2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry

  • 07.13.2021
  • Data & Insights
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2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry reveals a lot about today’s video game players.

In the last year during the global pandemic, people from all walks of life reached for video games to find joy, connection and a sense of belonging. Games are a source of entertainment and comfort for millions of people across the country. This year’s report shows video games transcend age, race, gender, platform and political party. Read on to learn more about the United States of Play.

Download the full report here.


We are a nation of video game players.

Today, nearly 227 million Americans play video games. Two thirds of adults and three quarters of kids under 18 play video games weekly. Across all ages, 80% of players are over 18, and the average age of a video game player is 31. In total, players are about half female (45%) and half male (55%). Players agree video games can bring together different types of people (89%) and create accessible experiences for people with different abilities (89%).


Video games bring joy and connection through play.

It’s easy to see why games are so popular. According to the report, 90% of players agree that video games bring joy through play. Games can inspire (79%), provide mental stimulation (87%), and relieve stress (87%).

And video games helped create connection and community when we need it most. This year, more than three quarters of players say they play video games with others, up from two thirds last year. And playing together is a family affair, as 74% of parents play video games with their children at least weekly (up from 55% in 2020).


Video games were a welcome break during the pandemic.

The pandemic impacted every aspect of our lives, including video games. About half of players (55%) said they played more games during the pandemic, and most players (90%) think they’ll continue playing after the country opens up and social distancing is no longer required. During the pandemic, 71% of parents saw video games as a much-needed break for their children. Over half of parents (59%) said their children also used educational games and three quarters of parents (66%) said video games made their children’s transition to distance learning easier.

To view last year’s 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report, click here. The ESA is the voice and advocate for the U.S. video game industry. Learn more.

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