The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have just released their annual report detailing the trends of the trade for video gaming. You can grab the full PDF, complete with handsome charts, fluffy ‘expert’ quotes, and silly, useless stats direct from the ESA here.
Here are a few of the fun facts I found interesting in the data the ESA collected from retailers, game publishers, and advertising companies:
Thanks to mobile adoption (addiction?), females aged 18 or more now make up 36% of the game playing population. Males under the age of 18 account for a mere 17%. The average age of someone buying a game at retail is 35. You can look forward to many more Kim Kardashian games in the future. Lucky you!
PC gamers are smarter. Console gamers are faster.
The top selling genres for console games are, unsurprisingly, Action and Shooter (32% and 20% respectively). PC gamers fancy Strategy and Casual/Puzzle games (38.4% and 28%). There are more RPG fans on PC than console (12.3% vs 7%) so maybe Bioware can stop coking up Dragon Age now.
Despite to click-bait editorials coming out of the gaming media, CoD is doing just fine. The 2013 release of Ghosts was the second best selling console game of 2013, eclipsed only by the record setting success of Grand Theft Auto V. Also flying in the face of popular belief, Disney Infinity actually outsold Skylanders Swap Force.
The Sims dominates PC retail
While Valve still keeps its sales numbers for Steam, suspected to be the biggest PC game store in the world, under wraps, The Sims 3 and its various expansions claimed 7 out of the top 20 best selling ranks. Only Sim City (#2) and the Starcraft II expansion Heart of the Swarm (#1) outsold The Sims 3: University Life. Curiously, Age of Empires II, the RTS from 1999, weighed in at #18.
Retail game sales peaked? You bet!
The Mrs. and I have been making the same joke about the video game industry for the past couple years: “NoMoarVideoGameMonies.com”. The number of games being sold at retail hit a record low in 2013. Interestingly enough, the amount of money spent on games was up slightly from 2012 indicating that those still purchasing titles are paying more for them. A lot more. Collector’s editions FTW!
Game sales have been on the decline since 2009. That said, consumers still spent $21.53 billion on video games.