Industries in Depth

The US video game industry broke records last year

A shopper reaches in a discounted video game bin at a Best Buy store in Westbury, New York November 28, 2014. The Best Buy re-opened at 8am after opening Thanksgiving evening at 5pm and closing at 10 pm ahead of many other Black Friday retailers.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - GM1EABT00S401

2018 was a record setting year for gaming in the US. Image: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Industries in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how The Digital Economy is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

The Digital Economy

The U.S. video game industry reached a new highscore last year. According to data published by the Entertainment Software Industry on 22 Jan, video game revenue in the United States, including hardware, software, peripherals and subscriptions, amounted to $43.4 billion in 2018, up from $36.9 billion a year earlier.

“2018 was another record-setting year for the U.S. video game industry”, Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst at The NPD Group said, “whether it was playing on the go on a mobile device or at home on a PC or console, consumers of all ages and interests found compelling content that delighted in 2018”.

To put things in perspective, it’s worth comparing consumer spend on video games to the money flowing into other entertainment sectors: box office revenue in the United States amounted to $11.9 billion in the United States last year, music industry revenue stood at $8.8 billion in 2017 and home entertainment spending, incl. DVD and Blu-ray sales, digital downloads and Netflix-style video streaming, amounted to $23.3 billion last year. Add to that the 220,000 jobs the video game industry supports in the U.S. and it becomes clearer than ever that video games are no mere child’s play.

Image: Statista
Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

The energy transition could shift the global power centre. This expert explains why

Liam Coleman

June 4, 2024


About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum