Digital Game Sales Reached Dizzying New High In 2016

by Jeff Marchiafava on Apr 19, 2017 at 01:45 PM

The ESA's new Essential Facts report packs a ton of interesting stats about the video game industry. Chief among them: The ever-growing amount that gamers are spending on digital content.

As with previous years, the annual report from the ESA does a great job illuminating the demographics of gamers, breaking down who is playing, what they're buying, and how much time we're all spending on our beloved hobby. This year's report reveals that the average gamer is now 35 years old, and that while male gamers still tend to be younger, female gamers are pretty evenly split across the entire age spectrum.

(image courtesy of ESA)

Perhaps the most interesting fact of the report is the growing divide between digital and physical sales. Digital purchases rose to a whopping 74-percent of total game-related sales in 2016, another 5-percent increase from 2015. That stat comes with an important caveat, however, as it includes the sales of game subscriptions, DLC, and mobile and social network apps. Those new avenues for revenue pushed total consumer spending to an all-time high of $24.5 billion in 2016. That number balloons to $30.4 billion when you factor in hardware and accessories.

For more valuable insight into how the industry grew in 2016, check out the ESA's entire report at the link below.

[Source: ESA]


Our Take:
I always look forward to the ESA's annual Essential Facts report. Not only do they offer a number of surprising and entertaining factoids, the demographics breakdown helps dispel the persistent age- and gender-related myths about who gamers are. Essential indeed.