U.S. Games Industry Sales Eclipsed $30 Billion In 2016

The Entertainment Software Association recently announced that video game software sales in the United States eclipsed $24.5 billion in 2016. The overall industry grew to $30.4 billion, including hardware.

MCV UK reported that the industry grew 29.4% in year-over-year revenue. They noted that in the year prior, in 2015, the gaming industry contributed $11.7 billion to the gross domestic product in the United States.

According to Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA…

“The 21st Century knowledge economy demands a creative and innovative workforce. The interactive entertainment industry is powered by real jobs that develop the most innovative and remarkable technology and entertainment in the world. These high-paying, creative careers build communities all across the US,”

There’s a PDF detailing the numbers, including the number of employees in the games industry, to the most popular states where game publishers are located. California is obviously at the top with 54% of all employees within the U.S., gaming industry residing there, while Washington is a distant second with 9%, and Texas and New York are close third and fourth at 7% each.

The interesting thing about it is that they spend a lot of time talking about the employment and revenue, but there’s no breakdown on the sales stats.

We know that a lot of the AAA titles last year seemed to come in under par compared to 2015, which saw the overall software sales in the U.K., down by 13.4%. A lot of older games were also more popular on the Twitch streams, with games like League of Legends and Dota 2 taking the top spots, and many of the top sellers on Steam were actually games from 2015.

It’s interesting because it would have been nice to know exactly where the money was going within the gaming industry. If the AAA arena is down, then does that mean more people spent money in digitally distributed indie games? Were accessories up? What was the biggest mover and shaker across PC or home consoles? Were people spending more on physical or digital? What was the ratio between game sales and DLC sales?

Still lots of unanswered questions, but obviously according to the stats gamers are still spending money, just apparently not entirely on the standard AAA offerings.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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