Trends Indicates More Players Buy Games For Graphics Than Story or Franchise History

The Entertainment Software Association has released its Essential Facts 2019 report, and it unveils a lot of intriguing trends in video game sales and consumer engagements with those games. Continuing to stay the course, video game content sales increased in 2018, hitting a total of $35 billion dollars. This is up $5 billion from 2017’s revenue. In those figures we see digital sales clearly dominating physical, with 83% of game sales being for digital merchandise. The combination of video game content sales, hardware, gaming accessories, and virtual reality equipment put the total industry revenue at $43.4 billion. It’s great to see the industry bringing in more money, but where is this increase coming from?

Essential Facts 2019

Well, it turns out that three out of every four households in the United States have at least one gamer living under the roof. The majority in this statistic are adults averaging around the age of 33, which most typically engage in games on their smartphone. Apart from that, adults who prefer to game on either a PC or a home console are a pretty close split. The average adult gamer is reported to have been playing games for an average of 14 years.

When analyzing the reason that people decide which games to purchase, the ESA uncovered a very interesting purchasing trend. It turns out that, other than price, the largest factor when deciding what game to buy is the quality of its graphics. Interestingly, this matches the fact that the top three best selling games of 2018, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIIRed Dead Redemption II, and NBA 2K19 respectively, are each known for their graphical fidelity. This factor beats out having an interesting plot, experience with past games in the franchise, or the loyalty to the continuation of a game series as the primary reason that gamers are putting their money on the table. Our parents may have been right about looks not being everything, but they sure do seem to be a big factor!

Essential Facts 2019

Another fantastic takeaway from the report is that the gender split in gamers is growing smaller and smaller each year. In 2018, 54% of gamers were reported as male while the other 46% were female. The trend over the last few years show that these figures are getting closer to being a 50-50 split by about 1% per year. Very soon, we may see a paradigm shift from the stereotypical image of a gamer being a young male yelling at a computer screen at 2 am, to being a gender-neutral image of a young adult playing at decent hours. And the “staying up late playing video games” thing might disappear too, considering the ESA report indicates that we gamers are getting as much sleep as non-gamers each night.

It seems that the video game industry is continuing to head in the right direction. Gaming revenue is increasing and the market continues to bring in new participants from all over the world. Be sure and check out the full report for a break down of gaming habits between different generations, how parents treat games with children, and what impact they have on people’s social life. And hey, if you find something in the Essential Facts 2019 report that you think is interesting, let us know in the comments below!

[Source: Electronic Software Association]