ESA Releases “Essential Facts” About the Industry

Every year around E3 time, the Entertainment Software Association releases a statistic-filled pamphlet they call “Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry.” As usual, it’s a wealth of interesting info about the industry and the numbers surrounding it.

Here are some highlights:

  • 72% of American households play computer or video games
  • Average age of a gamer is 37, and only 18% of gamers are under the age of 18.
  • 29% of gamers are over the age of 50, with 53% aged 18-49
  • The gender gap is narrowing: 58% of gamers are male, 42% female
  • 19% of gamers pay to play online games
  • 55% play games on a phone or handheld device
  • The average number of years adult gamers have been playing games is 12
  • 91% of the time parents are present when games are purchased or rented.
  • 98% of parents are confident in ESRB ratings
  • Units sold in 2010 by game rating: 44% Everyone, 24% Mature, 19.5% Teen, 12.3% Everyone 10+
  • 24% of game sales in 2010 were digital delivery, 76% physical media


There are some really interesting numbers here, and it’s kind of neat to get a snapshot of where the industry is right now. Most interesting is that the percentage of the market that is digital delivery grew by 4% year over year from 2009 to 2010. That’s significant, but I don’t think it means that physical media is going away.

Regardless of how you interpret the numbers, they’re all there for you to see in the ESA’s yearly PDF.

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