The U.S. computer and video game industry generated $30.4 billion in revenue in 2016, according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the NPD Group. This total consumer spend figure includes revenues from all hardware, software, peripherals, and in-game purchases. This is an increase in total consumer spend from reported 2015 sales, which were at $30.2 billion.
“2016 was another enormous year for the interactive entertainment industry,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “The industry’s innovative genius and ability to engage and delight billions of gamers worldwide delivered another record performance. Congratulations to the developers, storytellers, creators, and investors who defined the leaderboard for entertainment.”
Separately, ESA highlighted that video game software revenue grew 6 percent from the 2015 level. In 2016, video game software revenue, which includes physical packaged goods, mobile games, downloadable content, subscriptions, and other revenue streams, reached $24.5 billion—up from 23.2 billion in 2015.
In 2016, virtual reality systems like the Sony PlayStation VR, Vive, and Oculus Rift reached the mass market to consumer interest. The release of Pokémon Go became a cultural phenomenon on mobile, while the later release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon on portable gaming devices achieved the highest launch month consumer spend in the history of the franchise, according to NPD. Blockbusters like Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Madden NFL 17, NBA 2K17 and Tom Clancy’s The Division drove consumer spend on console platforms. Finally, the PC platform was the most diverse and dynamic of all growth platforms, with a record number of titles reaching PC gamers in 2016.
“Growth in entertainment software consumer spend was seen across the mobile, PC, virtual reality, subscription, portable and digital console segments,” said Mat Piscatella, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Consumers have more options to purchase and enjoy entertainment software than ever before, while developers have more and easier ways of delivering that content. No matter the delivery platform, entertainment software has never been more engaging, diverse or accessible.”
The U.S. video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors, providing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to Americans and generating billions of dollars in revenue for communities across the nation.