U.S. Video Game Industry Reaches New Revenue Record For 2016, With Some Help From Pokemon

by Robert Workman


Think video games aren’t popular in the United States? Think again.

Business Wire is reporting that, per the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the NPD Group, the U.S. computer and video game industry has managed to amass $30.4 billion in revenue for last year, which includes spending in hardware, software, peripherals and in-game purchases. It’s an increase over 2015’s year-spend number, coming in at $30.2 billion.

“2016 was another enormous year for the interactive entertainment industry,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “The industry’s innovative genius and ability to engage and delight billions of gamers worldwide delivered another record performance. Congratulations to the developers, storytellers, creators, and investors who defined the leaderboard for entertainment.”

Video game software as a whole grew six percent over the year, and video game software revenue, including physical games, mobile releases and downloadable content, earned $24.5 billion for the year – up from 2015’s $23.2 billion.

Virtual reality also played a part in the year’s numbers, along with the mobile hit Pokémon GO! and the Pokémon Sun and Moon games, all of which contributed to the best-seller list, alongside games like Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

“Growth in entertainment software consumer spend was seen across the mobile, PC, virtual reality, subscription, portable and digital console segments,” said Mat Piscatella, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Consumers have more options to purchase and enjoy entertainment software than ever before, while developers have more and easier ways of delivering that content. No matter the delivery platform, entertainment software has never been more engaging, diverse or accessible.”

We’ll have to see where 2017 goes with a number of blockbusters on the way, including Red Dead Redemption 2, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

By Robert Workman

Robert Workman has spent years working in the video game industry, for sites like Shacknews, AOL GameDaily and Marooners Rock. He's also very skilled in contributing to podcasts and video broadcasts, and can pretty much out-game you under the table. Oh, and just go ahead and ask him about glorious craft beers. Go on, ask him.