In 2023, the United States saw a significant uptick in consumer spending on video games, reaching an impressive total of $57.2 billion. This comprehensive figure includes earnings from all facets of video game content—spanning physical and digital full-game versions, downloadable content and microtransactions, subscription costs across various platforms, including console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC, and virtual reality (VR) devices—as well as video game hardware and accessories.
The Entertainment Software Association, alongside Circana, has shared insights into the video game industry’s substantial contribution to the U.S. economy. Highlighting the universal appeal of video games, ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis commented on the diverse demographic of gamers in the U.S., emphasizing the industry’s role not only as an economic force but also as a cultural and creative influence.
With total sales in 2023 exceeding the previous year’s $56.6 billion, the video game industry continued to demonstrate growth. This uptick is largely attributed to a notable increase in digital download spending, which saw a 13% rise in console platforms and an 11% increase in digital premium downloads across PC, Cloud, and VR platforms not tied to consoles. Meanwhile, hardware sales remained stable at $6.6 billion, and sales of video game accessories increased by 4%, culminating in a $2.6 billion revenue.
The year 2023 was marked by a particularly strong lineup of new releases, contributing significantly to the sector’s success. As pointed out by Mat Piscatella, Executive Director of Video Games at Circana, the enduring popularity of mobile, console, and PC gaming platforms underscores the industry’s vitality. Furthermore, emerging technologies continue to expand the ways in which people engage with gaming, suggesting a promising future for the industry.
The collaborative efforts of organizations such as the ESA and Sensor Tower, Inc. in analyzing and reporting on market trends are integral to understanding consumer behavior within the gaming industry. The ongoing study of digital sales and consumer preferences reveals an evolving landscape, rich with opportunities for innovation and growth.
In conclusion, the video game sector remains a standout performer in the U.S. economy, driven by creative content, technological advancements, and a deep understanding of consumer demand. As new platforms and technologies emerge, the potential for continued growth in the industry is clear, ensuring that video games will remain a central form of entertainment and a significant economic contributor for years to come.