Press Releases

U.S. Video Game Industry Expands to 50 States, Supporting 220,000 Jobs, and $30.4 Billion in Revenue

Industry sees rapid increase in revenue, job growth

The U.S. video game industry employs more than 220,000 individuals according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2017 Report states that the U.S. video game industry is creating high-paying jobs and generating revenue for communities across the nation. Employment in the video game industry grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, more than double the rate of the U.S. job market. Employees in the industry earned an average compensation of $97,000 per year in 2015 – nearly double the average U.S. household income.

“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,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry. “The data we share today details a roadmap for economic growth, and the power of cultivating high-paying, technical careers in interactive entertainment.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • There are 2,322 video game developer locations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There are also 526 publisher locations across 44 states. In total, there are 2,858 video game company locations across 84 percent of the congressional districts in America;
  • 95 percent of video game companies were founded in the United States;
  • There are now 65,678 workers directly employed at game software publisher and developer locations in the United States. Of this total, U.S. video game publishers directly employ 28,556 workers while U.S. video game developers employ 37,122; and,
  • The U.S. game company industry’s value added to U.S. GDP was more than $11.7 billion in 2015.

Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2017 Report, presents a number of statistical measures that quantify the economic contributions of the game software industry from 2012-2015. Video game company databases and online tracking resources provided the information used for this analysis. In addition to data collected by ESA, U.S. government sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau provided statistical measures included for this report. This report is the third economic impact study prepared by ESA, with the most recent report published in 2014.

In addition to Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2017 Report, ESA, in conjunction with the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, released a geographic impact report that overviews the U.S. video game industry’s diverse geographic presence. An interactive map, which includes a compilation of publishing/development facilities and universities with video game degree programs, can be found at

ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.


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