Report: Video Games Contribute $90 Billion+ to U.S. Economy

  • 12.03.2020
  • Press Releases

New study from Entertainment Software Association shows industry’s widespread impact in fueling economic growth and employment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 3, 2020 – A new study from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shows video games not only provide rich, interactive entertainment experiences—they also power an innovation industry that has a significant impact on U.S. economic growth and jobs.

The U.S. video game industry in 2019 generated $90.3 billion in annual economic output, while supporting nearly 429,000 U.S. jobs. The latter number includes about 143,000 people directly employed by the video game industry, averaging over $121,000 in annual compensation.  Additionally, video game industry-related activity generates $12.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes, annually.

These are among several key findings from “Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2020 Economic Impact Report,” a review of the industry and its wide-ranging impacts released today by the ESA.

The report also lists the top 10 U.S. states ranked by total video game industry-related economic effect.

STATE Total Economic Output Total Employment (Jobs, approx.)
1.       California $51.8 billion 218,090
2.       Washington $11.6 billion 48,808
3.       Texas $4.15 billion 24,972
4.       Florida $2.7 billion 16,270
5.       New York $2.07 billion 11,062
6.       Nevada $1.9 billion 10,394
7.       Minnesota $1.8 billion 6,610
8.       Idaho $1.64 billion 7,189
9.       Illinois $1.3 billion 8,112
10.   North Carolina $1.25 billion 7,497

For more details on this data, click here.

“The statistics in this detailed report reinforce the significant impact video games have on the U.S. economy, including jobs creation and providing family-sustaining wages in wide array of careers,” ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said. “As a convergence point for leadership in software, hardware, entertainment and creative arts, the video game ecosystem generates the kind of innovation critical to economic growth and this report helps share that story in a new and comprehensive way.”

Further, the report outlines the industry’s impact contributing to the development of innovative, far-reaching technologies, such as virtual reality, advanced computing and machine learning, as well as the spillover effects into other industries, adding:

“The industry thus represents a rather unique convergence of U.S. global leadership in technology industries (software development, computational systems, advanced graphics systems, etc.) AND its visual arts, creativity, storytelling, and entertainment culture (in the tradition of literature, theater, graphic novels, movies, and television). Video games have emerged as a melding of the two, creating a new form of visual art and entertainment and a new platform for experimentation and innovation in advanced technology development.”

The 2020 economic impact report follows the ESA’s previously-released “2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry,” which shows Americans across age, gender and other demographic measures find many positive benefits to video game play. For instance:

  • More than 214 million Americans play video games
  • 64% of U.S. adults and 70% percent of those under 18 regularly play video games
  • The average age of a video game player is 35-44 years old

“Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2020 Economic Impact Report” was prepared for the ESA by TEConomy Partners, LLC, a global leader in research, analysis and strategy for innovation-driven economic development.

For more information about the ESA, visit


About the ESA

The ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software companies, 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, visit the ESA’s website or follow the ESA on Twitter @theESA.


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