American adults spend billions on video games

The study, which gathered data from more than 4,000 Americans, found that Americans spent a record-breaking $43.4 billion on video games in 2018.

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American adults sure love video games.

More than 164 million adults in the United States play video games and spent billions doing so, according to new research conducted by the Entertainment Software Association, which looked at the country’s adult gaming habits in 2018.


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The study, which gathered data from more than 4,000 Americans, found that Americans spent a record-breaking $43.4 billion on video games in 2018. That’s 20% more than the previous year and 85% higher than in 2015, according to the report.

“We are living in the golden age of video games, and video game players are thriving,” said ESA acting President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. “They are the leading form of entertainment in American culture. They enhance our interconnected experiences and relationships with one another and redefine the intersection between humans and technology.”

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Most American adults prefer to play video games on their phones. With popular app-based games like Candy Crush, Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans, consumers prefer accessibility. 60% of participants said they play on their smartphones while less than half (49%) reported playing games on a console like PS4 or Xbox 1.

In terms of when adults play, more than half said after work and admitted to playing about the same hours as a normal night’s sleep.

“Americans play video games to have fun, relieve stress, learn, and spend time with family. This innovative form of entertainment touches on every part of society and improves how we play, work, and live,” Pierre-Louis added.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.