Overview of the Computer Gaming Industry in the USA


67% of US households play video games.

The majority of the US gamers are over the age of 18. In fact, roughly 49% of gamers are ages 18-49 while another 26% are over the age of 50. Only 25% of gamers are under the age of 18.

The US population spends an average of 8 hours a week playing video games.

80% of female gamers prefer the Wii console. 11% of female gamers like the XBOX360. And 9% of female gamers enjoy the PS3. That means that out of every 100 gamers, 40 would be female. Of every 40 female gamers, 32 would buy the Wii. 4.4 of the females would take the XBOX360 and 3.6 would go for the PS3.

Of 100 gamers, 60% or 60 individuals will be male. 38% or 22.8 of male gamers enjoy the XBOX360. 41% or 24.6 of the male gamers would prefer the Wii and 21% or 12.6 would purchase the PS3.

Purchasers of video game consoles spend upwards of 420.77 billion on video game titles, hardware and upgrades and accessories.

The Computer Gaming Industry

Since the advent of digital game content arriving on the market, 40 percent of all game related content accounted for 40 percent of sales numbers in 2012. Bringing an idea to life and presenting it in marketable form as a computer video game to the consumer is an intricate process which involves more than one person.

First, the conception of an idea is formed by a creator, designer or board of designers working together as a creative team.

Second, a game developer takes an idea and uses the necessary hardware and software components to bring the abstract idea into focus as a concrete object that can be interacted with electronically or physically. Depending upon whether the game developer is a sole individual or a department in a larger establishment, development can include such processes as art, game design, programming using an existing game engine or building a new game engine or interface and testing the program.

If a video game developer does not belong to any company but operates privately using self-performance means and funding then the developer is known as an independent. The other terms used to identify independents are indie developers and indie games. Video game developers can have a very specific skill set independent to one particular video game console or can develop a game meant to be functional across a wide variety of gaming platforms. Developers may also prefer creating specific genres of games.

Lesser acclaimed roles of video game developers involve the act of transforming an existing game's programming to make it compatible with another type of software or hardware. When a video game is transformed to work on a gaming platform it was not originally designed for the industry calls the process porting. Some game developers specialize in translating games from one language to another to allow the game to reach a larger audience.

Third, the development team hands off the ready-to-play project to a video game publisher for financial and marketing support. The publisher has the capacity to license the game and to reach out to more consumers via means of distribution across the market.

Video game publishers can also have their own development studios. Even though publishers can develop their own games, this aspect of the video game business remains secondary. The publisher's primary purpose and business clout arises from its strengths in licensing, financing and marketing.

The computer gaming industry is a combination of imagination, creation, software development, design, hardware development, entertainment, finance, marketing, art and testing. Like any other industry it has multiple components necessary to success.