Video Game Players Are Gamers for Life, says EMA

>Industry Gamers

Sorry for stealing this message directly of the above website…

Posted July 27, 2009 by James Brightman

The video game industry in the U.S. and on a global scale has seen tremendous growth in the last several years. Not only have new players joined our ranks thanks in part to Nintendo and the Wii, but older gamers who have been playing since childhood continue to purchase and play games.

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) has released its 2009 Annual Report on the Home Entertainment Industry and found that “consumer turnover in the video game market is exceedingly low. Older gamers continue to be engaged by video games, rather than dropping out and being replaced by a new generation. Once a consumer decides to play video games, they continue to play for life – adding to the growing number of gamers worldwide.”

EMA said that 68% of all American households are now playing video games. Total industry sales jumped 19% to almost $23 billion in 2008, and if consumers aren’t buying video game software or hardware, then they’re renting. Video game rentals for 2008 totaled $541 million, which was up eight percent over 2007.

By comparison, rentals and purchases combined of DVD and Blu-ray discs totaled just $22.4 billion last year. DVD and Blu-ray sales totaled $14.9 billion (down 8%) while rentals remained flat at $7.5 billion. It’s clear that video games are driving home entertainment.

Other tidbits worth noting from the report include the growth of Blu-ray and digital downloads. Blu-ray discs accounted for 3% of consumer disc spending in 2008 ($750 million, up from $170 million) and are projected to reach half of consumer disc spending by 2013. Meanwhile, consumer spending on Internet downloads jumped 15% to total $141.8 million last year, and online subscription rental services (like Netflix) are now 25% of the market. EMA noted, however, that “the rental market continues to be dominated by traditional brick-and-mortar rental stores, which had 69% of the rental market in 2008.”

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