By Alejandro Caminos, journalist, screenwriter and G&M News’ collaborator.
The United States is one of the most important territories in relation to the video games sector. Many even consider it the great cradle of games. In the 1960s, there was a strong push for arcade titles. A decade later, it was the turn of the first video game consoles and home PCs. The rest is known history. In that sense, it is valuable to inquire into the current numbers of this segment.
CURRENT STATISTICS AND FUTURE PROJECTIONS
According to figures from the consulting firm Statista, it is expected that, by the end of this year, the North American video game industry will generate revenues of US$19.48 billion. Besides, revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2025) of 1.2%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$20.64 billion by 2025. In 2020, the market size of video games in the U.S. will be worth US$60.4 billion. The market’s largest segment is Mobile Games, with a projected market volume of US$10.73 billion in 2020.
Gamers are known to be the ones who keep the industry alive in many ways, by their extended consuming, or by dooming a video game franchise to failure. On these changing consumer habits, companies work to try to captivate an increasingly demanding public.
Thus, for Statista, total number of users will be 158.1 million (2020), while user penetration will reach 44.4% in 2020, and is expected to hit 49.2% by 2025. The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the Mobile Games segment is expected to amount to US$72.94 in 2020. In terms of age, 57.8% of gamers are between 18 and 35 years old; the 35 to 54 age group represents 37.6%, while the rest (4.6%) belongs to people over 55 years old. If the focus is on genders, more men (60.1%) play than women (39.9%). It’s evident that games aren’t just for teenagers. As generations grew up having video games as a normal part of their lives, more demographics were consuming these products.
Another fact to take into account is the time that players dedicate to virtual entertainment. About 11.6% of North Americans surveyed admitted to playing video games for more than 20 hours a week. For their part, 11.4% claimed to spend between 12 and 20 hours a week in front of a console, a mobile phone or a PC.
A HUGE (BUT NOT LEADING) INDUSTRY
Although the United States is second in the ranking of video game markets, in terms of revenue, according to Statista, the Top 5 is dominated by Asian countries (plus one European). China leads the table with revenues of US$27.82 billion, derived from the sale of consoles, games and other components, such as peripherals. After the United States (US$19.48 billion), there are Japan (US$12.21 billion), South Korea (US$3.77 billion) and the UK (US$3.58 billion).
With the next generation of consoles just around the corner and the strong bet that Microsoft has been making, both with its game catalog and with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, it will be interesting to check if, within a few years, the U.S. will be able to assume leadership in an increasingly demanding, innovative and powerful industry.