With 191 million players and revenues of more than US$47.3 billion in 2021, there is no doubt that gaming is a blooming industry. In fact, according to the latest Newzoo report, nearly three-in-four Americans (72%) are game enthusiasts, and from those, 71% play video games, 44% watch video games, 29% engage with gaming in another ways, and 8% even create gaming content.
While playing continues to be the number one way to engage with games, most American game enthusiasts are also watching gaming content. There are many different ways to view this type of content, from following streamers to watching game play tips and tricks and, of course, e-sports. In fact, 18% of the American online population has watched e-sports in the past 12 months. Moreover, half of these e-sports viewers do so on a monthly basis.
As gaming continues to expand its reach, gamers themselves become a more diverse and varied group. True to its name, what Newzoo describes as Mainstream Gamers are one of the most common personas in the United States, alongside Time Fillers. Despite similarities in size, these two groups demonstrate how varied gamers can truly be. Mainstream Gamers invest significant time both playing and watching games, while Time Fillers take a more casual and playing-exclusive approach to the pastime.
Furthermore, the report revealed that mobile is the most popular platform, but console is the one which captures the most hours. In fact, regarding share of players per platform in the past six months, mobile stood out with 48%, followed by console with 39%, and PC with 27%. When it comes to average hours played each week, console averages six hours, beating both mobile and PC, with five hours each.
Players are not only engaging with gaming content, but also investing money in it. With socialization a top motivation to play games in the United States, it is no surprise that 30% of players are spending money in order to play with friends or family. Yet, this is not the only reason gamers are spending money on the category: enticing sales, unlocking content, competition, and easier advancement are all top reasons for gamers to pull out their wallets.