Last Updated: September 10, 2021
How big is the video game industry?
Well, this is one of the driving economies in the world.
So how much is it worth?
The video game industry revenue statistics will blow your mind:
Fascinating Video Game Industry Stats (Editor’s Choice):
- Free-to-play games generated 80% of the total industry revenue.
- The global video game market is predicted to be worth $197.1 billion by 2022.
- The video game industry generated $179.7 billion in 2020.
- Esports market is on the route of surpassing $1.5 billion by 2023.
- 81% of Americans probably play and pay for games.
- An average gamer spends at least 7 hours a week playing games.
- Tetris is the best-selling video game of all time, with 500+ million copies sold.
- Video games produced a revenue of $41.3 billion in 2020 in the USA.
And as long as there are gamers to play, the industry is going to grow.
Today, we explore the gaming industry and just how much revenue it generates.
Video Gaming Industry Statistics
1. The video games industry generated almost $180 billion in 2020.
2020 was a very lucrative year for gaming as the COVID-19 pandemic spurred activity. Based on the stats collected, the video gaming industry generated $179.7 billion of revenue for the entire year, compared to 2019’s 150.2 billion. More than impressive for the future of games!
The mobile games revenue topped that gained from both PC and console games. Yet, the latter posted an impressive 19.6% increase year on year.
As for the future, predictions show that besides mobile games, the biggest industry drivers will be VR games and cloud gaming.
(Image source: MarketWatch)
2. The video game market is set to reach $300 billion by 2025.
Predictions show that in just five years’ time, we can expect a total revenue of $300 billion from video games. This forecast is based on the development of mobile gaming and other innovative offerings.
Rising technologies like VR, cloud, and the advancement of 5G will more than likely add to it. Moreover, business models are going to support micropayments in-game, which are already changing gaming economics.
3. The indie game market is worth $1 billion on Steam alone.
The indie gaming market has reached $1 billion on Steam!
Long gone are the years of hardship for Indie developers! With the rise of platforms like Steam, indie games have managed to make a massive stamp on today’s industry.
4. Premium game revenue amounted to $24.5 billion in 2020.
The rise of free-to-play games led many to assume that the premium game market would take a hit.
However, this is certainly not the case.
In fact, the video game industry revenue in 2020 for the premium game segment posted a 28% rise.
The two most popular games were Call of Duty: Modern Warfare by Activision Blizzard that took the top spot for premium title revenue ($1.9 billion), followed by FIFA 20 at $1.1 billion.
The 2021 projection is not so bright, though. According to estimates, the total figure will decline to $21.4 billion.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the top earner in the premium game market in 2020.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the highest-grossing paid premium game of the year, generating around $1.91 billion across all platforms.
Top-earning premium video games in 2020:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – $1.91 billion
- FIFA 20 – $1.08 billion
- Grand Theft Auto V – $911 million
- NBA 2K21 – $889 million
- NBA 2K20 – $771 million
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – $678 million
- Animal Crossing: New Horizon – $654 million
- Cyberpunk 2077 – $609 million
- Sims 4 – $462 million
- Doom Eternal – $454 million
5. Free-to-play games generated $98.4 billion in 2020.
Free-to-play was one of the most dominant business models in 2020. It accounted for nearly 80% of all games revenue in 2020.
Mobile games generated the biggest portion of the industry’s revenue. Yet, the video game console market share also shows the increasing amount of free-to-play consoles. It blew up in 2018 with an astounding increase of 458%. Fortnite was the main reason for the surge in popularity.
6. Honor of Kings is the top earner in the free-to-play market in 2020.
Video game industry statistics reveal that more money was spent on Honor of Kingsthan on any other game in 2020.
Income by game:
- Honor of Kings – $2.45 billion
- Peacekeeper Elite – $2.32 billion
- Roblox – $2.29 billion
- Free Fire – $2.13 billion
- Pokemon GO – $1.92 billion
- League of Legends – $1.75 billion
- Candy Crush Saga – $1.66 billion
- AFK Arena – $1.45 billion
- Gardenscapes: New Acres – $1.43 billion
- Dungeon Fighter Online – $1.41 billion
7. Global video game market is predicted to be worth $197.1 billion by 2022.
According to figures released by Statista, by 2022, the video game market value would increase to just over $197 billion and pass the $200-billion mark by 2023.
8. Retail revenue of the US video game industry amounted to $4.45 billion in 2021.
The US is a very lucrative market for the gaming industry. In fact, it may be one of the most important mainly because of the amount of revenue it generates for the industry. According to the most recent statistics from May 2021, the video game market share in the US is $4.45 billion.
Interestingly, the lowest segment revenue is accessories.
And the highest number of purchases are typical during the holidays.
9. Sony boosted sales and increased revenue by 300% in 4 years.
(Source: Gaming Scan)
In just four years, Sony managed to turn things around and established growth in revenue of an exasperating 300%.
Between 2017 and 2018 alone, video game market growth of 41% was established. On the other hand, Microsoft experienced a 32% increase. Apple reported an increase of 18%.
10. Mobile game revenue grew 18% in the first half of 2021.
Consumers have spent a lot more on mobile gaming in the first half of 2021. Mobile game revenues on Apple’s App Store and Google Play hit $44.7 billion in the period. This was a record for a first-half period, and it represents year-over-year growth of 17.9% for spending.
(Image Source: SensorTower)
11. There are 208,000 game publishers.
(Source: Iron Source)
Based on the data collected from Sensor Tower, game publishers make up 15% of all publishers.
It just goes to show the importance of the gaming industry size.
12. Video games revenue by segment worldwide predicts $15.9 for downloadable games by 2024.
Based on the findings released by Digital Market Outlook, the gaming industry will become much more lucrative in the years to come.
Predictions for the video game revenue by year show some interesting results. Namely, by 2024, the revenue from downloadable games will be $15.9 million.
On the other hand, online games will generate $15.8 million. But the leader will still be the mobile game market with a $50.1 million revenue.
13. The MENA region is the fastest-growing gaming region.
The Middle East and Africa (MENA) region is one of the most important parts of the world for the game industry. Currently, it’s the second-largest market in terms of players, behind the Asia Pacific. However, it is the fastest-growing market. The video game players growth in the region is at 10% year on year.
(Image source: Newzoo)
14. Esports market is on the route of surpassing the $1.5 billion by 2023.
(Source: Business Insider)
With competitive gaming becoming a big part of popular culture, more brands and investors are racing in the segment. Due to this, esports viewership is expected to grow by a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023.
The video game industry worth is estimated to jump from $454 million in 2019 to $646 million in 2023.
15. Video games produced a revenue of $41.3 billion in 2020 in the USA.
According to NewZoo estimates, a revenue of $41.3 billion has been established in the USA from video games. Together with China ($44 billion), the USA accounts for 49% of total video game revenues.
Separate findings from IBIS World show the video game market size in the US has grown 8.7% per year on average between 2016 and 2021. This outperforms the country’s economic growth in the period.
16. There are 2.7 billion gamers around the world.
Gamers are propelling the industry towards new heights. Newzoo’s Game Market Report for 2020 indicates that there are 2.7 billion gamers around the globe.
The global number of players grew 5.3% year on year in 2020, predominantly driven by the regions with the most emerging markets, including the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific.
17. Mobile game market constituted 49% of the total games market in 2020.
The mobile gaming market is the largest segment by revenue and growth. It accounted for 49% of the overall market in 2020, generating $86.3 billion in revenue.
Smartphone games make up 43% of the market share, which was 29% up on 2019. But tablet games are still going strong, growing by 7.3% year on year.
18. The US surpassed China as the biggest gaming market in 2019.
It makes sense that the world’s most populous country is the biggest gaming market.
China has been the biggest video gaming market for a long time now. However, things have been picking up in the US recently, resulting in it overpassing Chinese gamers.
In 2019, there was a total of $36.9 worth of games sold in the USA, as opposed to $36.5 of revenue gained in China. Furthermore, the gap has increased even further. In 2020, China’s gaming revenue was $44 billion, compared to the US’s $41.3 billion.
19. Asia is the highest-grossing continent, with a revenue of $84.3 billion in 2020.
Asia is the leader in video game sales in 2020, with a revenue of $84.3 billion. Furthermore, it accounts for 48% of the global gaming market.
North America follows with 26% of global sales. Europe accounted for 19%, Latin America made up 4% of the total, while the Middle East and Africa contributed 3%.
Video Game Sales Stats
20. Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game between 2010 to 2020.
The NPD Group has released the sales numbers for the period between 2010 and 2020. Grand Theft Auto V has been at the very top of the list.
In fact, it is the best-selling game across all platforms and has managed to top the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
The top 10 video game sales chart is as follows:
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Call Of Duty: Ghosts
- Red Dead Redemption II
- Call of Duty: WWII
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
21. Epic’s PC game store has more than 160 million users.
(Source: Epic Games)
Only a year after releasing their gaming store, Epic has amassed more than 100 million users on the platform. At the end of 2020, the number of users was 160 million. Of them, 31.3 million used the platform daily, representing a 192% increase in the daily active players base.
Epic’s video game sales statistics also reveal that in 2020 the service generated a revenue of $700 million. Some $265 million of those represent sales of third-party games.
Epic attracts its audience by offering more than 470 titles (up from 190 in 2019). Over 100 of them are given for free and also adding $23 million in coupons and game sales.
22. 81% of Americans play and pay for games.
(Source: Game Gavel)
Based on the most recent report regarding internet users around the world, a total of 260 million Americans have a steady internet connection.
But what’s more important for the industry is that video game usage statistics indicate that around 81% of them either play or pay for games or even do both.
23. The European game market grew by almost 20% year on year in 2020.
It just goes to show how quickly the gamer market is developing. Gamers from Europe are gaining on their competition, and the market increased by 19.9% in 2020. At the same time, the gathered video game statistics for 2020 show that revenue of $32.9 billion was established.
24. Consumer spending on games will grow to almost $218 billion by 2023.
Consumer spending on video games is set to increase to $217.9 billion by 2023. A CAGR of 9.4% is predicted for the period between 2018 and 2023 that is supposed to skyrocket the gaming industry even further.
Best Selling Consoles
Hold on to your horses:
25. 56% of gamers in Europe use PCs.
(Source: Game World Observer)
When it comes to gaming in Europe, 56% of gamers prefer playing their games on PCs. 50% use consoles, while 48% play on smartphones. Tablets gain the attention of 27% of the audience members, while handheld devices account for only 17%.
However, video game usage statistics say that 17% of players in Europe use all of the mentioned devices.
26. PlayStation 2 reigns supreme as the world’s best-selling console.
Sony PlayStation 2 is still the world’s number one console with 157.68 million unit sales as of June 2021.
The success that Sony has been having with its latest console, the PlayStation 4, is outstanding, though. It has had a good run in the last four years. But it is still far from surpassing the PlayStation 2.
All time video game console sales (in copies):
- PlayStation 2 – 15,68 million
- Nintendo DS – 154.9 million
- Game Boy/Game Boy Color – 118.69 million
- PlayStation 4 – 115.68 million
- PlayStation – 102.5 million
- Wii – 101.64 million
- PlayStation 3 – 87.64 million
- Nintendo Switch – 86.71 million
- Xbox 360 – 85.8 million
- Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million
- PlayStation Portable – 81.09 million
27. US video game-related sales increased by 27% in 2020.
Are video games profitable? The US gaming market has been developing steadily and has become the largest one in the world. In 2020, consumer spending reached a record $57 billion.
Significant gains were seen across digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories.
28. Overall console sales dropped by 35%.
(Source: Comic Book)
Although still selling well, console sales have been dropping down year in and year out. The latest figures from January 2020 say that a drop opposed to the same time last year of 35% was established.
The mobile gaming industry is definitely taking a toll on consoles. However, console sales do tend to drop after holidays are over, so a change might still occur. Nevertheless, both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are at the end of their life cycles and are due for a replacement.
Next-gen consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are already in the works.
29. Console sales are predicted to decline by 8.9% year on year.
In 2021, console sales are predicted to establish an 8.9% year-on-year decrease in sales. This is supposed to translate to video game sales of $49.2 billion.
30. Mobile gaming remained the largest segment in 2020.
Mobile gaming, which includes both tablets and smartphones, remained the largest gaming segment in 2020. It established a year-on-year increase of 25.6% to gain $86.3 billion in revenue. This is exactly 49% of the global market. Video game statistics say that approximately $74.9 billion comes from smartphone games.
31. PC gaming is the smallest and slowest growing market.
The PC gaming market is definitely not doing so well. According to the latest report, this is currently the smallest market. What is more concerning, it’s also the slowest-growing market. The year-on-year increase for 2020 was 6.3% to $37.4 billion.
32. The cloud gaming market is expected to generate $3.2 billion by 2023.
The cloud gaming market has been rising steadily and is slowly becoming one of the more important ones in the industry.
Newzoo estimates that cloud gaming generated $158 million in 2019. And according to its most optimistic forecast, the segment’s revenue will skyrocket to $3.2 billion by the end of 2023.
The driving force accounts for new developments, including the long-awaited Google Stadia,, NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service left beta, and Microsoft’s xCloud and Tencent’s two cloud gaming services.
(Image Source: Newzoo)
How Many People Play Video Games?
You’re in for a treat:
33. Around 70% of Americans play video games.
According to the study by Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, 67% of people in the US play games on at least one type of device. This amounts to around 211 million people. But half of those play games on multiple platforms.
Video game player statistics further show that 90% of those people play games on smartphones, tablets or both.
34. An average gamer spends at least 7 hours a week playing games.
(Source: Limelight Networks)
Gamers spend seven hours and seven minutes on average playing games every week. However, according to the most recent video game player statistics, 34% of gamers spend more than seven hours a week playing, while 19.6% play more than 12 hours a week.
35. Watching other people play games is popular among younger gamers.
(Source: Limelight Networks)
A rising trend in today’s gaming society is watching other people play games online. Streaming your gameplay through platforms like YouTube or by using Twitch Prime is very popular among modern gamers.
However, traditional sports are still watched more than esports tournaments or other people playing games.
Gamers watch a little more than three hours of traditional sports per week, while they spend around two and a half hours watching other people play video games. The only place where watching gameplay streams online is more popular among gamers than traditional sports are places like Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
36. Gamers usually spend around 80 minutes in consecutive gameplay.
(Source: Limelight Networks)
What indicates the gaming industry growth is the amount of time gamers spend in consecutive gameplay. On average, gamers spend 1 hour and 22 minutes playing a game without stopping or 1.37 hours.
The country with the highest rating is Singapore, with 1.56 hours. At the other end of the spectrum is Italy, where gamers spend only 1.09 hours in consecutive gaming.
It’s mostly Americans who spend more than two consecutive hours playing video games – 18.8%.
Best Selling Games of All Time
Here we go:
37. Tetris is the best-selling video game of all time, with 500+ million copies sold.
Surprisingly enough, Tetris is the best selling game of all time worldwide. It was originally released back in 1984 by a Soviet Union developer called Elektronica. Since then, the game has been released on 50 different platforms and even managed to sell 35 million copies on Nintendo alone. (And speaking of Nintendo, you may be interested in our guide on How to Buy Nintendo Stock.)
While it is difficult to determine the exact number of sales, the Tetris Company managing director said that there have been 425 million paid mobile phone downloads and another 70 million physical copies sold by 2014.
It’s safe to say that Tetris takes the position among the most popular video games in the world today.
38. Sims sold 7 million copies on PC.
(Source: Tom’s Hardware)
The Sims franchise is one of the most popular games on PC in the world. In fact, sources say that it managed to sell over 125 million copies worldwide if we count all the sequels and all available platforms.
However, it’s still one of the best selling PC games of all time. It topped the charts for four years straight ever since its initial release in 2000.
Best-selling PC games of all time (in copies):
- The Sims – 7 million
- StarCraft – 7 million
- Myst – 6 million
- The Sims 2 – 6 million
- Half-Life 2 – 6 million
39. Marvel’s Spider-Man is the best-selling PlayStation 4 game with 20 million units moved.
As of March 2021, Marvel’s Spider-Man was the best-selling PS4 game with 20 million copies sold. Second-ranked Grand Theft Auto V has racked up 19.4 million sales since its release.
Best-selling PS4 games of all time:
- Marvel’s Spider-Man – 20 million
- Grand Theft Auto V – 19.4 million
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – 16.25 million
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – 15.09 million
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – 13.94 million
- Call of Duty: WWII – 13.4 million
- FIFA 18 – 11.8 million
- The Last of Us Remastered – 11.78 million
- God of War (2018) – 11 million
- FIFA 17 – 10.94 million
40. Dota 2 was the top-selling game on Steam in 2020.
Dota 2 holds the record as the best-selling game on Steam in 2020.
Here’s the full list of the gaming platform’s 10 top sellers for the year, as measured by gross revenue:
- Dota 2
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
- Doom Eternal
- Monster Hunter World
- Rainbow Six: Siege
- Destiny 2
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
41. Video game sales are mostly seasonal.
Research shows that video game sales are extremely seasonal. In fact, in some periods sales have dropped by more than 10% compared to the same period the previous year.
According to NPD Group, sales of video games usually peak around November and December in the US. This is probably due to boosted Cyber Monday and Black Friday video game sales.
42. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the top-selling video game on Amazon in 2020.
Amazon has recently released a list of their best selling video game items for 2020. Perhaps surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword tops the charts of Amazon video game sales, not including gift cards and accessories related to the games. This is mainly due to the increased sales of Nintendo Switch established recently.
43. Word of Warcraft has the biggest population of players with 7 million people.
(Source: Altar of Gaming)
Although it is exceptionally hard to determine the population of players on an MMO RPG game, Blizzard released a figure of 7 million active players using Word of Warcraft. Ever since its release 15 years ago, WoW has been viewed as the largest MMO, and the number of players actively playing it certainly confirms it.
Interestingly, after WoW’s latest expansion, Cataclysm, there have been even 12 million active players. But the figure is not officially confirmed.
The MMO video game industry size is massive and popular that there are many more popular MMOs other there.
MMO games based on player population:
- Word of Warcraft – 7+ million
- The Elder Scrolls Online – 3+ million
- Black Desert Online – 2+ million
- Guild Wars 2 – 1.5+ million
- Old School Runescape – 1+ million
- Final Fantasy XIV – 1+ million
Now, let’s wrap up, guys:
There is a common misconception that video games can ruin our children’s minds!
This is a drastic way of looking at things. While video game addiction is real and a global problem among teens, playing has more benefits than drawbacks. Video games can help kids concentrate better, allow them to think faster and work on their problem-solving abilities. They can help kids with social issues to relax around strangers and even learn a new language!
The video games industry growth only shows that video games are going to get even more popular. Especially with new types of devices that the developers are creating.
Gaming is a great way to relieve tension and help you pass your time! It should not be vilified and viewed as something that can deter our kids from the righteous path.
Our video game industry revenue stats are here to help you understand just how big and important the industry is. It’s a highly profitable one that will continue to amass profits in the years to come.
If you are interested, you can check some more fascinating stats around the world on SpendMeNot.com or find out some more answers to the questions related to the gaming industry below.
Although the figures change depending on the source, it was confirmed that the global market of the gaming industry was valued at $155.89 billion in 2020. According to recent data, the 2021 global gaming market is roughly worth $178.37 billion. It’s estimated that the video game industry value may reach $200 billion by the year 2023.
According to Market Watch, Grand Theft Auto V is the most grossing video game ever made. Based on their research, GTA V amassed a record sum of $6 billion in revenue since it was released back in 2013. Till today, the game has sold 90 million copies.
However, if we look at it from a franchise perspective, Nintendo’s Mario franchise has the most games sold. But no single game was able to break the video game sales record of GTA V.
Based on the latest research, there are approximately 2.8 billion gamers in the world. The current population of Earth is around 7.6 billion, meaning that about a third of people on the planet are gamers.
The video game industry growth is ever-expanding, and we can expect this number to increase with the newest innovations in gaming that are to come.
When talking about the entertainment industry, people tend to forget that gaming is also a part of it. Most people concentrate on the movie and music industry. But as things are going now, the video game industry was able to outperform not just one of them, but both the movie industry and the music industry combined together.
The 2020 video game industry revenue was around $180 billion. On the other hand, the movie industry was able to generate $80.8 billion, with the leading movie being Bad Boys for Life that earned $204.4 million.
The music industry was the least profitable of all the entertainment industries as it only generated a profit of $21.6 billion.
- Altar of Gaming
- Business Insider
- Comic Book
- Epic Games
- Game Gavel
- Gaming Scan
- Game World Observer
- Iron Source
- Limelight Networks IGN
- Tom’s Hardware