2015 has crept up on us and it’s time to see some updated trends, statistics and information. 2014 was a turning point in many areas of the video games industry. To help celebrate the release of our brand new Big Fish Video Game Stats Database, join us as we take a look at where the year left us and what we have to look forward to in the future in this ever-changing video games landscape.
Who’s playing games?
Over 59% of Americans play games
That means that in America alone, over 150 million people play games. 150 million people spread over a vast variety of backgrounds, ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses. All of us are jumping into stories, swapping gummies, fighting foes, traveling through time, and finding hidden objects.
Average age of the gamer is 31
This is up from 30 years old last year. Is it safe to assume that as video gaming aged another year, so did all of its gamers? Or is a safer theory that, even as the younger generation grows into gaming, more of the older generation begins embracing it as well?
Children and video games
29% of gamers are under 18
Video games are no longer seen as strictly toys for kids. In fact, it seems as though that image has changed almost entirely. Don’t get me wrong, obviously there are still games intended as entertainment for kids. However, more gamers are over the age of 50 than under 18. We’re also seeing video games as educational tools to help improve focus and concentration in children.
74% of K-8 teachers use digital games in the classroom
The instructors report that video games increase motivation and engagement in their students. 4 out of 5 of video game-implementing teachers use games created exclusively for educational purposes.
It’s not just teachers who are using games to assist in educating the youth of today. 56% of parents say video games positively affect their children.
Gaming and Gender
48% of gamers are female
Up another percentage point from last year (47%), women are a massive force in the video gaming audience. I predict that this time next year, we’ll see a shift in who makes up the majority. Also, video game purchasers are split right down the middle. 50% are men. 50% are women.
52% of gamers in the UK are women
Across the ocean, a study conducted in September 2014 found that 52% of gamers are women. Of those surveyed, 33% listed their favorite game genre to be Trivia/Word/Puzzle. It goes without saying that mobile and casual gaming has contributed to the steady rise in female gaming. However, in that same study it was discovered that 56% of female gamers have played on a console and 68% have played online.
22% of the video game workforce is made up of females and 76% of game developers are men
While this number is a bit disheartening, and we’d love to see more diversity in the business of video game creation, it is double what we saw in 2009. As awareness grows, I have no doubt we’ll see more smart, creative, and innovative women rising in the industry.
One final note about gender and video game culture: with 2014 came the debacle that was #gamergate. It was big, it was loud, it was confusing and angering. Don’t know what I’m talking about? For a comprehensive review of the events, check out the article by Mirror.
The rise of the independent video game
An amazing bi-product of the rise in mobile gaming popularity is the emergence of independently released games. The technology of smart phones and tablets has allowed for the widening reach of indie titles. These games are often beautifully illustrated, clever, innovative, and fun. The dream of starting a tiny game studio with two or three founders seems more feasible than ever to ambitious dreamers.
Of Metacritic’s top 25 iPhone/iPad games of 2014 list, half (13) were independent releases.
Top 10 games of 2014
In a surprising turn of events (to some) it was announced a few days ago that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brought in more sales than Bungie’s massive $500 Million Destiny. Below you’ll find the list of top 10 best-selling games of 2014. Please note: this list does not take into account digital sales:
1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
2. Madden NFL 15
4. Grand Theft Auto V
6. Super Smash Bros
7. NBA 2K15
8. Watch Dogs
9. FIFA 15
10. Call Of Duty: Ghosts
Speaking of Minecraft (number 5)
Minecraft (released in 2009) is one of the top three best-selling video games of all time. As of this writing, 18, 207, 546 units have been sold.