The Entertainment Software Association has just released its latest annual report on the video game industry called 2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry. In the document, ESA reveals that there are now 13 million more gamers in the United States compared to last year. Of all those gamers, 55% are male, while 45% are female. The report tore down the common misconception that an average gamer is just a kid sitting in their parents’ basement. Only 20% of all US gamers are under 18 years old, and the average age of an American gamer is now 31.
In 74% of American households, at least one person is a gamer.
Although the report didn’t cover casino games, online gaming is more popular than ever. Games are definitely connecting people, with 77% of surveyed folks saying they play multiplayer games (either online or in-person) at least once a week, spending an average of 7.5 hours a week in those games.
Even though COVID-19 pretty much stopped the world, gaming has thrived in those trying times. Every other gamer said they played more games during the lockdown, and of all the surveyed gamers, 90% said they’ll continue gaming even when social distancing is no longer required. For many, gaming wasn’t just a casual hobby they picked up along the way, but a chance to wind down and re-connect with their families, on top of being good stress relief.
Parents had a hard time transitioning to working at home and having their kids continue schooling via the internet and Zoom calls. Video games were a great incentive for the young ones to finish their chores or even learn something new through interactive activities. Math games were the most popular, followed by science-themed video games and language learning tools. But, let’s be honest, kids were just waiting for the “boring school stuff” to end so they could go back to Roblox and Brawl Stars.
The pandemic will continue to have an impact on the gaming industry. We’ve seen lots of delays due to studios transitioning to working remotely. Console manufacturers still have a hard time maintaining a stock of their brand new devices, and there’s also the matter of crypto mining and GPU shortages. It’s great that more people are accepting gaming as a legitimate pastime and, if manufacturers manage to improve their stock, this year will be fantastic for the gaming industry.