US videogame industry scored US$43.4bil record sales in 2018

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

An upcoming video game that lets players simulate a school shooting is coming in for criticism from parents of shooting victims and from politicians. — AFP Relaxnews

SAN FRANCISCO: From Fortnite to Pokémon Go, play in the US drove videogame industry revenue to a record-setting US$43.4bil (RM179.39bil) last year, according to data released Jan 22. 

Spending on games in the US in 2018 climbed 18% from the previous year, according to figures from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and market tracker NPD Group. 

“Whether it was playing on the go on a mobile device or at home on a PC or console, consumers of all ages and interests found compelling content that delighted in 2018,” NPD videogames analyst Mat Piscatella said in a statement. 

Play on all types of devices grew significantly last year, while momentum in subscription and streaming services “gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers”, he added. 

US spending on videogame hardware, including peripherals, climbed to US$7.5bil (RM31bil) last year from US$6.5bil (RM26.86bil) the previous year, according to the ESA and NPD. 

Meanwhile, gamers spent US$35.8bil (RM147.97bil) on game software, subscriptions, and purchases of in-game virtual items in an 18% increase from 2017 spending, the data showed. 

Cowboy western-themed action videogame Red Dead Redemption 2 was the top-selling title last year, followed by Black Ops 4, the latest instalment in the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 was the best-selling videogame of 2018. 

“The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture,” said acting ESA president and chief executive Stanley Pierre-Louis. 

“Interactive entertainment stands today as the most influential form of entertainment in America.” 

Some 150 million people in the US play videogames, while the industry here boasts more than 220,000 jobs throughout the country, according to the ESA. 

“Across the nation, we count people of all backgrounds and stages of life among our most passionate videogame players and fans,” Pierre-Louis said. – AFP

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