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The U.S. has practically 227 million video game players across all ages, up 5.8% from 214.4 million a year earlier, according to an annual report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group that represents the game sector.
The annual 2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry shows that more persons play video games than ever ahead of and that video game players are engaged, diverse, and reflective of American society. The ESA released the report’s findings on July 13 in conjunction with the 2021 on the web-only Games for Change occasion this week.
Other details: The typical video game player is 31 years old (and 80% of players are more than 18 years old). About 77% play with other people on the web or in-particular person at least weekly (up from 65% in 2020). The report located 74% of parents play games with their children at least weekly (up from 55% in 2020).
As we all know, games have been a savior in the pandemic, and 55% of gamers mentioned they have played more for the duration of the pandemic and 90% say they are most likely to continue playing immediately after social distancing is no longer essential.
“This past year, we saw tremendous growth. And there was a big question mark around whether that growth could be sustained,” mentioned ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat. “Once we started opening up venues, and once we were becoming vaccinated — and we wanted nothing more than more vaccinations and people getting healthy and getting out. That’s certainly priority one for us as an industry and as community members. We’re still seeing strong numbers in terms of engagement and purchasing. And so I think there is still a lot of growth occurring in video game playing.”
He mentioned that persons are playing all the things more, from old catalog games to titles on the brand new consoles.
“Going from 214 million players last year to 227 million this year speaks to the fact that video games were a highly sought-after outlet for people, particularly during a period of social isolation and social distancing,” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “We were excited to see that growth. And that growth is true in every demographic. Everyone is playing more.”
The report shares information gathered from around 4,000 Americans 18 and older about their video game playing habits and attitudes (margin of error 1.55%) earlier this year.
Mental well being and games
“We saw a tremendous reliance on games for mental relief, and stress relief, and stimulation, and also for connection,” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “Part of what playing together brings people is a level of excitement and interest in the game. First and foremost, people are having fun playing games. These additional benefits make game playing even more fulfilling, because they hit on things that we need, particularly in this moment in time, including connection with others, and something that brings you joy.”
Pierre-Louis mentioned mentioned that 90% of players say that video games bring them joy. And even though 80% of gamers are more than 18, about 76% of persons beneath 18 play games, which suggests that with every passing year, a higher percentage of the population plays games.
“And as they start to enter adulthood, they continue playing. And many of them have kids and they play with their kids or introduce it to their kids” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “You’re seeing a game-savvy population growing, and starting to really have a positive impact on our culture, on our economy, and society in general.”
Gaming’s spot with entertainment and media
The ESA’s information is vital to provide context for the gaming sector, specifically for government officials who are in charge of regulating gaming in some way. The information can trigger positive conversations about games and their attain, he mentioned. The information is also vital for the tech giants to realize, as effectively as the executives in the bigger entertainment and media sector.
“What this survey does is provide that context, which makes it possible for for humanization of who we are as an sector, but also an chance to have a broader conversation about the effect we have on the economy, on making jobs, and delivering possibilities for more students to get into STEM and STEAM education possibilities (referring to science, technologies, engineering, the arts, and math).
I asked Pierre-Louis about the PwC report that looked on the bigger $2.1 trillion entertainment and media sector, and its top rated-down view of games.
“It was a really interesting look at not only where they think we are today, but where their forecasting might be in the next five years,” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “And it speaks to the way video games have tapped into something very cultural. And doing it at a time when people were looking for a different kind of outlet. You know, consumers really enjoy the interactivity. Video games have been natively digital just because of the nature of how they’re created and how they’re distributed directly. I think there’s a lot of opportunity for growth.”
He noted how large games and game worlds like Roblox and Fortnite are becoming and they’re drawing shoppers into engaging environments exactly where players are getting neighborhood and an ecosystem. Those corporations have a possibility to grow to be platforms unto themselves.
“There are a lot of other industries where there’s an ecosystem around how entertainment gets produced, and what are the adjacent industries to it,” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “Ours traditionally have been more technical in nature. We’re a technology-based industry, and therefore, we depend on silicon chips, and everything else around us and on retailers. Now that you’ve seen the growth of influencers and of the impact of the internet, we’re going to see experimentation in the other new ecosystems that bring games to people. Just think about how many people love watching people play games, right? That’s very good.”
Who gets games?
As for working with the administration of Joseph Biden, Pierre-Louis mentioned there is an chance for the reason that of the newness of the administration, and games have demonstrated their energy in making a lot of jobs at a important time.
“Right now, the administration is focused on COVID economy, the environment, racial equity, and those are driving a lot of what you’re seeing in addition to infrastructure,” Pierre-Louis mentioned. “So we’re moving with deliberate speed to ensure that they are hearing from us, but we also recognize what the priorities are with the administration.”
I also asked if the tech giants realize gaming.
“There’s so many different issues. On the one hand, we have seen companies like Google and Facebook embrace video game communities, gameplay, video game technology, in so much of what they do. I think we’re seeing it. I think one of the things you learn in the videogame industry is a lot of these developments take time. They take a lot of resources, and they take a lot of talent. And they take a commitment to sustain games.”
He added, “The more companies commit to sustaining the innovation required for games, the more successful they are. But it does take some good money if you’re going to be in the game-making space. As we see with Google Stadia, trying to build that platform. I think for those that have created opportunities for additional video game ecosystems, like Twitch, that’s where you’re seeing a lot of use and interest, but with a different level of commitment. And, and so it’ll be interesting to see how different tech companies absorb the video game industry. I’ve been reading a lot about Netflix’s interest. It will be interesting to see what are they bringing to the table with respect to the games.”