While US video game sales revenues grew slightly between 2009 and 2011, the revenues for computer and console games shrank over the same time period. Why? The increasingly popularity of games delivered via mobile apps, social networks and other downloads, according to recent data from the Entertainment Software Association.
In 2011, consumers spent nearly $25 billion on the games industry in the US. While the majority of this money was spent on traditional video games, that money is slowly moving toward less traditional platforms, especially mobile and social. More than 30% of gamers play games on their smartphone, up from 20% last year. One quarter of gamers play on a wireless device, up from just 13% in 2011.
Other highlights from the report:
- one-third (33%) of gamers play social games
- out of US households that have some form of gaming device, 38% play games via smartphone, 26% play games on a wireless device
- 62% of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online
- the average game player age is 30
But as gamers move to toward mobile and social options, are they willing to pay for the gaming experience? According to the ESA study, only 15% of “frequent” gamers have paid to play online games. As more traditional console games become a thing of the past, will the gaming industry be able to monetize social and mobile offerings more effectively?