Digital Sales Unsurprisingly Dominate U.S. Game Market With 74 Percent Share

You may be in the minority if you still purchase hard copies of video games. The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) annual report revealed that 74% of video game sales in the United States are digital. Digital content includes downloads, subscriptions, DLC, and mobile and social games.

In 2016 American gamers spent $24.5 billion on content. The ESA also estimates that Americans spent $5.9 billion on hardware and accessories like VR devices. It is also believed that there are currently 65,000 employees at game companies, 2,322 developer locations, and 526 publisher locations across all 50 states. These companies contribute over $11.7 billion to the US GDP.

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The ESA also provided a number of other interesting gaming statistics. According to their research, 67% of American households own a gaming device and 65% of households include a person who games for three hours or more each week. 97% of households own at least one PC, while 81% own smartphones. Consoles can be found in 41% of households, while VR devices have been purchased by 11%.

Who is purchasing the games? It was found that 90% of parents not only require that their children ask permission before purchasing a game, but are also present at the time of the purchase. 67% of parents actually play games with their children at least once a week.

Game demos may also prove to be quite useful. 42% of consumers purchase a game without ever trying it, while 32% only purchase the game after a demo or trial. Most digital games are downloaded at home, as opposed to in a store.

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There are also now more female gamers than ever before. 31% of the video game playing population is comprised of females between the ages of 18 and 35. This is still smaller than the number of adult male gamers, however, it is larger than the 18% of the population who are males under the age of 18. The average age for those who purchase games is 36 -- a combination of both adult gamers and non-gaming parents.