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When it comes to gaming, the industry seems to just keep growing hand over foot each year. More people are getting into games, both casual and hardcore, and more people are spending money on games the world around. But, in America specifically, there was a massive amount of money being spent on video games last year.
According to Variety, American gamers contributed a whopping $43.4 billion in revenue for the gaming industry throughout 2018. This is according to numbers gathered from the Entertainment Software Association and the NPD Group.
The article notes that there has been an 18% year-over-year annual growth spur compared to the $36.9 billion that was generated within the U.S. gaming industry back in 2017. This included hardware sales and accessories going up by 15% in 2018, while software sales saw an increase of 18% in 2018, up from the $30.4 billion generated in 2017.
This accounted for sales across home consoles, personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones. And speaking of mobile... that particular sector of the industry was up 5% in 2018 compared to 2017, generating revenue from more than 210.9 million mobile users across North America.
Mobile gaming definitely takes one of the largest pieces of the pie in terms of overall revenue due to microtransactions and cash shops being readily available and easily accessible to casual gamers. This is also pushed heavily by recognized brands courting a lot of kids and people short on time who want to invest a little bit of the free moments to a quick game or two, such as Candy Crush Saga or Pokemon Go. Cross-platform connectivity through mobile gaming with popular intellectual properties like Fortnite have helped a lot as well.
Obviously, all of the doom and gloom about mobile gaming killing off the hardcore gaming market did not come true. Various analysts from a decade ago put forward the notion that smart devices would become powerful enough to rival anything that was being done on home consoles. However, technology did not sit still in the console nor PC space, and smartphones – while definitely more powerful now than from a decade ago – still have trouble capturing the core demographic due to the limitations of the controls.
Nintendo attempted to fix that problem with the Nintendo Switch, which allows gamers to play from the comfort of their couch or while on the go by using the Switch in the tablet mode, complete with touchscreen controls. This hybrid approach to gaming has actually paid off big time, as the Switch ended up becoming the biggest selling console of 2018, due in large part to a steady roll out of exclusives and the big AAA release of Super Smash bros. Ultimate in December, which went on to become one of the biggest selling games of the year alongside Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Gaming in general has been up over the past year, even with some of the major hiccups that some recognized brands like Fallout encountered near the end of the year. But even with a few trips and stumbles along the way, Americans are still heavily invested in the world of interactive entertainment.