with 46 million hours, beating GTA V (38 million hours) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (32 million hours). Riot’s MOBA game also had a high viewer count of 103,558 in just one month.
30. Minecraft was the most popular game in 2022.
(Stream Hatchet, Euro Gamer)
According to the report, GTA V continues to dominate live game streaming, outperforming many titles associated with the highest tiers of competitive esports. GTA V has held this position in Stream Hatchet’s rankings since Q4 2020; in 2022, it racked up whopping 1.82 billion hours of watched gameplay across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming.
However, its dominance over its competitors is dwindling. League of Legends came in second place with 1.77 billion hours viewed, only 50 million hours less than Rockstar’s iconic title, GTA V, which saw its dominance reduced by nearly 650 million views year on year.
31. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the most popular game on Steam, with 618,000 concurrent players.
On Steam, the most played games are not always the hottest, newest titles. Valve’s CS: GO is nearly eight years old but still manages to reach nearly one million daily players during peak hours. Other free-to-play PC games like Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and Destiny 2 are constantly in the top 10 most popular Steam games.
32. The gaming video content market earned $6.5 billion in 2019.
Twitch managed to beat YouTube last year when it came to gaming video content. According to gaming statistics, its revenue was $1.54 billion, while YouTube’s was $1.46 billion. Mixer has only managed to capture 1% of the video market even though the company signed several exclusive deals with popular streamers, some of which include Ninja and Shroud. But as it turns out, star power is insufficient for a platform to take off in the current market. Viewers are too loyal to Twitch, at least to live gaming content.
33. In 2022, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was the richest gamer, worth $17 million.
This blue-haired gamer is the world’s biggest Fortnite star, and his success is intertwined with the global video game’s popularity. Ninja, a former professional Halo player, found his audience among Fortnite fans and quickly rose to the top of the Twitch charts. He later became the most popular streamer on the planet, prompting Microsoft-owned Mixer to offer him an exclusive contract in the summer of 2019 for an undisclosed amount. Tyler’s net worth is around $17 million, making it difficult to believe Ninja profited more from these transactions than PewDiePie.
34. The richest pro gamer earns 7.18 million.
Esports is no longer a funny word but a legitimate career for many young people. In this branch of the video game industry, revenue comes from both prizes and sponsors. According to estimates, Johan Sundstein, a Danish player known as N0tail, has earned 7.18 million US dollars in his recorded eSports gaming career.
35. The International 2019 had the biggest prize pool in Esports history, with over $34 million.
(Sports Business Journal)
Video gaming statistics are mind-blowing when it comes to Esports and tournament prizes. For several years, the biggest Dota 2 tournament has been the biggest event in Esports. The 2019 edition saw its largest prize pool, more than $34 million, and a hefty $15.6 million prize for the winner.
The International took the first five spots on the global Esports list of tournaments, with only Fortnite World Cup 2019 coming close with a combined $30 million prize pool across two disciplines.
With gamers and developers worldwide, the gaming industry has always been a worldwide phenomenon. Trends in the gaming industry have evolved in recent years in tandem with the globalization of the internet, with games designed from the start for a global audience.